Transcript of Why Great Leadership is About Great Self Awareness

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John Jantsch: Great leadership is increasingly about great self-awareness. This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, a visit with Lolly Daskal, author of the leadership gap and we discussed the different archetypes, the different values that great leaders lead from and how understanding their weaknesses in those values is actually the secret and the key to really living in their greatness. Check this episode out, everybody leads everybody needs to listen on this one.

Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch and my guest today is Lolly Daskal – a global leadership coach and business consultant and author of The Leadership Gap. What gets between you and your greatness? So Lolly, thanks for joining me.

Lolly Daskal: John, thanks for having me. I’ve been wanting to talk to you for a while. So I’m happy we’re doing it now.

John Jantsch: Yeah, I was hesitating getting into how long people have been doing thing. But I’ve been doing this for a couple decades at least and you’re somebody that I’m certainly bumped into over the years. So it’s amazing we’ve never actually chatted.

Lolly Daskal: Alright, I’m doing it for 3 decades and I’m proud of it, because I feel like I’ve paid my dues.

John Jantsch: So when it comes to the title of your book, I was like to start with the obvious, what is the gap?

Lolly Daskal: This is interesting. Before I say what it is in between, I want to talk about what most people think it might be. So some people think that when you talk about the leadership gap, you talk about weaknesses. Most people only want to talk about their strengths. Many people just want to hide behind their weaknesses and what I have done is I have unmasked, I have revealed all the dark secrets that you might have that might be leading you from your leadership gap and I’m telling you in my book, over and over again, leverage those parts that you’re shameful of, that you don’t like and learn to leverage them in order to stand in your greatness. I think, that is the most best message that you can take from this book.

John Jantsch: Well, it runs a little counter to a thread that’s out there and has been out there for years when people said, no, prop up your strengths don’t worry about your weakness so much. Everybody spends time on the weaknesses but you got to spend time on the stuffs that’s already working for you.

Lolly Daskal: Right, in every chapter, I talk about one of my clients who were hiding because exactly what you just said which was so brilliant. Most of us read books and we have coaches and mentors that tell us go from your strengths. And leaders that I coach are like these are my strengths. And then I tell story after story, how they were blind to the weaknesses that they had and I always tell my clients what you don’t own, owns you. You’ll hear story after story, how their weaknesses were showing and they didn’t even know it.

John Jantsch: So there was are a tremendous twittable moment there, that’s brilliant. Lot of people think of a leader as that that’s the person that runs this company or that’s the person that is head of this department, but to a large degree, doesn’t everyone lead.

Lolly Daskal: Absolutely and I’m so happy that you said that because when people ask me usually from stage and conferences and in workshops and one on one coaching – who is a leader? And I always say if you are influencing someone, if you’re impacting someone’s life, you are a leader. It’s apparent, it’s the coach, it’s someone that’s important to you, it’s someone who advises you. So it’s not only the title or the position. If you’re impacting someone and you’re advising someone, you’re making a difference in someone’s life; you are a leader.

John Jantsch: Now we’ll go to the person that is clearly has the title that people associate us with a leader. Is one of the issues that so many leaders get sort of forced out of their element because, hey, you’re the best salesperson, now we’re making you the Sales Manager.

Lolly Daskal: I love that. Now you have been promoted because your competence and your capabilities were so great, now you can lead people. But that’s not true. That’s not what makes a great leader. It’s not your capabilities or your competence that make you the kind of leader that people want to follow. It’s a whole new set of skills, it’s a whole new set of rules and most people don’t understand that. They usually promote those that do well, maybe they’re talented. But it’s not your talents that get people to follow you.

John Jantsch: I like to use analogy, there are very few star baseball players that are Managers, it’s always the Backup Catcher that just was really astute at the game studied what everybody did, learned how to get along by sitting on the bench more than out on the field and I think that probably kind of equates to the person that gets promoted unfortunately, in some cases was the star, but certainly didn’t have leader qualities.

Lolly Daskal: You said something so brilliant just now. I want to talk about what you just said, you said it’s the person that sat on the bench that got to know people. That’s the leader. The best leaders of the ones they get to know others. It’s not so much about their capabilities but it’s about investing in other people’s success, getting to know them and like you just talked about, it’s a great analogy. Can I use it next time in a workshop?

John Jantsch: Certainly, certainly. I’m sure I didn’t make it up. I’m just a big Baseball fan.

