The Power Of Connection: Exploring Life Changes And Leadership With Dr. Keith McNally

Nov 20, 2023

The Back-Story

In this episode, Tim talks with Dr. Keith McNally, an expert in educational leadership. They discuss how reaching out to his LinkedIn network during the isolation of the COVID lockdown sparked an incredible journey of transformation. They talk about the transformational journey of coaching, the deconstruction of old beliefs about success, and the new ideals people seek. Their discussion turns towards leadership and into Dr. McNally’s book, Walking the Path – A Leader’s Journey.

Who is Dr. Keith McNally?

Dr. Keith McNally is a leadership coach, published author, and STEM advocate. He specializes in bringing like-minded people together in conversation to make a real impact.

Dr. McNally’s YouTube channel is dedicated to conversations with people who have made personal and professional transformations and want to share their stories with the world. His new series, The Envision Speakers Series, focuses on emotional and psychological well-being.

Dr. McNally brings groups of people together to discuss topics such as suicide, aging, toxic work environments, fitness and exercise, and personal habits that make life worth living.

Show Notes

I love connecting with Work at Home RockStars! Reach out on LinkedIn, Instagram, or via email

Website 💻

WHR Facebook Page 📌

Feel free to DM us on any of our social platforms:

Instagram 📷

Email 💬

LinkedIn ✍

In This Episode:
[0:00] Intro
[0:50] Keith’s good note
[7:40] Transitioning to something new
[10:38] What do coaches do?
[14:56] Walking on burning coals
[16:25] Building an audience
[19:46] What has the podcast done for Keith
[24:20] His guest solo
[28:03] Where to find Keith’s book
[28:30] Where to learn more about Keith
[29:10] Outro


Read Transcript

Tim Melanson: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to today’s episode of the work at home rock star podcast.

Today, I’m very excited. We have a doctor in the house today. He is an educator, a trainer, a creator, a speaker, and he’s a doctor of education, focusing on educational leadership. And what he does is he specializes in facilitating discussions and bringing like minded people together to create a real impact.

Very excited to be rocking out today with Dr. Keith McNally. Hey, Keith,

Dr. Keith McNally: you ready to rock? I am ready to rock, Tim. Thank you so much for allowing me to join you in conversation today. Awesome. I’m

Tim Melanson: glad to have you here. But we always start off here on a good note. So tell me a story of success in your business that we could be inspired

Dr. Keith McNally: by.

Success in my business. So right now my business is all about having conversations. And I tell you what, the best way to have a really good conversation is to, um, invest in people. And so, uh, this really started, you know, at the tail end of COVID and the [00:01:00] quarantine, and I started reaching out to people on my, my LinkedIn network list, because at that point.

Uh, people were just profile pictures and, and just data sheets and that wasn’t. Working for me, so I really needed to kind of make it, you know, a change in what I was doing, because I wanted to, you know, expand into speaking and I’ve got a book over here that I hopefully we get a chance to talk about. And so I wanted to make some significant changes in my life.

And the only way to do that was to, to get connected. And so, for me. I just started tapping on people’s virtual door on LinkedIn and say, Hey, do you want to have a conversation? And it just so happened that we were all at home because quarantine shut us down and COVID COVID kind of took a lot of the, the normalcy of our lives away.

Um, so I just started tapping on people’s doors and say, do you want to have a conversation? And people were saying. Yeah, actually, I do. Um, and so it wasn’t everybody. Uh, [00:02:00] it was kind of a slow start and, but the momentum kind of picked up and those conversations, uh, actually became very intentional because people were making.

Pivotal changes in their lives, and they actually wanted to share that information, like, whatever was going on, whether they had lost whatever COVID took away or their lives at that point were successful. And then COVID stopped it. All people were saying. I need to be different. I want to be different their lives that they had accumulated to that point.

We’re in a line with their values or who they want it to be. And so they were making real changes. And so that’s really where, you know, my first podcast, a question guide came to be is because people were making awesome changes and we just needed to share that with the world. That’s amazing.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. And you know what, people are starving for conversation.

