Unlocking Naked Leadership With Adrian Koehler


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Episode Overview:

"Unlocking Naked Leadership" by Adrian Koehler is a transformative leadership manual that challenges conventional approaches by emphasizing vulnerability, authenticity, and empathy in leadership. Drawing from his extensive experience as a leadership coach and consultant, Koehler presents a revolutionary framework that encourages leaders to shed the facades of traditional hierarchical roles and embrace their genuine selves. Through compelling narratives and practical exercises, Koehler guides readers on a journey toward effective and compassionate leadership, emphasizing the importance of emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and building trusting relationships. This book redefines leadership paradigms, offering invaluable insights and strategies for aspiring and seasoned leaders alike to create more inclusive, empathetic, and impactful organizational cultures.

Additional Resources:

* Website

Skot Waldron (00:01.05)
Adrian, what's up, man?

Adrian Koehler (00:04.229)
Hey, man, it's good to be here, Scott. Thanks for having me on. I'm very excited about this conversation from our, you know, instant chemistry when we jumped on and got to know each other. And anyway, we're gonna have some fun.

Skot Waldron (00:14.238)
Yeah, yeah. I mean, just your demeanor in and of itself is interesting to me. And I know people go, interesting? I don't know if I should, how I should take that. I'm like, you know.

Adrian Koehler (00:19.517)

Adrian Koehler (00:23.969)
Ha ha ha!

Adrian Koehler (00:28.289)
No, it's funny. I just said that to somebody the other day. I said, yeah, you're very interesting. And I put in parentheses, that's like the biggest compliment I can give anyone. Yeah.

Skot Waldron (00:36.258)
Totally. Because I mean, how many people do you actually say that to? Not many. Yeah.

Adrian Koehler (00:41.521)
Very few, very, I think that a lot. But I only say it to people that I want to get to know some time, some people they're interesting. And I'm like, kind of a judgment of them and like, wow, that's an interesting movie, blah, blah. But if somebody is interesting, it's like, oh, wow, wonder what's in there. Like, I want to find out, you know, open that, you know, see what's there. Yeah. Yeah, sure. Yeah.

Skot Waldron (01:01.402)
Yes, that's what it is. I want to crack that, you know, something I want to know what's in there. All right. Here we go. We're going to start cracking it. You're ready. Well, bold and brash are two words you used when we were kind of shooting the breeze before, before we hit record here. You said bold and brash. Um, you know, I want to, I want to dissect those two words. Why do you use those two words?

Adrian Koehler (01:11.093)
Let's do it. I'm ready, man. Always.

Adrian Koehler (01:17.809)
Yep. Yeah.

Adrian Koehler (01:30.245)
Well, I think we were talking about our style and what we do with our clients. So I run an executive coaching and training company called taking a ground. And I was saying that my stylistically it's bold and brash and really I am and our team is at some level too. I'm probably the most bold and brash. Cause somebody's got to be out there on the edge. Then everybody else has got to be closer to normal. So why am I bold and brash?

Uh, that's a long, I don't know if it was that the question you ask, why do I, oh, why do you ask? Why do I use those words?

Skot Waldron (02:03.83)
Well, why, why use those words? But I mean, it, that, that some context, give me some context.

Adrian Koehler (02:06.541)
Yeah. Right. Well, I use those words because it's probably, you know, the most accurate people's experience of me. And why do I choose that as my presence? You know, only I mean, especially in the coaching context, like that's where I've got like ultimate freedom, of course, but I own the ultimate freedom to kind of fully be myself. And there's a lot of selfs in here. Right? I mean, I always say

you know, there's five or six Adriens, I don't know which one I'm gonna wake up to in the morning. But sometimes I wake up with the Adrian I prefer to be with sometimes I'm wake up with the Adrian that I got to get in shape. And, you know, I got to sit down with a journal and, you know, get myself off the edge if I'm all anxious or angry or whatever's going on for me. So, but I like being bold and brash. Why? For from a work perspective, because it's effective.

because there's always going to be, you know, the inspiration machine out there and Instagram and there's, you know, Brene Brown's going to keep putting out the next book and whatever, which is like all very comforting, loving, um, supportive and that's wonderful. And obviously that's needed. Um, and that's helpful. Um, and then, you know, adults don't change.

Very quickly, if we do it all, we don't change. I say we don't change period. I say we can transform, which is a distinction we could talk about. But if we do, if we do, we usually need, I know, for me at least, I need a certain level of pain in order to shift. And we could talk about why I think that's true. The neuroscience proves that's true.

is that, you know, there's the anecdote, what's the thing out there is like, we change when the pain of staying the same is worse than the something, whatever, you know, anyway, that idea. The people that I work with are very successful, very smart, very ambitious, usually revered people. They're founders of companies, right? And if they're great, they have like a little force field or tractor beam, whatever they talked about, like Steve Jobs had that kind of way of shifting, you know, people that was around him. And for me to...

Adrian Koehler (04:22.037)
to make the impact I want to make and for me to get paid the amount I want to make, or I want to, you know, make with them. For my time and my energy, I better stand out. And usually, if I'm willing to say something that no one else is willing to say to them, then I stand out. Now, I don't say it to be bold, I say it because it's needed. In my view, right? So I can be an idiot, and I don't know anything, but I

have been doing this for a long time. I don't know 13 is years now. And I'm pretty intuitive. And I'm more courageous than in the other coach that I know. There are probably other coaches that are more courageous than I am. But that's kind of if I've chosen a brand, I've just chosen to be really courageous. Like let's leave it all in the field. Let's act like this really matters. Like when you've got a breakdown in your life, we can spend five hours talking about why it happened.

and what caused it outside of yourself and the people and the circumstances in the market and even your history and whatever. You can go do all that and things won't change at all because external things created my experience and created my choices. Go ahead. Nothing new is coming if it came from outside of you. If it came from you, like you, I assert that people either create the reality or they allow the reality. I don't think there's anything else.

