The Leadership Gap

We have started 2013 on an accelerated pace.

We cannot help ourselves because the pressure of constant innovation, information, and 24/7 work cycles is rampant.

It seems like the world is spinning faster and the conversation are becoming shorter.

Between social media and social platforms, nothing is static – and it’s only getting more viral.

Our leadership of power is not acceptable anymore, and our organizational systems are not prevailing anymore.


Because the further we move into innovation and information, the more we come to understand something needs to change and change fast.

Transparency and authenticity are the new buzzwords, but are we willing to dive deeper to see the bigger issue?

Are we capable of holding up the mirror to our old ways and finding the courage to say we need new ones?

In big corporations and organizations, the answer is usually no.

We have no time.

Because we need speed. We need impact. We need it faster and we need it NOW.

Let’s be honest: When you tell most leaders to connect with their organization, they ask “Why?”

When you tell them they need to find the soul of their company, they ask “What do you mean?”

When you tell a leader that his team’s most important aspect is heart, they roll their eyes.

So if information is changing, but big business and leadership are not…what happens?

We have a leadership gap.

Something has to give, or the void will widen into a major disconnect.

And so I ask you to courageously to consider what it will take to move past being soullessness, heartlessness and cluelessness of our leadership?

What will it take for us to join together and try something new?

It takes risk. Risk to invest. Risk to invent and risk to invite. New ways. New methods, new language, and new leadership

And it needs to happen now.

Lead From Within:  As leaders who desire to make a difference, we need to decide whether we want to  ride the wave of  innovation and information and leadership, or be left behind. The risk you take is your investment in yourself, your life, your world, and your in purpose.

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.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR,, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

  1. Jen McGahan

    15. Jan, 2013

    Hi Lolly. Crazy times indeed. Maybe it’s more likely that the soulful people who get it will step up and take leadership roles, than leaders who don’t get it will change their stripes. The gap will be filled either way.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Graham Cowle

    16. Jan, 2013

    Thanks Lolly,

    Yopu are so right to be provocative. Our leaders need to self disciver themselves and a transformation in the world. It is crucial. Can I recommend a very good book – The leader on the Couch by Manfred Kets de Vries.

    Graham Cowle

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      17. Jan, 2013

      Thank you Graham for your recommendation. I feel I needed to be provocative because I have been in too many meetings lately where everyone using the word fast and furious when it comes to business and people.

      And it worries me. I believe we need to slow down to go faster, go deeper to go wider.

      Thanks for stopping by and adding to my thoughts.

      Reply to this comment
  3. Rob Moddemeijer

    16. Jan, 2013

    Dear Lolly,

    there is no leadership gap. Leaders, in the traditional way, have become obsolete. The new “leader” is a servant, who helps swarms of people find direction and work together.
    He/she is one of the swarm, and his purpose is to give some vision of possible achievement, some guidance in finding directions, and mediation to keep the swarm together to the point where it will, for certain, split into different swarms with (slightly) different courses to different paths of acting.

    The workforce will have to understand they are leading as a (temporary) collective, the “leader” will have to understand that its role is giving directive and motivational guidance to enable the workforce to stick together as long as it is mutual benificiary.

    I believe that, if this is what you adress to as “leadership gap”, then you are right. But I wouldn’t call it leadership, because what is necessary is just one of the roles in the workingforce. No hierarchy, just use of natural skills and experience.


    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      17. Jan, 2013

      Dear Rob,

      I really appreciate your thoughts, I like the way you use the term, they are leading as a temporary collective.
      Yes. a leader has to be directive and yes they need to give guidance. I agree.

      The leadership gap is when leader forget that they need to be present. be available. be real. be trustworthy. be open.
      They need to remember to not have a great divide, but always communicate. always connect and always be compassionate.

      Leaders need to make sure that their people know they matter and are important.

      Do not keep moving to far ahead from what is important. That is the gap.
      Stay with your people. be with your people. Do not be heartless, clueless or mindless.

      People matter.
      You matter.
      We matter.

      Reply to this comment
  4. Bill Saragosa

    17. Jan, 2013

    Hello Lolly,

    Thanks for the interesting article. “Leadership Gap” is a good term, It sounds like a lack of heart, a dose of cluelessness, and a sprinkle of missed opportunities for compassion.

    Now I am thinking of ways I might apply the thoughts you just inspired, into action in my own practice.

    Greetings from Germany,

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      17. Jan, 2013

      Thank you Bill for stopping by all the way from Germany. I believe we need to be mindful when it comes to our leadership.
      Leaders are movers, but they must understand if they move to fast, they might leave a wake behind without anyone following them.
      I urge leaders to have heart, to stay connected, and to be aware of their surroundings, so they can stay open with their communications at all times.

      Be concerned. be compassionate. be connected. always communicate.


      Reply to this comment
  5. Tom Rochford

    17. Jan, 2013

    Interesting idea! As I read this piece one phrase stuck out “Transparency and authenticity are the new buzzwords…”

    I agree that transparency and authenticity are important but I’m not so sure they’re new concepts. Both words bring to mind a single word – Trust!

    Leaders can be fast and they can be bold but the key is whether or not we trust them and what they say. I believe your idea is valid if the leaders use the tools available to spread the word of their organization. However, if they only seek to advertise and not inform or seek stardom without performance then speed is the least of the problems.

    You’ve hit on something very unique and I’ll be interested in following the response to this topic.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      17. Jan, 2013

      For me transparency and authenticity is not a new buzz word. But I hear leaders use it like its a new concept.
      And its sad.

      Transparency and authenticity is and should always be part of our leadership. I guess i was being sarcastic but did not come across that way.

