Explore the Blog

Podcast Home





Put a short description here that explains the purpose of your blog and welcomes your readers.
hi, I'm Rebecca

When you experience injustice, how do you respond? 

Do you immediately speak up and fight back?

Maybe you get introspective and go deep into reflection, weighing out different options and scenarios before deciding how or whether to take action. 

Or do you suppress your authentic emotions and maintain a facade until you have figured out your next move?

Many factors inform how you respond to threats and injustice–your values, life experiences, personality and temperament, identities, and privileges–to name just a few.

Today’s guest moved me profoundly with his responses in the days, weeks, and months following the January 6th insurrection in the face of many critics, threats, and risks. Not speaking up would have felt inauthentic for him, leaving him feeling out of alignment.

New York Times best selling author, Harry Dunn,served in the United States Capitol Police from 2008 to 2023. He has been on duty for presidential inaugurations, joint sessions of Congress, State of the Union addresses as well as hundreds of peaceful protests and demonstrations.

For his role defending the Capitol on January 6, 2021, Dunn received the Presidential Citizens Medal, the Congressional Gold Medal, the Capitol Police Service Medal, the Capitol Police Achievement Medal, the Gus Heningburg Award from the African American Chamber of Commerce in New Jersey, and the Concerned Black Men Award. He has been outspoken about his experience, testifying in congressional hearings and speaking in the media about the violence he experienced that day and its aftermath.

His memoir, Standing My Ground: A Capitol Officer’s Fight for Accountability and Good Trouble After January 6th provides a firsthand account of what happened that day and the ramifications it has on our political and legal systems, democracy, communities, and individuals. 

Listen to the full episode to hear:

  • How Officer Dunn knew he needed to move from isolated and processing the events to speaking out
  • How Officer Dunn has navigated using his anger a purposeful force
  • The fine balancing act of speaking as a citizen versus as a Capitol Police officer as he took his story public
  • How speaking out and testifying at trials and in front of Congress was both a painful and ultimately healing experience
  • The values and faith in democracy that keep Officer Dunn going back to work at the Capitol

Learn more about Office Harry Dunn:

Learn more about Rebecca:



Rebecca Ching: All right, y’all. Here we are at episode 95 on our countdown to episode 100. I love a good countdown, but it is also just really important for me to thank you all for continuing to listen. As this community continues to grow, I am really honored and grateful for those of you that have been with me from the beginning and for those of you who are new listening to this podcast. One thing that I would be grateful for, if you had the time and interest, is to leave a review, a rating, and share this podcast with those you think may benefit from it. That would mean the world to me and help us get the word out about this incredible show. So thank you so much for being along the journey, and we’re gonna continue with the countdown. Now, onto the show!

[Inspirational Intro Music]

Officer Harry Dunn: What I can do now is encourage people to hold those people accountable. The voters, the electorate, we’re the people who hold those individuals accountable. So by telling my story, maybe that will encourage somebody who normally wouldn’t vote or somebody who wouldn’t care about democracy to just wake them up a little bit and say, “You know what? You’re right. This person did that? Oh, we need better than that.”

Rebecca Ching: When you experience injustice, how do you respond? Do you immediately speak up and fight back? Maybe you get introspective and go deep into reflection weighing out different options and scenarios before deciding how or whether to take action. Or do you suppress your authentic emotions and maintain a facade until you have figured out your next move?

Now, my guest today in this really important Unburdened Leader conversation inspired these questions and reflections.


By watching him lead himself and others in the days, weeks, and months following the January 6th insurrection, facing many critics, threats, and risks, and many factors inform how we respond to threats and injustice, our values, life experiences, personality and temperament, identities, privileges, just to name a few. So I caution against judging yourself or others for the responses to high-stakes or often polarizing public situations. We don’t know all the influences that inform responses for better or for worse. Instead, pay attention to your charged responses to injustice and follow those trailheads to discover the internal influences that fuel your motivations, fears, and values.

I’m Rebecca Ching, and you’re listening to The Unburdened Leader, the show that goes deep with humans who navigate life’s challenges and lead in their own ways. Our goal is to learn how they address the burdens they carry, how they learn from them and become better and more impactful leaders of themselves and others.

Like many of you, I watched the January 6th insurrection unfold in real time, horrified and shocked. I could not believe what I was seeing. I kept shaking my head, yelling at the TV, and texting many of my friends and former colleagues in DC. And as a former Capitol Hill Senate Staffer and resident who deeply respects our democratic process, this felt extra personal. And as an experienced trauma therapist, I could not stop thinking about those who were there at the Capitol that day impacted by the insurrectionists, those who were trapped and feared for their safety and the Capitol police officers and other officers and professionals who experienced repeated physical threats and verbal assaults.


Now, I regularly see how responses to trauma are often misunderstood and even not seen, and I know some who were there that day that do not like talking about their experience at all and hold their pain close and private, and I’ve heard of others quietly speaking with their friends and colleagues and their therapists. Others have decided to talk about their experiences at significant costs and risks, and even a small handful of Capitol police officers who were there that day tragically died by suicide, which breaks my heart and enrages me towards the many who supported all that led to this day and continued to espouse vitriol. And when more footage aired and the stories of those who lived through the traumatic experiences, I worried how many people had their own personal experiences hijacked by their revisionist stories shared along with the “Monday night quarterbacking” on who did or did not do what, utterly devoid of an understanding of trauma and the multitudes of normal responses that happen after experiencing trauma.

Speaking with today’s guest reminded me that healing differs based on the unique individual and that our environments and places of work can influence and sometimes constrain our healing process. Because we spend so much time in our workplaces, it makes sense that their values and cultures seep into our identities, and if we’re not careful, we can lose ourselves if we’re not clear who we are and what we believe, separate from our workplace or other communities.

Now, my guest shared something really interesting in his response to the January 6th insurrection.


For him, not speaking up would have felt inauthentic for him leaving him feeling out of alignment. New York Times Best Selling author Harry Dunn joined The United States Capitol Police in 2008 and served with the rank of private first-class since 2011. He has been on duty for presidential inaugurations, joint sessions of Congress, State of the Union addresses, and hundreds of peaceful protests and demonstrations. I just have to say too, I have such a special place in my heart for Capitol police officers living within a couple blocks of the Senate and having to see them every day going in and out of work, I just have so much respect for the organization.