And if that's true, I think that's good news. But that's like bad news for the ego. Like our view of ourselves that there's survival needs. We talk about our survival needs as looking good and feeling good and being right and being in control. There's a kind of the survival needs or we could probably call them the ego needs. So if you're gonna actually say something that penetrates somebody, especially a person that's got like a lot of momentum and thinks they're right most of the time, and they might just be right most of the time, and they don't listen very well because they don't have to.

And they think that's the strategy that got them where they are is depending on themselves. I just tend to take a swing at being the guy that's going to take a baseball bat to him out of love really, really out of love. Like it's not like I'm saying it like I'm a jerk or something. No it's fierce advocacy is my game. That's what I call it. Like I'm going to advocate for anybody I'm talking to. I want them to get what they want. But usually it's under so many layers of BS that there's really low.

Adrian Koehler (06:41.513)
percentage chance they're actually going to get what they want. They might get what they claim they want, but not what they really want. That takes guts, that takes vulnerability to actually say what I really want. Like, so for example, with some of the founders I work with, they want to be seen as successful and significant in the eyes of their peers, of course, and their family and their, you know, culture and the market and all that. But a lot of them, you know, when I talk to them, it's like, I think you don't want to run this company.

And that's the truth for most of them is they don't want to run the company. They want to start the company, but they're just so scared to death and they don't trust people and they don't train people very well and they're not very humble and they don't even, they're so intuitive, they don't even know how they're good. So it's tough for them to scale their expertise. You know what I'm saying? So, but in their heart of hearts, they would like to step away, but that there's fear baked in that, like how would they look to themselves or to other people if they stepped away? Would they be a quitter? Would most of my people, they're not quitters. They are resilient mofos. And. But.

what they really want is to step away. And I don't have to take a baseball bat to get that point across. That's more in hushed tones because it's more of a would you just relax and let something let what you really want hit the table. But at times to get to that point I've got to be able to risk be willing to risk the relationship in every conversation. That's what I promised them. If we work together, I'm going to risk the relationship in every conversation.

Why do I do that? Because it makes the relationship unique. And if I'm not unique to one of my clients, then whatever, I'm just another Ted Talk. So I want them to trust. Yeah. Hit me.

Skot Waldron (08:17.142)
Okay. So let me, let me ask you. Sorry, sorry. Let me ask you on that point though. Cause I was going to ask you earlier when you started talking about the ego stuff is when you go in, people know what they're getting when they engage with you because of who you are and they probably have heard about you or got recommendations or they've seen you somewhere and they're like, I want a little bit of that.

Adrian Koehler (08:25.586)

Adrian Koehler (08:35.529)
Right. Yeah. 90 9590. Yeah, 95 or 90 somewhere between 95 and up come to me because they're friends with a client line.

Skot Waldron (08:47.295)
So you've got this brand that kind of exists already. When you're dealing with the ego with theirs, which is this idea of self-confidence or self-identity or whoever we are, right? That preserves, which preserves us. Yeah, so I mean, the ego is just what it is. And when we lead with that, understanding that ego and understanding who you are, coming in saying, hey, by the way,

Adrian Koehler (08:58.129)
Yeah, which we all have, right? We all have, yeah. Right, necessary. Right.

Skot Waldron (09:14.43)
I'm going to take risks with you and I may say some stuff probably you may not like, or it's going to make you uncomfortable or whatever it's going to be. How do you, when you're going into situations, how does the ego play into all of that with you as a coach and then with them as leading? Is there a difference? Do you work on that with them? Like how does that play out?

Adrian Koehler (09:21.737)
Right. Yeah.

Adrian Koehler (09:40.241)
Yeah. So your question is, it sounds like a two-part question. One is like, how do I deal with my own ego? And then how do I deal with theirs?

Skot Waldron (09:47.766)
Well, yeah, I mean, I would say more just theirs right now and understanding the leader as the person in dealing with you, how do they, you know, how do they, what's their ego like in dealing with you, the coach, and then what's their ego like in dealing with their people and leading their companies, is there a difference or how does that.

Adrian Koehler (09:52.242)
Okay, that's cool.

Adrian Koehler (10:06.549)
Yeah. Well, most people are on automatic and by on automatic, I mean, they're just doing what they call a Thursday and they're being what they call themselves. And there's nothing really new and they don't question themselves very much. They might be insecure and they might be in shame about something, but they're not curious about themselves really. Um,

You know, some of them might go to therapy or something, but rarely do any of my clients go to therapy. And so they're not that curious about themselves, yet they do know if I'm in a conversation with them. Because I start to get them, the aim is to get them outside themselves for a second and just become objective. Just let's look at ourselves. Let's just see. We're going to start when I'm in a conversation about myself, I'm going to start with results. Because I say current reality doesn't lie. Like results don't lie. We do.

results don't lie. So let's start with results. I say that's gravity in life. Whatever happened is what's true. So I'll always like say intention equals impact. So let's look at impact and then we'll be then that'll give us a clue into what our intention really was. So let's say we're going to launch this new product or whatever. It's going to make us $5 million in the first quarter. Great. And it made us $1 million. And I'll say, well, now we know that you only wanted to make a million dollars.

