Photo credit: Brooke Lark,

We want our lives to mean something. We want to be the most valuable we can to the world. How do we step into the gap between what we’re doing and what we know we’re truly meant to do?

Part coach, part consultant and part alchemist, Lolly Daskal uses her 30 years of experience to coach top executives as well as show others how to lead with purpose. Founder and CEO of Lead From Within, she’s been named “the most inspirational woman in the world” by the Huffington Post. Her latest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness, sheds light on both our leadership styles and other leadership deficits as tools for growth.

Her core statement is: “We are here to be our most valuable”.

Lolly chatted with  Live Lead Play and left us with these five takeaways on how to lead a valuable life… beyond the leadership gap:

Where You Come From is as Important as Where You’re Going

As a child, Lolly’s curiosity led her to ask, “why”? Seeking more at a young age set the foundation for who she is today. As she grew, she realized that “why” wasn’t enough and what she needed to know was “who”. By studying psychology and philosophy as an adult, she realized that as children, we just want to learn and the why is what drives us.

Make Your Life as Valuable as You Can

In the three decades Lolly has been coaching, there has been a common thread — people want to inspire others. When Lolly asks what people want to do with their lives, the primary answer is something along the lines of having a purpose, being a contributor, and being memorable. That greatness and that value lie within you, and everyone has something worthy to contribute.

Let Go of Who You’re Expected to Be

It’s easy to take accomplishments for granted. The best way to feel valuable is to take the time to appreciate what you’ve accomplished. When we can let go of expectations, we can also let go of our misconceived shortcomings and failures and take the time to embrace who we are. Take the time to celebrate how far you’ve come, even if it doesn’t live up to a standard or expectation of what you thought it would.

Why Choose Coaching?

Why did Lolly decide to become a coach after studying psychology and philosophy? She feels as if she didn’t choose it, but that her curiosity led to a calling that chose her.  In school, her classroom participation led her to uncover her leadership ability and she realized that she wanted to be in front of the room. She didn’t approach coaching as a profession, but people naturally started to ask her questions. Rather than fixing the problem and taking away responsibility, she developed her ability to listen to as well as empower people. These skills led to client requests, which resulted in subsequent referrals. She was still not feeling qualified but she had a choice — and she happily chose the path of coaching.

Embrace the Leadership Gap

Being a leader is more than having a fancy title. A leader makes a difference for someone. If this is you, you’re a leader. We have strengths and weaknesses within each of us. If we deny the darkest parts of ourselves, we cannot fully embrace the lightest parts. The leadership gap lies beyond the qualities that are great; by looking at all of it, good and bad, we can make choices about who we want to be in the world. We can choose to step into our leadership even if our ego is telling us we’re not worth it.

By taking the time to consider what’s most valuable to you, and embracing both your strengths and your weaknesses, you can become clear about the life you want to create. You can give power to the greatness that lies within you.

Check out Lolly Daskal’s interview in its entirety on The Meaningful Way podcast.

Also published on Medium.