Officer Dunn, he serves on the USCP Crisis Negotiation Team as a crisis intervention officer. His training helps him respond to hostage or barricade situations and assist individuals who may be experiencing a mental crisis. For Office Dunn, January 6th, 2021, forever changed his life when he bravely protected the US Capitol and its lawmakers during the violent attack by insurrectionists that day. Since then, he’s been outspoken about his harrowing experience, testifying in congressional hearings and speaking in the media about the violence he experienced that day and its aftermath. For his heroic efforts defending American democracy, Dunn received the Presidential Citizens Medal, the Congressional Gold Medal, the Capitol Police Service Medal, the Capitol Police Achievement Medal, the Gus Heningburg Award, and the African American Chamber of Commerce in New Jersey Award, and the Concerned Black Men Award.


His memoir Standing My Ground: A Capitol Police Officer’s Fight for Accountability and Good Trouble After January 6th provides a crucial firsthand account of what happened on that fateful and shocking day in American history and its ramifications for our political and legal systems, for democracy, our communities, and us as individuals. Officer Dunn speaks candidly about the trauma he experienced and the larger sociopolitical and historical significance of the events he witnessed. He’s a prominent and essential voice and shares his firsthand experiences with audiences that include government groups, law enforcement, mental health professionals, colleges and universities, and community organizations.

Now, listen for Officer Dunn’s reasoning behind his commitment towards accountability and, as he says, good trouble for all involved with the January 6th insurrection. Pay attention to what Officer Dunn shares about his healing process from January 6th and really what fueled his healing. It was a bit surprising to me but really, really powerful. And notice when Officer Dunn shares his desire to impact those who would not normally care about democracy and his hopes to encourage them to move from indifference to action. Now, please welcome Officer Harry Dunn to The Unburdened Leader podcast!

Officer Dunn, welcome to The Unburdened Leader podcast!

Officer Harry Dunn: Thank you for having me! I’m excited to have this conversation with you.

Rebecca Ching: First, I want to go back to January 6th, 2021. You went to work that day serving as a Capitol police officer like you have for several years, and we’re gonna build a lot in our conversation but I’d love for you to read an excerpt from your new book. Congratulations, by the way! 

Officer Harry Dunn: Thank you!

Rebecca Ching: Your new book Standing My Ground: A Capitol Police Officer’s Fight for Accountability and Good Trouble After January 6th. Yeah, so if you want to go ahead and start at the place we talked about.

Officer Harry Dunn: Sure.


Rebecca Ching: And then we’ll follow up after that.

Officer Harry Dunn: “I strapped on a steel plate, a steel chest plate for protection and grabbed my M4 to answer the request for help on the west side of the Capitol. I scrambled down the long flight of marble steps that led up to my post. When I got to the bottom, I gave my weapon to Officer Keith Atkins. I was allowed to move in response to the call, but the weapon wasn’t. It is permanently assigned to that post, so I had to hand it to him. I went to a nearby kiosk and grabbed a second M4 that we keep stored there if needed. I knew I was not going to face what I was hearing on our radios without a weapon. I also grabbed two cases of water. Based on the radio traffic, I knew officers would need it. I just didn’t know how badly.

I passed the north end of the Capitol on my way to the west side, nothing there. When I got to the west side, I immediately saw the scaffolding for Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration. It had already been set up for the ceremony, which was scheduled to be in that space exactly two weeks from that day. I looked down below to my right, and I was stunned. What I saw was like a scene from a Gladiator movie. In what seemed like a sea of people, capitol police officers and metropolitan DC police officers were fighting desperately, hand-to-hand with rioters across the west lawn. Until then, I had never seen anyone physically assault a capitol police officer or an MPD officer, let alone witness mass assaults being against law enforcement officers.

I could see rioters hitting officers with flagpoles, sticks, and metal bike racks they had torn apart. They were throwing batteries, canned food, anything they could to hurt our officers. You could hear the screaming and hollering as the battle raged on.


Blood was streaming down officers’ faces. They were yelling, grunting, and trying to force the rioters back. Many of them were blinded and coughing after being doused with pepper spray, bear spray, and even WD-40. It was crazy. We used the water I brought to wash the irritant out of their eyes and then when they were good enough, they would go back into the fight. Everything was chaos and madness. Officers fighting with rioters then getting relief, officers heading back to the fight then returning because they need their eyes and skin flushed with water to wash off the spray. At some point, the radio blasted, ‘Attention all units,’ the dispatcher said. The Capitol had been breached.”

Rebecca Ching: So, I’m curious, what do you notice now, Officer Dunn, emotionally and physically? Do any thoughts or images come up for you after reading this excerpt or what are you noticing in your body?

Officer Harry Dunn: The thing is a lot of people have always asked me, “Do you have flashbacks to that moment? When you go to certain parts of the building, do you relive it?” The answer is it’s weird. I never stop thinking about it, so it’s not like a flashback. It’s like a constant loop that’s been playing in my head over and over, coming up on three years. So it’s not really a flashback. I’ve kind of just dealt with it just on replay over and over in my head.

Rebecca Ching: Is there anything that stands out even in this moment as you read that moment that day? Is there anything that seems — nope? It’s just kind of that constant?

Officer Harry Dunn: The thing is, like I said, that may sound cold or distant from, but it’s not nothing new. Everything that I read is what I’ve been seeing and thinking about ever since that day, so it’s not like I’m trying to forget about it or trying not to remember. I mean, maybe I am. I don’t know.


Rebecca Ching: It’s like a bedfellow for you. It’s just there. It’s something that’s a part of you and your story and your system, your nervous system.

Officer Harry Dunn: Yeah, it just exists.

Rebecca Ching: What were you most afraid of that day?

Officer Harry Dunn: I’ve been afraid of the unknown. Like I said, I didn’t know on January 6th — I never even heard the word insurrection before, you know? That’s not until afterwards when you heard the political pundit start talking about it and everything that. The fear of the unknown — because we didn’t know how it was gonna end. I didn’t know if we were just gonna be overrun and just stuck in the Capitol or what was gonna happen. Was the military gonna be surrounding the Capitol? We didn’t know how it was going to end, whether we were gonna go home to our loved ones or not. That was my biggest fear: how was this going to end?

Rebecca Ching: And it eventually did, in terms of that particular fight, even though we’ve seen the aftermath, obviously, continue.

Officer Harry Dunn: Yeah.

Rebecca Ching: But how did you feel in those immediate days after the insurrection?

Officer Harry Dunn: That gamut of emotions that I had run through – just sad, angry, hurt. I had moments when I just wanted to be isolated because one of the things I’ve learned is isolation, people think that it’s bad. I try to use it for good because it gives me time because I don’t even know what I’m feeling. I don’t know my thoughts. I don’t know am I being rational, am I being irrational. So just having that time alone. I didn’t want to be around anybody because, like I said, I’m an empathetic person and I like to take on people’s problems and, hey, I like people to vent to me if they’re not doing okay. But when you don’t have that capacity, whether you’re around somebody or not and you tell them to talk, you just kind of want to ask.