I think, you know, it’s, it’s one of those things where [00:03:00] you, um, I know when I, I used to work in sales and I, you know, you’re super scared to go talk to somebody. Because you’re just worried about what they’re going to say or what they’re going to do or they’re going to reject you or whatever it is. Uh, but then, you know, I always found every time I’d go up and talk to somebody.

And people love talking, especially about themselves. So if you have

Dr. Keith McNally: some questions about themselves,

Tim Melanson: they’ll love it. Uh, but, but it’s, it’s definitely something that’s, you know, not really something to be scared of. Like, you know, talking to other people is something that they probably want. Like you say, not everybody.

People are in weird places sometimes. For the most part, especially in a situation where there’s a lot of changes being made. We’ll like to share that information.

Dr. Keith McNally: Yeah, I totally agree. And so what I was finding is the people were making, uh, well, the people I was having conversations with were making very specific changes.

And so it was about, for some people it was, they had accumulated success. They had been successful [00:04:00] corporate ladder, good, you know, on the outside. The white picket fence, whatever that looked like your house, your family, but again, on the inside, it was, they were empty. They were frustrated. They were scared.

They were vulnerable. And this really allowed people. And, you know, we, we often blame COVID for this complete disruption in humanity. Uh, but I think for those who took it as an opportunity. Um, really did so intentionally. And so we saw this as, well, what, what can I do with my time? What value can I add to my life, my family’s life, my neighborhood and the world, how can I make real impact and change, and they were making.

Specific, they were then taking a journey and I’m using specific words because they’re all in my book. And so please forgive me, but they were actually going on this path that [00:05:00] we’re going to lead them to something that they felt that they could add value to everybody. It wasn’t just about maybe making that sale, but it was about making the connection with that person to not just make that sale the 1 time.

But have a continual partner, maybe ongoing and so, yeah, it just became a fun ride. So, since 2020, 2021, um, I’ve been making investments in people. So, I’ve started sharing my story. Uh, and so my story includes 2 suicide attempts and a heart attack at this point, um. I mean, you’re gone or you’re past I’m a survivor of a heart attack for a year.

So, so far, so good. I wake up every day, uh, just, you know, taking that first deep breath consciously and, you know, going about my business, seeing what next, what, what conversation can I have today? What can I add to somebody else’s life? That will make them better, feel devalued, and [00:06:00] feel important.

Tim Melanson: So powerful.

And I think you’re right. That whole, that whole lockdown thing was such an, it was just such a pattern interrupting. You know, I’m noticing a lot of things like our media, for the most part, our, our, our advertisements, our consumption world, you know, tells us what. They, they sort of like paint this picture, maybe even hypnotize us into thinking that all these things are going to make us happy and fulfilled.

And so we go after them, thinking that that is going to fulfill us, and then it doesn’t. And I think that, I mean, if you look into lots of people’s stories, you’ll find that there was… Some event that happened that made them realize that, you know, this is not what’s important in the world. Right. And they, you know, they make it big change.

And I think that the lockdowns and COVID really was one of those, it was this mass event that woke a lot of people up at the same time. Kind of going like all of a sudden, everybody’s like. At [00:07:00] home with their family and they’re like, wow, this is kind of good, you know, I’m not at work doing all the big hostile stuff that I was supposed to be doing, but I feel better somehow.

What’s going on here? And I think it just allowed people to kind of look inside a little bit and go, maybe what I’ve been sold is not really the dream, right?

Dr. Keith McNally: Yeah, I think, I think that’s you’re on target there, but I tell you what, um, the path to making that transition from what you’re accustomed to, or what we were accustomed to, to something new, whatever that Thank you.

Is we don’t always have, uh, the picture, uh, you know, I speak to a lot of people who, uh, our vision board coaches, you know, uh, since the book, the secret came out and there’s this concept that we can, if we envision it and then we plan it, we could achieve it now on the broad scale. Yeah, but it takes a whole lot of [00:08:00] work.

And so that work does put us in a place of discomfort, um, risk. Challenge because everything that we were, you know, brought up to believe, like you said, you know, we’re a consuming world, uh, these things here in America and so forth, um, that, you know, if I achieve things. I’m good, but what it turned out is that humanity, the essence of our humanity snuck up on us and said, not quite, we need to do some more work.

