110822 - Donna Schumell Blog Post Header

What Can Third Turn Surprises Look Like?
Episode #59 of the Third Turn Podcast with Donna Schmuell

While Third Turn leadership is all about being planful and intentional about a future beyond our own, it’s also about leaving room for serendipity and surprises. Today’s guest Donna Schumell’s Third Turn leadership journey definitely exemplifies that. And come to find out, serendipity and surprises are the bedrock of her whole career.

From kindergarten teacher to football coach wannabe to law school and wealth management work with an international footprint. As Donna tells it (in her very charming way), each transition had its own unexpected twist and turn. ‘Yeah, my life is like Christmas’, she says.

Digging into her current Third Turn, there’s the big surprise of a health scare that was accompanied by an equally surprising calling to work with women leaders. Followed by a surprising invitation to shut down her own practice and join a practice (The Disruptive Element) with two other entrepreneurial women. (The story of three serendipitous connect-the-dot mentions certainly underscores the element of surprise.)

But Donna goes on to share about her experience of some of the surprising shifts that happen within us as Third Turn leaders, as well. Shifts from:

  • Relying on our sense of competency to realizing it’s primarily about our ability to think through complexity and ambiguity
  • Realizing that it’s not our capability people need as much as our ability to be vulnerable and let people learn as much from our struggles and failures.
So give a listen, enjoy Donna’s story and maybe even tally up her surprise episodes! And more importantly, consider how to make mental space for unexpected Third Turn surprises of your own.


Additional Resources:

  • 7½ Lessons About The Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett – Donna is reading this book and says, “There’s a lot of bad neuroscience out there…I’m trying to use Feldman Barrett’s work to equip coaches to understand more fully that her work and the idea of our brain being an integrated functioning thing is super powerful, and equipping people to access neuroscience in a way that helps them as leaders.” (Yep, she’s a fellow neuroscience geek.)
  • The Disruptive Element – Donna is a partner in this leadership performance company that helps businesses identify and ignite potential in their people. Their breakthrough approach combines empathy and neuroscience to connect people’s behavior, brains and hearts to deeply engrain change.

Listen to the Episode Now:

Or Listen on your Favorite Platform:

Spotify  Apple Podcast Google Podcasts  Pandora  Anchor FM 

Kristin Evenson
Kristin - Signature Final

- Kristin Evenson

Want to Subscribe? Click here.

About The Third Turn Podcast & Maestro-level leaders:

With each episode of the Third Turn Podcast, we host a conversation among leaders who want the world to flourish for generations beyond their lifetimes.

Listening with others in some way and enjoying in-depth conversations of your own as you reflect and choose what you would do the same or differently is a plus!

We always welcome you sharing these podcasts with others as well as sending along any suggestions for making these podcasts better.

The Third Turn Podcast is part of the Maestro-level leaders initiative, a production of Design Group International. Strategically Connected's Jennifer Miller is the producer.

Kristin Evenson
Post by Kristin Evenson
November 8, 2022
Kristin serves as a Consultant and Coach to leaders, teams, and boards by helping them leverage their unique brand of significance in context of: - Strategic junctures--Helping leaders and teams identify what can’t change and what must; - Leadership & life challenges—Helping leaders support, sustain and strengthen their soul in leadership; - Career change & transition—Helping them think creatively and courageously about what’s next. Kristin spent 20 years with Fallon Worldwide, leading brand and communications strategy development for clients across a variety of industries—including Nordstrom, Holiday Inn Express, and Children’s Defense Fund. Her career journey since has included stints as marketing/strategy director and consultant to companies, nonprofits and ministries in the areas of strategy, culture, communications and board governance. Her teams’ work won multiple national effectiveness awards, and her consulting work resulted in a “Best Practice in People/Workplace” by Upsize Magazine. Having completed NeuroLeadership Institute’s Brain-Based Coaching Program, Kristin incorporates brain-based principles into change initiatives for organizations, teams, and individuals. She and her husband Jeff Rosell have four awesome adult sons and host an international daughter, originally from South Sudan.