Episode 44 - I Thought I Was a Leader: Interview with Scott De Long

46m | Feb 3, 2024


In this episode, I interviewed Scott De Long, a Ph.D. in education with a successful entrepreneurial background, who discusses his academic, business and life journey. Initially motivated to prove to his son that returning to school was feasible, he enjoyed the experience and pursued an Executive MBA at UC Berkeley. Later, he joined a leadership program at Chapman University, gaining new insights surrounded by diverse perspectives. Scott completed his doctorate at age 60 while running a telecommunications company.

Scott recounts experiences in various ventures, from a pool cleaning service to a partnership in the payphone business, highlighting his entrepreneurial spirit. Scott discusses the unique stresses of entrepreneurship, such as making payroll and balancing customer and employee needs. He stresses the significance of home support for entrepreneurs, especially during the startup phase.

Reflecting on the pandemic’s impact, Scott notes a shifting perception towards flexibility and work-life balance. The conversation touches on his current role in executive coaching and team-building, emphasizing the value of purpose and fulfillment in work. Scott also shares insights into the companies he typically assists, ranging from 50 to 250 employees, and the challenges faced by CEOs in letting go and fostering effective communication within their teams.

Scott shares insights on developing client relationships through word of mouth, emphasizing his ability to mitigate conflict and find positive outcomes. He discusses learning conflict resolution through personal experiences rather than formal education. Scott introduces the "Circle of Trust," a four-step process (respect, listen to understand, share from experience, deliver on the promise) to build trust faster and deeper.

He highlights the importance of vulnerability, humility, and empathy in leadership, drawing a distinction between seeking power and desiring influence.

⭐️About Scott:

Scott De Long is an author, speaker, educator, and entrepreneur. A lifelong learner with a relentless quest for knowledge, Scott completed an Executive Leadership program at the prestigious Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley at the age of 45. This experience led him to Chapman University where he earned a Master’s Degree in Leadership Development. Recently, he earned his Doctorate, at the age of 60, also from Chapman University, in Education with an emphasis in Leadership Studies from the Donna Ford Attallah College of Educational Studies.

Professionally Scott grew up as an entrepreneur, successfully creating, and then building three previous companies. During this time he recognized that the problems facing entrepreneurial companies experience when they outgrew the ability of the founder to have their hands in everything. His experience in his own companies led to the concepts that eventually became Lead2Goals. Scott has been facilitating retreats for the past nine years for organizations that range from industry associations to business groups, and non-profits to corporations.

Scott’s strengths in leading small group communication allow for him to disarm the greatest of egos, and set up an environment of respect, which in turn leads to the building of trust, and better relationships among team members. His own aspirational goals include greater Humility, Empathy, and Vulnerability.

💜 Where to find Scott:

► Website:

► LinkedIn:

► YouTube:

☞ Scott’s Book Recommendation:

► “Crucial Conversations” by Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler, Emily Gregory:

► “Humble Inquiry” by Edgar H. Schein and Peter A. Schein:

► “I Thought I Was a Leader” by by Scott De Long, Sarah Mirand:

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