About David Berry

Professional background

I have been coaching and teaching executive leaders since 2001. I “found my feet” in the world of professional training and development by selling services and leading programs for BlessingWhite, Inc. This led to an invitation to join TaylorMade-adidas Golf Company as their first Vice President for Leadership and Organizational Development. I led my team in the establishment of TaylorMade’s Learning Center, the heart of which was a leadership coaching initiative in support of the company’s extraordinary growth from $600M to $1.6B in revenue.

In 2013, having found not only my feet but my head and heart also, I founded RULE13 Learning, LLC to serve leaders who want to be more resilient, more effective and more human in the face of change.

In 2016, I published my first book, A More Daring Life: Finding Voice at the Crossroads of Change. 

Later that year, I joined the faculty of California State University San Marcos as a lecturer in the College of Business Administration. I have taught courses in entrepreneurship, creativity, innovation and organizational behavior in addition to advising in the Senior Experience program. In 2017 I was invited to serve as an Executive in Residence, a body of professionals who advise students in a professional and career development curriculum.

My work has been featured in the Training Magazine article, “Crafting a Coaching Culture” and I am a past contributor to the International Journal of Coaching in Organizations.

Philosophy and approach

I work with motivated leaders who want to be equipped to thrive in the face of complexity and change. My coaching style is energetic and enthusiastic while also being thoughtful and reflective. I value humor as essential to insight and discipline as essential to progress.

I understand that it is the marriage of head (rational understanding and planning) and heart (emotional literacy and the embrace of uncertainty) that makes change possible and I challenge myself and my clients to live into that integration in all facets of life.

In working with clients, I seek to facilitate a high level of self-understanding – including values, strengths, challenges and aspirations; a clear perspective of what he or she wants to change; the emotional and cognitive resources necessary to make change a reality; and a focus on the relationships that will ensure sustainable change and continuous learning.

Education, Certifications, and Professional Affiliations

  • Master of Education, Loyola Marymount University
    • Alpha Sigma Nu Honor Society
    • Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society
  • Lecturer – California State University, San Marcos – College of Business Administration
    • ENTR 320: Creativity, Innovation & Entrepreneurship
    • MGMT 302: Foundations of Organizational Behavior
    • BUS 302: Foundations of Business Environments
    • Senior Experience Advisor
  • Lecturer – University of San Diego – School of Leadership and Education Sciences
    • LEAD 566: Coaching and Mentoring
  • Graduate of The Hudson Institute of Coaching, Coach Intensive Training
  • Graduate of the Institute for Conversational Leadership
  • PCC accreditation by the International Coaching Federation
  • Certified to administer Myers Briggs Type Indicator
  • Certified in the use of the Hogan Leadership Forecast Series

And, a little more on what I do:

1. Share ideas that inspire action (I’m a speaker…)

  • Through keynote speaking and workshop presentations I inspire new conversations for new challenges.
  • The necessary equipment for effective leadership at the crossroads of change is personal understanding, powerful connection and continuous learning.

2. Build Learning Environments (I’m a consultant…)

Since learning is the only path through change, I help leaders build learning environments characterized by:

  • Wholehearted leadership
  • Strategic development
  • Clear parameters
  • Coaching practices
  • Progressive thinking
  • Actively expressed emotion/passion/energy
  • Shared ideas and collaboration
  • Engagement

3. Develop Leaders (I’m a teacher and a coach…)

Since the impact of leadership is best seen in the actions of the followers, I…

  • Support leadership clarity and continuous conversation on the core questions leaders must answer:
    • Where are we going?
    • Why are we going there?
    • How do I have to change before asking others to change?
  • Provide rigorous learning and development
    • Leaders do the work necessary to get out of their own way: promoting courage, awareness and readiness for real change
    • Letting go and leading at a higher level
      • Aligned with organization vision and values
      • Aligned with organization/department priorities
      • Well-defined development planning
      • Strategic use of assessment
      • Professional coaching to work through resistance and facilitate change

As well as my primary influences:

DAVID WHYTE“The very things that organizations are demanding from their people – more participation, more adaptability and more vitality – are exactly the things that human beings have wanted for themselves since the beginning of time.”

Start close in, don’t take the second step or the third, start with the first thing, close in, the step you don’t want to take.”

DAVID FOSTER WALLACE: “The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day.”  

“It is unimaginably hard to do this, to stay conscious and alive, day in and day out.”

PARKER PALMER“If you’re going to live an unexamined life, inflict it on somebody else.”

JOHN UPDIKE“…my autobiography is my attempt to treat this life…as a specimen life, representative in its odd uniqueness of all the oddly unique lives in the world.”  

VIKTOR FRANKL“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

ABRAHAM MASLOW“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be. This need we may call self-actualization…It refers to a man’s desire for self-fulfillment, namely to the tendency for him to become actually what he is potentially: to become everything that one is capable of becoming…”

OINGO BOINGO: “We Close Our Eyes”

We close our eyes 
We close our eyes and dream and the world has turned around again 

When everybody is running in the big race 
And having a good time 
Who am I to cast a shadow 
Who am I? 
I looked Death in the face last night 
I saw him in a mirror 
And he simply smiled 
He told me not to worry 
He told me just to take my time 

We close our eyes and the world has turned around again 
We close our eyes and dream and another year has come and gone 
We close our eyes and the world has turned around again 
We close our eyes and dream … 

And if you come to me 
And if you touch my hand 
I might just slip away 
I might just disappear 
Who am I? 
And if you think I’m worth it 
And if you think it’s not too late 
We might start falling 
If we don’t try to hard 
We might start falling in love 


We’re on the healing path 
We’re on a roller coaster ride 
That could never turn back 
And if you love me 
And if you really try 
To make the seconds count 
Then we can close our eyes 


We close our eyes and the world has turned around again

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