Episode Flyer for #67: The Leadership Gap
Episode Flyer for #67: The Leadership Gap

Guest: Lolly Daskal       Guest Title: Best Selling Author, Leadership Coach, Keynote, CEO and Founder

Date: August 2nd, 2017            Guest Company: Learn From Within

[Intro Music]


Debra:                     Hello everyone. This is Debra Ruh, and you’re listening to “Human Potential at Work” or watching us live on Facebook. Today I have somebody that’s been a mentor. I have only recently met her, but I have been following her on Twitter and other social media platforms for a long time. I just love her work. She wrote a book called “The Leadership Gap”, which I will put up because I’m a proud owner of it, and she talks about what gets between you and your greatness. Lolly Daskal, welcome to the program.

Lolly:                        Well what an honor it is to be here. Thank you for inviting me.

Debra:                     Yes. I have been a fan of your work for a long time, and I know the Huffington Post called you one of the most inspirational people in the world, which is quite a compliment. I have to say that I really agree with that. We were lucky to have you on another program that I co-host,”Access Chat”, and you really raised the stakes for all of us. It was very exciting, but I think the thing that I love the most about you Lolly, sorry to be such a fan here, but I like the authenticity that you show. I really like the wisdom that you’re sharing and the stories that you talk about in the book are very powerful, but I also would recommend to all my guests, anyone that’s watching, if you’re not following Lolly, please do follow her on social media. She has a lot of wisdom that she’s sharing, and she, like me, believes in following back.

                                    You’ll notice Lolly has a few more followers than I do. She’s at a 1,200,000. What’s a million people? I’m not the only one that feels the same way about Lolly. I think a lot of other people do, but she’s the real deal. I’m really hoping that OWN will have her on “Super Soul Sunday” with Oprah, because I think her wisdom needs to continue to be heard. Lolly, once again, thank you so much for coming to the program today.

Lolly:                        First of all, I am blushing. I don’t know if you can tell. You’re pretty amazing yourself.

Debra:                     Thank you.

Lolly:                        The work you do is life-changing, world-changing, and is having an impact on so many people. For that, thank you Debra.

Debra:                     Thank you Lolly. I believe we’re all in this together, and I have a real special place in my heart for the community of people with disabilities. I really think we really need to focus on human potential and the abilities we all bring. I have, once again, been following your work for a long time, but when I got your book “The Leadership Gap”, I was very intrigued by the leadership archetypes. I immediately tried to start identifying myself. As I’m reading the chapters, I’m like, “Oh. There I am. Oh. There I am.” I think probably I fall under the Knight archetype. Tell us about the book, tell us more about the leadership archetypes, and why do we care? I mean that very respectfully, but why should us as individuals, if you’re a parent of a child with a disability, if you’re an individual with a disability, if you for whatever reason that you’re listening to the program today or watching the program, how do you help us be better human beings, Lolly, by the advice you have in the book?

Lolly:                        Wow. That’s like 10 questions in one.

Debra:                     Sorry.

Lolly:                        Let’s start from the beginning, right? I’ll pick one. Let’s talk about the book “The Leadership Gap”. The book is about seven archetypes that I talk about that can lead us to greatness, but most of us don’t understand that we have within us a competing character. We have a polarity of character, a completing side, that Jung used to call a “shadow” and I call a “gap”. This gap, this leadership gap, can cost us in our potential of what we want to do in the world. It can cost us from our greatness.

                                    The reason why I wrote this book is because, as I told you before Debra, we had a conversation about this, I read a book a day. As you can tell, I’m obsessed with books, and most of the books that I’ve been reading, they always talk about how to do things, when to do things, where to do them, and even why we do them, but nobody answers the question about who we are. Who do we need to be? Who do we want to be? That question of who is the imperative question. Why? Because it’s the difference between us being effective and the difference between us being great. I wanted to write a book about the who, the question of “Who?” I answer in this book the seven who’s that you need to become, the seven archetypes, so you can fulfill your potential, you can stand in your greatness, you can embrace your greatness.

