Scaling UP! H2O

197 The One Where We Learn How To Be A Badass Leader

When it comes to unorthodox leadership wisdom, look no further than my guest today, Michelle Reines.

 Michelle Reines is a speaker, author of the book From Bad To Badass Leader:  Bad Ass Leader, Unconventional Leader, Leadership Journey, Industrial Water Treatment, Water Treater, Business Owner, Help Me Help You, Strength, Gaps, Strengths, Weaknesses, Maximize Outcomes, Self Development, Trust, Unions, Peter Principal, Roadmap To Success, Musketeer Mentality, Win-Win, Loose-Loose, MDR Management Assessment, Executive Coach, Badass Leader Book Clubs 12 Leadership Lessons, executive coach, entrepreneur, founder of MDR Coaching & Counseling, Inc, and creator of the unconventional Badass Leader Brand. 

 Early in Michelle’s leadership journey, she was an absolute Ass as a boss, oblivious to the impact she was having on people! Perhaps, like many of you, she didn’t understand how to lead.  

 Today’s episode is full of Michelle’s thrills of victories and agonies of defeat, with the goal of helping you to unlock the art of leading like a Badass!  


Michelle Reines 12 Leadership Lessons: 

Lesson 1. Don’t Be An Ass 

Lesson 2. Stop, Drop, Take a Selfie 

Lesson 3. Let’s Talk About Trust, Baby 

Lesson 4. Put Your People First 

Lesson 5. Be An Epic Coach 

Lesson 6. Build A Badass Team 

Lesson 7. Create The Struggle 

Lesson 8. Suck It Up, Buttercup 

Lesson 9. Don’t Be A Kissass 

Lesson 10. Be A Groupie For Your Team 

Lesson 11. Expand Your Tribe 

Lesson 12. Love Somebody Like You 


Bottom line: 

Because, when you think about it, doesn’t everyone want to be a Badass Leader or at least work for one? 

 Your roadside friend, as you travel from client to client.  




Introducing my favorite Badass Leader, Michelle Reines [6:40] 

Her journey of starting as a bad leader to becoming a Badass Leader [9:15] 

How to recognize the “symptoms” of bad leadership before they become big problems [11:17] 

What to do when you realize you are a bad leader [12:29] 

When teams overcompensate for the bad leadership [14:18] 

Platinum Style Coaching [16:12] 

The Peter Principal [18:00] 

Michelle’s cataclysmic fall from grace, AKA the day the whole team walked out [20:32] 

What are human metrics that should be on your leadership scorecard [24:07] 

The 12 Leadership Lessons in Michelle’s book [29:45] 

Scaling Up Badass Leader Gift Page [38:08]

Lightning Round Questions [40:43] 

James’ Challenge: “Research chlorine dioxide.” [47:45] 



“Badass is not a bad word, and being a Badass Leader is actually a strength.” – Michelle Reines  

“Leadership is a choice; it is not a title.” – Michelle Reines  

“If your office has a revolving door on it, it’s probably your leadership.” – Michelle Reines  

“If your time is being spent repetitively solving conflicts, it’s probably a leadership issue.” – Michelle Reines  

“If your phone is ringing off the hook and you’re constantly dealing with customer complaints, it’s probably a leadership issue.” – Michelle Reines  

“Invest in yourself.” – Michelle Reines  

“In this day and age, there is no excuse for failing to develop yourself.” – Michelle Reines  

“You need critical feedback to develop our teams and ourselves.” – Michelle Reines  

”Great leaders focus on people development.” – Michelle Reines  

“Instead of making the mistake and assuming you are better than the person in charge, it’s important to manage your ego and ambition and find a way to partner for success instead of competing with the leader.” – Michelle Reines  

“Leadership is a choice, it’s not a title.” – Michelle Reines  

“You have to prioritize people over performance.” – Michelle Reines  

“Give sugar-free feedback.” – Michelle Reines  

“Peers are partners, not competitors.” – Michelle Reines  

“We cannot be the best leaders if we are not taking care of ourselves and our families.” – Michelle Reines  

“There’s nothing more important than spending time with those you love.” – Michelle Reines  


12 Leadership Lessons Graphic: 


Connect with Michelle Reines:


LinkedIn: in/michelledreines

Twitter: @MichelleReines

Phone: (949) 378-4242


MDR Coaching & Consulting, Inc website:


Links Mentioned: 

363 For Leaders Assessment  

177 The One Where Disney Meets Water Treatment (with Dennis Snow)

194 The One Where We Learn About Productivity Tools (with Danny Bauer)

The Rising Tide Mastermind 

Submit a Show Idea 

AWT (Association of Water Technologies) 


Books Mentioned: 

From Bad To Badass Leader: 12 Leadership Lessons by Michelle Reines 

The Five Minute Journal  

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey 

The New One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson MD 

Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss 

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves 

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Pat Lencioni  


Water Treatment education

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