Getting Naked at Work: A Levity Mishap?

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By Heather Walker, Ph.D. and Heather Walker. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
When everything feels so so heavy, and you’re starting to wonder if you should lead with levity, remember that the alternative may lead you down a dark and lonely road. I asked our guest today to share her thoughts on fearless authenticity and walking in purpose even when all the signs point to failure.

Welcome to the Lead with Levity podcast. We work to equip leaders to build unique and refreshing work environments that are marked by fun, team unity, and healthy communication. Today's guest is Danessa Knaupp. Danessa is an executive coach on a mission is to get really great leaders embedded everywhere because we all benefit from that. She’s also the author of Naked at Work: A Leader’s Guide to Fearless Authenticity.

In this episode, we cover:
  • How Danessa picked herself up after an embarrassing event
  • How you find the lighter side of any bad experience
  • A model for authenticity, not #authenticity
  • Authenticity misfires

Resources Mentioned

Quote This - Danessa Knaupp Quotes:
  • “I began to think about, ‘where have I been really connected with leaders?’ and it was when I believed they were human.”

  • “A lot of us walk around with an idea of a leader that is far too narrow. Leaders come in all shapes and sizes, they can be effective a million different ways.”

  • “If you think about some of the things you believe about yourself. The person who wrote that story is 5, 7, 9 years old. I don't know about you, but I have not consulted with seven year olds on a regular basis on how to make decisions, except that I am. Because the interesting parts of myself that tell me those things are [from a] seven [year old].”

  • “We are all total and absolute works in progress, and we pick up and put down any baggage or experience we want at any point in this journey.”

  • “Authenticity builds trust. Trust creates safety, and safety at work is magical.”

  • “Sometimes, people think when I talk about being intentional and strategic that somehow that's not authentic. But think about how you are authentic with your grandmother, with your lover, with your best friend, and with your child. Those are all authentic versions of yourself. Those are all really true to you. And yet the whispered conversation between you and your lover, as you fall asleep is never something you would tell your grandmother or your child.”

  • My job here is to learn and evolve, and man that is not easy. Sometimes people think that when I say, "I'm a failure junkie," or, "I really embrace failure," that I've found some sort of way to make it less horrifyingly painful--I haven't. It's painful every time. I just know that there's good stuff on the other side of it.

  • My mission is to get really great leaders embedded everywhere we can, because we all benefit from that.


About Danessa Knaupp
Danessa is an executive coach, CEO, and keynote speaker shifting the global conversation on leadership. She has coached hundreds of executives across every major industry and has developed a reputation as a candid, compassionate and courageous leadership partner. She is the author of the leadership manual, Naked at Work: A Leader’s Guide to Fearless Authenticity and regularly addresses C-suite audiences on how to harness the power of real authenticity (not #authenticity) to drive measurable business results.

Known for her unique ability to drive new levels of engagement and performance with key leaders, Danessa is a fresh, positive voice on leadership, authenticity, and executive team effectiveness. She has coached CEOs, senior leaders, boards, and C-suite teams on issues related to leadership effectiveness, succession planning, M&A integration, and conflict intervention. Her clients have included Anthem, Bain Capital, BlackRock, Capital One, Comcast, Genworth, Hilton, KPMG, Mastercard, Nordstrom and more.

Danessa earned her executive coaching credentials from Georgetown University, and a BA in Psychology and Sociology from the College of William and Mary. She spent more than 20 years as an entrepreneur and a senior executive and ultimately, CEO. She is licensed by the International Coaching Federation and certified in many of the top leadership assessment tools.

About the Podcast
The Lead with Levity podcast is a show for leaders who care deeply about what makes/breaks the employee experience. Our guests are dynamic researchers, practitioners, consultants, and business leaders. We cover foundational elements that are needed to avoid forcing the fun. We also invite lively managers who lead with levity to show us how it's done. Thanks for joining us on this journey.

41 episodes