                                    There’s so many books out there that talk about only your strengths, but in this book I talk about we’re the sum of all our parts. We’re the greatness, and we’re the gaps.

                                    I want to address something that you said earlier. You said, “I identified with the knight.” The knight is someone who’s about serving others, right? They’re constantly asking, “How can I help you? What can I do for you?” This is the secret of the book: The book is outlined in seven archetypes, but each archetype has a virtue. They go from confidence, to trust, to loyalty, to integrity. The thing is, we are all of these archetypes. We are every single one of these archetypes, but, in any circumstance, in any challenge, we have to ask ourself, “Who do I need to be in this moment?”

Debra:                     Good one.

Lolly:                        That’s when we tap into the archetype of who we are. If you’re at a meeting, and you’re feeling a little bit off your game, and you can’t be the rebel who is confident, you might be leading from your gap of the imposter who have self-doubt. In that moment, you need to say to yourself, “Let me leverage the imposter syndrome.” If you’re in front of clients, and the client is something isn’t measuring up and it doesn’t feel right, maybe you need to be the truth teller and say, “Excuse me. I’m speaking from my heart. The truth is, I don’t believe the metrics that you found.” Each archetype needs to show up in your life. Every single one can show up all day long, but which one we need to be, that’s when you know you can stand in your greatness.

                                    Even though someone says, “I’m only this,” we’re all of them. We’re the sum of all our parts, and that’s from Jung. Jung talks about that. We’re not fragmentations of ourselves. We’re not just our strengths. We’re our weaknesses, and we’re the weaknesses and strengths at all times. The answer to your many questions that you asked me in the beginning: We are the sum of all these parts, we are the who we need to be, and there are parts within us that we have to accept because what we don’t own ends up owning us.

Debra:                     Lolly, I’m fortunate that this program is watched and listened to in 64 countries. I would be curious, does this apply across cultures, across countries? Are we talking about humanity, or is it only for you know … I think I know the answer, but I’m just wondering if other people might be wondering that?

Lolly:                        What a great question. The thing is my practice is global. It’s across 14 countries, across six languages. I, myself, speak many languages, and it’s not gender specific. It has nothing to do with the biases that we have about each other or anything like that, because, if you read the book, it’s based on virtues. Virtues are universal, and virtues are the essence of who we are as a human being. This is a book about being the best version of being the human being. Who does it apply to? Everyone who is breathing. Everyone who wants to create within them, achieve within them, greatness.

Debra:                     That’s a great, great answer, and often people with disabilities, when you’re looking at it from that lens or as we go through our lifetimes, as we age and we start acquiring disabilities, and I’m using that word in the biggest sense, I think sometimes we listen to the rhetoric that others tell us and we think maybe we can’t be great because … I like the example that you gave in that we’re different archetypes at different times, because I do feel like I’m a truth teller, and it’s hard for me in a way because I also want to be that nice girl that never says anything anybody don’t want to hear. I’ve realized that over the years I can’t be that person, because it’s inauthentic and it’s not fair. You have to a truth teller.

                                    Also, we discussed when you were on “Access Chat” about the imposter syndrome. I often feel like an imposter. It’s like, “Well, who do you think you are? Just a mother from you know.” I thought some of the statistics you talked about with the imposter syndrome, the numbers were very shocking. You want to talk about that a little?

Lolly:                        Absolutely. In my research, I have found that 99%, actually it’s higher now, it’s 99.9%, of individuals, high-achieving individuals, suffer from the imposter syndrome. The imposter syndrome sounds like this: You feel as an individual that you are not good enough, that you are not smart, and that you’re not skilled enough. You’re so fearful of being found out that is causes you to have severe anxiety. It causes you to have self-doubt. It exists within all of us, and I think I joked to you last time, I actually coach that 1% of the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. The problem with him is he has no empathy. He doesn’t understand why people can’t do what they need to do. I have to teach him empathy.

