“It’s time for us to be willing to look beyond the superficial. It’s time to explore further. It’s time to deeply listen.”

Welcome to The Executive Shaman Podcast

Welcome to The Executive Shaman Podcast. Here, Executive Shaman Dr. Krystal White and other Thought Leaders chat for 30-minute about all things related to transformational leadership.

Listen in to be entertained, educated and engaged by the real-life (often imperfect) application of leadership models, evidence-based research, and innovative ideas.

This is a time in human history that demands more of us. We need to bring more of our true selves into every aspect of our lives. In particular, our professions need our souls present.

We’re on a journey, and invite you along.

My advisors, coaches, comrades and I decided to pause The Executive Shaman Podcast in the summer of 2020. At that time we felt that the world, and we ourselves, were too inundated with messages, information and opportunities to listen to external stimuli. Although we believe that the topics and the experience of engaged conversation brought insight and hopefully some entertainment, we wanted to encourage listeners to scale back on their consumption of podcasts, newsletters, and vlogs. We may re-initiate the podcast in the future. For now, we keep the old ones available here and on podcast platforms. We encourage you to become a free member of Unconventional Citizens if you’d like to engage with more Executive Shaman material.  

Episode 60: Start to Check In

When something works for you, when it feels good and aligned with your goals and values, you need to name it, claim it and sustain it.

Name It. Claim It. Sustain It.  When people hire coaches, or consultants, our work is to help you and your team do all three. Whether it is training your body, your mind, your relationships or developing a strategic plan, you need all three to get results.

One of the key disciplines in my life that I have named, claimed and sustained is Check In. I not only tell people about the process (name it), I reap benefits when I do the process (claim it), and I do the process often (sustain it). All disciplines require these three components, and believe me, each of them are catalyzed when we collectively invest in the work together.

For this special episode Becky and I talk about why we need to consciously start checking in.Becky said it the best in this episode: Check In “gives you open window into someone.” Take it from TWO psychologists, Check In helps you understand people better. If you introduce and follow the guidelines, it offers a unique space to reflect on key questions and hear key responses. Are you willing to build a conscious community, a high performing team, and move the needle forward regarding social engagement? If so, Check In is an essential tool for you to master right now.

Becky Porter, PhD, is President and CEO, Military Child Education Coalition, and is a former Commander for Public Health Command Europe. She is devoted to compassionate thought leadership.

We recorded this podcast at the end of February, 2020, pre COVID 19 and before the current uprising regarding social justice.  I was in the middle of the book and was honored to hear her thoughts then. Listening to them now,  I am even MORE  committed to this conversational routine.


Every facilitator needs to know how Check In really works. Register for the newsletter on the book’s website and you’ll receive two versions of Check In’s essential guidelines for free. One is for the facilitator’s personal reference, and another is to a full page version so the group can see them. You’ll get them if you take the Check In Challenge too!

Episode #59: Start Retreating

“Let’s be honest about our modern-day social lives.  Busyness, overstimulation, automation, pressure to produce and disconnection run rampant in our adult routines. We are saturated in experiences of being partially present, moderately engaged, or half-heartedly committed. We are so focused on getting things done, exchanging information, or making decisions, that it’s hard to connect to ourselves, much less build resilient connections with others. We can be so focused on taking care of or trying to please others that we forget who we really are and what we really stand for.”

Dr. Krystal White, Check In

Retreating is an efficient way to discover some of your essential truths. Periods of seclusion, intentional rest, and focused attention on the “internal world” are well known to boost our physical, social and emotional well-being. Today, Chris and Krystal discuss why many successful individuals, especially men, still struggle to “retreat.”  Although we want more space and time to reflect, concentrate our own energy and focus on ourselves, actually taking it does not come naturally. We offer individual and community bases guidance for making retreats more accessible at the psychological and relational level.

Growing up in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia Chris developed a deep connection with exploring nature and finds passion in being Dad, mountain biking, yoga, photography, continuing education and making positive profitable. He is a technical Program Manager by day and renaissance man by night.  It’s hard to tell what he is up to, but you can bet it’s well organized! He co-founded Tampa Bay Tiny Homes, recently launched The Integrated Man 2020 and is currently developing The Retreat at Four Winds Farm; an educational camp and living library of permaculture principles in Western North Carolina.


Episode 58: Start to Think for Yourself

What or who has the most influence on how you think

-about your money

-about your looks

-about your health

-about your intimate relationship

-about your future

Maybe you don’t think about yourself as much as you consider your children, your partner, other family members or your colleagues or supervisors, or your local/global groups. Apply the same questions to those people.