      Leaders should have heart, mind and guts. They should be bold and trustworthy.
      Be open. Be able. Be inclusive.

      And lace all that they do, with a servant soul and a lead from within heart.

      I believe we need to go deeper into our leadership to have a wider influence.

      I appreciate your comments and I look forward to discuss this some more.


      Reply to this comment
  6. Jonathan Sickert

    17. Jan, 2013

    Happen to work inside one of those large multi-nationals, this perspective is right on the mark….

    Another good book related to this dichotomy is “Turn the Ship Around” by David Marquet.

    It’s about moving from a leader/follower to leader/leader model inside of a rigid, bureaucratic environment of a nuclear class submarine in the Navy!

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      17. Jan, 2013

      Thanks for the recommendation of Turn the Ship Around” by David Marquet.

      And its true we need to learn on how to move from leader/follower to leader/leader.

      Really appreciate your golden nuggets of thoughts.


      Reply to this comment
  7. Rob Moddemeijer

    17. Jan, 2013


    thanks for your kind reaction.

    I like to add one sentence to your list of “Be’s”. 🙂
    Be one of the participants in the work force, and not above it.

    For: The team is more than the leader, and even more WITH the leader within.


    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      17. Jan, 2013

      Again your words and thoughts are added gems to our thoughts here.

      The team is more than the leader, and even more WITH the leader within.
      This is truth!


      Reply to this comment
  8. The Formula Guy

    18. Jan, 2013

    Hi Lolly

    Love the article and love the discussion after it. I think that the whole thing is summed up for me with the phrase “Leadership is action NOT position” and for leadership to be effective the person leading has to be engaged, truly engaged in whatever it is that their people need at that time.

    Most good leaders know that if they build trust their people will tell them what they need, their job is to then make sure that the obstacles are taken out of the way.

    Often one of the best ways to build that trust is to be there and to be present. There is no substitution for that.

    I take life lessons and I turn them into simple formulas that are easy to remember and I did one on this topic. If you’re interested in it let me know and I will post a link to the article in another comment.

    Love n Hugs

    Reply to this comment
  9. Dilep Misra

    19. Jan, 2013

    Hi Lolly,
    Your small article is very thought provoking..Thank you for this….I feel in today’s context what makes a leader wholesome is passion, learnability and fire in the belly… may sounds little different. I have learned these during the process of developing leaders and seeing them performing at the work place.


    Reply to this comment
  10. Dorothy Dalton

    19. Jan, 2013

    Lolly – well said. I as we teeter on the edge of fiscal cliffs and triple dip recessions – there is indeed a gap. It’s one that leaders need to deal with for sure. Whether they can remains to be seen. Change will be required to succeed because the business as usual philosophy does not seem to be working.

    Reply to this comment
  11. John Paul

    21. Jan, 2013

    In a world of of constant innovation, information, and 24/7 work cycles, value is found in the relationships where meaning is born.

    It is no longer about speed, information, and innovation; these things are ubiquitous and in a sense, democratized, accessible to everyone.

    It is what and how we connect that matters. That is where we distinguish ourselves.

    Reply to this comment
  12. Susan Raisch

    23. Jan, 2013

    I totally agree that there’s a leadership gap. I started out interested in bullying prevention but am now even more interested in leadership as the anti-bully. Teaching leadership from a very young age is so important. I think we have many adults in positions of power that don’t actually know what leadership is but perhaps if they started valuing leadership when they were very young, there would be no gap. This is why, along with award-winning author, Kathryn Otoshi, I’ve developed a leadership campaign for elementary school called One Can Count. “Sometimes it just takes One” so thank you for being one that is making a difference.

    Reply to this comment
  13. Leo

    23. Jan, 2013

    Great article Lolly. As a leader if we are aware and conscious of being transparent and authentic. Then there is nothing to worry about the sweet spot.

    Reply to this comment
  14. dawoodchishti

    04. Jul, 2013

    Let your heart speak, People are too anxious to listen.

    Reply to this comment
  15. dawoodchishti

    04. Jul, 2013

    Feel free to communicate, People will happily join you.

    Reply to this comment
  16. dawoodchishti

    04. Jul, 2013

    Let people find their truth in your words.

    Reply to this comment
  17. Colin Smith

    20. Feb, 2015

    Really enjoyed your post Lolly, thank you.

    I agree with what you are sharing.

    It is accepted that most businesses are primarily focused on the Doing, hence the look on the Leader’s faces when you ask about the heart being the most important aspect. My take is that we need to introduce more Being into the business, (a place where heart, listening, courage, gratitude reside).

    Not to replace Doing, but to engage in more being before the doing.

    Doing is typically driven from the masculine (not just the male) and the Being is from the feminine (not just the female)

    The impact of this will be a shift in the actions taken, the decisions made, the behaviour, the words, the images, etc., which in turn will have a shift in impact/connection with the end customer, as it will resonate with them differently.


    Reply to this comment
  18. Harold Miller

    28. Dec, 2017

    Dear Lolly,

    I’m a middle-aged South African coccatian male, I mention this only due to my perception that political, social and economic circumstances could prohibit leadership growth within an organisation in context of cultural, political and socio-economic situations of a country and an organisation.

    I have commenced reading your writings on the Leadership Gap, and align and identify with many similarities in my own demons, however, in the context I opened with herein, wouldn’t you be of the view that aspirational leaders are ‘constrained’ to achieving success under these circumstances? I find as if my efforts to move up the corporate leadership scale are frustrated by these factors and difficult merchant banking type line managers.

    Warm regards

    Harold Miller
    South Africa

    Reply to this comment

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