Reboot Podcast Episode #170 – The Brave Leader’s Path: Fostering Inclusivity & Courageous Decision-Making – with David McQueen

The Reboot podcast showcases the heart and soul, the wins and losses, the ups and downs of startup leadership. On the show, Entrepreneurs, CEO’s, and Startup Leaders discuss with Jerry Colonna the emotional and psychological challenges they face daily as leaders.


David McQueen

David McQueen

Author and Executive Coach

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Episode Description

What does it mean to lead bravely? In this powerful episode, Jerry Colonna explores the essential elements of ethical leadership with David McQueen, author of “The Brave Leader.”

David sheds light on the difference between ethical and moral decision-making, emphasizing the courage and resilience needed to navigate the gray areas while staying true to core values. He emphasizes the importance of not just fostering diversity, but building true inclusion, where every voice is heard, valued, and empowered to contribute. Together, they discuss the need for brave conversations, acknowledging limitations, and embracing vulnerability as essential tools for building trust and fostering genuine connection.

This episode is a call to action for leaders at all levels to step up, embrace courage, and become the changemakers their organizations need.

Check out David’s first appearance on the Reboot Podcast | The Brave Leader

Show Highlights

Memorable Quotes: 

“There are lots of people who are making decisions which aren’t rational, which very often are very emotional or…steeped in a so-called tried and trusted way of doing things, which may not be appropriate. And very often they do that because they’re afraid. And I wanted to say, well, how do we park that fear and get people to think, all right, if I’m gonna make a decision, let me make it be courageous.” – David McQueen

“When I say inclusive, what I mean is, have you actually heard that person and what they’re actually looking for from what you’re providing? And so if you’re going to do that, how do you be courageous? How do you be brave in order to make a decision around that?” – David McQueen

“What is required of true leadership, leadership that helps make sense of the world, is a kind of courage, is a kind of bravery. And that the result is inclusive. Or the result is that the followership, which is part of what you’re talking about, creates an environment where the totality of people, to use a phrase that I’m particularly taken with right now, smitten with, that sense of belonging. The sense of “we” are all here.” – Jerry Colonna

“I think as a leader, you have to have a sense of a vision about where you’re taking people, what are you going to do? And one of the things I find, and I’m sure you’ve seen this as well in our work as coaches as well, very often you have people who are functioning leaders and they’re just doing their stuff, but they have no vision.” – David McQueen

“It scares me that there are lots of individuals who are in positions of either attributed power or have the label of leader thrust upon them who do not act in any ethical way whatsoever. And so I just wanted to remind people that, you know, if you are going to be a lot more inclusive around how you deal with your stakeholders, you have to sit down and think quite ethically about the decisions that you’re making.” – David McQueen

“Remember what it is that when we have a program that is designed to create more equity, what we’re doing is trying to lean into creating not just a more inclusive world, but in some ways a more fair world. But more specifically, I think, and this goes back to your own definition a more ethical world.” – Jerry Colonna

“When we lack the courage to lead and to wield the power that we have, whether it’s by dint of the body that we carry or the projections that are placed on us, inclusivity and equity. We lack ethics.” – Jerry Colonna

“The ethical part of leadership is thinking about the sustainable consequences of the decisions that we make. What are, what are those, what are the consequences in the, in the mid to long term of those decisions that we make now.” – David McQueen

“The reductionist binary thinking pulls me away from my neighbor instead of drawing me closer. And closer in is where the solutions are.” – Jerry Colonna

“A lot of bravery will lean quite heavily on facts but a lot of fear will lean quite heavily on opinion and a lack of understanding.” – David McQueen

“I think we’re living in a time of contraction. And what we all need to do in a time of contraction is to actually expand our lungs, expand our breath, expand our access to other thinking, expand into those nuanced places so that we start to feel the reality of other people’s perspectives and stories.” – Jerry Colonna