Becoming Leadership Lean with Brian Schubring (podcast)

Welcome to the next installment of the Leadership Vision Podcast where we share our expertise in the discovery, practice, and implementation of a strengths-based approach to people, teams, and culture. On this episode of the podcast, Brian Schubring and I talk about what it takes to reach that next level of leadership fitness. We call it becoming Leadership Lean.

During this time of year, January, many people—maybe even you—set goals, especially those involving fitness and other health-related pursuits. This could be exercising, eating better, trying to accomplish a specific achievement or milestone, or perhaps, just trying to incorporate more movement into your daily life. Whatever your goals, they all involve disciplined learning and unlearning of certain behaviors. This is true of anything you want to be better at, be it parenting, podcasting, or the pursuit of your lofty goals. We need to move beyond the space we’re currently in and move into an area that’s a little scary.

In this episode, we explore and unpack what it takes to become Leadership Lean. Brian shares his four L model which includes Listening, Leaning, Learning, and Leading.

We’ll share reflection questions throughout the episode for you to ponder as you consider the ways in which you need to become leadership lean this year. And just to be clear, if you’re listening at another time, when it’s not the beginning of the year, this episode is still 100% applicable. You don’t need to wait until the new year to start becoming a better leader.

The Four L’s of Lean Leadership

In order for us to attain new goals as leaders, we need to let go of certain practices that are no longer useful. Every time a new challenge presents itself, there are things we need to unlearn and things we need to learn in order to reach new goals. A lean leader understands that they may need to stop practicing certain behaviors and learn something new.

1. Listening – Lean Leaders need to learn how to listen. There are a lot of things we hear which could be considered noise. This could be echoes from the past of things that have worked or not worked and so there’s this discernment listening to the right voices and to the right people. And what I am trying to practice is Who are those people in my life that have the type of voice that not that I can just hear but that resonates with what’s true and that’s two very different things.

2. Leaning – The act of leaning is to give up something you used to practice in order to gain something new that you haven’t yet done. Becoming leadership lean is this idea of asking yourself which professional practices are fueling you in ways that are not meeting the challenges ahead.

3. Learning – Learning comes from other people who are close to us that can share with us where our needs are. That we may be blind to but I also believe that we need to be super curious to learn how are we as individuals responding to the leadership challenges that are around us as professional or relational. the importance of other people influencing who we are as leaders and how reliant we are to become leadership lean. We’re reliant on other people to be informing us on what could be those best practices and behavioral changes that we need to make.

4. Leading – We lead last because we need to go through this process of being informed on what is it we’re trying to do. We need to listen to how our body is responding. We take some decisions or steps before we get to the actual leading part. we need to build into that because then that’s going to set the types of expectations that we should have and not some artificial expectation. I want to do this but our body is saying we can only do that.


To have gratitude is to also be a good steward of your opportunities and understand that they have been given to you for a reason and should be used wisely. You can easily overextend yourself and become trapped in a place more than you believe we deserve something that you don’t have. And that is a very dangerous place to be in.

About The Leadership Vision Podcast

The Leadership Vision Podcast is a weekly show sharing our expertise in the discovery, practice, and implementation of a strengths-based approach to people, teams, and culture. We believe that knowing your Strengths is only the beginning. Our highest potential exists in the ongoing exploration of our talents. Subscribe to the Leadership Vision Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.

Please contact us if you have ANY questions about anything you heard in this episode or if you’d like to talk to us about helping your team understand the power of Strengths.