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Season 1, Episode 27

How to Develop Yourself so You Can Help Others – with David Shechtman

About this episode:

David Shechtman is a committed coach and partner in Evolution who works with CEOs, high-potential leaders, and successful sales professionals on mastering Deep Change. He has an unparalleled ability to cut through the fog of complexity, confusion, and fear. Today we speak with David and learn one of the most powerful tools a leader can ever have, “self-as-instrument”.

Many leaders and coaches want cutting-edge methodologies, exercises, and information, which are all extremely important. However, the most overlooked but most vital tool that the most successful leaders and coaches use is the unique understanding of who they are and what they bring to the table. A lot of help just isn’t helpful, and today we discuss how to help others in a way that maximizes the efficacy of your leadership and coaching.

Read more about conscious self

In a world where layoff parties and vibrant goodbyes are replaced by Zoom calls, it’s crucial for leaders to be conscious and integrated. Prioritizing inquiry over advocacy, leaders must use themselves as instruments to truly support others. It starts with you.

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Meet the Guest

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David Shechtman is a committed coach who works with CEOs, high-potential leaders, and successful sales professionals on mastering Deep Change. He has an unparalleled ability to cut through the fog of complexity, confusion, and fear.

David’s experience includes two decades of work in training & development, organizational consulting, and executive coaching. His experience includes work in the financial services, high tech, healthcare, automotive, and travel & hospitality industries. Specific clients include Slack, Electronic Arts, Coursera, Collective Health, Northwestern Mutual, ADP, DaVita, Virtuoso, Elementary Robotics, and the Entrepreneurs’ Organization.

David partners with clients as a trusted advisor. This work includes identifying core issues, naming key challenges, and organizing action plans. His expertise comes from decades of studying the art and science of behavior change, including many deep dives with Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey construct.

David’s education includes a Master of Science in Organization Development from Pepperdine University. He also holds a PCC certification from the International Coach Federation. David has taught Organization and Strategy Consulting at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business and is a regular presenter at the Organization Development Network annual conference. He has presented at TEDxPasadena on the topic of learning from adversity.


  • 4:24 – Self Check-in Exercise. David tells a story of a search party in Iceland looking for a woman who was already there.
  • 12:17 – The enforced simplicity of our current circumstances is causing self-as-instrument to be a very vital part of our survival at this moment. The pandemic has forced us to look in the mirror and see what is there.
  • 14:22 – David defines self as instrument work that we can use to look at our purpose and how we are showing up in the world. Self as an instrument is the conscious use of one’s whole self in effectively helping relationships.  
  • 17:54 – If you are a leader who is going to help others on a personal or professional level, then a clean and well-established instrument as self is vital for your help to actually be helpful.
  • 19:53 – Be aware of how you are showing up and explore by taking a step out of being in the moment as well as operating fully while plugged in so that you can see how you can maybe improve and do it better in the future.
  • 25:52 – Feedback and 360s are great ways to understand the efficacy of leadership and helpfulness.
  • 28:21 – The most important part of leadership is the self and not the methods or the processes. External tools help but you are the most vital element to becoming a great coach or leader.  
  • 36:06 – David explains his hilarious experience with the T-Group format and how uncomfortable but beneficial holding space for learning can be.
  • 46:31 – David gives direct advice to listeners and leaders who really want to come in as a clean instrument to be of most service to those around them and their business or family.

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