Lolly Daskal: I just like it. I really like and I like using sports metaphors, people really like them.

John Jantsch: That’s right. So I talked to a lot of business owners. Our listeners to this show are certainly business owners and I will tell you that if I were sort of gut level data, I would tell you that the hardest part about growing a business, for most business owners, is people. I was fine, you know it’s me and whoever started the business we were great, we got under the hood, we made things happen and then all of a sudden we grew and we had to start managing people that now somebody who started a business has to consider themselves a leader and I think that’s probably the hardest part of growing a business.

Lolly Daskal: Absolutely, Absolutely because now it doesn’t rely so much as what we said about your skills. Now you have to learn and expand and grow a new set of skills that maybe nobody’s ever taught you before me.

John Jantsch: You started hinting at and again this is a little bit unfair because you wrote a whole book about the various elements here. Are there just a couple of things that the best leaders do, I mean you just see at time and time again.

Lolly Daskal: I think the best leaders, lead from certain virtues. Every single person that I’ve ever coached, that’s thousands, now over 3 decades, have always said to me, “Teach me the skills of leadership.” And I only say, “I’m not going to teach skills, I’m going to teach you the virtues of leadership, because if you can stand for something, people will follow you. If you stand for respect and loyalty and trust and confidence and courage and candor then people will say, yes that’s something that I find compelling.” I’ve never ever heard an organization, oh wow! He was still good at reading the metrics and dissecting the data. I’ve never heard that, that’s why I admire him. It’s always like, did you see what he did? He stood up for us. He respected us. He’s loyal to us. She spoke to us with truth and candor. Those other things, those are the stories, those are the compelling attributes that leaders have that people want to follow and people want to emulate.

John Jantsch: Yeah and I think a lot of times every situation is difference because in so many cases you’re going to manage a department of something where you get handed this mixed bag of individuals that are there for different reasons and have different skills and have different personalities. And I think that it seems like that the best leaders are those people that seem to just be able to figure out how to get the most out of all the different things.

Lolly Daskal: Yes, they have to get the most out of their people. But they have to recognize them for their uniqueness most people will come in and say, “This is my team, now let’s get it down without even getting to know the people and what they’re talented about and what their skills are.” So as a leader you need to have that virtue of really being loyal to the team and when I say “loyal to the team” is being connected to them, being engaged with them, being invested in their success that means get to know them.

John Jantsch: So you, in the book, revealed 7 leadership archetypes and probably this has come from your working with clients and being able to notice certain tendencies. So I’d love it if you’d talk a little bit about, we don’t have go into all 7 necessarily but talk little bit about that and maybe how you go to work then and say a certain archetypes.

Lolly Daskal: So what I would like to do is so people really understand what the book is about. I’ll skim through just at a very high level the 7 archetypes of greatness. But then what’s the leadership gap within them. And then we can explore just one of them.

So the first one is “the rebel” – who is confident. The rebel is someone who wants to make something significant in the world. But there is a leadership gap in the rebel who’s confident because the leadership gap is the person that feels like an impostor who have self-doubt. And that can cause someone not to do what they want to do in the world, maybe start their business or create a new product.

Then we have “The explorer” who is fueled by their intuition. They want to do a new design or they want to create a new company, they allow their intuition to lead. But there’s a leadership gap. A person that needs to control everything can become a leader that’s an exploiter who manipulates.

Then we have the “Truth teller”. For the truth teller, everything is about candor. I’m sure that if you’ve met a truth teller, you know them they’re like, “let me tell you the truth”. They’re always “want to tell you the truth” but then many times there is a leadership gap where a person which holds information or they don’t tell everything, they come across as a deceiver who creates suspicion.

And then we have “The hero”. A hero who is the person that is fearful but they’re courageous enough to start their business. They’re the ones that say, “I’ll do it anyway. I’m fearful but I’ll do it anyway”. But many times we bumped in to have the leadership gap or we become the bystander because we’re fearful. We want to do something but we don’t really start it. We see something, we don’t really do anything about it, we hear something, we don’t really say something about it. And the bystander can really cost us in our greatness, in our success.

And then we have “The inventor”. The inventor is how they do their business, how they lead, they do everything with integrity. And if you’re not doing everything with integrity, the leadership gap is you’re a destroyer who comes across as corrupt.