And so that’s really where the pivot. I think there’s a social consciousness, uh, that has kind of transformed. I think a great deal of humanity at this point is that we’re now looking for those things that are valuable. Um, and we don’t find those values and owning the, you know, 5 [00:09:00] cars or the most expensive car, the biggest home, um, not that those things are bad, but the value is.

The connections and the impact that we’re making person to person. And so many people who made those personal transformations, those personal changes into whatever they wanted to become, then flipped the coin and became coaches certified or whatever, whatever that space looked like meditation, yoga, life coaches, whatever that coach.

Title looks like they found a way that if I can do it, if I could go through the process, if I could go through the change, if I could go through the hurt and then I can achieve success on the other end, because I’m better for they’re now doing, they’re teaching other people to do the same. So it’s really cool.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. And we do need that because that’s the thing is that once you sort of have that awakening moment where they realize that, [00:10:00] you know, the secret isn’t just going and getting things, right. It’s there’s something else. Then you got to figure out what that is. And it’s, it’s probably unique for everybody.

And it’s a big journey and it’s scary because all of a sudden, you know, we’re sort of like laid out with this framework, which makes us feel comfortable. We’re like, I know what to do. But then all of a sudden you don’t know what to do. And you’ve got to go figure that out. And I think that, uh, you know, would you say that?

Coach tells you what to do or what, what are they? Are they more of a guide? Uh, how does that work?

Dr. Keith McNally: So there are coaches out there that I’ve had conversations. I’ve got two now, three different podcasts. And so when I talk to coaches, it is a, it’s, it’s a mixed bag. And so some coaches, uh, walk you through a, uh, are dedicated to the, to the recipe.

And so they’re going to throw out. We do X and then we do Y, then we do Z, and then we follow through when we do, we do all [00:11:00] those things. And yet at the same time, uh, I’ve talked with people who have really indicated, uh, that it’s really about a maturation process. And so you are at the coaches acting as the potential or the possibility of what’s next.

And so, okay, if you do this, What do you think is going to be the outcome? And if you do this, what do you think is going to be the outcome? So less cookie cutter and more, um, let’s do that deeper dive. Let’s go in and say, okay, because we are holistic people. We are spiritual. We are physical. We’re intellectual.

We’re cognitive, uh, emotional and social and all those kinds of things. And so we really need to tap into, um, from a coach’s perspective, all those aspects, because if we leave one out. We’re really doing a disservice to the client to the somebody who are really trying to make their lives better. But. [00:12:00] It’s not for us to tell them that this is what better is better is what you think better is and our job, both me and those who I’ve talked to with saying our job is to kind of lead them along a path.

They got to make the mistakes. They got to think it through. They’ve got to go through the hurt. Sometimes it’s emotional. Sometimes it’s like, God, I got to do this. And yeah, you got to do it because I know it hurts. I know it’s frustrating, but on the other side of that hurts on the other side of that pain, there is purpose and there is passion.

And so when they hear that, they’re better able to make the steps forward, to take those steps forward. Um, I got a story around this and I don’t know if you want to hear it or not. It’s not my personal story. Uh, it’s a story that I’ve heard, but I love sharing it. Um, but that’s on you. It’s up to you.

Absolutely. Go ahead. So the [00:13:00] story is, is this, and I talk when I, when I get to stage, you be on stage and stage talk A lady, she goes to this week long retreat, right? And this week long retreat is intentional and she knows that by investing your time, energy monies. She’s going to be different on the other end of it, right?

Part of the retreat. So this is, you know, on premise somewhere remote, and you’ve got to walk over these hot burning coals. And I’ve never done this. And so I don’t know what that’s like, but you could get into a very meditative state and it’s not going to affect you. It’s not going to physically hurt you, but the story goes like this and all week long, so it’s a seven, seven day retreat.

And so all week long, the. Trail of hot burning coals was very minimal and, you know, it starts off at 5 feet, goes to 10 feet, but on day 7, and so on day 7, it’s 40 feet long, right? That’s intimidating. 40 feet of hot burning coals is intimidating, and she tells the [00:14:00] story that when she walked up to the line, the starting line, she convinced herself she couldn’t do it.