So I wanted to be alone because I wasn’t even in a healthy place for myself so I couldn’t take on anybody else’s problems. Even if they didn’t ask me to, but just the depression and sadness that I felt for our country, and then obviously seeing the physical tolls that happened that day, the physical attacks that my coworkers suffered. That was just a horrifying moment in time.

Rebecca Ching: Yeah, you talk about isolation and, you know, I’m sure you know a lot about trauma. I’m like, as someone who’s been working with trauma for two decades and helping people heal from it, everything you’re saying sounds normal. Even that isolation piece, as someone who — you just self-described as someone who’s deeply empathetic, you instinctively knew you needed a space to metabolize not all that just happened to you but to your work environment and also to our country.

At what point, though, did that isolation kind of move to it’s not okay anymore to be isolated? What were the tells that that wasn’t working as a natural response to the incredible overwhelm to, “Oh, this is going dark”?

Officer Harry Dunn: So in trying to process it, you try to figure out everything, How do I really feel?

Rebecca Ching: Right.

Officer Harry Dunn: But then that went to anger, and that’s when I knew I had to start saying something because now I got mad, and it was time to slide back.

Rebecca Ching: Mm-hmm.

Officer Harry Dunn: You don’t know what was going on with these individuals and narratives had already been started to be shaped about what happened and what didn’t happen, and no way would I allow people — not even necessarily that weren’t there, but to downplay the violence that me and my coworkers went through that day.


So being able to fight back kind of a thing I guess. So that isolation, I didn’t even know if I had the opportunity to really process. I know I didn’t really process and heal before I immediately got angry, and anger took over.

Rebecca Ching: Anger’s an interesting emotion that I think so many of us have a complex relationship with for a variety of reasons. 

Officer Harry Dunn: Yeah.

Rebecca Ching: And I am a big fan of it when it’s channeled towards healing and change, but it can go to places that don’t make us safe or others safe. What was your relationship with anger prior to January 6th, and where is it at today?

Officer Harry Dunn: So I’m very results-oriented or solution-oriented. So, like you say, just don’t be mad for no reason, for the sake of being mad, but use that to fuel something that you can see results from. I think the whole good trouble thing that’s part of the quote in my book, let’s get in some good trouble even because this is wrong and it’s time to fight back. People associate anger with bad things, but that’s not necessarily — I don’t  believe that to be true at all. It’s a natural reaction. The actions that stem from your anger is what makes it either bad or good.

Rebecca Ching: I would be remiss to not ask, though, not only as our Capitol police officer but as a Black man in America, and anger, one thing that has been loud and clear to me is that anger and being Black could be a lethal combination. How do you navigate that?


Officer Harry Dunn: By not being impulsive and, yeah, definitely being Black too. But I think anybody, when you’re angry and you react out of anger, that’s definitely usually almost always leads to a bad result. So you can use your brain and be angry. Don’t be impulsive. I know it’s easier to say that in the moment. The difference I think between rage and anger is one’s controlled and one’s not. You have to be thoughtful about your actions because even if you’re angry, all your actions will have a consequence at the end of it, whether it’s good or bad.

Rebecca Ching: Is there a point where your anger felt like it moved to impulsive or it wasn’t strategic, especially in the early days after January 6th? 

Officer Harry Dunn: Yeah, and then I got a lawyer because I was like this is wrong. [Laughs] I was like I need some help. I need some help, and the way I’m thinking right now is gonna get me fired or I don’t know, so I need some help.

So I got a lawyer. [Laughs] And I let him be that my conscious and my impulse control.

Rebecca Ching: Yeah.

Officer Harry Dunn: And even just something as simple as a Tweet or something like Tweeting something out he would say, “Hey, send me everything first before you hit send,” and that saved me a couple times because there were some things that I wanted to say publicly he was like, “Nope, we’re not gonna go with that. Let’s change it to this,” and that’s the impulse control I guess that went from rage Tweeting to angrily Tweeting. [Laughs]

Rebecca Ching: [Laughs] You’re just reminding me of just the power of even when we have crises in our life, being so strong in our values, having clarity of values, like for you you’re saying you’re very results oriented and very strategic and also surrounding ourselves with support that we can’t go it alone. Getting a lawyer and getting other supports that I know that you’ve done over the last few years, that’s a great example.


I’m curious how did writing your book, putting your words to paper, impact your relationship with what happened on January 6th and all that followed?

Officer Harry Dunn: It reached more people, I guess. One thing that I’ve always said is that my story is my story. Whether people agree with it, disagree with it, champion it, applaud it, laud it, it doesn’t matter and it’s not gonna change because this is mine, and when we start trying to speak for people — I don’t like speaking in absolutes or anything like that. Everybody’s different. There are all these millions and millions of people on the earth — to insinuate that all of us feel the same thing about every single situation or even demographics of people or, “All democrats say this,” or “All republicans say that,” or “All Black people think this and all white people, all women, all men –,” no. It’s dangerous to put people in boxes and things. So when you say January 6th police officers and I’m speaking for all the officers, no. I’m speaking for Harry Dunn, and this is my story.

So when I tell my story, I tell it like that. “This is my experience, period.” Whether people like it or not, the good thing about it is that when people do acknowledge that this is your story and they support you and say keep going, it’s kind of like, “Oh, all right, so this is good.” It’s good that it’s landing in a positive way but it’s not going to help me define or change what my story is.

Rebecca Ching: Yeah, that sounds like an almost concretized it and made it more solid. And so, the writing process itself though is so — I mean, I’m a big fan of writing in the name of healing just period.

Officer Harry Dunn: Yeah.


Rebecca Ching: And so, how was that process? I mean, writing a book is its own beast and it’s a task but how did that help you metabolize?

Officer Harry Dunn: Yeah, so when you said writing is a part of healing that’s interesting you say that because I use my phone and I do voice notes to myself all the time. I would talk into my phone and translate it to text. But I would just be rambling in my phone for about 40 minutes at a time just talking to myself, just my thoughts, and that was part of the healing process. I had dozens of those recordings already, so when I decided to write a book I was like, “Shoot, I’ve already got a lot of it right here.” So the healing process was me yelling into my phone screaming, but then it translated into a book. It was healing.

Rebecca Ching: You wrote about this in your book, and this really stood out to me. Take me back to when you received your first press request to interview you about your experience on January 6th. You really navigated a lot of tradeoffs. Can you share what those tradeoffs you were weighing were as you thought about sharing your story, which you did at first anonymously and then you decided to be public?

