Brandon Harding

Brandon Harding

Brandon Harding is a military chaplain, leadership & relationship coach with two decades of experience. His military service includes 3 tours to Iraq and a deployment on a aircraft carrier.

His passion is for assisting people and organizations in their pursuit of purpose and meaning; leading to greater productivity, healthier work cultures, and deeply satisfying relationships. He fuses adaptive coaching with wilderness expeditions to facilitate change in couples and leaders.

You can check his coaching business at 

Today we talk to Brandon Harding, a military chaplain and leadership and relationships coach. Brandon’s military experience includes 3 tours to Iraq and a deployment on an aircraft carrier. In our conversation, Brandon explains why humanity is a fundamental component in leadership, even in the military. He also shares his approach to leading as a chaplain in an institution like the military.

He also discusses how he combined his love for the outdoors and his experience in the military to create programs designed to improve team relationships and ultimately increase productivity and more deeply satisfying personal and professional relationships.


[03:06] – Brandon, welcome. It’s great to have you here. Brandon shares a little bit of who he is and his background.

[04:03] – What were the relevant points in your life that led you to start following down this path?

[05:16] – The role of the chaplain in an institution like an army, even though it comes from a place of faith, though it is not a denominational role, correct?

[07:10] – Where you’re serving every spiritual system of beliefs versus your own, how has that changed your own relationship with your faith?

[08:46] – What are like the most important lessons that you took from the environment you are in and how did you work to make them your own?

[10:50] – How you effectively lead within a context like the military and what are some of the traits?

[12:56] – How do you teach a concept like that in an institution when there is such a rooted belief?

[15:18] – Overview of the key mechanics of immunity to change.

[17:38] – What is the responsibility that the leader has with the organization?

[19:30] – What are some steps that an effective leader can take in building the trust with their team?

[21:05] – What are some of the other traits you are trying to instill within your leaders?

[23:48] – How are these programs structured, what are some of the key activities and events?

[28:21] – Have you gone through a process of accessing who you wanted to be as a leader and how you want to show up as a leader, and what that has been like?

[29:39] – Do you have an event or anecdote that you would be willing to share?

[33:24] – What are some of the skills and the advice that you have developed, and that you would have for other people?

[37:37] – What are some suggestions that you may have for somebody who walks into the office of someone who has power, with a really strong conviction, and doesn’t manage to get the outcome that they want? How do you live with that and how do you maintain the courage and the willingness to keep going back at it?

[39:40] – Is there one anecdote of an event that you have been witness too or been a part of that has actually shown you humanity in action?

[42:48] – What interests do you have outside of your professional life? Do you have a particular one that has maybe impacted your professional life?

[44:05] – Is there an expression or business cliche that is driving you crazy and why? Or Military expression?

[45:05] – Food for the soul or food for the body?

[46:39] – Thank you and wrapping up the episode.

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Other Links for Brandon Harding:


Authentic Leadership For Everyday People / Dino Cattaneo

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Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger

Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock Potential in Yourself and Your Organization (Leadership for the Common Good) by Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey

Other Resources

Immunity to Change training by Minds at Work –


Susan Cattaneo – This Restless Peace video