Why do I know that? Because you only made a million dollars. Now it's a counterintuitive way of looking at things and they're going to have 55 reasons why I'm not right. But reality is on my side. So let's look at that from like an open, like, let's just wonder about it. If I, if I, if there's a difference between I want to make 5 million and I'm committed to making 5 million. If there's a difference in those two statements, would you want to know? And if I actually wanted to make a million and I've been lying to myself,

And that lie, played out over time, is gonna ruin the company. Would you wanna know? And of course they'll say yes to that, because I don't know, they could say no, I don't wanna know, but everybody's gonna at least say yes to look good in their own eyes or to try to please me or whatever they're gonna try to do. And then we're into an inquiry about it. And we honor results. So back to ego. The ego comes to do its job. The ego comes to help me survive. And that's number one.

Adrian Koehler (12:29.865)
agenda of the brain is to survive, like make it to tomorrow. And the number two agenda of the brain is to save energy right now so that I can survive later if I need to. So lots of ways that we save energy. Man there's a five hour answer to this question. Let me see if I can get to a point. There are ways of... so I say it this way that results all come from actions we take or don't take. All actions come out of decisions we make or don't make.

All decisions come out of a certain type of thinking and all thinking comes out of a belief, right? Out of a framework that we all live with that we might or might not be aware of, like a blueprint or I call it the occurrence, whatever. We all live in this thing. Now, a lot of these, most of these, I would say even, most of these beliefs are unconscious to us. We know that from the neuroscience, right? We...

we take in two and four million bits of information every second or every minute. We only process 139 K to between two and 4% of the information. Our brain is doing math on where aware of the rest is just happening in the background. Like on your phone right now, there's a bunch of programs running. You can't manage them all. They manage it for yourself. The brain works the same way. Part of it is these, this, this conversation called ego, which is who am I? I want to look good. I need to look good because that's actually evolutionarily

good to look you know, if you're going to make it, you better look good to your peers, you better look good in your own eyes so that you actually are motivated in the morning and don't hurt yourself and you know, don't become lazy. You know, you want to be productive. There's some bit there's some version of the future that will require your best self that kind of thing. So the ego is doing its job to try to get you to the table. But there are aspects of any of those conversations that are full of self betrayal. Because we're scared to death to look in the mirror long enough.

We usually won't entertain the fact that that's true and not even True on accident like it's actually true like relying to ourselves on purpose and That's not even a problem. Like I don't have a moral stance really in any of this stuff Let's just get down to like reality is in that meeting you know Tom didn't deliver on what he promised he would deliver and I Went off on him

Adrian Koehler (14:47.805)
Why? Because I wanted to look like the tough boss. Or most people, Tom didn't deliver and I changed the subject. Why? Because I didn't want to have the conflict in front of these other people. Or, you know, I always was complicit, you know? He was going to do that thing and he asked me for something two weeks ago and I was quote unquote busy and I didn't. So if we got into the real conversation, he would say, well, hey man, I asked you for something you didn't give it to me. Of course I didn't deliver.

You know, so for all those reasons of looking good or feeling a certain way or being right or being in control We'll have these stifled conversations and I don't think we're unconscious of most of those. We just can't Dare to look in the mirror I mean, there's this guy named warner erhart who's a guy from the 70s philosopher and he said We're all inauthentic As human beings all of us. We're inauthentic as human beings and we know it

And the best we can do is to be authentic about our inauthenticity. Like there are times in which I'm lying. I'm holding back. I'm not fully participating. I'm putting on a show. I say, I believe these things, but I don't live them out. We do this all the time, all the time. And the best thing we could do is just own that is if we own that, then at least we're closer to reality. Otherwise we're just living out this fantasy thing. So if I try again to get to a real answer to your question, they.

The soul wants integrity. That's one of my core beliefs, that our human soul wants integrity. And integrity is wholeness, not like perfection and nobility and that kind of stuff. Like people talk about integrity as like telling the truth all the time. No, integrity in its etymological sense is wholeness. So putting things together. So just like Jungian psychology that really spent time studying the shadow self, which he says is essential.

for human development is like we do have a shadow we can't run from it and we all know it I've got plenty I could tell you stories about how I've chased the shadow and ruined sections of my life doing that. So I'm familiar with my inner criminal that's what we call it like a shadow self and I need to befriend all those things and I think the soul does is like in other otherwise we'll spend the rest of our lives trying to look good and that's painful and a lot of energy and we're playing a game.

Adrian Koehler (17:04.241)
and we know it and everybody else knows it. So I always say that when a leader has a revelation, they're the last one of the party. Everybody else knows what's going on for the leader once they're finally like, oh, I'm arrogant. Oh, yeah, yes, you are. Yes, yes, we've all known that for a long time. So it's a comforting and it's a loving conversation because I want them to get off of their natural compulsion to look good in their own eyes because if they can do that, then they can hear other people.

then they can see other people. Because if I'm familiar with my dark side, your dark side does not bother me at all. It actually draws me in because I, you know, and I would say this for myself, I was gonna say mastered my dark side. That's of course not true. I'm a friend to it though. And so whenever I wanna steal or lie or, you know, all the stuff I've been doing, so I was like, you know, a kid, right? I mean, I don't know, remember you, I remember stealing stuff as a kid. It was kind of thrilling and fun and lying and getting away with stuff all, I mean, shoot.