Officer Harry Dunn: So the thing is, with my job we have a no speaking to the media kind of policy and stuff like that, and this is where the rage went into. I didn’t care, and I was prepared to violate those, and I didn’t care because in the name of doing what’s right kind of a thing. And I don’t look at myself as some type of martyr or rebel, “I’m gonna break all the rules.” No, that’s not me. But it was very difficult to navigate, which like I said was just one of the reasons why I did it anonymously and speak out about my experiences.


One of the things, though, on a sidebar, that I did learn in this whole process is that there’s Harry Dunn the public servant, the officer, and there’s Harry Dunn the citizen, and a lot of the things that I’m speaking about is Harry Dunn the citizen. I don’t speak about things in my official capacity at my job, which we have the right to do. We have the right to speak out as public citizens. Now, my job may have made people know who I am, but I’ve always been this — I grew into being this person who cares about this country and loves democracy, but this is just Harry Dunn the person, so that kind of made the speaking out a little bit easier once I framed it as that. Even when I do interviews, I tell them don’t use my title.

When I went to the White House and I got the Presidential Citizens Medal, some officers that I went with, they wore their uniforms. I went in a suit. I didn’t want to be associated with that — not in a bad thing because this was a I am a citizen of this country, and this is why I’m speaking out because I care about my country and I care about what it looks like, and I want to be able to distinguish between, “Hey, this guy’s an officer,” and “Hey, this guy’s a citizen who just loves his country.” That’s one of the reasons I chose to not wear my uniform when I went to the White House.

But getting back to the media and stuff like that, once I was able to shape that thought process during the media was very — it became easier to do and also, like I said, I had a lawyer, too, that helped me navigate those tough experiences.


But after doing my first anonymous interview, the guy reached back out to me and he said, “Hey, Harry, this interview kind of blew up and people are asking me who you are and journalists we don’t — our sources,” and blah, blah, blah. “But I have never had this many people asking and reaching out to me ever.”

So I was like, “Well, give my name to the five people you trust the most. You can give five people and that’s it, and they can’t share, then, my info with anybody. People that you trust.” And I talked to a couple people, some people I just didn’t like or maybe it was just me still in that space where angry, I don’t want to talk to nobody. I did find the one fit with a guy named Victor Ordoñez from ABC, and Victor and I are still friends to this day. Actually, last week we went out and had some cigars together. Victor’s a good guy, and he introduced me to Peter Thomas, and Peter and I still stay in touch ‘til this day. Their main thing I think that resonated with me the most is, “We want to tell your story and tell it right. Your story. Not anybody else’s. Just you. We don’t care about anybody else’s agenda. This isn’t one of those, ‘Hey, so…’ We’re not gonna ask leading questions. We just want you to talk about what you went through, and that’s it.“ That was very important to me. Like I just said, being able to tell my story was important to me, and I think that is why that relationship is still ongoing ‘til this day.

Rebecca Ching: So I’m hearing you say that what’s driving you to continue to speak out, to testify, to share what happened that day is not solely or primarily driven by your work but by who you are —

Officer Harry Dunn: Yeah.

Rebecca Ching: — and your values and your passions. Did you get any pushback from your fellow officers? I remember watching that that day.


Officer Harry Dunn: No! No, no. I think some of them asked, and I shared briefly, “I accept this award as citizen Harry Dunn not police officer Harry Dunn.” Because, another thing, my coworkers and — hell, I was fortunate I did not receive the level of brutality and violence that a lot of my coworkers did.

Rebecca Ching: Yeah.

Officer Harry Dunn: I escaped that day without the physical injuries. You know, I’ve got a scuff here and some pepper spray there but nothing that would debilitate me for months, weeks, years in doing my job.

Rebecca Ching: Yeah.

Officer Harry Dunn: That’s another thing. So I accepted it, not because of what I did on that day but what I’ve done in the days following, speaking out and up for what’s right, getting in good trouble, the Citizens Award, participating in this democracy at the highest level, and that’s why it was important to me in that capacity.

Rebecca Ching: In another capacity that you really, in terms of your own self-leadership, is deciding to be a witness in several insurrectionist trials including folks from the Oath Keepers who had pretty serious sentences and testifying before the Congressional January 6th committee that the House had. How did sharing your testimony help or hurt you in the name of healing your trauma?

Officer Harry Dunn: Well, I’m focused on the, I don’t want to say the hurt part, but this has the potential to hurt people.


Just for example, the January 6th tapes have just been released to the public and stuff like that, and now people are posting little clips that say, “Oh, look it was a tour visit,” and blah, blah, blah. So it’s just like a lot of gaslighting that can occur, so a lot of times we remain in silence.

This world is cruel. This world is cruel, and whether you’re feeling sad or bad about it, imagine on January 6th people making police officers the bad guy that day. And then you’re upset because of the injuries and violence you and your coworkers faced, and then they’re mad at you because you’re upset. That’s the type of stuff that can come forward from being public and stuff like that. I’m not equating January 6th and sexual assault, but just let’s try to draw this parallel for a second. I just think the adage where if a woman is raped or sexually assaulted and they say, “Well, what did she wear? What did she have on,” how dare you. How dare you! It doesn’t matter. How not hold the people responsible for their actions, that they hold them accountable and leave the victims out of it? So that’s one of the ways that can hurt you.

But, on the flipside, the ways that it can be helpful is, one, you’re telling your story. So it’s healing being able to talk about it, even in the times where you may leave a counseling session in tears and saying, “I feel like crap. Oh, my gosh. I can’t believe this. I’m gonna go to my bed and I’m not getting out of it for two days.” But that’s part of healing. You know, you’ve got to hurt a little before you can heal, and so, even in the midst of all the tears and the rapid heart beating, it’s still healing because I’m able to do a lot more now than I was able to in the beginning.


Rebecca Ching: When I think of you sitting in the courtrooms seeing some of these individuals who really had big plans on January 6th to do even worse harm, and they’re reauthoring, gaslighting that day, having worked with a lot of folks who are survivors of sexual assault and other kinds of traumas who, when they choose to testify, there’s a lot of vulnerability, and is this going to help move them forward in their healing or not, right? There’s a decision a lot of people have to make. When you’re sitting in that witness stand, did that move you towards healing in those moments?

Officer Harry Dunn: I won’t necessarily say that did. I was just going with what was right for me.

Rebecca Ching: Ah.

Officer Harry Dunn: That necessarily wasn’t really healing. 

Rebecca Ching: It was aligned. It was aligned with your values.

Officer Harry Dunn: Yeah, it was a necessary part of the continuation, one, like I said, of public service and a moral clarity kind of thing.

Rebecca Ching: Wow.

