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The Proteus Leader Show #33: Getting to Greatness

Erika closes the year with executive coach, leadership expert and speaker Lolly Daskal focusing on how leaders can “access their greatness” by choosing the beliefs and behaviors that will take them where they want to go- the core of her book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness. They share actions leaders take right now to get clearer about their own gaps and begin to close them.

Intro: 00:01 You're listening to the Proteus Leader Show with Erika Andersen, where you'll get practical tools and insights for leading, managing and staying ready for the future. Erika is the founding partner of Proteus, a firm that focuses uniquely on leader readiness. A nationally known executive coach and bestselling author, you may already know her as one of the most popular leadership bloggers on Ready for something you can use today? Here's Erika.

Erika: 00:30 Hello everyone and welcome back to the Proteus Leader show. Today's guest is executive coach and leadership expert and speaker, Lolly Daskal. She's the founder and CEO of Lead From Within, and her leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for readers who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives and the world. Wow, I am so glad to have you on the show.

Lolly: 00:56 It's a real privilege. Thank you for having me.

Erika: 00:59 Oh, you're so welcome. So let's focus on your latest book, which is called The Leadership Gap; What Gets Between You and Your Greatness. I really think your insights and experience in the realm of leadership will be very interesting to our listeners and right what they're looking for when they join us. So, let me start by asking you: you've said that you help the leaders you work with identify what stands between them and their greatness. Can you share with our leaders a little bit more about what that looks like?

Lolly: 01:26 Absolutely. What maybe some people don't realize is that we have within us a polarity of character. Every strength that we have, some people call it a weakness, I call it a leadership gap. In psychology, we call it our shadows and so when we try to do something, when we try to accomplish something, when we want to be successful, our intentions might be right, but there are some patterns within us, some kind of behavior, some kind of habit or skill that will keep us from being that great successful individual. So I'll give you an example because it sounds very abstract, but I want people to really get it and understand it in order to have an Aha moment. And so think about it this way. Any individual that wants to make an impact in the world needs to have the confidence to do it. And that sounds very simple.

Lolly: 02:27 We always say to people, What is confidence? Confidence is about believing in yourself. Right? But there's more to confidence than that because the polarity of character that happens to us when we want to make an impact is that most of us in my research, 99 percent of us suffer from the imposter syndrome, and that means that every time we try to achieve something or every time we want to take ourselves to the next level or anytime you want to do something we haven't done before, there's that polarity of character that shows up and says, "You're not good enough. You're not capable. You're not smart enough." And if we're not aware of this gap, this shadow, then it'll cost us our greatness.

Erika: 03:14 Gotcha. Okay. So it's like vectors. You have this vector going toward something and then, from your experience, that vector of 'I'm not good enough' , that kind of imposter syndrome, is going exactly the opposite direction.

Lolly: 03:27 Right. So I've identified seven archetypes in my book, the leadership gap, it's called the rethink system. It's an acronym for seven archetypes that in our leadership, in our business, in our lives, in our success, we bump up against these individuals within ourselves. And if we're not conscious of them, if we're not aware of them, it will end up costing us.

Erika: 03:51 Gotcha. So can you tell us what they are?

Lolly: 03:54 Absolutely. So think about rethink. It's the rebel, the explorer, the truth teller and hero, the inventor, the navigator, and the night. I want to talk about the navigator just for one second because this pertains to every single person that I've ever encountered and I'm sure it has to do with every person listening to your podcast. So think about this. A navigator is an individual, the archetype of someone who's very capable in what they do. They've had some success in their lives. People come to them for advice or they're very good at solving problems. They're very practical. They're very pragmatic and people trust them. But this is what happens: there's a polarity of character. The navigator who's very pragmatic, who's very practical, has a gap called the fixer. The fixer is an individual that when people come to you with a problem, guess what you do immediately, you jump in to be the fixer and what you're not realizing is that it is costing you. It is costing you because people think you're arrogant. People are not coming to you to fix things for them. They're coming to you to listen and to be silent. If we can take this one takeaway and have this Aha moment that anybody that comes to you that says, I have a problem, then you need to just listen, but if they come and say, I have a problem, can you help me fix it? Then you fix it. Otherwise, as a rule never fix it because it's not a win win situation.

Erika: 05:33 Oh that's wonderful. So the fixer is the navigator's strength overused or used inappropriately?

Lolly: 05:39 I think of it as a shadow. I call those the gaps. It Is where the navigator that knows the answer, the leader that knows what to do and they tell their team, they tell their company, they tell people. They tell their customers what to do. Nobody wants to be told what to do. They want to be navigated, and so they, help by asking the right questions, by listening. The best coach asks the right questions. Why? Because then they get the individual to say the answers that are within themselves, which is very empowering.