                                    For most of us, we do suffer from self-doubt. Not once a day, not twice a day. Maybe many times a day. There’s ways to leverage the self-doubt within us. There are ways that we can become who we need to be even though we have self-doubt and even though we feel like an imposter.

Debra:                     I agree. Lolly, I know that … Once again, big, big fan of “The Leadership Gap”. I follow your work on many social media platforms, but for those that are not familiar with your work, would you talk a little bit more about what you do for a living besides being an author and an influencer? Tell us more about what you’re doing.

Lolly:                        For the past three decades, I have been working with top leaders around the world, and they consist of Fortune 500 CEOs. They exist to be executives at a very high level, the C-suites, and in the past 10 years they’ve become entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs who are visionary, tough minded, and competitive, that really want to succeed. I sit on a couple of boards, and so basically my day is spent with individuals who are truly looking to make an impact in the world and wanting to make a difference. Being an author and writing for many platforms, that’s not what I do for a living. It’s really about helping others reach their fullest potential so they can go on to make an impact in the world.

Debra:                     Lolly, there are a lot of people that say that they’re business coaches, and they’re executive coaches, and they’re personal coaches. I’ve had some really talented coaches on my program, but the work that you’re doing, it just … I don’t know. It just is different and very valuable. When I was reading some of the examples you were using in the book of the archetypes, I saw myself often. I was fascinated by it, and I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind just digging in a little bit more into that for us?

Lolly:                        One thing that I’ve been told over and over again that people that are reading my book are shocked that a Fortune 500 CEO has just as much self-doubt as everybody else. They suffer from the imposter syndrome. They suffer from what it’s like not have trust. They suffer from leading from their gap, and story after story, they’re very human stories. We can really relate to them. We say, “This sounds like me.” Most of the people that read the book say to me, “How did you know me so well?” Again, it goes back. It’s a human book. This is universal. We’re more alike than you think we are, and so when I’m talking to one, I feel like I’m talking to many. It is that I’m even in the book. I’m on every page. I poured out my heart.

                                    I coach on a level that’s very, as I always tell my clients, it’s heart based leadership. It comes from my heart. I’m being authentic with you. I’m being real with you. I’m being a truth teller with you, and I don’t have time for games, because we are trying to make an impact on the world. We’re trying to make a difference, so let’s get it right. Right? The thing is, let’s call it a human book. Not “The Leadership Gap”, but “The Human Book.”

                                    Let’s go back to what you asked for, so people who are listening to this can understand what we’re talking about. The book is broken up into seven archetypes, and it has an acronym of RETHINK. The reason it is RETHINK is because most of us spend our lives thinking and thinking and thinking. What I have found is great leaders rethink. Rethink who they are as they are leading. If they are rethinking, who are they being? They’re being the rebel for R, they’re being the explorer, they’re being the truth teller, they’re being the hero, the inventor, the navigator, and the knight.

                                    Debra, we have to understand that within these archetypes, these are just the greatness parts of the archetypes. There is a polarity of character so we know that for every rebel there is an imposter. For every explorer, there is an exploiter. For every truth teller, there is a deceiver. For every hero, there is a bystander. For every inventor, there is a destroyer. For every knight, there is a mercenary. If we are aware of that, we can always choose, “Will I lead from my greatness, or will I lead from my gaps?”

Debra:                     Lolly, what stops us? I remember this gentleman that is a friend of mine and now he’s mentoring. He wanted to start his own business, and he said, “Debra, I really want to do this, but tell me how you got over the fear of doing it?” That really made me laugh. I said, “Oh. I didn’t get over the fear. I just walked through it, and I’m trying lately to really lean in to the fear,” using Sheryl Sandberg’s term but, “Sort of lean in and say, ‘Okay, why are you here? I honor you. What do I have to learn from you?'”

                                    It’s interesting because I am having a lot of success in my career, and I love the work I’m doing, but sometimes I have this competitive person in me that’s like, “Oh. Di di di di,” talking to me. It’s like, “Go away. I can’t be a great person if my small ego’s talking, but what do you have to say to me?” Can we learn from our fears so that we can really lean into our greatness?

