The Divided Will Always Be Separated

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He called because everyone on his leadership team said he needed a great coach.

He was head of a large global organization, and the feedback he kept getting is that he was a lousy leader.

I thought to myself, This must be either a brave organization or a desperate one to ask their CEO to seek help. I wouldn’t know which until I spoke to him.

The call was going fine until he said, “Stop asking me questions about myself—let’s do a 360 and figure out what’s wrong, and then you can give me some processes and I will make things right.”

Surprised, I asked him, “What do you mean?”

He said, “Let’s not dive too deeply into who I am as a person. That’s not relevant. What matters here is who I am when I show up at work. And that is all.”

Any leader who thinks that they can divide their personal and professional life is setting themselves up for disillusionment.

Because the honest truth is this: What gets divided gets separated. And the price is high.

Who you are as a person is who you bring to work. The best leaders bring their entire being to work, because they know that who you are says more than any words. There are three essentials to leadership: humility, clarity, and courage—and they require your all

What we try ignore is what we ordinarily highlight. Ignoring something doesn’t mean it isn’t there. In fact, life has a way of highlighting what we try to hide. As someone leading a team or a business, remember that people are looking to you—and noticing the things you choose not to deal with.

When we diverge we are most likely disrupting.  Another strategy for failure is to try to divert a problem to another leader or work group. The only difference between trying to ignore a problem and trying to divert it is that diversion disrupts another work group in addition to your own. If you own it, recognize it and deal with it before it becomes an emergency.

When we don’t deal with conflict it generally comes with a price. When you try to avoid difficult people, strenuous situations, or tough circumstances, you are failing to lead. How many times have you hoped to yourself Maybe if I don’t deal with it, it will go away? And how many times has the situation only grown worse as a result?

When we insist on fooling ourselves we are only deceiving ourselves. If you think you can consistently fool yourself, you’re likely headed for major trouble. Great leadership requires honesty, beginning with yourself. The consequences of long-term deceit are enormous—for you personally and for your organization.

A company, a team, a leader that is divided against itself will never stand.

What’s the difference between a leader and a lousy leader?

A leader works in the open, and a lousy leader is covert.
A leader leads, and a lousy leader doesn’t even drive.
A leader is about integration; the lousy leader is about separation.
 

We are as strong as we are united, and as weak as we are divided.

Lead From Within: What lies within us is what connects us, not separates us. All we need to do is look, listen, learn, and lead. Our humanity and unity are the things that make us strong.

 

 


 

N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now

 


Additional Reading you might enjoy:

 

Photo Credit: Getty Images


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, Inc.com, 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.

23 Responses to “The Divided Will Always Be Separated”

  1. Harib Al Rawahi

    21. Apr, 2015

    Very informative and useful article indeed! Thanks!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Dave Shank

    21. Apr, 2015

    Awesome post like always, Lolly. I had a similar conversation with a leader in my organization. He said he couldn’t understand why people couldn’t just leave their problems at home. I told him that the workplace can never be any better than the attitudes of the people within it. We carry our attitude with us everywhere we go, like a suitcase filled with luggage. We can’t just leave home at home or work at work. People can see straight past our mask. When you meet someone who has self-respect and value-based thinking it shines through and spills into everything they touch. It’s easy to fearlessly follow a great leader when they know why and where they are going. They breathe confidence… they build trust… they care!
    Thank you for sharing.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      22. Apr, 2015

      I hear it all the time Dave, “why can’t they leave their problems at home” Well for most work is home, it’s where they spend most of their day and for some most of their night.

      Where we go we bring all of ourselves.

      Thanks for sharing. I always have much to learn from all.

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  3. Panteli Tritchew

    21. Apr, 2015

    We may have multiple personal, social, and professional settings in which we operate, and multiple personae to deal with those settings. But we have only one moral compass.
    Great post, Lolly.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      22. Apr, 2015

      So right Panteli

      We only have one moral compass and it leads the way, we just have to listen, look, and learn.

      Your comments are always so insightful.

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  4. Roger Laidig

    21. Apr, 2015

    Your message again is ‘right on’.

    One thing that I have noticed is that many top leaders are also narcissists, aren’t they. Because I had the privilege of working along side such people (including myself), I also needed to learn the traits of such people.

    It is a natural instinct of narcissists to compartmentalize areas of our lives. That leads to division and separation personally that bleeds over to the organization. And it’s very frustrating for the team.

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom. Since we all have at least a little narcissism in us, we need your help in seeing our blind spots!

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      22. Apr, 2015

      Roger

      Life is about looking at our blind spots and seeing the wisdom and the light.

      Lets keep shinning it on ourselves so we can do better.

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  5. Igor

    21. Apr, 2015

    Insightful post, especially the story of the CEO that needed this advice and the concise summary of what differentiates a great and lousy leader. Hopefully it inspires more people to be themselves at work as well.

    I’ve also found this to be true in my experience. Automatically I’d switch to a different persona at work early in my career. Had to be confident all the time and never make mistakes. Needless to say I didn’t handle feedback well back then :). It wasn’t until I read about other experienced leaders and worked on being myself that I could build stronger relationships with my colleagues. This not only has helped me be an effective leader, it’s also made coming to work much more enjoyable, actually enjoy receiving any feedback now.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      22. Apr, 2015

      Lousy leaders are everywhere we are looking to groom the leaders that want to Lead From Within.

      Thanks Igor for your comment and sharing your story.

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  6. biki hamza

    21. Apr, 2015

    Thank lolly on this great effort that you’re doing. It’s a story and put really tragic because of the narcissism of leadership and loss of elasticity every failure and will remain failure pursues any leader if presented its own narcissism on humility Thank you for your great wisdom

    Reply to this comment
  7. Clive

    22. Apr, 2015

    Great article Lolly. Out of interest, how did your sessions go with this CEO? Did he identify with your way of thinking and change?

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      22. Apr, 2015

      Clive

      I told him when he was ready to do some work to call me, otherwise get himself a coach that was willing to do what he wanted (360 and processes)

      PS. I was not the coach for him.

      Reply to this comment
  8. Jim Brown

    22. Apr, 2015

    Fantastic article! 360’s are terrific tools and I use them with my clients as much as possible, but… they first need a good long look at who they are, their strengths and weaknesses. In my experience, many of the issues the 360 points out have a lot to do with who the person is and without great self-awareness it will be very difficult to improve. You’ve pointed this out very eloquently, thank you.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Milan

    22. Apr, 2015

    I couldn’t agree more! I especially love this sentence:

    “Ignoring something doesn’t mean it isn’t there.”

    While it’s possible to distract yourself consciously, our emotions and underlying mood will show whether we acknowledge it or not (and will affect others whether they realize it or not)!

    Reply to this comment
  10. Joseph Ludford

    22. Apr, 2015

    I’ve come to understand leadership only after retiring from a career in engineering. The comments about narcissism are really good. I only knew a few “princes” when it comes to leadership where I worked.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Tanya Dennis

    24. Apr, 2015

    Great piece. And applicable to all aspects of life, not just leadership!

    Reply to this comment
  12. Anisa Menza

    30. Apr, 2015

    Lolly you are my inspirer!

    Keep it up with great articles.

    Reply to this comment
  13. Lauren

    30. Apr, 2015

    Wonderful post! A great leader is a leader all the time – at work and even in their personal lives. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply to this comment
  14. Sanaul Haque

    27. Dec, 2016

    > MADAM LOLLY >

    Reply to this comment

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