Officer Harry Dunn: I don’t think that it was necessarily healing per se.

Rebecca Ching: But it was alignment.

Officer Harry Dunn: Correct, correct.

Rebecca Ching: Which, I think, probably in my generous assumption, helped move the healing process on a macro level. Maybe that, just that you were aligned, you were doing the things that were true to you. Is that accurate?

Officer Harry Dunn: Yeah, staying true to yourself and doing what you believe is right, like I said. It’s an alignment, yeah. That’s accurate.

Rebecca Ching: And a little different when you were sitting and testifying before the January 6th committee. It was a little different feeling. Was that different for you or was that the same situation of, again, just alignment? It wasn’t as much, “This will help me heal,” versus “This is me being true to me.”

Officer Harry Dunn: In that moment, I’m just trying to think about actually when I testified, a lot of times when I think about testifying with the committee, I think about everything that happened afterwards.

Rebecca Ching: Mm.

Officer Harry Dunn: But in that moment, I just knew that I was really thirsty. I drank, like, 12 bottles of water. I think that’s where I’m thinking, though, that it was powerful and everything like that, but I didn’t see it at that moment on the stage that it was. I didn’t realize after — and it was only a couple days or a day or so after that so many people reached out to me and the whole country, at that point, knew who I was and blah, blah, blah.

Rebecca Ching: Well, wait, wait. No blah, blah, blah, here. Just a second, wait. So the days after — I’m not gonna allow you to minimize it because it had such a significant impact on me and, I know, so many people. So after that January 6th testimony to the House committee, what stood out to you, then, in those days that still seemed poignant to you or powerful to you?

Officer Harry Dunn: This is crazy because let’s talk about how the humans process stuff.

Rebecca Ching: Yes.

Officer Harry Dunn: And how silly we are. 

Rebecca Ching: [Laughs]

Officer Harry Dunn: I’m gonna talk about how silly us humans, silly humans, I’m gonna think about how we are real quick.

Rebecca Ching: Okay.

Officer Harry Dunn: So you have ten people. You’ve got a new shirt, right? And you go see ten people, and people will — you’ll ask, “Hey, what do you think of this shirt?” And individuals go, “Oh, that’s amazing!” “Oh, that looks great, where did you get it? I want to get one for my friend.” “Ooh, that would look great on my sister!” “Ooh, I want one! Ooh, girl, you look great!” Then that one person says, “Eh, it’s all right. It just looks cheap.”

Rebecca Ching: Yeah. Yes. Yep.

Officer Harry Dunn: So the nine people, we totally discredit everything they just said and give that one person all the space in our mind.

Rebecca Ching: Yep.

Officer Harry Dunn: And now that one person is occupying our thoughts and making us question our self-worth. “Maybe this shirt is ugly,” and the other nine people just don’t exist anymore.


So that is how I felt about January 6th. Like this whole world, for lack of a better term, loving on me and then you’ve got, you know, a small percentage of the Maga-faction of the world attacking me and doing this and that, and I focused on those individuals and stopped thinking about the millions of people who did support me. That’s just us being silly humans I guess. [Laughs]

Rebecca Ching: It’s also our hardwiring though.

Officer Harry Dunn: Yeah!

Rebecca Ching: I mean, it really is.

Officer Harry Dunn: That’s the problem. That’s how we are.

Rebecca Ching: It is. Yeah.

Officer Harry Dunn: But being able to shape my perspective and focus on the people — some people you’re not just gonna reach, period. The sooner you realize that in life, you’ll stop fighting unwinnable battles, and then you focus on the ones that can be won, and that’s where I’m at now.

[Inspirational Music]

Rebecca Ching: Leading is hard. It is also often controversial as you navigate staying aligned to your values, your mission, your boundaries. Navigating the inevitable controversy can challenge your confidence, clarity, and calm.

Now, I know you don’t mind making the hard decisions but sometimes when the stakes seem higher and can bring up echoes of old doubts and insecurities during times when you need to feel rock solid on your plan and action. Finding a coach who gets the nuances of your business and leading in our complex and often polarized world can help you identify the blocks that keep you playing it safe and small.

Leading today is not a fancy title or fluffy bragging rights. It is brave and bold work to stay the course when the future is unknown and the doubts and pains from the past keep showing up to shake things up. Internal emotional practices and systemic strategies are needed to keep the protector of cynicism at bay and foster a hope that is both actionable and aligned.


When the stakes are high and you don’t want to lose focus, when you want to navigate inevitable conflict between your ears and with those you lead, when time is of the essence and you want to make hard decisions with confidence and clarity, then Unburdened Leader Coaching is for you and where you deepen the capacity to tolerate the vulnerability of change, innovation, and doing things differently than you were taught.

To start your Unburdened Leader Coaching process with me go to www.rebeccaching.com and book a free connection call. I can’t wait to hear from you!

[Inspirational Music]

Do you have any regrets about telling your story publicly, whether it’s in your book or testifying?

Officer Harry Dunn: No, I don’t. I do wish, in hindsight of everything, I could have said something that was more moving or powerful that would have persuaded a few more senators to vote to impeach him so we wouldn’t have to deal with the potential of him being back in the White House again.

Rebecca Ching: And you’re referring to the second impeachment —

Officer Harry Dunn: Yeah, the second impeachment after January 6th.

Rebecca Ching: — of former President Donald Trump.

Officer Harry Dunn: Yeah, there were 57, I think, that voted to, and I think they needed 60. And that’s not a regret on anything that I did. They made their decisions, but maybe if I could have said something a little bit more — I don’t know.

Rebecca Ching: There are parts of you that wonder, “Is there something more I could have done or could have said that would have shifted this, so we’d be in a different place today?”

Officer Harry Dunn: Right.

Rebecca Ching: I think that sounds reasonable given everything you’re navigating —

Officer Harry Dunn: Yeah.

Rebecca Ching: — and given your commitment to sharing your story and to democracy.


Do you have places where you can share your story privately, unedited, unfiltered that are safe and contained?

Officer Harry Dunn: Yeah.

Rebecca Ching: Is that something you continue to utilize?

Officer Harry Dunn: Yeah, I have a very strong support circle. I mentioned my friends and my family in my book that are just there just to receive me, not even ask any questions but just listen. A lot of times that’s just needed. Sometimes you don’t want to really answer questions, you just want to talk. They’d be like, “Okay, okay, I’m here. Okay, anything else, bro?” You know, just being there with your family and your loved ones. But yeah, a very close support circle is very necessary.

Rebecca Ching: How is your daughter doing? Because you’re very public. How is she doing? I know you were very protective — what you wrote in your book — of her that day when you were connecting. You didn’t want her to know real time, which I felt that in my bones too as a parent.

