Ep.019 Attain Freedom By Practicing Excellence

Lolly Daskal Executive CoachLolly Daskal, Leadership Executive Coach, Speaker, Author

Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world.
Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies.

As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to
be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world. Based on a mix of modern philosophy, science,
and nearly thirty years coaching top executives, Lolly’s perspective on leadership continues
to break new ground and produce exceptional results.
Of her many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Experts by Inc and 100 Great Leadership Speakers for Your Next Conference and Speakers at your next event by Inc. magazine.
Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post,
and Psychology Today, and others.

Lolly’s proprietary insights are the subject of her new book, The Leadership Gap:
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness, and is available for pre- order


Attain Freedom by Practicing Excellence

Guest: Lolly Daskal, Leadership development  executive coach

(LollyDaskal.com, TheLeadershipGapBook.com, or on Twitter)

My guest today is Lolly Daskal, author of the book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness. A pioneering force for 30 years in leadership and executive coaching, Lolly never saw the leader as an absolute top-down dictator. Instead, she showed that every person is a leader, that every person has a voice, and that leadership comes from within.

She came to this conclusion after reading hundreds of business books and noticing that most business schools and courses are all about the how, the what, the when. She found that we are missing the who. Her roots in psychology and philosophy told her that the beginning of anything comes from who we are being  as we create it.

And that meant: to achieve success on the outside, learn to master it on the inside.

Who You Are As a Leader is the Core Issue

When companies reach out to a leadership consultant, they tend to want results. Helping any business unit that’s underperforming, however, begins with the leader. Any leader of a struggling business needs to find their unique style and learn to express it more effectively.

That’s where Lolly’s book The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness can help. When you are ready to take responsibility for your business and make it right, this book will help you work through the challenges that impede your best leadership style. While not always an easy exploration, certainly, it can be interesting and rewarding.

In reading between the lines, you could say Lolly is talking about leading from the heart, or even with love. She has a straightforward way of simply saying that: who you are as a leader is the core issue.

A good executive coach can support that thought leader, who is influencing the world around them. Through coaching others to be the best leaders they can be, we coaches serve and impact the world in our own way, which is one of many things I love about this work.

Leadership Archetypes

In her book, Lolly walks readers through her “RETHINK” system. She says there are polarities of character within us that can lead us to greatness. That is, our strengths can lead us to our weaknesses or gaps. When we learn to recognize and master those, we become better leaders.

The “RETHINK” system refers to its seven archetypes: the Rebel, Explorer, Truthteller, Hero, Inventor, Navigator, and Knight. Each type of leader has virtues, such as confidence, integrity, trust, loyalty, intuition, courage. How fully you express the virtues affects your greatness.

For instance, the Navigator is a smart, practical, and pragmatic leader. When a problem arises, it is the Navigator who connects the dots and comes up with solutions. This type of leader is highly trusted; people often come to this person to ask for help.

The opposite polarity, or gap, for the Navigator is the arrogant Fixer, who disempowers those around them. Fixers often don’t feel validated or recognized, so fixers try to have all the answers.

For each archetype, Lolly’s book guides you in you how to bridge your gap. A Fixer, for instance, can figure out why they always need to know everything, and move beyond that need. Secondly, Fixers need to practice withholding unsolicited advice unless asked for it, and genuinely listen to what people say.

Once you know this system and your type of leadership, you can improve yourself and, Lolly says, over and over again, your business and your life sets itself right too.

I’m excited and intrigued by this book, and suggest you share it with your employees and friends. Reading a book is a great way to expand and grow and evolve as a human being. When you reread, you get a different take-away each time, so check it out.

Three Attitudes for Success

Nothing is a straight line from point A to point B. We are constantly changing, constantly being challenged. For Lolly, these three goals helped her keep on track:

  1. Stop being perfect; shift to practicing excellence. The idea of being perfect will stop your personal development or evolution. Lolly decided to let go of trying to be perfect and to work towards doing things with excellence. Immediately, her results improved. She got unstuck and still was happy with her standards.
  2. Embrace the impostor and self-doubt. All of us suffer from impostor syndrome or self-doubt. Lolly’s book teaches you how to leverage that. She believes that we all have to embrace our strengths and weaknesses and work with them instead of allowing it to keep us stuck.
  3.  Stop comparing yourself to others so you can be the best version of you. You will never be someone else. There will always be someone wiser, better, smarter, or prettier than you. If your mission, however, is to serve and show up with authenticity and have people trust you, then you need to stop comparing myself to the other people you will never be. When you do the best you can do, then I you can show up with excellence and, in that way, live from your highest potential.

Gift: A Powerful Tool for Courage and Greatness

Finally, I asked Lolly to share a powerful development tool. While tools to run your business are a dime a dozen—just google them—she gifted us with a nightly ritual she came up with years ago when suffering from self-doubt and comparison.

  1. At the end of the day I ask myself: What did I do today that was great? What did I do that was successful? Sometimes it’s hard to find something good about ourselves… at first. If we practice this every night as a ritual, it helps even out the negative messages we encounter.
  2. Secondly, I ask myself: What did I do today that I can do better tomorrow? Self-doubt comes when we question ourselves or compare ourselves to others. To strive for excellence, you must measure yourself only against yourself. This second part of the ritual calms self-doubt and stops the comparisons.

To take yourself to the next level, set up rituals for yourself that drive towards greatness. Another simple ritual is five minutes of gratitude in the morning.  Discipline in rituals give you freedom in your life.

All you need is a ritual that helps you remember how great you are, how valuable you are, and that greatness lies within you, and you will do better the next day.

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