May 17, 2021
Self-awareness is the key to resilience according to
Onward Podcast guest Dennis Volpe. A retired Naval Officer, Dennis’
leadership experience comes from serving in numerous
leadership roles to include Command at Sea. Furthermore, because of
his experience with professional success as well as setbacks, he
knows what it takes to live a resilient life.
Dennis currently serves as a Principal Consultant and
Executive Performance and Transition Coach with the Leadership Research
Institute. In addition, he’s a graduate of the
United States Naval Academy and earned his Master of Science in
Leadership Development from the Naval Postgraduate
School.Furthermore, Dennis is a Columbia University certified
- First, Dennis explains that change is what happens
to us - personally or professionally. And it is
- Next he talks about self-awareness.
- Emily asks Dennis how we can know if we need to be
- Dennis says that lack of self-awareness is biggest
barrier to personal and professional success.
- Dennis is certified in emotional
- Also, he works with a coach himself.
- It's easier to notice issues in other people and
harder to see them in ourselves.
- Coaching works because a coach can be objective and
see what we don't see.
- Next, Emily describes the first time she worked
with a coach.
- Then, Dennis explains how he knows what success and
failure feel like.
- Dennis explains that when he was the Commander of a
guided missile frigate, the ship ran aground and broke the
propellor during a very high profile mission.
- As Commanding Officer, Dennis was responsible and
accountable for the incident.
- Dennis explains Navy regulations about the
responsibility and accountability of Commanding Officers in the
- Dennis was relieved of Command and his career
basically ended after a lengthy Uniform Code of Military Justice
- In his mind, Dennis felt everyone he knew thought
he was a failure.
- Dennis published a LinkedIn video about losing
command and realized that most people he knew weren't even aware of
- Next, Dennis explains how he became a coach.
- He invested in his personal and professional
development by going through the Columbia University’s Coaching
- Emily and Dennis learned push energy when they
worked for the military.
- Dennis had to get comfortable getting uncomfortable
and he wrote a song about resilience.
- How does Dennis define coaching
- Dennis’ focus is on career or life transition
- Next, Emily asks Dennis about his coaching
observations over the past few years.
- When you transition from military, you get to pick
your team for first time in life.
- Therefore, it’s important to know your values,
priorities, and expectations.
- Knowing your purpose is part of the resilience
equation because it gives us grit and endurance when we need
- Also, know your strengths and what energizes
- Setting boundaries - red lines - is
- Next, Emily gives an example of how she failed to
set a red line boundary recently.
- Also, surround yourself with people who will hold
you accountable to what you say is important to you.
- Ask for help and put your ego in the back
- Passion gives us energy but also some stray
- So, take your passion and put it in a box of
- Give yourself time and space to reflect.
- “No” is a complete sentence. Remember this when
setting boundaries so you can stick to your priorities.
- Write your priorities down and share them with
people who will give you support and accountability.
- Next, Dennis describes his ideal client.
- Finally, Dennis talks about his book, Transition on Purpose, a personal story
illustrating success, failure, and resilience.