Officer Harry Dunn: Yeah.

Rebecca Ching: But, you know, she’s old enough to know that her dad’s on a lot of TV screens and…

Officer Harry Dunn: She ain’t paying attention to it. I’m telling you, she is so — she will humble the hell out of me because I’m like, “Daphne, did you see daddy?” “No. See you where? What were you doing? Oh, okay, cool. So let me tell you about my day, daddy.” And I’m like, “Wait!”

Rebecca Ching: Okay.

Officer Harry Dunn: Nah, it’s not a big deal to her.

Rebecca Ching: Very grounding though, which is good.

Officer Harry Dunn: She’s a good kid though, and like I said, when you talk about times of just being able to detach from things, just being around her and spending time with her kind of quells the noise of everything. So it’s just me and her.

Rebecca Ching: Yeah, what a gift.

Officer Harry Dunn: Yeah, it definitely is.


Rebecca Ching: I feel that. Well, so one of the things that really compelled me to reach out to you was kind of what you experienced was at your job and many people experience workplace trauma, but I have yet to find someone who experienced workplace trauma while the whole world watched it real time along with subsequent very public investigations and commentary in the following days, weeks, and months. You continue to work and do your job to protect all who work and visit the Capitol including the people who now deny — the same people who we have videos running in fear from the insurrectionists who deny the severity of what happened on January 6th and also continue to defend those who attacked you and so many of your fellow officers. How has continuing to work for the Capitol police impacted your healing process for better or for worse?

Officer Harry Dunn: This is the moment where you have to — all right, so I played sports growing up. I played on team sports, and I’ve always been part of a team and knowing that it’s not just about you. So continuing to do my job gives me that moment of think of something bigger than yourself. What are you doing? I’m sitting here protecting. And then people will say, “You’re protecting people who deny what you went through!” No, I’m protecting an institution. I’m protecting a seat that will exist after this person is gone and before this person even existed. I am protecting an institution, which I hold dearly regardless of who is in the seat or not.


What I can do now is encourage people to hold those people accountable and the people, the voters, the electorate, we’re the people who hold those individuals accountable. So by telling my story, maybe that will encourage somebody who normally wouldn’t vote or somebody who wouldn’t care about democracy to just wake them up a little bit and say, “You know what? You’re right. Hey, this person did that? Oh, we need better than that.” Like I said, I’m results-oriented, you know? Just stop focusing on, “All right, I’m just mad,” because, well, they’re not going anywhere unless they get voted out, so… [Laughs]

Rebecca Ching: You know, one of the things I’ve found in working with folks who’ve experienced all kinds of trauma is that the most difficult part of healing isn’t from what was actually perpetrated against them. It was from those who watched and didn’t do anything or didn’t support or validate what happened. That seems to be where the lingering healing is for so many people, which just stood out to me. How are you navigating that with folks who stay silent or minimize or deny your experience on that day?

Officer Harry Dunn: You know, I always say to people when I decide to engage with somebody, especially if it’s somebody that doesn’t agree with or believe with you, “Is there anything that I can say or show you to get you to have a different perspective?”

Rebecca Ching: Mm.

Officer Harry Dunn: And a lot of times it’s not as simple as a yes or no answer, but if people are out here denying blatant facts, then I’m not engaging with them. All right. This is not we’ll agree to disagree moment because it’s not a disagreement about what the facts are. If we can’t even agree on the facts, then this conversation is pointless to have.


So that’s kind of like what we talked about earlier, protecting my peace. I’ll engage with people that want to actually have real discussions and stuff like that. Maybe somebody does think the election was stolen. Okay, well, let’s talk about that, and this is what is found. “Well, I don’t think that’s legitimate.” All right, then this conversation’s over because if we don’t agree on what’s legitimate and what’s not — you’ve got to protect your peace in who you engage with. Like I said, there’s gonna be a population of people that you can’t reach no matter what. So I don’t even engage with those individuals that may want to challenge what I’ve done or what I’ve said. I don’t even really have anything for them.

Rebecca Ching: What’s standing out to me is you really aren’t putting your worth and your value in the opinions of others.

Officer Harry Dunn: Yes!

Rebecca Ching: You’re clear. You’re like, “I know what happened to me, and I believe me, and I believe in democracy. I believe in my values. I believe in these things. I am willing to have a conversation with difference, but I’m not willing to let you have a say over my worth and my experience.” Am I hearing that correctly?

Officer Harry Dunn: You know what’s awesome is that by embracing that, it’s easy for you to see other people’s perspectives. So you know what? This is my experience. This is my experience, right?

Rebecca Ching: Yes!

Officer Harry Dunn: All right, well, this was mine. “Oh, wow I didn’t know that! Thanks for sharing your experience with me!” And it’s easy to admit. Not to say that you’re wrong, that you see somebody else’s a different way, something I may not have ever thought of. And that’s what we do. We make everything about us, and we force it on other people instead of just realizing that every single individual is an individual with an individual story and an individual perspective. “Hey, I did not know that that was your story. Wow, okay. Thanks for sharing it with me.”

Rebecca Ching: What questions remain unanswered or frustrations still exist that need to be addressed today for you?


Officer Harry Dunn: So I talked in my book — this actually came — I didn’t think this was gonna get this much traction. A lot of people asked me about this, what I wrote in my book, about the riot helmets and everything like that. So I believe in giving other people — I have a platform now that I wanted to share with some of my coworkers, so I interviewed Christine in the book and a couple other people.

Rebecca Ching: Christine’s a coworker, right?

Officer Harry Dunn: Yeah, Christine’s a coworker of mine, and she told me. I didn’t know that because that wasn’t me that day that was told to leave my gear on a bus or something like that. Now, I don’t believe in conspiracy theories or anything like that, but I don’t think that it was a set up or something like that. It could be just as simple as incompetence with somebody. But that’s a question that I have.

But I think the bigger question is when is accountability gonna come because at the time that I wrote the book, Jack Smith had not brought forth any charges against the former president. He has now, but my book was already completed by the time that was done. So now it’s just a waiting game to see what’s gonna happen from here.

Rebecca Ching: What does accountability then look like to you? What will feel like accountability?

Officer Harry Dunn: You know, in the courtrooms people ask me, “Are you happy with this sentence,” and blah, blah, blah. I think accountability is just whatever it takes to deter individuals from committing those actions again. I think it’s a deterrence. That’s what accountability looks like for me.