Lolly:                        One of the things you can quote Sheryl, and I’ll quote Mark Twain. Mark Twain said that “Courage is the resistance of fear, not the absence of fear.” I think that we’re constantly fearful about something. We’re human beings, and when we are trying to take ourselves to the next level, the first reaction is fear. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s like a gut reaction. I live up to Mark Twain. It’s like, “Yes, the fear is there, but I’m going to have the resistance towards it.” It’s almost like that famous book “Feel the Fear but Do It Anyway”. I feel the fear, but I’m going to do it anyway.

                                    The thing is, I think fear is not always here to teach us a lesson. Sometimes it wants to tell us to play small. Sometimes it’s wanting to tell us not to take ourselves to the next level. Sometimes it’s be okay with the status quo. You have to be very careful of the driver of the ego, which is fear. As I think I told you last time, ego is edging greatness out. Whoever feeds that ego that wants to edge greatness out, it keeps us playing small. It keeps us stuck, and so we just have to identify what we’re dealing with so we can leverage those moments. Fear can be a learning lesson, but fear can keep you stuck. You decide what you want to be. I think the basis of all of this is we have a choice at every given moment to step back or to step forward, to lean in or to lean back.

Debra:                     So good. So good. Right now, Lolly, there’s so much fear and negativity and disruption going on. I know that in the work that I do with Ruh Global Communications, last fall we decided to change directions. I knew in my soul it was the right decision, but when you change directions sometimes the money has to catch up, that little money flow. There have been times that, I just had it happen a couple times to me this week, and it felt like I was being told, “No”, just by events happening. I felt like I was being told, “No. You can’t do it that way, what are you thinking? You can’t,” when I know I have to do it this way and that knowing when to get out of … Like you said, maybe fear doesn’t always have something to teach us, but it’s here to limit us.

                                    It seems like there’s a lot of fear right now about what’s happening in different countries, and are we going to … Is it possible to move past the negative and find our greatness? I’ll say one more thing Lolly. I know that I was very troubled by the elections in the United States, and I won’t go too far into that, but I remember just being really traumatized and really scared. Then I just go this very quiet voice that said, “Or, what you can do is just focus on what good you can do in the world and not worry about what other things are happening that, by the way, you have no control over.” I just felt I was being told, “I need you to become more great, not less great and paralyzed by fear.” You must be seeing this a lot in your practice all over the world?

Lolly:                        Again, if I had a pen, I’d be writing down everything you’re saying. You’re brilliant in what you’re saying. You’re so smart in what you’re doing. Your heart is in the right place. Let’s go with the first thing that you said, because you talked about change.

                                    I want to talk about the change. Great leaders are great because they’re able to see the curve behind the bend. They’re able to see that change needs to be made, and that they need to follow the change before the change is gone. Leaders see the change and follow it. It’s that curve. It’s that little bend. I’ve seen this over again in hundreds of organizations at top levels. When we say, “There needs to be change,” there’s pushback. “We don’t want change. We’re doing well. We’re doing so great.” Then, when you make the change, they complain, “Can’t you be changing fast enough?”, which is so typical, but it happens in every organization and in every industry.

                                    If you’re seeing the curve and you see the need for change, grab it and take it and follow it, because that’s where it needs to go. Most people are telling you, long before they know what they want, they’re telling you what they need. If you can pick up on that nuances, follow it, and give it to them, that’s how you create great change, transformation, and success. That [inaudible 00:22:01] change.

Debra:                     That is so powerful what you just said. We transcribe and caption our videos so that everybody can hear them. There’s a bunch of tweets in there I’m going to have to share, because I just am really impressed. I’m very impressed with your brain Lolly. Very impressed with your brain.