She convinced herself, even though all week long. They’ve been doing it, life’s been good, she’s growing, she’s excited. It took somebody else, another participant, to tell her, you can do that. And when she heard that, it clicked. She convinced herself she could do it. She knew she had it, she could do it. I mean, somewhere deep down, she’s already done it.

She’s already done the smaller trails. She walked 40 feet over hot burning coals, barefoot. Did it transform her life? That is where the impact happens. It’s when you can come together, again, investing in others, going back to what I originally said, the participants invested in each other and this one person told this other person, [00:15:00] you can do it.

Guess what? She did.

Anik Malenfant: Hi. My name is Annick Malonfa. I’m from Mastering Ascension, and I’ve been working with Tim Melanson and the Creative Crew Agency for a number of years now. Tim is my go to guy for all things technology, and his team have helped me to really create the platform that I need that represents my brand, my message, and connects me directly to my ideal clients.

What I particularly love about Tim is before he starts to dive into the technology, he always makes sure that he understands what your global view is, what your ultimate goals are. So then that way you’re not wasting a lot of time back and forth switching around technology or platforms. He creates something from the get go that is scalable, which is highly, highly beneficial for any business.

What I’ve experienced from Tim and his team is they’re highly responsive. They are a wealth of information, and they’re going to offer you the tools that you need to really make the mark that you want to make in the [00:16:00] world. So that’s my recommendation for Tim. He’s awesome. You’re going to love every minute.

You won’t regret it.

Dr. Keith McNally: So

Tim Melanson: now. Let’s talk a little bit about getting fans in your business. So how do you build an audience and make them like you?

Dr. Keith McNally: I wish I had the secret sauce to that, but I really don’t. Um, to get people to like me, uh, I just, it’s all the same. It’s, it’s investing. It’s investing differently because What I’ve found, and this is because I run, I have, I have many conversations.

I’ve got three, three different types of shows, one personal, one professional, and one on impact and change is to really listen to people. Um, now I’d know that, you know, coaches, you know, listen and they’re trained to listen. And as an college professor, I’m kind of trained to listen. That’s where my doctor comes in.

Um, but I don’t [00:17:00] know, some people can be trained. And really like a therapist can be trained to kind of look at the, the, you know, the, the non verbals and the nuances of character and, and what a person’s doing as they’re communicating and, you know, we can listen to things and listen for tone and inflections and changes and how they’re using their words and what words they’re using and what words they’re not using, uh, these are things that you can be taught and their academic studies on, on this, um, going through some of those classes, but then some of it is.

Thank you. And I tend to fall on, you know, I tend to think of myself as an innate listener, meaning that I’m going to pick up on things and my brain just records things. When I hear them, I hear people say things and they just stick with me. It’s not necessarily a photographic memory, but it’s just, it’s something that I.

I’m good at. And so when I’m having conversations with people, um, whether recorded or not recorded, you know, I’m really listening to, [00:18:00] you know, what exactly what I just said, what they’re saying, what they’re not saying, you know, what they’re more excited to talk about, uh, what they’re leaving out. Yeah. In a conversation, um, and so all those things are important.

So when you are able to reflect back in that conversation in a conversation and somebody’s, you know, they won’t say it out loud, but they’re thinking, well, sometimes they will, because I’ve had people say, um, you know, nobody’s ever asked me that question or, you know, nobody’s ever put it, you know, reflected back in that way before.

And so when you’re able to do that, And I think podcasts, those, some of them are really good at doing that. And some of them not so much. Um, and you know, you’re being heard. That’s when you win people. That’s when you win fans, because that person knows you’re actually listening. You’re present in the moment.

You’re here now. Nothing else is important. Like I know what’s going on [00:19:00] downstairs in my house. Um, but right now I’m present with you because the conversation that we’re having. Is what’s important, everything going on downstairs in my house is, is normal. So I hear what you’re saying. You hear what I’m saying.

We are engaged in the present moment. And when somebody knows that you’re actually paying attention to them, you know, that’s one of the most important things in the world.

Tim Melanson: That was like a secret to me. Well done. So now let’s talk a little bit about your, your tool. You mentioned that your podcast. So tell me about.

You know, what has that done for you and how do you use that

Dr. Keith McNally: to your benefit for the audience? And, you know, can I just, well, I already gave out the shout out. And so I, I do the question guy podcast and I’ve branded myself the question guy. And that was birthed from COVID in the quarantine. That was about people’s personal transform, transformation stories.