I don’t celebrate anybody’s jailing or imprisonment. That’s not a time to celebrate. Although, if and when Donald Trump is jailed or sentenced or whatever, I will have a celebratory beverage. [Laughs] But it’ll be short-lived because, like I said, it’s a sad day, especially when those actions that brought them to that place are based on lies. It’s just a sad day that there are people willing to go to jail for causes that aren’t even true.

Rebecca Ching: Right. What do you want to say or what do you say to those members of Congress, in particular, who still minimize or tell a different reality of what happened on January 6th? These same folks that you work with and support and protect.

Officer Harry Dunn: I don’t have any words for them. My words are used for their constituents and the voters and the American people. Those are my words before.

Rebecca Ching: What are your words to their constituents?

Officer Harry Dunn: The world’s on fire right now, and I would like to use my book as a little bit of a fire extinguisher, the importance of our voting. Members of Congress can only do what their constituents allow them to do because if they don’t they get voted out. That’s how it works. And I think educated voters are the best voters.

Rebecca Ching: Yes.

Officer Harry Dunn: So be engaged, and be engaged and see what’s going on in your communities, see what’s going on in the country, and just say, “Am I okay with what is happening here?” And if you’re not and you hold your representative making those decisions on your behalf, accountable and say, “This is not what I want. This is what I want.” 

Rebecca Ching: What do you say to those who say, “My vote doesn’t matter. I’m overwhelmed and everyone’s corrupt. I’m tapping out.”


Officer Harry Dunn: So what if everybody did that? Like I said, for example, on January 6th, there were hundreds and hundreds of officers there, and you had four testify. Look at all the noise that four people made, the good trouble that four officers made out of the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds who were there that day. One pebble into an ocean can cause ripples that can alter the whole ocean. You can’t do it by yourself, but you can inspire somebody. Your one vote, it matters.

Rebecca Ching: Walk me through what you’re working on now that supports not just your healing process while you continue to advocate for accountability for all involved on January 6th.

Officer Harry Dunn: Well, you know, still promoting the book. Getting the message out there, encouraging — it makes a great Christmas gift or Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, whenever you want to celebrate or even if you don’t, it just makes a good thoughtful gesture to somebody. But just promoting that and continuing to — like I said, I’m still working and promoting democracy and people are able to express their first amendment rights. Working at the Capitol, people are still protesting here. We’re giving them a safe environment to do it in and the members of Congress. So that’s what I’m still working on because it’s a never-ending battle.

Rebecca Ching: And that supports both your healing and your advocacy work, both of them.

Officer Harry Dunn: The healing part, because I think just like we talked about earlier, it’s an alignment. It’s a continuation of doing what’s right to do. That keeps my moral compass. Actually it makes me feel even better about myself when I see somebody who may not agree with me saying that I didn’t go do it and me being able to stand up and still protect their rights for them to do what they’re — their right for them to have that opinion, it kind of makes me feel good about myself.


Rebecca Ching: Being in alignment really is an important part of our healing process.

Officer Harry Dunn: Absolutely.

Rebecca Ching: That’s definitely standing out. And I’d be remiss not to ask how could a possible run for the seat Congressman John Sarbanes will be vacating this term support your commitment to both healing and accountability?

Officer Harry Dunn: Yeah, it would definitely support it. What better way to have a continuation of public service than to run for office or to serve the community, to serve the country even more? It’s a decision I’m not prepared to make, but it’s not off the table. I’m definitely thinking about it and making sure — I could say I’m a very introspective person. I like to be very introspective. I pay attention to myself, and it’s important for me to make sure that if I do it I’m all in and not just next-step kind of thing. 

Rebecca Ching: I could tell that. Yeah, you’re not a lukewarm person.

Officer Harry Dunn: Yeah. Right.

Rebecca Ching: You’re — yeah, I hear that.

Officer Harry Dunn: Yeah, I don’t even get in the shower ‘til it’s all the way hot.

Rebecca Ching: [Laughs]

Officer Harry Dunn: [Laughs]

Rebecca Ching: Oh, my gosh, I want to ask so many more questions, but I want to see how this story continues to evolve. But I’ve got some fun quickfire questions that I always ask my guests at the end —

Officer Harry Dunn: Okay. Sure.

Rebecca Ching: — of our conversation. So what are you reading right now?

Officer Harry Dunn: The reviews of my book. [Laughs]

Rebecca Ching: [Laughs]

Officer Harry Dunn: No, you know, this may sound weird but I’m not a big reader as far as books and stuff like that. I’m not a big book reader. I read newspaper articles. I read blogs and stuff like that that people put out about the news because I like getting people’s opinions. Even the rightwing stuff, I’ll read that just to see what’s out there. So I’m always reading different newspaper articles and online articles, watching the news.


I’m ingrained, engrossed in the news all of the time. Even on a Saturday night at, like, three in the morning. If I wake up, I’m gonna put on MSNBC or something. I’m ingrained in it. I’m engrossed in it. So I try to stay up to date with all current events. But I don’t really read too much. I don’t like to sit still long enough to read a book. [Laughs] 

Rebecca Ching: That fits. That fits. What song are you playing on repeat right now?

Officer Harry Dunn: There’s a Michael Jackson song that I heard, and it’s called “We’re Almost There,” and it’s a great up-tempo mix. Somebody remastered it or something like that, but I listened to that yesterday. I listened to it, like, five times. I was like ooh this is good. I like that.

Rebecca Ching: What is the best TV show or movie that you’ve seen recently?

Officer Harry Dunn: I’m a big Saturday Night Live fan. A movie that I’ve seen recently? I loved Black Panther 2. That was a little while ago, but that’s the one that just pops in my head. Black Panther 2 was pretty good.

Rebecca Ching: Oh, gosh, so good. But it was also sad.

Officer Harry Dunn: It was very sad. It was very sad. But it was really good though. It was very well done.

Rebecca Ching: What is your favorite piece of eighties pop culture? Not everyone is into this one, but I have to ask everybody.

Officer Harry Dunn: I have to think about this. So when you talk about pop I just immediately think about Michael Jackson. I’m a huge Michael Jackson fan. But the thing about these genres and everything, I don’t know how the classification of it always fits because, well, Earth, Wind, and Fire is one of my favorite groups. they go over decades, so I don’t know if they’re considered the eighties. 

Rebecca Ching: Yeah.

Officer Harry Dunn: I mean, they’ve got albums in the eighties too.

Rebecca Ching: For sure.

Officer Harry Dunn: And I was born in the eighties, so I mean, obviously, Tina Turner, that’s the stuff. But that’s rock-n-roll though so then like what is actually pop? But I would just say the kind of pop has to be Michael Jackson.


Rebecca Ching: What is your mantra right now?