And then we have “The navigator”.  I love the navigator because the navigator is every single entrepreneur out there and leader out there that has started a business, that is leading companies and they’re very smart, they’re very practical, they’re very pragmatic because they’re really good at what they do. People trust them. But then there is leadership gap that you’re so good at doing what you do, you can come across as the fixer who’s arrogant. That means you’re always telling people what to do without listening, instead of showing them how to do it.

And the last one is “The knight”. The knight is all about loyalties, about protecting you and serving you and then there’s a leadership gap of the mercenary that everything that they do is about self-serving. It’s always about me, me, me, me. And we know great leadership is about “we” and not about “me”. So these are the 7 leadership archetypes of greatness and then the leadership gaps that will lead you to having a kind of business or leadership where you’re not successful and you get stuck and you feel like why am I not as successful as I want to be? Because the reason is you might be leading from the leadership gap.

John Jantsch: Talk a little bit about that because as you identified the archetype and then the leadership gap, what you’re suggesting is that rebels have that certain gap and when you see rebels not succeeding it’s because they’re leading from that gap?

Lolly Daskal: Yeah, so let’s talk about that first one because that’s a really important one. So the rebel is any person that wants to do something significant. But what is it that makes a rebel “a rebel”? Being confident is not standing in front of the mirror and saying affirmations or saying, “I’m great, I’m wonderful”. It comes from your competence, plus your capabilities, equal confidence. That means you know what you’re really good at. You know what you’re capable of. I tell most of my clients that “confidence” is believing you’re able. But “competent” is knowing you’re able. So when you know you’re able, that’s when you take action. But for every single rebel that I have ever met in my life through coaching, everybody that said, “Oh, I want to make a difference”, 99.1% of those high successful individuals have said to me, “Lolly, I feel like I have an impostor within me. Maybe I’m not as smart as I want to be, maybe I don’t have the education I need to have, I feel like a fraud”. And when they feel like a fraud, it causes them to have self-doubt and it ends up costing them and doing the things that they want to do. This polarity exists within each of us in every single person.

John Jantsch: So, do you find that people tend to be strictly, by the book, archetype or is it in the real world, are people a blank?

Lolly Daskal: In the real world and in life we’re the sum of all these parts. These archetypes are based on virtues. We have within us confidence and candor and courage, integrity, trust and loyalty. This is what we have. The difference in this book is that it tells you that you could choose at any given moment, which attributes, which archetype you need to be in order to succeed. Most of my clients now have the shortcut and let’s say, they go to a meeting and they say, “Which archetype do I need to be?”  And they go through the rethink model because the rethink stands for an acronym for the 7 archetypes. And then they say, “Well, if I’m going to be the rebel, I have to be the rebel right now. I must stay confident because otherwise I’ll be leading from my gap of being the imposter. It’s almost like a little reminder of who they need to be in this given moment. Maybe sometimes they need to be the truth teller who speaks with candor and if they don’t speak the truth, they will be leading from their leadership gap who comes across as a deceiver and creates suspicion because they’re not concentrating on telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth. So these archetypes is the sum of all of who we are.

John Jantsch: But as I listened to them and I think about people that I have seen in leadership roles, there does seem to be kind of a dominant place where maybe they fail.

Lolly Daskal: Absolutely. You remember we talked about in the beginning, how people are always concentrating on their strengths, we have weaknesses. And most of us don’t spend time cultivating those weaknesses and leveraging those weaknesses. The leader that doesn’t pay attention to their weakness are most likely leading from their gaps.

John Jantsch: Of course, most of us don’t see it.

Lolly Daskal: No we don’t. But when we do get the feedback, if we’re leading and people aren’t listening, there’s a reason. People are in telling you that they’ve made mistakes, there is a reason. Most of us come to our leadership gap only after we failed or after we haven’t gotten what we’ve wanted and we wonder why haven’t I been able to take myself to the next level? Why am I not as successful as I want to be? Those of the moments that we have to ask ourselves which part of the leadership gap are we leading from?

John Jantsch: Thanks for listening to the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, are you an independent marketing consultant or an agency owner? You might want to check out the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network. It is a growing group of independent marketing consultants and agencies that are partnering and collaborating and using the Duct Tape Marketing tools and really scaling their businesses. So check it out at

So I see a lot of entrepreneurs that have. Pretty big gaps and they’re not necessarily like what we’ve been talking about. A great example is, I love to sale but I hate the finance part of business, or something like that. And the common wisdom is that’s a part of your business that you still have to lead, you have to understand, do you go out and find somebody that who is a whole different personality that loves that part of the business and then you fill that gap that way. Would that same idea apply to archetypes inside your organization, you need some people that are heavy rebels and some heavy heroes and some heavy navigators.