And it still is. And so, uh, people join me in conversation to talk about [00:20:00] what that. Pain to purpose that, that trial to triumph, whatever that looks like. And we have a 30 minute conversation and we talk about that and people have some really gut wrenching stories, whether they’re COVID specifically COVID related or not, it doesn’t matter.

Um, so we have those stories, um, from that, uh, like I said, a lot of people have used that transformation to become a coach, a speaker, a small business owner, whatever, uh, but coach’s corner is really about what you do professionally and how it’s impacting others. You know, to make change, um, and then from all that, uh, the inception, the conception of the envision speaker series was really about finding people who were making communities better.

You know, where are they? But because I still work on 9 to 5 and so I kind of have to do everything virtually. I did a little pivot and kind of really talk, start thinking about this as how we can be, um, emotionally better, but I’m [00:21:00] thinking I’m going back to the whole, so I’m rebranding the envision speaker series because we can make change.

We can empower people right where they’re at. And that’s really most important. I use my podcast to make those connections happen. Um, and so given that I’ve got almost. 200 amongst the 3, amongst the 3 shows, I’ve had 200 recorded conversations and many, many more not recorded. Uh, I connect people with people, I make real connections with other people, you know, friendships, partnerships, you know, co authored, you know, looking to co author a couple of books in the future, um, you know, developing master classes and, you know, truly kind of.

I used a podcast for what it’s meant to be and it’s making connections.

Tim Melanson: Well, that, well, so now you mentioned that, uh, uh, well, you’re a teacher, a professor, and so obviously you must see the value in, in learning and teaching. I’m wondering for [00:22:00] you. You know, do you hire coaches? Do you, you know, participate in that kind of stuff yourself?

Dr. Keith McNally: Like when I go out and actually hire a coach and teach a man to do something? Yeah. No. Ha, ha. Coaches are expensive. Um, and so I say, I say that with, um, you know, tongue in cheek. Um, I’ve. I have had so many conversations and have purchased or have been given, you know, the books that coaches have, right, have written and have my name, my poor English.

And I’m a, I’m a doctor, um, that, uh, I’m pretty, I’m a pretty good read. And so, you know, I’ll read, you know, I’ve got a book, people have got a book. I don’t know if you’ve got a book, but I’ll read it. If you do, I read lots of books and, And I, I have those conversations because once, you know, read the book and we could kind of get in, you know, all I need is a tip.

If I just need to do something, you know, I’m stuck in this situation, you [00:23:00] know, and I won’t phrase it as if I need it because we’ll talk about it on coaches corner. And I’m saying for the audience. What’s it would you give them to make their life better today? And so I could kind of squeeze that out of them a little bit.

Now, those who are listening to this conversation know that I do that. They don’t they already know that I did it because it’s for everybody. Um, and it’s not so much that, you know, I’m, I. We’re giving them something away. It’s really, we’re giving that piece of value away that it’s so valuable that those two people who are listening want more of it.

And so they know to either go to me or go to the person I’m having a conversation with and saying, you know, Hey, you know, I heard you on, you know. You know, Dr. McNally’s show. Can you, can we have a conversation please? I need some help. So, yeah.

Tim Melanson: That’s a pretty cool tip. So instead of having to hire your own coach, you can start your own podcast and start asking experts

Dr. Keith McNally: the questions that you want answered.

That’s exactly right. It’s perfect. That’s perfectly the way to do it. That’s [00:24:00] just the way to do it.

Tim Melanson: Awesome. Right on. Well, it’s time for your guest solo. So tell me what’s exciting in your business and your life.

Dr. Keith McNally: I got a book, tell me about it. So this is it’s walking the path of leaders journey. It’s been out for almost a year.

So it came out December, uh, 2022. And it’s really about making an impact, but not from, uh, the logistical things that a non entrepreneur or a leader needs to do in that space. This is really about that transformation process that the leader. Where the entrepreneur or the person needs to go through to become that person.

That’s going to be the impact player. And so, uh, I talk, it says a leader’s journey because you do have to step into a quote unquote, leadership role, whatever that looks like to you. Now that could be a leader of one. Uh, you need to make the right decisions at the right time for the right reasons. That could be a leader of a small team.

