The Leadership Gap

As I look around the world (in businesses, in teams, in communities, in families, and in relationships), I see an urgent need for leadership—or at least for a new type of leadership. With all the challenges we’re facing in our world, I’m firmly committed to leadership as the solution.

When I assess the woeful state of leadership, I find a singular gap – a lack of integrity. The gap spreads between what we say and what we do. Our words sound good, but our actions don’t align with our words. This is the lack of integrity that is destroying faith and trust and keeping us from achieving impactful change. When I recently surveyed people on this question – What is the most critical element of leadership? – 80% of the people said some version of this: Do what you say you’re going to do, and walk the talk. It’s easy to say, but so few actually do it. Sadly, this is the leadership gap that we are facing.

Perhaps even more important, the biggest reason for this integrity gap is our failure (or refusal) to be honest with ourselves about our leadership and our integrity. Frankly, we think we’re better than we are, more consistent than we are, and more aligned (actions with words) than we are, and of course nothing changes or will change when we falsely believe that we’re doing well. Only when we vulnerably admit our integrity gaps will we be able to commit to taking action towards alignment, restore our integrity and start living leadership in an impactful and positive way.

One further thought and perspective on leadership – more specifically, what leadership is not. Leadership is NOT management (or managing) and is NOT running or operating (a business, an organization, or an enterprise). Managing, operating and running are functions and roles – leadership is a choice. Management, operating and running are about strategies and tactics – leadership is about self-awareness and self-management. Quite honestly, there are many people who are excellent at running, operating or managing a business, initiative or organization, and they can achieve success—but they don’t build people, they don’t create impact, and they don’t make a lasting difference. Sadly, too much of our development and training focus today is on helping people to be better at managing, running and operating (and even winning), but we’re missing the much needed opportunity to develop and grow leaders in all aspects of life who will change things in the world. Now is the time to embrace leadership as THE solution for what’s broken in businesses, in communities, in families, and in the rest of the world.

Leadership Gap

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