Jim Dethmer on the Power of Radical Responsibility and How to Be the Author of Your Own Life (#434)

“So many of us destroy our aliveness through pretending. I wasn’t going to pretend.”  — Jim Dethmer

Jim Dethmer is one of the world’s leading voices on conscious leadership. He is a co-founder at Conscious Leadership Group, co-author of the #1 best-selling book on conscious leadership, The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership, and an international speaker. And he has advised hundreds of CEOs and their teams to eliminate drama and build trust within their organizations.

Top hedge-fund managers, heads of major hospital systems, tech leaders, elite thought leaders, and YPO chapters and forums rely on Jim’s wisdom and guidance to become highly self-aware and to create conscious cultures. Currently, Jim’s focus is on working with the most devoted conscious leaders—with a particular interest in those leading underserved populations—and training the next generation of conscious leadership coaches.

Visit conscious.is/tim for a list of free resources on the topics discussed in this episode and to sign up for a free webinar from Jim Dethmer and Diana Chapman.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform.

This podcast is brought to you by LMNT and 5-Bullet Friday.” More on both below. 

#434: Jim Dethmer on the Power of Radical Responsibility and How to Be the Author of Your Own Life


This episode is brought to you by LMNT! What is LMNT? It’s a delicious, sugar-free electrolyte drink-mix. I’ve stocked up on boxes and boxes of this and usually use it 1–2 times per day. LMNT is formulated to help anyone with their electrolyte needs and perfectly suited to folks following a keto, low-carb, or Paleo diet. If you are on a low-carb diet or fasting, electrolytes play a key role in relieving hunger, cramps, headaches, tiredness, and dizziness.

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This episode is also brought to you by “5-Bullet Friday,” my very own email newsletter, which every Friday features five bullet points highlighting cool things I’ve found that week, including apps, books, documentaries, gadgets, albums, articles, TV shows, new hacks or tricks, and—of course—all sorts of weird stuff I’ve dug up from around the world.

It’s free, it’s always going to be free, and you can subscribe now at tim.blog/friday.

What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.


Want to hear another episode with someone who’s committed to “aliveness”? Listen to my conversation with Michael Lewis, who told me how he’s cultivated the narrative that he’s “one of the happiest people” anybody knows.

#427: Michael Lewis — Inside the Mind of the Iconic Writer



  • While Jim Dethmer himself isn’t active on social media, you can find the Conscious Leadership Group online at any of the following:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | LinkedIn


  • Note from the editor: Timestamps will be added shortly. 
  • How did Jim’s journey bring him to co-found Conscious Leadership Group?
  • How did Jim identify Byron Katie as a high-credibility guru with whom he should spend time, and what has he learned from her — particularly about coping with the stressful and disturbing thoughts we’re all thinking during these unique and trying times? How do her four questions provide options and action over complacency when difficult decisions need to be made?
  • Who are Gay and Katie Hendricks, and what have they taught Jim about avoiding drama-based conflict in close relationships and living in the “zone of genius?”
  • The technique and benefits of conscious breathing, with words of wisdom from the world of marksmanship.
  • Before you can get emotionally intelligent, you have to be emotionally literate: how the Hendricks have helped Jim co-exist with heightened and activated feelings in a constructive rather than destructive manner.
  • What does Jim mean when he asks: “Can you accept yourself for being scared and below the line?” First, we need to determine where we are in relation to the line.
  • When trying to take responsibility for his actions, how does Jim distinguish between personal accountability and self-blame (or resorting to blaming others)? What is the real benefit of accepting radical responsibility?
  • Jim shares some personal and professional examples of accepting radical responsibility.
  • On the 15 commitments that Jim and his wife Debbie established early in their relationship that determines how they engage with one another in a cocommited rather than codependent way.
  • Some of the candid or uncomfortable conversations that are the most important to have, and how you can best ensure you’re open to receiving those kinds of conversations before you initiate them.
  • If you’re in quarantine with a significant other, are you able to separate facts from story? Are you more interested in being proven right, or are you more interested in becoming closer?
  • The four contexts that answer the question”How are we being with the content of life?” To Me, By Me, Through Me, and As Me.
  • Jim shares what entailed his own “descent into the ashes” — a particularly difficult time in his life.
  • When someone finds themselves going through their own descent into the ashes, what does Jim suggest they do?
  • What are you willing to put at risk for full aliveness? What won’t you put at risk for full aliveness? Jim talks about Scott Peck’s tunnel of chaos and the concept of pseudo communities versus authentic communities.
  • The Four Pillars of Integrity.
  • When Jim left a career in midlife, from all external appearances, at the top of his game, how did he end up quitting? Was it a sudden epiphany or a long, slow realization?
  • Parting thoughts.