Lolly Daskal and The Leadership Gap
Every day someone recommends a book I should read, a movie I should watch, a podcast I should hear.
Boy, does it stress me out to have to add to my list of Must-Dos. Who has time to digest all this information? And if I do get through it all, how much can I enjoy and retain?
There’s a stack of books by my bed testing the strength of my mid-century bamboo nightstands. My unread Kindle library is straining my device’s memory. And my Netflix and Amazon Prime view lists are growing faster than a 30-year old hipster’s facial hair.
I’m sure you feel the same pressure.
Books I’ve recently read (or reread) include Sublette’s The World That Made New Orleans, Ford Collins’ The Joy of Success, and Pressfield’s Do The Work. I’d recommend you read them too if I wasn’t concerned about adding to your To Do list and your stress level.
Daskal wrote The Leadership Gapbased on a simple question each of us who is honest with ourselves has asked. “What if there’s a gap in what I think I know?”
According to Daskal, not asking this question – or worse – not answering it “…is the mistake that highly driven, overachieving leaders make every day. They have soared to the greatest heights on the basis of what they know. But there comes a time when they must rethink everything…”
Daskal presents that point in her first four pages. She then fills the remainder of the book with stories and anecdotes to show her readers who they are and who they need to be to accomplish what they want.
Daskal quotes great thinkers from Viktor Frankel to Carl Jung, Albert Einstein to Joseph Campbell. Plus the successful but unknown business people she works with. Their insight helps present both the questions you need to ask – and the answers you need to give – to achieve what you want.
According to Daskal, “What prevents so many leaders from achieving the greatness to which they aspire isn’t a lack of skill or opportunity. Rather, it’s that they rely on what has always worked for them, even when it is no longer working. But it takes a very special individual to own his vulnerability and find his leadership gap.”
Are you that special individual Daskal writes about? The author warns, “…it takes a committed leader to embrace the search for truth as a criterion for leadership, and not everyone can achieve this. Very few are willing to embark on an inner journey to discover what propels them.”
I’m lucky to have people in my life – friends, family members, business associates – who are both honest and caring enough to point out when I’m doing something that may not be in my best interests. Listening to them and taking their comments to heart without being defensive or combative is not always easy and it’s not always fun but it is always productive.
Daskal wrote The Leadership Gap like that except it’s not personally aimed at you. That means it will make you think about who you are, where you’re going, and how you’re going to get there. But it will also do so in an entertaining and disarming way – the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down.
As Daskal says, “If you want to get your leadership right, you have to get yourself right… You have the power within you not to be imprisoned by your circumstances, or jailed by your setbacks, or shackled by your mistakes, or beaten by your defeats. Every single one of us has the chance and the choice to choose to stand in our greatness or not. What will you do?”