The Edges of Lean — Ep 52 Continuously Improving Leadership with Dr. William Attaway

Here at the Edges of Lean, one of my great pleasures is learning from people who practice lean thinking, but who don’t think of themselves as lean practitioners. William Attaway is one of those people.

In lean, we know how vital leadership is.  William joined me to talk about how we all can be better leaders, how to continually improve our leadership, and why  coaching is the best way to improve our leadership skills .

William Attaway

William Attaway is a Leadership Coach for Catalytic Leadership, LLC, a company he founded to help leaders to INTENTIONALLY grow and thrive. He has served in local church ministry for over 25 years, and is currently the Lead Pastor of Southview Community Church, a church in Herndon, Virginia (near Washington, D.C.) where he has served since 2004. He holds a Ph.D. in Old Testament (with an emphasis in Biblical Backgrounds and Archaeology), and he loves to read and speak about leadership, organizational change, archaeology, and building up people and teams. His newest book is Catalytic Leadership (January, 2022). Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, William now lives in northern Virginia with his beautiful wife Charlotte and their two daughters.


 Key Topics in this podcast:

  • William’s career background
  • How he got into leadership coaching
  • His perspective about leadership
  • What is the secret sauce of leadership?
  • What can leaders do to make a difference in the organization
  • Why leadership coaching is the best investment for leaders to make in their career development
  • What are the most misconceptions about leadership?
  • Why continuous improvement in leadership is the key ingredient in organizational success.



  • Being a good leader requires more than just having the right skills and knowledge. It also requires a willingness to grow and learn.
  • It is essential for leaders to be coachable in order to improve their leadership style. 
  •  Coaching allows leaders to learn about their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as how they can better motivate and inspire their team. 
  •  By being open to coaching, leaders can ensure that they are always learning and expanding their capabilities. This, in turn, allows them to more effectively lead their teams and organizations into the future.
  • What it means to have a teachable spirit.

Memorable Quotes From William Attaway


“One of the most undervalued skills that every leader has to possess, you have to be able to listen, when you ask the right questions. And when you listen, you can help to avoid the ditch of those missed expectations.”