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Becoming a Change Maker with Dan Duckworth

by | Jul 19, 2021 | Q&A | 0 comments

How do you define leadership? Being a leader is more than sitting at the top or commanding a group or organization. It means becoming a change maker.

This week we are joined by Dan Duckworth, former CEO and Leadership Development Professional. He provides an alternative perspective to the definition of leadership that we all know: being a change maker. Dan emphasizes the importance of leading change in our communities. We talk about what a change maker is and how you can become one yourself. 

We also discuss the importance of struggle in our growth as individuals and how to see discomfort as an opportunity to improve ourselves. You’ll learn actionable steps on how to transform yourself into the change maker that the world needs.

If you want to spark change within yourself, your community, or the world, this episode is for you!

About Dan

Dan Duckworth is a leader, teacher, coach, and above all, a change maker. He is the founder of The Crucible Life, an online community of changemakers mastering the hidden forces of leadership, organization, and change. He aims to make deep change accessible to the masses through this initiative.

If you’d like to reach out to Dan and learn more about the Crucible Life, you can contact him through his LinkedIn or find out more on The Crucible Life’s website.  

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:
  1. Find inspiration in Dan’s journey to becoming the founder of a community of change makers.
  2. Discover the three keys of change that you can follow to start your transformation.
  3. Be inspired to start your journey in creating change within you and your community.


Episode Highlights

[03:40] About Dan Duckworth

  • Dan was a former CEO, teacher, and coach.  
  • While he still teaches, he now considers himself to be a ‘gatherer and community builder.’
  • His job is to find the right people to bring into their community.

[6:15] The Story Behind Living in an RV

  • Dan’s family got this calling to sell their house. So they did. 
  • However, they were unable to move into a new house. That’s why they bought an RV.
  • His wife said: “If we live in a trailer, we are travelling the country.”
  • Tune in to the full episode to hear the journey of Dan’s family across America, China, and Taiwan in an RV!

[10:24] The Struggles and Pleasures of Living in an RV

  • Every day was intense and stressful, but Dan and his family were grateful for it.
  • They felt that their life had become stale. Living in an RV was the adventure that they craved. 
  • They essentially volunteered to struggle. According to Dan, a time of struggle is an opportunity for growth.
  • The greatest part of the experience was doing it as a family.

 [16:22] The State of Leadership Today

  • According to Dan, social problems have been part of human culture for a long time, requiring leadership to break them.
  • What Dan noticed is that there are a lot of snake oil salesmen in the leadership industry. 
  • Some of these snake oil salesmen believe in their product. Others sell it knowing full well that it doesn’t work because people will buy it.
  • The messages that they sell appease people, but their message doesn’t necessarily help their buyers become or change into leaders.

[25:21] What Is a Change Maker?

  • A change maker is someone who feels called to change the world. 
  • Instead of complaining about something, change makers are the ones who lead the change.
  • To be a change maker, you have to be more and do more for yourself and the community.
  • Age, skills, and knowledge do not matter. What matters is the desire to lead change.

[29:53] Inviting Yourself Into A Crisis

  • Leadership is more about character than skills and knowledge.
  • When you hit a crisis point, you can change your character. You are willing to rethink who you think you are because you have no other choice. 
  • Dan says that to transform a person’s character, he invites them to get into a crisis.
  • You undergo three states of mind during a crisis: focused learning, deliberate experimentation, and deep reflection. 
  • Listen to the full episode to find out more about these three mindsets that help you shape your character!

[37:44] Leadership and Character

  • Leadership and building character is more of a journey than an event.
  • Instead of looking at character as something good or bad, you can think of it as either helpful or unhelpful to your goal.
  • For example, if your goal is to become rich, but you are lazy, don’t think of yourself as having a bad character. See it as laziness being unhelpful to your goal of being rich.

[42:32] The Desire to Grow and Belong

  • There is a universal fundamental desire for humans to grow and belong.
  • Leadership becomes manipulation when you try to get people to do things they do not want to do. 
  • On the flip side, you can tap into people’s universal desire for growth and belonging. When you do this, you help them self-actualize.
  • Listen to the full episode for details on what being a change maker means!

[46:41] How to Find Your Purpose

  • You can find your purpose by going on a hero’s journey through the three mindsets of change.
  • When you change your assumptions about who you are, you will realize that you have so much contribution to make in the world. 
  • The most important thing to do to find your purpose is to do something different.
  • Try new things and see where these lead you.

[53:33] The Origin of The Crucible Life

  • After settling in Utah, Dan had conversations with six people who felt the call of the change maker but felt stuck. 
  • Dan knew he could help them, but it was not as if he could just transfer his knowledge. Being a change maker is not a skill that can be taught.
  • That’s when Dan realized he needed to develop a public voice to share the change maker journey.
  • This inspired him to create an authentic transformational community online, the Crucible Life.
  • There’s much more behind this story! Listen to the episode to hear more about how the Crucible Life came to be.

 [1:05:41] The Crucible Life

  • They named the community The Crucible Life because it is a journey. It’s a choice to live on a journey of creating change for the rest of your life. 
  • At the start, he thought he was meant to be a leader, a CEO, or a teacher. His epiphany made him realize that what he loves to do is transform people and gather communities.
  • No matter who it is he’s talking to, he’s always thinking about how they can create excellence together.
  • Don’t lose your desire to grow and to become; if you do, you will become miserable.

5 Powerful Quotes from this Episode

[10:48] “A leader’s job is to give people a better vision of themselves.”

[16:10] “When people are working for something bigger than themselves, they will go the extra mile, they’ll be excited to come to work, their job becomes deeply meaningful to them.”

[43:44] “I think that family should almost put as much effort into being close and supporting each other as anybody else because to my mind, the most important thing at the end of your days, when you look back on your life, I don’t think you’re gonna think how much money I made. I think you’re gonna think, ‘oh, my children loved me, they turned out well.’ That’s what’s really important.”

[44:15] “I don’t think that lack of money should prevent you from having a happy, fulfilled life with your children.”

[57:06] “I think there’s a deep understanding that an argument isn’t going to change anybody’s feelings or opinions. If it’s a deeply held identity thing, you are wasting your breath trying to talk somebody out of it. So whether it’s sexual orientation or whatever, accept and embrace and just stop focusing on things that divide you.”

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