Officer Harry Dunn: Until there’s nothing that can be done, there’s always something that can be done. I call that a Harry-ism. That’s a Harry-ism. Not my mantra, but it’s a Harry-ism.

Rebecca Ching: [Laughs] I love it.

Officer Harry Dunn: I think that goes into the solutions-oriented thing.

Rebecca Ching: I so resonate with that. What is an unpopular opinion that you hold?

Officer Harry Dunn: Bleu cheese is nasty. I don’t like bleu cheese.

Rebecca Ching: Oh, my gosh! Oh, man. Leave bleu cheese alone!

Officer Harry Dunn: [Laughs] Ranch over bleu cheese. Ranch over bleu cheese, that is my unpopular opinion.

Rebecca Ching: It is? Oh, dangit. So not with that one, but I hear it.

Officer Harry Dunn: I don’t like it. I don’t like bleu cheese. But, in true Harry form, I can appreciate and respect the people who do like bleu cheese.

Rebecca Ching: Of course you do.

Officer Harry Dunn: But you’re wrong. [Laughs]

Rebecca Ching: [Laughs] Who or what inspires you to be a better leader and human?

Officer Harry Dunn: My daughter. And that’s the thing. These people that inspire you, maybe, they don’t even know that they’re the reason that you’re inspired. She’s just existing. She has no clue. But just being able to set an example for her to do what’s right and to leave the country, the world better in what we found in the next generation, she’s the closest thing I have to the next generation.

Rebecca Ching: Absolutely. Thank you so much for taking the time for this conversation. It’s so important, and I’m so glad that we finally have it! If folks want to connect with you, where can they connect with you if they want to just follow your work?

Officer Harry Dunn: You can come to the Capitol and just say hi.

Rebecca Ching: Okay, come to the Capitol and say hi.

Officer Harry Dunn: [Laughs] But no, I’m on social media – Instagram, Threads, and X (Twitter) all under @libradunn. I’m not big into astrology or zodiacs. Is it astrology or zodiacs? Whatever. See, I don’t even know what it’s called but I do like being a Libra though.


Rebecca Ching: We’ll make sure to link to that and also link to your book, which I really enjoyed reading. Thank you for your time, thank you for your service, and thank you for your leadership. I hope I’m gonna come visit you at the Capitol. I can’t wait!

Officer Harry Dunn: Please come say hi. I’m always there!

Rebecca Ching: I will. Thank you so much for your time. Please take care of you, stay safe, and stay true to your healing.

Officer Harry Dunn: You got it. Thank you!

[Inspirational Music]

Rebecca Ching: Before you go, I want to ensure you take away some important nuggets of wisdom Officer Dunn shared with us. First, though, I want to say thank you for listening to this special Unburdened Leader podcast as I honor my commitment to keep sharing stories from those who were there on January 6th so we can counter the many who want to change the narrative on what really happened that day.

Officer Dunn’s commitment to his job after the January 6th insurrection was curious to me, noting that a lot of people have a hard time after a traumatic event occurs where they work. But for officer Dunn, his commitment to doing his job and protecting those who work on The Hill was more than just about protecting the people. It was protecting the institution. His focus was on this bigger mission, something bigger than him that helped him heal as he continued with his work as a Capitol police officer. And he reminded us to protect our peace with whom we engage and the power of sharing our story to encourage change. And Officer Dunn reminded us of the power to live an aligned life and how we use our integrity and values to inform how we respond to injustice. And this is the ongoing work on an unburdened leader.

Thank you so much for joining this episode of The Unburdened Leader.  

And if this episode moved you or you appreciated it, I’d be honored if you would leave a rating, a review, and share it with those you think may benefit from it. You can find this episode, show notes, and free Unburdened Leader resources, along with ways to work with me at www.rebeccaching.com!

And a special, special thank you to the folks at Yellow House Media who produced this episode. Thank you so much!

[Inspirational Music]

Comments +

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

meet the founder

I’m Rebecca Ching, LMFT.

I help change-making leaders get to the root of recurring struggles and get confidently back on track with your values, your vision, and your bottom line. 

I combine psychotherapeutic principles, future-forward coaching, and healthy business practices to meet the unique needs and challenges of highly-committed leaders in a high-stakes world.

This is unburdened leadership

EP 29: Frank Anderson, MD – Challenging the Fear of Rejection and Leading with Vulnerability – Part 2

Everybody’s carrying a burden that’s weighing them down. If you dare to care, it is inevitable you will end up carrying the burdens from grief, betrayal, and rejection. And these burdens are often unseen. These invisible struggles fuel loneliness, shame, and despair. Eventually, the unaddressed burdens we carry start to impact our ability to live […]


EP 27: Frank Anderson, MD – Challenging the Fear of Rejection and Leading with Vulnerability – Part 1

We watch leaders crash & burn all the time. We watch with morbid fascination as leaders fall out of grace because their unaddressed pain led them on an unsustainable path of poor choices–even dangerous and deadly choices–to avoid feeling the vulnerability of rejection. Those times when you experienced the pain of rejection leave their mark […]


EP 21: Leading With Body Resilience with Co-Author of More Than A Body, Lindsay Kite, PhD

Caring about those you lead means caring about the harm you may unknowingly be doing. Many of us who fit western standards of beauty and live in conventionally abled bodies don’t understand how our choices can cause pain. We’ve internalized ableism and fat-phobia to the point where we can’t even grasp how our words & […]

Mental Well-being

EP 19: Defining Your Own Version Success with Natalie Borton, Founder of Natalie Borton Designs

The quickest way to crash and burn your business and life is to place your worthiness and safety with the opinions of others. This may sound like a captain-obvious statement but the pull to care what others think is something fierce. And it is sneaky. The competitive drive is no stranger to many of you. […]

Work-life Integration

EP 17: Community Over Competition with Co-Founder of The Rising Tide Society Natalie Franke

Community over competition is indeed a well-worn hashtag. The cynical can dismiss it. Those beat up by year after year of injustice understandably call BS. But in practice, leading with the lens of community over competition is subversive and culture-shifting. Community over competition requires deep life-long work to unburden the load we carry of scarcity […]

Leading Teams

EP 02: How Self-Leadership Saves You From The Relentless Drive To Succeed with Dr. Richard Schwartz

My body was telling me to take a step back and reevaluate. Five years ago I had pneumonia and I couldn’t really do anything other than prop myself up on the couch and breathe… …breathe and think about how I ended up in this mess I’d run myself into the ground. My schedule was full-to-overflowing. […]


And clearing the way for a more innovative, inclusive future.

Unburdened Leaders are breaking
cycles of workplace burnout…

Are you about this, too? Let’s meet and see if I’m your coach – no expectations. Just connection.