Often, we don’t slow down enough to consider where our thoughts are coming from. Many times, they aren’t our own.  Kristy Laterza and Krystal discuss why the discipline of thinking for yourself is essential for our internal well being, and for our external progress. We explore how we do (or don’t do) this at a practical level, the impact our age has on how well we withstand social pressure, and how easy it go with convention even though we want to be original.

Episode 57: Stop Faking It

We’ve all faked something, at some point, in a relationship, social setting or work. Mostly, a lot of us have faked things to ourselves. Stacey and I aren’t talking about doing something you’re committed to but don’t really get/like at the beginning. We’re talking about the level of deception where we are out of alignment with our own inherent “truth.” Appearances are important only to the degree that they express yourself. Often we become so used to “this is how it is” or to how things look that we forget who we are, what we stand for, and what our bodies are telling us.

This discipline isn’t easy to adopt. You will upset others. And, it does TAKE ENERGY.  Yet, if you only committed to one discipline this entire year, this might be the one that produces the most benefit for your SOUL.

Stop faking yourself or others in the choices you make. Living the “truth as I know it” is the medicine our professions, families, teams and individual spirits need right now.

Episode 56: Start to Stand For Something

We can create wellness and growth in this season of a LOT OF CHAOS! Our thoughts are just as contagious as our germs are…and so are the beliefs of what we stand for. Where do you want to see change the most right now? What needs to be dismantled, re-modeled, or re-committed to?  We all will be reactive and stressed in the upcoming weeks. That’s ok. After we react, we can move toward honesty and integrity, ask for compassion and forgiveness, and step up for what we stand for.


There is more light here than we may see. Consciousness, kindness, service is being amplified. From this place, responsible action is more efficient. We are ready and capable to rise together—create the places, programs, politics, people and ways of being that are aligned with our own heartful, intentional visions. What do you stand for? Where can you learn to consciously stand for it? How can you help support innovators, unsung heroes, community leaders, and those with inspiring skills into positions of power?

My beautiful friend & editor, Steph Gunning, dialogue, go on diatribes and digest what we stand for.  The conversation in and of itself is healing.


Bonus Episode: Choosing to Slow Down…& (hopefully) Grow Up

 Social Distancing = the courage to slow down

We are a culture always on the go. Many of us have resisted slowness and being at home for a long time. The average person in the US commutes 26 mins each way to work each day. That comprises NINE full days each year. For myself, I’ve chosen mobility and multi-focus for the better part of the last decade. Those 5 am wake up calls to teach spin used to fuel me. I boasted in The Letter Code that I needed less than 6 hours a night to sleep. I have re-defined my resistance to rest in the past 18 months. This process has NOT been pretty, and it has prepared me for this current, temporary experience. What once made me adaptive and flexible NOW only inhibits my growth.

Without question, this is the time where we are being forced to slow down. Time. Take it. Will we fight against slowing down? Numb ourselves out on netflix, gaming, online shopping, youtube and news obsessions? Or mindfully, lovingly, use it to remember to tend to our “homes” —–our mind/bodies/spirits, our dwellings, our intimate relationships, our professions. This short podcast offers some guidance on what obstacles we are likely to encounter, and some encouragement to persist WITH PATIENCE the name of “upping” our collective growth.

Episode 55: Start to Take More Risks

The adult brain has a lot of built in systems to reduce and avoid risk taking. Our beautiful emotional systems go on high alert when we sense risk and activate our controlled logic system. Simply: our minds “talk us out of” risky behaviors. Our higher mind, however, understands that we get better results when we behave in “non-standard” (aka risky!) ways. Pauline and Krystal discuss how to influence others to take risks, innovate and motivate others to do the same. We suggest how to take result-driven risks at work and share a few personal commitments

Episode 54: Stop Trying to “Balance” it all

The myth that we can “achieve balance” leads to burn out, inauthentic posturing and perfectionist individualism. Leaders, especially senior and executive leaders, must stop passing along the message that staff need to “balance their work with their lives.” Given that many people willfully and happily devote their significant contribution to “work”, this message just doesn’t “add” up. Why don’t we make healthy organizations instead of forcing staff to “balance” it all? Setting priorities, honoring boundaries and asking for help must replace this over simplistic, and covertly dangerous, message.

Episode 53: Start Using Words Powerfully

On average, an adult uses over 7000 words a day. When is the last time someone said something to you at work and your attention peaked, your heart clapped or your body leaned forward? I’m sure you can easily think of a meeting where nothing one person shared was memorable. The discipline we’d like to focus more on this month is improving the competent and consistent use of language. Believe us, if you want your words to positively impact others, it  requires INTENTIONAL focus and practice. Jonathan Mills and Krystal provide some guidance on how to be a more confident and competent communicator. Our upcoming Mindful Men program (details to be announced soon!) will amplify the communication skills of leaders. Participants will gain a more powerful command of words for social impact.