Nov 252013 4 Responses

What Every Leader (and Parent) Should Look For

The gap.

That’s what I need to find—in my life, at work, in my family. I’m always looking for the gap.

It’s the place where opportunity lurks.

It’s the space I’m most tempted to avoid. Facing the gap requires courage. It’s easier to deny. But the gap should be my focus.

The gap is the space between who I want to be and who I am.

The two are never the same. If the two are identical, you either don’t know who you are or you desperately need to aspire to be something better.

I’m very aware of the gap.

I’m often not the person I want to be.

None of us are.

Every individual, family, and organization should be striving toward improvement.

The best opportunity is found in the gap.

Thankfully, with a little attention, the gap makes itself known on a daily basis. We fail. We experience regret. We consider how we should’ve done things differently. This is the gap.

Once we identify a space between who we are and who we want to be, we need to take action steps to narrow the gap.


  • How you wish you would’ve responded.
  • What would’ve been the wisest choice?
  • What would your hero have done?
  • In a perfect scenario, what would have happened?

By considering the best case scenario, we can contrast it with what actually happened.

Did you:

  • Fail to tell the truth?
  • Lose your temper?
  • Downplay your emotions?
  • Lack courage?

Recognize it. Admit it. Choose a different path next time.

The power of this process is what happens over time. Eventually, you will find yourself asking the question “Who do I want to be?” before you act.

The best organizations do this. Before a decision is made they consider their mission, vision and values. They reflect on who they want to be and then choose to be that. It doesn’t happen with perfection. They fail. Yet more often than not they think then act.

The worst organizations do the opposite. They act and then think. Action is never filtered through the lens of value. Values are always used in reflection of what has happened instead of in anticipation of what is about to take place.

What’s true of good organizations is true of good families and people. Values determine action. Who we want to be determines who we are.

Find the gap. Give it attention. Start asking “Who do I want to be?” before you act.

This is how we develop character and character determines everything.

It’s Monday. Who do you want to be? Be that.

4 Responses to What Every Leader (and Parent) Should Look For
  1. […] Sometimes this is good and sometimes it’s bad. (See: What Every Leader Should Look For) [R...
  2. […] 9. Find the gap between who you are and who you want to be. (See: What Every Parent Should Look For)...

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