“For how long have you known that having seventeen people reporting directly to you was a bad idea?”
I already knew the answer. As a coach, sometimes I purposefully ask questions I already know the answers to. In this case, I wanted to do two things:
- Turn up the pain on the situation so my client can muster the will to change it; and
- Move him closer to a breakthrough where he can see the real problem holding him back from greatness—everywhere in his life.
It’s right there. Do you see it? (If you don’t, then it’s probably holding you back, too.)
He hesitated for a moment, but not because he wasn’t sure.
“I’ve known for over fifteen years,” he said finally, and I could sense the pain rising in him. Good. It’s working.
“So, if you’ve known all this time, what has stopped you from changing your org chart?” I knew the answer to this one, too, but I wanted to know if he knew. That would tell me where to go next.
“I don’t know.”
He answered a bit too quickly. This is going to take a while.
My client suffers from something I call “The Embodiment Gap.” We all wrestle with it. It’s a simple equation. Take what you know is right, subtract what you do to get there, and what’s left is the gap.
The gap itself is not the problem, but rather the lack of awareness of it—and therefore the missing efforts to close it. Most of us have some kind of gap, but your ability to increasingly close it is one of the governing dynamics of change.
Your success is largely dependent on your ability to apply what you know more and more quickly over time.
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When you know the right action and delay, you may have many stories about why, but there is only one true reason: fear. Life rewards decisiveness and penalizes fear. When you’re working on your Embodiment Gap, you look critically at what you know but haven’t acted on, and you proactively push yourself into that fear.
This is courage
Do it anyway
Very simple. But it’s not always easy to do what’s simple, is it?
This is one reason why I created the Clear and Open Dojo: a community of like-minded professionals committed to personal growth in a professional context. Members support and challenge each other to do the right thing, especially when it’s hard. What success is waiting for you when you close your gap? Click here to find out more.