Not that, I mean, anyway, little bitty, even just little bitty lies. If I know someone else's criminality and they're willing to show it to me and be real with me, I'm a lot, a lot closer to them than somebody that's like really busy trying to look good. So to deal with their ego is to invite them into the conversation they're dying to have, but scared to death to have.

Skot Waldron (18:25.49)
And you bring them into that conversation. Do people go willingly into that conversation?

Adrian Koehler (18:32.085)
Um, yeah, if we do any work together, I mean, in an initial conversation with them, if I'm somebody connects me to somebody and like, Hey, you should talk to, you know, my friend, great. We'll do a cordial, you know, whatever, talk for a few minutes or whatever, and then I'll just listen to them. I ask them what they want. And then we're usually off to the races because even the most ambitious people are really confused about what they want.

Skot Waldron (18:57.03)
So give me a bold and brash question that really gets to the heart of it for you. Like what is kind of like your, I'm not telling you to give away your secret sauce here, but like what's the like the like, bam, you ask it and you get some brilliant stuff out of it.

Adrian Koehler (19:07.593)
That's okay.

Adrian Koehler (19:13.601)
You know, it's funny, I don't have a what would they call it a anyway, like a holster full of killer questions. I'm just listening. So I'm asking simple questions like so tell me, you know, so tell me what you want. And I'll just listen to them in a way nobody else is listening to them. Because I'm going to listen to their patterns. I'm going to listen to what they're emphasizing. And I'm going to listen to what they're omitting.

Skot Waldron (19:23.329)

Adrian Koehler (19:40.949)
And I'm gonna put all that over context. That's kind of one of the formulas I work with, patterns plus emphasis plus omission over context. Context is whatever the aim is. So I'm gonna listen for those things. And I'm essentially paid to notice everything. So that's what makes me annoying to people, because I'm not gonna miss much. And I'm gonna ask, anytime I notice something, a little light goes off on my dashboard of my brain, I'm gonna ask about it.

And so it's not like a gotcha question. There is a willingness to point out and own current reality. Like when they leave something essential out, I'm going to ask about what they left out and I'm going to notice what they left out or I'm going to notice what they're focused on and what they're spending a lot of time trying to sell me on. And like, they might be talking about the future the whole time, blah, blah. We're going to go to the, and I'll say, okay, well, where are you today? And it's a big gap, which isn't a problem. That's a big gap. It's usually might be a good sign.

And you know, if they've got, let me give a better answer. They will typically, because human beings, we love to complain about things. So they'll give me some kind of complaint. And they got a big story about it. It's usually very well practiced. You know, it's like one of their favorite songs. And it's over and over and over. They tell me, they say, and I'll just say, great, how long has it been that way? And they'll say something like, oh, a couple years. And I'll say, this is probably my closest thing to your question. Well.

Let's imagine you actually like it that way.

Like your senior leadership team isn't that engaged or you know, your, your co-founder, um, uh, isn't focused. Let's just make that up. Let's say your co-founder isn't focused. Okay, great. How long has it been that way? Oh, a couple of years. Great. Why do you like, why do you like it? Why do you like having a non-focused co-founder? What are you talking about? I don't like it. I wish he was focused. Really? Well, you're pretty smart and pretty articulate. So, and it's

Adrian Koehler (21:40.265)
And I say that whatever you don't want in your life, you pretty much get rid of. So you've kept this around for two years. Let's play the game. Let's entertain for a second. That you love having a non-focused co-founder. Let's talk about the payoffs of that. Why might you? I'm inviting them to get outside themselves and to just take on this counterintuitive question. Why might you like the thing you're complaining about? And they'll resist it.

But then when we start talking, they're like, oh, yeah, oh, I do get to be superior. I get to do whatever I want. I actually get to spend money however I want because they're not focused. I get to rule over the staff because he's not paying attention. I get to take on whatever projects I want to take on to. I get to go on vacation whenever blah, blah. I'm justified. I'm entitled. I get to, you know, they slander him, you know, when he's not around. I there's lots of payoffs to having this judgment. Now, what are the prices of having that judgment? Well, there's, you know, the increased stress.

decreased cash, confusion and chaos on the team. I'm bitter and resentful and I'm spreading that to the team because the bitter root defiles many, the old rabbis say. And it's like there's tons of prices to not having the conversation in a way that works with my founder. And why don't you have it? Oh, if I did, he'd blow up, if I did, he'd leave. Okay, so now you're being a prostitute. So you're unwilling.

You're selling out and blaming him for it. Let's talk about that. So little stuff like that, that isn't commonplace type conversation, but it's what's needed. It's what's needed to actually get real because we can't get, I said it the other day, it was kind of catchy. It's like if there's not a now, there's not a next, right? If we don't have a now, we can't get to next, essentially something like that. Like if we don't get to current reality, then the future is just a fantasy. So.

You know, a lot of my work with folks is getting them real, like, get let's get honest. And, you know, the old rabbi said, and the truth will set you free, something like that. And I'm not a king of the truth. But I am always searching for it.

Skot Waldron (23:48.334)
There's a interesting thing that you're talking about with the authenticity and authenticity, the getting real, the, I take it you're a no nonsense. Individual. I'm just, I'm just testing things here.