Lolly:                        Actually, it’s very mutual because you’re quite brilliant yourself. I want to address the second thing that you said, and I want to talk about this because we can tend to get very troubled by one person’s actions. We can get caught up on what that one person is doing and how that one person is undoing everything that we’ve tried to do. The moment we step into their space with them, the moment we shine a spotlight on him, is the moment we take away the spotlight from what we can do. If we’re only concentrated here, “What is he doing? How is he having it undone? What are the craziness he’s saying?”, and we keep highlighting it and mentioning it and giving it the attention, we’re taking away from what we can do as individuals to change.

                                    As you said, spend the time on thinking. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see.” How can you be the change? What can you do? Start small. Start within yourself then ripple out. The Talmud talks about this. Don’t go changing the world. Start by changing within yourself first. Change in your backyard. Change in your community. Change within your family. Then go out, and if you need to, change larger and change in your organization. Change the world, but start small. See what you could do. Have an impact.

                                    There’s a thing in Hebrew, which is called Tikkun Olam, which means, “What is the purpose of my life?” Everybody wants to know what is the purpose, and people think, “I have to go out and invent maybe this medicine,” or, “I have to go out and create this company.” The truth is what our soul is being asked of, what our Tikkun Olam, what our true purpose in our lives are, is to make small differences every single day. It doesn’t have to be impactful. If out here is crazy, and you don’t resonate with it, don’t spend your time there. Don’t spotlight it. Don’t tweet it. Don’t respond to it, because those kinds of people only become bigger when you respond to it. If they become invisible, you know what happens to them? They wither away, so don’t spend time there. Think to yourself, “What is my Tikkun Olam? What is my time? What is my purpose, and what are little, small things that I could do every single day to make a difference?”

                                    Guess what? It could be even as small as smiling at someone, hugging someone, calling someone because you know they’re blue. Don’t think we have to go out and be the biggest impact. There’s small things that really matter. Let’s become those human beings that do small, beautiful things to change and impact people’s lives.

Debra:                     That’s so well-said. That’s so well-said. I think that if more of us do that and concentrate on making a difference … I agree it’s just small things. Being kind to the cashier that’s checking you out and really relating to them as a human being instead of spending the whole time you’re there ignoring them and on the phone and dismissing them. I think that’s very wise.

                                    I know quite a few people, Lolly, including myself, that have gone on media diets. I’m on social media a lot, but when I see negative things trending and ugly things being said, I don’t participate. I don’t tweet. I don’t post. I don’t favorite. I have really, really reduced the amount of time that I’m watching political comedies, I’m watching the news. I pretty much don’t watch them. My mother said to me, “You’re putting your head in the sand. You’re not staying away, and how can you be a global strategist if you’re not paying attention?” Well, even though I’m very deliberately cutting that out, I still get it. It still comes to me in little pieces. Every time it happens, I keep thinking there’s nothing I can do about that, and I’m not even sure if I’m hearing the whole truth there. It feels like I’m just getting a piece of the truth, so why give up my piece of mind, because then I can’t find my greatness?

                                    I know so many people that are trying to walk that path. Do you think that’s the direction … What is your advice for us?

Lolly:                        That’s a big question. The thing is, I’m not here to tell anybody what to do. I’m a humble human being trying to make an impact in my own life with lives that I’m surrounded with. The thing is I can only talk for myself. I don’t take a media diet. I want to know everything that is being said. I want to be aware of it, but there’s a difference. Before, I found that I was being very reactive, and now I want to be very responsive. Meaning, when I see something that sounds very narcissistic, when I see something that is ego-driven, I want to write an article. I want to tweet something that can show you what’s the other side that if we’re not narcissistic. I want to show you the good. I want to concentrate on everything that is virtuous, so we keep sane. I don’t want to dance at their party. I want to create my own dance party, but I want to know what music is being played in the other room. Does that make sense? It’s like, I want to-

Debra:                     It’s so powerful. I haven’t heard anybody say that, Lolly, either. Everybody’s saying, “Go on a news diet.” No. It’s very wise. I love it.

