DiscoverPlaymakers: On PurposeThe Outsider’s Edge (ft. Lakshmi Gopalkrishnan, Brene Brown's Handpicked Keynote Speaker & Facilitator)
The Outsider’s Edge (ft. Lakshmi Gopalkrishnan, Brene Brown's Handpicked Keynote Speaker & Facilitator)

The Outsider’s Edge (ft. Lakshmi Gopalkrishnan, Brene Brown's Handpicked Keynote Speaker & Facilitator)

Update: 2021-11-15


The Outsider’s Edge (ft. Lakshmi Gopalkrishnan)

The things that separate us can lead us to our dreams


“What I realized is that if you actually explore what made you feel like an outsider, what are those things that made you feel like you're not part of the club, that could actually become your unique differentiator.”

—Lakshmi Gopalkrishnan


Lakshmi Gopalkrishnan is a proven expert in speaking truth to power, delivering over 7,700 hours of professional coaching across 26 countries. She has 26 years of experience consulting leaders and teams at Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Starbucks, T-Mobile, Hewlett Packard, the U.S. military, and more. Lakshmi was also handpicked by thought leader Brené Brown as a facilitator and speaker for her Dare to Lead program.

Learn more about Lakshmi Gopalkrishnan:


[5:56 ] – The Superpower Formula

Find your superpowers and turn them ‘on’

Try Lakshmi’s ‘superpower formula’ to identify the skills that can lead you to your goals. Start by looking at the experiences in your personal and professional life where you felt that every single part of you was firing, like you were being lit up. Your brain was stretched, your capacity was expanded. Then strip away the external details of those experiences— where you were, what role you were in— and identify the core of the experiences that made you feel like you were riding lightning. For Lakshmi, it was the concept of being a transformation agent. What will it be for you?

[14:45 ] – Superhero = Powers + Values

Once you know your skills, identify your values

Clarity of values is essential in identifying our path. What are those things that are most important to you? What are those non-negotiables that you view the world through? What drives my filter process of what's right, what's wrong, what's good, what's bad? Once you have those answers, you can begin putting your superpowers to work

[20:27 ] – Become Comfortable with “For Now”

You don’t have to see 10 years into the future

People often ask Lakshmi, “Do you see yourself doing this in five years?” Her answer: “I had no idea.” As long as you enjoy something, let it be the heart and soul of what you do. If that changes, change your path with it. 

[24:57 ] – When Being an Outsider is Your Superpower

How being on the ‘outside’ can be your greatest asset

Growing up in India before moving to America, Lakshmi often felt like an outsider. The feelings associated with that other-ness were negative, like she didn’t belong. Then she realized that the things that made her feel like an outsider were actually some of her most unique differentiators, the assets she had that no one else could match. What are your ‘outsider’ traits that could be your greatest assets?

[33:55 ] – The Four Skills

A system for armoring up

First, rumble with vulnerability. Put yourself in situations where you’re faced to confront the places where you’re most vulnerable. Second, live your values. Know what you stand for and stand for it. Third, embrace trust— in yourself and the people around you. Fourth, reset and recover. Give yourself the space to rest and recharge after challenging circumstances.



We'd love to hear your thoughts on today’s episode. Feel free to DM Paul on social or shoot him an email at

Learn more about Lakshmi Gopalkrishnan:

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Playmakers: Impact Unleashed is an all-access pass to the game-changers of today and the history makers of tomorrow. The show looks past the trophy cabinet and features a no-BS, inside look into the world of comeback, transformation, and impact unearthing practical tools and mindsets that we can all leverage to make a play in our own lives and careers.

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The Outsider’s Edge (ft. Lakshmi Gopalkrishnan, Brene Brown's Handpicked Keynote Speaker & Facilitator)

The Outsider’s Edge (ft. Lakshmi Gopalkrishnan, Brene Brown's Handpicked Keynote Speaker & Facilitator)

Lakshmi Gopalkrishnan, Paul Epstein, Detroit Podcast Studios, Connor Trombley