That could be a leader of a smaller, large [00:25:00] organization. It doesn’t really matter. This is about learning the value of what a mentor is and how that works and what it means to be a mentee and a mentor. Uh, I talk about, uh, communication streams and how communication, clear communication is important. I talk about what it means and how to build a team.

I talk about what it means to become vulnerable and really to deal with your emotions as the individual, because without that, if you’re just making snap, irrational decisions, nobody’s going to follow you and nobody’s going to respect you and nobody’s going to trust you. So you have to go through those, uh, personal changes to be a person that’s likable, trustable, and, you know, go forward.

Now, the book is designed where it’s contextual. So there is some academic, but it’s not an academic textbook, meaning that I talk about the idea of of mentoring. And so I, I framed that and then I go into, you know, the fable or the narrative. So there’s actually a, like, uh, a non. fictional story wrapped in the context.

And so this takes us through a [00:26:00] journey of, uh, John, John, the 17 year old boy turning 18 and has to make real changes in this life. He either can stay where he is in the world and take over his daddy’s farm and do all that kind of stuff. And God, he doesn’t want to do that. He wants to find out what it’s like over the other side of the mountain because he’s never been.

And nobody in his village has ever been. And so he’s getting really frustrated. And so he, you know, confides in his mentor and says, if I stay here, I’m going to die. And I need to know what’s on the other side. So he, the mentor says, I support you, find yourself a team, make a plan, go for it. And so with those three things, those three things are embedded in the book.

And so, uh, at the end of each chapter, I give Q and a time. I actually, Don’t, you know, can’t require, but if you’re actually invested in the book, the Q and a part, you know, takes you back into the story and says, if you were this person, you know, put yourself in this situation and find a way. The last page of each chapter is a [00:27:00] says, take note.

It’s your personal journal in the book. And so it’s a little bit of everything, you know, here’s the Q and a, you know, here’s Q and a of. 1 of the chapters, and of course, quite literally, it says, take note, so the page is empty. So you can write down your thoughts on what was occurring inside that chapter.

So I push it. You know, that’s kind of the curriculum for my coaching program. But more importantly, I get very little of the proceeds from the book. The books proceeds actually go towards, uh, suicide prevention services locally here in Virginia. I want it because I’ve been in that place and I don’t want anybody else to be in that place.

And so I need to support those, those structures and those services and at least this way. All right. So where do we find the book? Amazon, please. That’s about it. Uh, I want Amazon. So if you buy it, please leave a really cool review on Amazon. Uh, that’s really my go to at this point. You know, everything [00:28:00] I’m doing, I’m building slowly, but steadily.

So, you know, the rabbit and the hair. Where the tortoise in there, whatever that that. I’m the slow guy. I make things happen, but just A little bit of time.

Tim Melanson: Awesome. So now, uh, other than Amazon, like, is there any other way we can find you? Like somebody wants to connect with you? How do they do that?

Dr. Keith McNally: I would just, uh, ask, please go to my YouTube channel.

So everything everywhere on social media, which is typically two places, YouTube and LinkedIn. It’s Dr. Keith and I with the DR. Not the whole word doctor. So Dr. Keith McGowan. Um, I got a YouTube channel building that slowly, but if you could subscribe, I’d appreciate it. Um, if you want to connect with me directly, have a conversation or anyway, engage with me professionally, please.

You can find me on LinkedIn. Thank you so

Tim Melanson: much for rocking out with me today, Dr. Keith McMallott.

Dr. Keith McNally: Thank you, sir. It was a pleasure being here.

Tim Melanson: Awesome. To the listeners, make sure you subscribe, rate, and comment, and we’ll see you next time with the Work at Home Rockstar podcast.

Dr. Keith McNally: Thanks for listening. To learn how you can become a [00:29:00] Work at Home Rockstar or become a better one, head on over to WorkAtHomeRockstar.

com today.

Connect with Dr. McNally:

Free offer!

Get your copy of the RockStar Formula 

Join the Work@Home RockStar Community and get inside tips from self-employed RockStars from all backgrounds.

You have Successfully Subscribed!