I am a Keeper of Deep Listening and Servant Leadership, which I feel go hand-in-hand.


As a Keeper of Deep Listening I really listen from the quiet place of my heart without judgment and without thinking about what I will say next. I listen for the Truth of a person, beyond the words that are being said, and, it has the power to awaken the person to their own Truth.


As a Keeper of Servant Leadership I support and serve any team I work with. Servant Leadership is the type of leadership that turns the normal hierarchal structure of an organization upside down, putting the leader on the bottom, supporting and serving the team.


The Servant Leader sets the example by walking the talk and living the love through Deep Listening.


I first discovered both Deep Listening and Servant Leadership back in 1990. At the time I was working as an engineering manager for Northwest Airlines in Atlanta Georgia. I had walked into a classroom in the Continuous Improvement Learning Center in anticipation of taking a class, had arrived a few minutes early, and no-one else was there. I noticed a VHS tape sitting next to a VCR. To pass the time, I popped it in and heard Steven Covey talking about “Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood”, one of his “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. I felt like I had come home. I was hooked! At that point, I started down the path of both Deep Listening and Servant Leadership and became a facilitator of the “7 Habits” at Northwest.


From there I have taken many other related trainings including: Mediator Training, Non-Violent Communication (NVC), The Landmark Forum, where I became an Introduction Leader for Landmark. Using these tools took me further and further into both Deep Listening and Servant Leadership as my personal Dharma.


Since those early days, I have been practicing my Servant Leadership and Deep Listening skills as an engineering manager. It has made my experience much richer than it might have otherwise been and I have been able to grow other leaders in the process. I was notorious for telling my supervisor that I felt my primary job was to create other leaders.


I recently “graduated” from a 40 year career as an Aerospace Engineer/Manager. I have begun a coaching practice titledI’mpossible! Life Coaching”, with an emphasis on Servant Leadership. I am also a founding member of The Inner Game of Leadership (IGL), an organization that serves to promote Servant Leadership. I am a lifelong student and practitioner of both Deep Listening and Servant Leadership. One of my favorite pastimes is to watch TED Talks (TED = Technology, Entertainment, and Design) on the subject of leadership. While at United Technologies, the company from which I “graduated”, I had the pleasure of showing and leading discussions of leadership TED Talks at monthly Lunch & Learn meetings.


My future plans are to continue to develop my Life Coaching practice with individuals while also developing The Inner Game of Leadership, IGL.


My vision is to bring Deep Listening and Servant Leadership skills to organizations as well as to schools throughout the country and the world.




David Powell


Thank you, David Powell! We celebrate you and we honor you for your contribution to a loving, good and creative world. The world is a better place because of you.





Favorite Books:


"The Great Work of Your Life", by Stephen Cope


"The Four Agreements", by Don Miguel Ruiz


"Man's Search for Meaning", by Victor Frankel



Favorite Quotes:


From Lao-tzu, Tao Te Ching (17th Verse):


With the greatest leader above them,

people barely know one exists.

Next comes one whom they love and praise,

Next comes one whom they fear.

Next comes one whom they despise and defy.

When a leader trusts no one,

no one trusts him.

The great leader speaks little.

He never speaks carelessly.

He works without self-interest

and leaves no trace.

When all is finished, the people say,

"We did it ourselves."




From W.H. Murray, The Scottish Himalaya Expedition (1951) 


“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”




From T.S. Elliot's Poem "Little Gidding"


We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started 
And know the place for the first time.