Adrian Koehler (24:03.181)
I, well, I mean, for sure when I'm wearing my coaching hat, yeah, that's what they pay me for. So I'm intense, no nonsense. Like, I'm not here to mess around.

Skot Waldron (24:08.898)
Okay, no nonsense, right? And...

Skot Waldron (24:14.122)
And I will tell you that if people go to your website, which they should, because it's beautiful. Number one, just from a design standpoint, it's a, it's gorgeous. Um, and, but looking at even the language you use on the website, right? It's bold. It's brash, no nonsense. And I think it's a, it's a place for people to just like. Dip their toe and say, Hey, is this for me?

Adrian Koehler (24:27.657)
Yep. No nonsense.

Skot Waldron (24:40.242)
Yes or no. Like it's, it's pretty quick, um, that you're, you're getting a feel for what your philosophy is and how you approach leadership in a really unique fashion. And I love that. I think that's, that's brilliant. Um, and I would, you know, like.

Adrian Koehler (24:53.833)
Thank you. It took me a while. I didn't have, I didn't have a website on purpose for like the first six or seven years. I kind of prided myself and not needing a website to get clients. Cause so many coaches quote unquote coaches in my industry just live by a ClickFunnel and blah, blah. And I'm like, I'm not that guy. I want my results to produce the work. So I didn't have a website. And then it took me a while, um, which kind of plays into this, I think of kind of owning my own self, right? I,

And why I love coaching is because I get to be myself full blast and I've always been You know historically I've been a little too intense for people Um, and I spent a lot of time trying to trying to hold back a little bit so other people were more comfortable Um, or so that I was more comfortable with them being uncomfortable that kind of thing. I was a pastor for

Skot Waldron (25:43.306)
Are you talking about your clients? Are you talking about people that work with you or your kids? I mean, who are you talking about?

Adrian Koehler (25:48.589)
people in life. I mean, it started, well, I mean, across the board, man. I mean, growing up as a kid, I was like in my family, I heard it hundreds of times, hey, you're too serious, man, why don't you relax or too philosophical, you're too psychological, you're too intense. I'd get that feedback from time to time. And so Adler calls this a life lie. Like the thing that we're scared to death we are and we spend our lives trying not to be that thing.

And so for a long time I held myself back and then just probably seven, I think it was about seven years ago, I just decided I'm an acquired taste. Just like scotch or something like that. It's like I'm not for everybody. So I'll go ahead and be fully me for the people that I'm for. And they appreciate it. And so if people get onto my website or talk to me and I'm way too much for them, wonderful, wonderful. There's tons of other coaches that aren't my style. And there's like, most of them are not my style.

Because most of them are like really nice people and come off really nice and kind of do the nice guy thing. And that's great. But that's just not me. But I am exactly right for a person that wants to deal with now in a way that's invigorating. For me, it's about vitality. Because if like, if, if I, I think there's a direct tie between personal responsibility and life and vitality. And, and I think it's a one to one. So if we're

if we're off at all in our personal responsibility, like owning the fact that I make choices that generate my reality in every experience, I'm weird, so here's what I believe, is that every experience I have, I am generating. Like there's nothing you could say to me right now that would create an emotion for me. Is that if you said something even, I mean, I'm pretty un-offendable, but if you said something that was really offensive to me.

it would be how I would relate to what you said that generated my experience, not what you said. So if we're willing to stand like that, like I'm responsible for everything in my life. Like I'm not the cause of everything, there's a distinction there, which we don't need to get into, but I'm responsible for it, especially if it's ongoing. I say, if I can stand like that, then I've got unlimited amount of vitality and aliveness and energy and engagement and possibility and hope and.

Adrian Koehler (28:06.877)
future is unwritten and I am unstoppable if I am responsible. So I could fail, no problem. I can own it quickly, make a ask for forgiveness, make something right, get up and go again. And I just keep rolling. Most people don't live that way. Most people wanna look perfect and wanna be perfect. And so they live walking on eggshells, scared to death that they are what they know they aren't. Sorry, how do I say that? We know we're not perfect, but we wanna put on this thing like we are.

And so we spent a lot of time trying to look good in my own eyes and somebody else's eyes. And we spend a life like half cocked, like we can't get there because we're not willing to put it all on the line. So on the website and all that, I just decided I'll just be myself and that'll do the trick. And you know, I've since I, even since I put that website up, I've expanded my rates, probably five times multiple, because there's certain people that want that. And they're the ones that are usually pretty successful.

Skot Waldron (29:07.106)
Tell me right now if, uh, we want people to get better in the next hour, something bold and brash. What am I going to do in the next hour to be better?

Adrian Koehler (29:19.529)
In the next hour, like if somebody's listening to this and they actually had some kind of thirst to have some kind of breakthrough, that's what you're saying.

Skot Waldron (29:21.324)
Yeah, man.

Skot Waldron (29:31.102)
Yeah, they would just... Better.

Adrian Koehler (29:32.069)
Yeah, because I'm not a better guy. I mean, I'm a little bit, you know, more and better and different are the reference points for that are obviously the past because we don't know if something's better if unless we're looking to the past. And so I would first invite somebody to stop, stop looking at your history to gauge what you're doing right now. I would look to your future. I would look to what's possible for you. Like if you were 100% so if you're listening, if you were 100% courageous and 100% confident.

and 100% honest and you were okay with whatever, however that landed for other people. And don't be a jerk. I mean, be loving, you know, like love people. I love people harder than most people I know. Like, and I've got room for anybody. Nope, I'm not judging anybody. You know, you could you could say you just killed somebody, Scott. And I said, great. Well, did you bury the body yet? Let's talk about this. Are they really dead yet? Because we might bring them back to life. I don't think you really want to kill them. Let's talk about it. You know, it wouldn't be like, Oh, my gosh.