Erika: 06:13 Oh, that's great. This is obviously the very tip of the iceberg and I strongly encourage people to read your book since we only have a few minutes. Based on your experience, what are some of the biggest obstacles to closing these gaps?

Lolly: 06:31 The thing is the awareness of them. If we don't have the awareness that the rebel turns into the imposter and the navigator turns into the fixer, then we don't know what to do in situations. The great thing about my book is once you know the rethink system, you can become almost like your inner coach and you can ask yourself in any meeting, any conversation, "Who do I need to be in order to bring out my greatness?" Once you can identify the archetype, you won't fall into the gap. You won't bring out that shadow because you're very aware of who you need to be, not what you need to do, but who you need to be, which I feel is very important.

Erika: 07:11 So the obstacle is just lack of awareness.

Lolly: 07:14 Exactly. If you don't know there is a shadow, as I always say to my clients, what you don't own owns you. So if you don't own the parts that feel like the imposter, if you don't own the parts that you're are the fixer, it's going to own you and cost you in your leadership and success

Erika: 07:35 I find this so fascinating. So owning is being aware and then what?

Lolly: 07:39 Okay, owning it and then making a choice, because most of us feel like we don't have choices, but we have choices of who we're going to be in that moment. I'll bring out another archetype which is very important. The knight is an individual that says, how can I help you? How can I support you? How can I be loyal? The gap is what have you done for me? The mercenary. What about me? What about me? If a leader is always using 'me, me, me, I, I' It's not the kind of leadership that people want to follow. Sometimes you lose the best talent in an organization because a leader is taking all the credit thinking they're the ones that brought success to the company. No, it's all of us. How can we work together, be loyal to each other, have each other's backs? Because an individual that thinks they do everything on their own will stand on an island by their own. People will leave them.

Erika: 08:37 Yes, I completely agree. So then you become aware of and become aware of the archetypes and their shadows, and then you make a choice and then literally what do you encourage people to do?

Lolly: 08:53 Absolutely. Find out what does it take to be confident. So let's go back to the rebel. See, you have to find out what the driver is of the imposter syndrome and then you know what to do and then you know the choices. So the driver of the imposter syndrome is that the second that you start looking over your shoulder and use these words. Oh, look at Erika, look what she's doing. Oh, why can't I be like her? Oh, look at him. Why is he doing that? Why can't I be like him? The moment you start using language like that of looking over your shoulder is the moment we step into the imposter syndrome because then we'll never be good enough. So, thing is that we have to know is the driver of what causes us to fall into our gaps and then we have to say, okay, if that's true if we're busy comparing ourselves to others, that keeps us from who we need to be, so what do I do now that I have this awareness, I have a choice and the choices to lead from within. That means that the only way you're gonna win, the only way you'll bring out your greatness and success is to measure by your own inner core competence and capabilities because confidence is just believing you're able, and competence is knowing you're able. So work on your skills, work on your competence in order to be more confident.

Erika: 10:18 That's great. So it sounds like, if I'm understanding you right, a lot of what you're talking about is how we talk to ourselves.

Lolly: 10:25 Or, really the awareness of ourselves; what is our self talk. What are we saying? What are we thinking? How are we behaving? Because everybody that I talked to and I've been doing this for almost three decades, people always say to me, Lawley, I need a process. I need a process to be a better leader. And I always say to them, if I'm going to tell you the how, then you're not going to be a great leader. We first have to figure out the who are you going to be? If you can figure out the archetype, then the how will come, the y will come, but what will come? So figure out for who you are. That means your self talk. That means the negativity and thoughts. That means the awareness of self, and then learn to lead from within. So you have a choice.

Erika: 11:16 Wonderful. Not only do you express it so clearly, it would be impossible for me to really do everything you're saying is resonating with me. And I suspect with with our listeners too, so thank you so much. It's so great to talk to you. After all the years of indirect communication on social media.

Lolly: 11:35 It's a true honor to finally speak to you.

Erika: 11:38 I feel exactly the same way. Listeners, you can find The Leadership Gap online and in bookstores everywhere. And if you'd like to find out more about how Proteus approaches leadership, which as I said, is very much aligned with what you're saying, Lolly, just go to and click on the Accepted Leader topic. Thank you all for being with us today and until next time, here's to creating the life you truly want.

Outro: 12:02 We hope you're feeling better equipped to create the career, the business and the life you want. For more insights and tools for leadership and management, join us Have an excellent day and thanks for listening.