Lolly Daskal: So John you and I are talking about 2 different things. One is skills and one is virtue. Yes, I totally agree with what you’re saying, if you don’t have a certain skill and it’s not in your sweet spot, I don’t think a leader needs to know everything, you need to hire the right people to get the right people on the bus, right? That you need to do. But we’re talking about attributes, we’re talking about virtues. And that’s very different because most people and I don’t know if you know this term, but I read a book a day and most of the leadership books and business books talk exactly about what you just talked about – how to run the business? And I think they even talk about when and where to run the business [unclear 18:59] why you do all the things that you do? But we’re missing out the most important part of our business is, who we are being in that business? So yes, what you’re talking about is important but what I find is even more important is, you have to get yourself right before you get your business right.

John Jantsch: Alright, so this almost sounds intentional.

Lolly Daskal: Yes.

John Jantsch: So, when we start talking about virtues, I mean how do you break years and years of training, years and years of bad advice, years and years of social mores, how do you break through that when you’re working with somebody?

Lolly Daskal: So interestingly enough, the people that hire me are not usually the leaders themselves. It’s usually HR or the board of directors that say, “Lolly, you have 6 weeks or 6 months, get them into shape. We’re losing money, we’re not hitting our targets”. It’s always about money, right? It’s always about metrics. It’s always about success. But what they’re really saying is, “Get this leader right”. The insights. They’re not talking about the outside. It’s never about teach them to read a spreadsheet or teach them to be a better bookkeeper or whatever they need to be. It’s never about that, it’s exactly what I’m talking about, it’s who he is or who she is, we have to get right. And that means, do they understand what it means to lead with integrity? Do they know what it means to lead with loyalty? Because people will forgive you for what you do but they’ll never forgive you for who you are. So if you mess up, it’s about who you, they won’t forgive you. But if you made a mistake on something, on a spreadsheet or how you spoke to someone, because you don’t know how to sell something, that’s okay. But it’s the attributes, it’s the virtues that they really don’t forgive you.

John Jantsch: I believe in kicking around your website at and you have an assessment – leadership assessment.

Lolly Daskal: It’s not available anymore but it was available up until May 16. If you pre-ordered “The Leadership Gap” book, I was giving away a free assessment. It was a 97 value, now it’s not available anymore, because the book comes out this weekend.

John Jantsch: Is there anywhere that you would send people that obviously to get the book, the book can be purchased anywhere that people buy books, but are there any other resources or websites that you would like to invite people to?

Lolly Daskal: Absolutely. This is the week of when my book launches and so the assessment right now is not available. The assessment will be available in June and July and so forth that has been available before, but I took it off the market only because it’s a $97 assessment and I was giving it away for free. So right now it’s not available but there will be many resources starting mid-June that you can get, you can get the assessment, you can get the info graphs, you can actually have a workbook, I have many many things that support the leadership gap what gets between you and your greatness.

John Jantsch: We’re recording this show towards the end of May, so depending upon when you’re listening to this, the book came out in May 2017 and that looks like assessments and some other tools will be available then in June 2017. Sometimes people catch these shows, believe it or not, a year after that have been published in some cases. I always like orient people.

Lolly Daskal: No, no, I think that was very smart John. Thank you for that. I am here to serve people, so right now just for one week, it won’t be available. But forever on, it will be available at

John Jantsch: Awesome. It was great to meet you and this is a necessary and valuable and useful work and again sometimes I hated when a really great leadership book has the title “leadership” in it because so many people think I don’t lead anything but I think that there’s so much of this, it’s about self-awareness that I’d think about anyone can benefit from that.

Lolly Daskal: Thank you for saying that because I know the leadership gap puts it in a certain edge. But it’s a life book. It’s a book that an 18-year-old can read, a 90-year-old can read and everybody in between. And if you’re impacting or if you’re making a difference, this book is for you.

John Jantsch: Well, thanks Lolly for stopping by and hopefully we will meet you in real life out there on the road soon.

Lolly Daskal: Absolutely. Thank you John.

John Jantsch: Thanks for listening to this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. What if you could do me a favor? Could you leave an honest review on iTunes? Your ratings and reviews really help and I promise I read each and every one.


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