So if you want something amazing in your life, then stop looking to the past, look to the future. And if you were all those things that I just described, people know what they would do next. They have a long list in their head right now of the things they're tolerating. It's a long list. It is. I mean, we just did a podcast episode about this. If you wanna hear our podcast, it's called the Naked Leadership Podcast because great leadership is vulnerable. You know what to do.

So I would just make a list of all the things. If I was 100% courageous and really honest and wasn't scared and didn't like follow my fear as if it's a problem, but followed my fear as if it's an indicator of where courage is needed, there is, everybody right now listening knows what conversation they would have and what action they would take. And I just go do that. And if you're really gutsy, because you're gonna chicken out probably. So the first thing I would do,

is to call somebody that actually loves me and holds me accountable and say, hey, I've had this thing, I've been putting up with this, and I'm done putting up with this, and I need to now do X. And I'm gonna do X in the next 24 hours. Can you call me tomorrow at noon and ask if I did that thing?

Adrian Koehler (31:47.069)
And then you, you know, you put yourself on the hook and now you're using your ego for your benefit because we all want to look good. Not that's not a problem, but I can like, I can shape the game for my own benefit. Like I do this all the time, like, especially when stuff I'm resisting and things I don't want to do. I do it all the time. I'm like, Hey, I'm going to send you that proposal. I hate doing proposals. I hate doing anything involving paperwork. And I'm going to send you that proposal by tomorrow at noon. Why I've given my word now. So now I'm not going to be a guy because welcome to my world.

I'm not going to be a guy that's going to break my word. That's like our number one, uh, kind of the big game inside the game is to keep and live your word. So I'm going to make a promise to somebody that I'm going to do something I don't want to do. So that's what I would do next. I mean, I don't have, you don't need a zinger question to find out how to, how to, I said breakthrough versus better to get what you want in life. You just need balls. You just need courage and there's no way to escape that. Um,

And my, you could have a good life without courage. I've had a good life, really good life. And even seasons that were horrible were better than most people because I'm talented and engaged and blah, blah. But the life I want now will require me to be courageous. And for a guy like me and maybe people that are listening, it actually takes a lot more care than challenge. Cause I do challenge all day long. Usually the breakthroughs in my life are me really around the...

the concepts of like self acceptance, like, hey, it's okay. It's okay, man. Like you're not, you know, you'd it's okay, even like the quote unquote, be normal, like, relax, why don't you take a nap? Why don't you like go play some golf? Why don't you go relax? You know, that's actually usually takes a little more courage for me than like, going and planning the next thing or, you know, doing a podcast or something like that. That's all had for me because I like a challenge. So relaxing is more challenging for me than

than struggling. Struggling is usually pretty fun for me, but I'm weird. Yeah, I'm interesting, man. Yeah.

Skot Waldron (33:49.838)
Weird. You're interesting, Adrian. You're interesting. Hey, tell me about Revenant. What is that? Tell us, give us a little preview of what that is and this life-changing experience that people should take you up on if it's for them.

Adrian Koehler (33:56.453)

Adrian Koehler (34:02.577)
Yeah, Revenant. I went through the Revenant about 15 years ago. I met a guy named Dan Tuchini. Dan Tuchini had been doing this transformational leadership work since the late 70s. So he's an OG. And he's been in this coaching space. I mean, his first coaching company was called the Coaching Company, right? So he's been there from the beginning. I mean, he was like,

consulting, doing stuff at ESPN, talking to the C-suite and saying, hey, I'm a coach for your leaders. They're like, what, we don't play sports. What are you talking about here? Anyway, so he's been around forever. And as soon as I saw him operate in a room, everybody that's listening to this probably knows what I'm talking about. When you get around a leader that's just like compelling and you're like, holy cow, what, who, how does he, you're just kind of baffled by, I imagine it's like if you sat down with Mozart,

at a piano or whatever and just watched him do his thing. Dan's like that with people. And I got to, and he's brilliant. He's like, I joke, he's like, if Mother Teresa and Yoda and Tony Soprano had a baby, that's Dan Tichini. He's a unique individual. And as soon as I got to see him, I thought I wanna be around this guy. So I went to this thing called Revenant and it rocked my world. Just what did it do? It revealed to me, it did lots of things, but

The biggest thing is it revealed to me conversations that I was in about myself, beliefs that I had about myself that I didn't know I had, but really had been running the show. And I was essentially a slave to them. I was locked up, to use your metaphor. I was locked up by this idea. One of mine when I first went through was I got feedback that I was a good soldier. And I'd realized, man, I spent 20 years of my life trying my best to be a good soldier. And that's laudable.

It's helpful, it works in society, but it's also self-restrictive because there's things that a good soldier can't do because he is being mastered by duty instead of giving himself to full expression. So anyway, it's a four-day leadership training. Now this guy, Dan Ticini, and I co-train it. We do several of them a year. It's the easiest entry point to somebody that wants to shake their world up.