Lolly:                        I can’t say that, only because my parents are Holocaust survivors, and if I was born into a house where you don’t ignore … If only we didn’t ignore, then we would’ve known. I come from the aftereffects and the scar tissue of having Holocaust survivor parents. They said, “If I only knew … If we only did … If we could’ve done …” I never want to be able to say that. Am I aware of the dysfunction? Absolutely. Do I turn a blind eye? Absolutely not. My part is to keep it sane. My part is to keep it … What is virtuous? Keep reminding us. What is good? Keep reminding you. What does it mean that we get a group of people together and they are forgetting that they’re talking about other human beings’ lives? They’re talking about other people’s health?

                                    I think like, “They have health insurance. They get the need that they need, but yet they’re not allowing other people to have that? Where’s the virtue in that?” I go back to virtues, and I think if we go back to our virtues, we always have a winning game. We might feel like we’re losing, but it’s the only way I know how to remain sane.

Debra:                     Wow, Lolly. You humble me with your answers. It’s just really beautiful, beautiful thing. I agree. I will tell you I haven’t heard anybody else say that. I think what you’re saying is very wise. I don’t think that we need to, and you’re not saying that we need to, immerse ourselves in all the ridiculous drama, but I love that point. I think that’s very, very powerful.

Lolly:                        I’m very aware, but I always tell my clients, “There’s a movie going on on this side, on this screen. I see it. I’m aware of it, but I don’t want to participate in it. I don’t want to become a lead actor in it, but I have to know what’s going on so that I need to know what I need to do. In my little world, what I need to do.” The moment I stop doing something … In the book, it talks about being a bystander. A bystander hears something, but doesn’t say anything, sees something, and does nothing. I’m not a bystander. I’m not fearful. I will say things, but I will do it in my way. My way is the virtuous way, what I know. I’m not saying I’m the most virtuous person, but what I’m saying is I want to keep reminding myself to go back to trust, to go back to respect another like you want to be respected, to go back to loyalty, to go back to all those wonderful things that keep you grounded.

                                    Integrity. Integrity’s not always doing what is easy. Sometimes we have to do what is hard. If each one of us took that stand, we would have a whole different vibration in the world.

Debra:                     Wow. That is beautiful. That is beautiful. I hope Oprah’s watching this, because we need you on “Super Soul Sunday”, one of my favorite shows. I’m going to keep tweeting that. Lolly, I want to be mindful of your time, so what I would like you to do if you don’t mind, I know that people can get “The Leadership Gap.” I highly, highly, highly recommend it. Very fun, interesting, powerful read. Tell us, have you written any other books? How can people find out about your work? How can we learn more about Lolly?

Lolly:                        I write almost 100 articles a month, and you can find me on Ink. There’s a new article on Ink every day. There’s a new blog post on my website LollyDaskal.com. This is my first big book with a publisher, but I have other little books that my clients have begged me to write. Those are Lollyisms, where they have these little sayings that I constantly say that they want to remember them, so they’ve asked me to put the quotes in a book. I have two other books, but they’re quotes, which I call Lollyisms. This is the biggest book that I’ve ever written with a big publisher, and it’s actually my life’s work. It’s the system and the tool and the mythology and the philosophy that I follow every single day. Actually, every minute of every single day. Get the book “The Leadership Gap” on any Amazon or go into a bookstore and buy the book. You can find me at LollyDaskal.com or on all social media platforms.

Debra:                     Lolly, thank you for your work. You’re changing my life, and you’re changing so many other people’s lives for the positive.

Lolly:                        Thank you.

Debra:                     Thank you for being on the program Lolly. You honor me, and you honor all of us. Thank you.

Lolly:                        You honor me too. Thank you so much.


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You’ve been listening to “Human Potential at Work” with Debra Ruh. To learn more about Debra and how she can help your organization, visit RuhGlobal.com. If you’ve enjoyed today’s episode and you want to make sure that you don’t miss any future episodes, go to iTunes and subscribe to the podcast “Human Potential at Work”. Thanks so much for listening, and we’ll be back next week with a new episode.