Adrian Koehler (36:26.897)
and like generate something brand new for themselves. It's the easiest, I mean, people can, you know, hire us or people on my team to coach them and all that kind of thing. And we're not cheap, but this is easy. And it's four days, it's long days, like 10 hour days. If you say you wanna come, somebody on my team calls you and we help prepare you to come, right? So we help you think about what's working and what's not working and really what's missing in your life and what your longings are. And...

what you want your vision to be. And so you come into the room, Claire for yourself, there's probably 30 or 40 people in the room, but everybody's there for different reasons. With for their own reasons. It's not like they're to go learn something, don't go somewhere to go learn something, you can do that online. Just go to experience something and experience yourself in a brand new way. And we're asking where we're in the type of inquiry that rarely do people get because we're not there to get answers. Everybody wants answers. Answers seem great. You can market answers all day long.

We're actually there to find the types of questions that to use your metaphor, unlock some new conversation, some new potential, some new future, unlock you being, you know, trapped by your past and what you've made up about your past, whether it was something that happened to you or something you did that you live in regret about, you know, something gets unlocked and the people experience a sense of freedom that comes out of taking personal responsibility. And so they, you know, I was telling you before, like we ran a,

a survey of 2000 recent grads and somewhere up around 90% of them said it was in the top three experiences of their life, even next to like getting married and having kids and that kind of stuff. So it's a, it's a, I was going to say it's a magical experience. It really is. It comes out of nowhere. We actually practice the art of surprise and that comes out of a, a willingness to go be curious and try something on and like get out of our dogma.

of what we think about me and you and the way the world, we all live in this dogmatic view of like, that's the way it is, that's who I am, that's who you are, that's how life is, that's what a podcast is supposed to be, blah, blah. We all live in this preset notion back to being on automatic. And if you were to step out and get curious for a second and stand on that possibility that maybe this is true as much or more than what I'm really sure is true, then a whole new vista opens up for people. So it's four days, we've got several of them already lined out for next year.

Adrian Koehler (38:49.097)
Tons of my clients come and tons of people come. I mean, it's all we don't advertise. So it's just word of mouth to stuff like this. So if you're interested, just go to we are revenant r e v e n a n t dot com and check it out. And if you're curious and you don't know about it, you want to talk to me about it, hit me up on Instagram, Adrian dot K and we can talk about it. You can talk to somebody on my team and we'll help you see if it's the right environment for you. It's not for the faint of heart. It's not like some kind of.

sit in the crowd like at a Tony Robbins thing or something like that. It's not just sit like a good student and go take notes and think information will change your life because it won't integration well. And we're going to invite you to take a whole bunch of risks beyond what you think you can do. We're not going to go walking on coals and all that kind of cheesy stuff. We are actually going to invite you to do the deeper work. So the things that are really, you know, stifling your life and you know it and things you're participating in, you're stifling your own life.

We're gonna invite you out of the shame conversations that keep you there and into some possibilities that you might actually be really powerful. And people are scared to death to be powerful because then they're responsible, but it's freedom. So that's what it's, I mean, that was a really long answer, but that's what it's about. It's about inviting people into complete vitality, which requires risk and we're there for you. And so as a trainer, I'm scared to death every time. I'm so nervous.

because I'm not there teaching stuff. I'm not there with a whiteboard and write down these seven points about how to have a better life. That's not the way it works. We're in a deep dialogue, a deep conversation as a group and you get, you get deeply connected to people. Some people that go to the Revenant together, they have like new lifelong friendships begin there because they've suffered together and they've taken risks together and they've been vulnerable together and they've expressed themselves together and they come out brand new on the other side. It's really amazing. Some people say it's like 10 years of therapy in a weekend.

And I would say that's true, probably 20 years.

Skot Waldron (40:43.551)
Are there a lot of hugs that happen?

Adrian Koehler (40:45.877)
Sure rock and roll man hugs whatever you can do whatever you want. Yeah there's no coals. No we don't do the cheesy stuff and I get why Tony does that stuff but because you know it's kind of iconic and you know you can walk on but it's harder to have a conversation with your it's a harder to have a real conversation with your wife than it is to walk on coals. So we go with to what matters most. Yeah that's right man yeah.

Skot Waldron (40:48.278)
Catching. Got you. Hug. No Kohl's, but hugs galore. Hugs galore.

Skot Waldron (40:59.57)
Yeah, it's a thing.

Skot Waldron (41:10.391)
That is pretty tough. Man, that sounds amazing. I feel like my life changed a little bit just listening to you talk about it. So, you know. Do you sponsor people? Can I get a scholarship? Can I get a, you know, if I, you know, I don't know, put a little banner on my website, will you give me like $50 off? I'm just kidding.

Adrian Koehler (41:14.385)
Yeah, you would dig it man. You would dig it man. Would yeah. Would you come? Are you interested in coming?

What do you mean?

Adrian Koehler (41:37.17)
I'm up for any conversation. I live in a land of plentiful requests. You can say, hey, can I come free? And I'll say no, because you gotta have some skin in the game, homeboy. Yeah, you gotta have some skin in the game. But you dig it, man. I'm open to everything.

Skot Waldron (41:41.03)
I'm just like, I know you do. That's exactly, exactly. Amen, brother. Amen. You're open to the request. You're open to the request though. I appreciate that. Um, you're gold, man. You, you know, you said, well, that wasn't a very, that was, that wasn't very short answer and I was like, are any of your answers short though, Adrian? No, because they're chalk.

Adrian Koehler (41:56.852)
You're sweet.

Adrian Koehler (42:03.597)
No, no.

Skot Waldron (42:05.262)
full of your brain. I can see your face. People, if I hope people are watching this on YouTube, you can see your face. Your face is like, your brain's going like, and your mouth is trying to keep up with it. And just the goal that comes out of there was just like, it just keeps layering and layering. And then you like back it up and then you go forward a little bit. Then you bet like, it's all coming together, man. It comes together. It comes together. So it's great.

Adrian Koehler (42:16.647)

Adrian Koehler (42:25.405)
You're kind, you're kind. I'm trying, you know, it's like, I'm 43 now and I've started to give up. You know, I lived under this, uh, banner that I was lucky for a long time or that I'm good because I've got good instincts and, but I'm started to really, I hope this comes out right. I've just started to own my own gifting and whatever. And I've always been like, Oh shucks, I don't know. I just get lucky or, you know, cause I don't like study myself very much or even, you know, I haven't,

been as brilliant as you to go write a book or anything. But all that to say is like, thank you, number one. And what used to baffle me, like, I don't ever use weed because I get really lost. Because my brain already sees the complexity of any moment I see the seven layers, at least I see my version of whatever, I'm making shit up, of course, but I see those seven layers.

And for me, that's always fascinating. I'm much more fascinating than other people. I don't think people are as curious about how reality works as I am. And I'm starting to give myself permission to just be that guy that sees it that way. And for some people, for a lot of people, especially my clients, that's what they come for. Is like, oh, I can see reality in a way now that works. I get it, I get why I'm in tension. I get why I'm under stress. It's not because I didn't get enough sleep last night, like every freaking, you know.

like the bumper sticker type answers. No, it's deeper than that. And you ought to think about the deep end. The deep end is where the fun stuff happens. Don't stay in the baby pool. Let's get in the real stuff. So anyway, I appreciate you, man.

Skot Waldron (43:56.108)

Skot Waldron (44:01.166)
That is the, that is the fun stuff. Well, and you said it multiple times, this word permission and, uh, you know, you'll let you, I'll let you say the word unlocked about five times in your revenants thing, but no more than that. You can have it five times. There's something brilliant about that whole idea and about what you're trying to do and it's tapping into that inner, that inner, whatever it is that's keeping people from giving themselves permission, um, to, to be that and, and that.

Adrian Koehler (44:06.843)

Adrian Koehler (44:11.301)
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Skot Waldron (44:29.474)
thought process sounds like, uh, you know, what Revenants all about and how people can, yeah, kind of break out of that. So I appreciate you for doing that. Naked leadership. People should check that out because, uh, they want more of your gold, more of your thoughts, more of whatever's up in there, you know, that non-weed brain of yours, like people need, people need more of that. So check out naked leadership.

Adrian Koehler (44:36.544)
Right on.

Adrian Koehler (44:50.297)
Yeah. Well, it's fun. It's yeah, it's me and that guy Dan Takini and then our counterpart Chad Brown who runs all the marketing and he's a brilliant coach on our team as well. We talk about what leaders are up against and how to think about it in a way that like makes it generates approachability for sure. Like if I see things like if people say like I'm bad at conflict I'm always going to avoid conflict.

right, because I already decided it's bad and I'm bad at it. So I can, I need to spend my time doing everything I can to not getting close to it. But if we can talk about how to resolve conflict, but we did a whole series, we've done so many episodes on conflict because as humans we don't like it. But if we talk about it in a way that actually makes it approachable, it's like, Oh, I can do that. I can say that makes sense. And then we get closer to it, you know? So it's all around how to view even very tactical things like hiring and firing people and setting goals and all that kind of, you know,

kind of more cheesy business stuff. We'll talk about it around how to think about it and how to talk about it. Like, as great leaders are paid for their brain and how they articulate reality. If you're a great leader, that's what you're doing is you're setting a context, right? You're generating culture that people wanna be in. And there's ways to do that, that opens up possibilities and ways to do that shuts it down. So most of our podcast is us just talking about what people are up against. So if you're a leader and you have any kind of challenge,

We've probably got an episode about if you scroll through all those 250 episodes. And we also just ask people to start telling us what they want us to talk about. So if you've got issues going on for you, specific issues for you, send me a note, you know, Adrian.K on Instagram. And if I like it, we'll probably do an episode on it because we're all we want to be helping people on the ground. So if that's you, let us know. We'll do a conversation about it.

Skot Waldron (46:35.234)
Brilliant, man. Brilliant. Um, take new ground.com we are revenant.com. Um, and also naked leadership and on Instagram, people can check you out. So dude, this has been so good. So fun. I've, I've been, I have enjoyed just, I mean, people just need to like hang out with you for a few hours. Um, so.

Adrian Koehler (46:36.385)
Scott, you're the best man.

Adrian Koehler (46:48.714)
You're the best.

Adrian Koehler (46:55.765)
Come on, man. Come on out to LA. The sun is shining.

Skot Waldron (46:59.57)
One day I've got some friends out there. I do need to get out there. My wife lived in San Diego for a little while, so we make a little, little trip of it, um, cause you know, we lose a whole day coming back. So, um, but.

Adrian Koehler (47:06.761)
That's great man. Visit, visit. Yeah. Visit West Hollywood man. It's happening over here.

Skot Waldron (47:13.134)
All right, man. Adrian, you're brilliant, dude. Thank you for hanging out with me.

Adrian Koehler (47:14.933)
Thank you. Thank you, buddy.


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