Shadow Side of Leadership…

A Great Book by Lolly Daskal

by Jesse Lyn Stoner 

Once you’ve been in a leadership role for awhile, you develop a leadership style;that is comfortable. You begin to relax in that role, feeling you are at the top of the learning curve and confident that you know how to be a leader.

Beware! This is the slipperiest spot on the slope. You can get lulled into a complacency that will eventually be your undoing.

I recently had the opportunity to talk with Lolly Daskal, executive coach and author of the new book The Leadership Gap. According to Lolly, “A problem that all high performers face sooner or later is that what once worked to propel their rise stops working. The very same traits that once worked for them start to work against them.”

When you overuse a strength, you tap into its shadow. – Lolly Daskal

Carl Jung is famous for formulating the concept of the shadow, the aspects of our personality we hold in the darkness of our unconscious. Our shadows are what we refuse to acknowledge about ourselves – the parts of ourselves we’re not proud of, the thoughts and feelings we don’t want others to know about . . . that we ourselves don’t want to know about.

“Unfortunately there can be no doubt that man is, on the whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Everyone carries a shadow, and the less [aware of it he is], the blacker and denser it is.” (Carl Jung, Wikipedia)

Unexamined and unacknowledged, your shadow exerts unconscious control over your thoughts, emotions, choices, and actions. “It forms an unconscious snag, thwarting our most well-meant intentions,” according to Jung. “That which we do not bring to consciousness appears in our lives as fate.”

Your Shadow Side of Leadership

“All of us try to do good work. We don’t show up at work and say we want to be deceivers or manipulators,” says Lolly Daskal. What happens is our shadow gets triggered, often without even realizing it. Our shadows make us feel unworthy, and we take action to cover them up.

According to Jung, often we project the problems we created through our shadow outward onto others, blaming them for the very thing we are responsible for.

Unmask your shadows to take away their power over you. – Lolly Daskal

According to Lolly Daskal, “our shadows mask our greatness and don’t allow us to stand in the light.”

Embracing your shadows can be a huge relief. You don’t have to pretend to always know the answer, or always be competent, or always be compassionate, or always be happy. You can stop propping up whatever false image you are trying to project.

You can acknowledge your “darker” side without being afraid of it. It doesn’t mean you will start acting out your dark side. Just because you have a feeling or a desire, doesn’t mean you need to take action on it. Adults have the ability to make rational decisions about what they will say or do.

Begin by acknowledging the parts of your personality you want to hide or keep secret. When you begin to feel fear, shame, or unworthiness, don’t push those feelings away immediately. Take a moment to consider what they are keeping you from seeing, thinking or doing.

When you acknowledge your shadows, you become more humane, more approachable, and more connected.

You are better prepared to grapple with the reality that life is not “all or nothing.” You end up with true humility.

. . . These are the key ingredients to being a truly great leader.

This post is inspired by my friend and colleague Lolly Daskal’s brillant new book The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness. Lolly explains the seven archetypes of leadership and the risk to greatness that lurks in the shadow of each. And she provides real-life examples of leaders who embody these archetypes. I read it, I love it, I recommend it!

Visit to learn more about Lolly and her work. You can order a copy of The Leadership Gap at Amazon or anywhere books are sold.

Maths Before Buying a TV Set…

TV SET: Buyer’s Guide

“. . . to buy a smart TV Set you need to understand which set is most suitable for you. . .”

— Shabab Khan

With the advent of HD, 4K, Wireless Connectivity HDMI Ports you don’t wanna go out, now for a TV, get out a tape measure and do some quick calculations before you head to the store. And count the number of gadgets you’ll want to connect to your screen.

Buying a TV is no longer just choosing how big a screen you want.

Here are some big decisions you’ll face:

There’s an emerging picture standard that offers four times the pixels of today’s high definition. It’s known as ultra-high definition , or 4K. But do you need it?

Measure the distance between your couch and the spot for your new TV. If you’re sitting far away, a regular HD set will be just fine – for $100 to $200 less.

The farther away you sit, the less the extra pixels matter, as your eyes won’t notice the difference. Conversely, the bigger the screen you have, the worse the resolution will be, and you’ll notice that more when you’re closer up.

How good is good enough?
A rough rule of thumb: You should sit back a little more than 1.5 times the diagonal length of the screen for TVs with full HD, also known as 1080p. So if a screen is 48 inches, or 4 feet, that’s 6 feet back. For 4K, it’s one to one, or 4 feet for that same screen. If your couch is 7 feet back, having 4K isn’t worth it because you won’t be able to tell the difference anyway. But it might if your couch is 4 or 5 feet back.

The calculation isn’t that easy, but we’ve created this online tool to help you: Calcu Caro

Also consider how little 4K content there is. A few streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon and M-Go, offer some 4K content, and a standard for 4K Blu-ray discs is coming together this year. But 4K broadcasts are potentially years away. Buying a 4K TV now is mostly about being ready for the future.

You also have to consider whether you’ll be sitting so close to a big screen that you’ll have to move your head to look left or right. Jim Willcox, senior editor at Consumer Reports, says the ideal viewing width is about 30 to 40 degrees. Our online tool will warn you if you are too close and might want a smaller screen instead.

The more the merrier. TVs will have at least two, but I recommend three or four. If you pay for cable or satellite TV, you’ll need one for your set-top box, then one more for a streaming device or Blu-ray player. If you want to add a game console or sound bar, you see how quickly they can fill up.

Switches that let you connect multiple HDMI devices sell for $9 to $30, but that could mean another remote control to fiddle with, or getting up to press a button. Better to get extra ports with your TV.

Many TVs come with Wi-Fi connectivity and apps from major services like Netflix and Hulu. Using this for streaming will save you an HDMI port.
But stand-alone streaming devices have more features. If voice control is your thing, for instance, go for more ports to plug in your Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV or other device. Some TVs have voice control, but Apple’s Siri will be better at recognizing your voice because it gets fine-tuned through millions of interactions on smartphones.

If you plan to use a smart TV for streaming, consider the type of Wi-Fi it comes with. The best right now is 802.11ac, which can deliver several gigabits per second of data. You’ll want the best, especially for 4K video.

Manufacturers fudge how fast images are refreshed on screen with technologies called “AquoMotion” or “Motionflow” that show “effective” refresh rates. These help smooth out fast-action scenes that might otherwise look stuttered or blurry. It’s largely a matter of taste and personal sensitivity. The minimum native refresh rate you’ll see these days is 60 frames per second, or 60Hz. The most is around 120 Hz.

Steve Kindig, senior editor at electronics retailer, says that even though 60 frames per second is the highest that will come from Blu-ray discs or video games, higher rates on a TV will still cut down on blur. Either the TV’s processor will interpolate frames between each actual frame, or the backlight will blink, reducing the stutter. He says to play down effective refresh rates that are wildly higher than the native, though “it’s not totally bunk because they are doing something.”

Consumer Reports rates specific models with blur tests, but doesn’t generalize about brands or numbers.

Curved screens just look cool sitting on a stand, and some people say it cuts down on reflective glare, according to Kindig. They’re about $200 more than non-curved screens and mostly made by Samsung. But he says they don’t look good mounted on a wall.

Organic light-emitting diode screens are pricey, but will give you true blacks and better color representation because each pixel illuminates on its own. Regular, LCD screens require a backlight, which can wash out the colors a bit. If you’re willing to pay for OLED, you’ll likely get every other goodie thrown in besides 4K.

More expensive sets might also offer 3-D. “Active” glasses require batteries, which add to the weight and trouble of wearing them, but will offer better resolution. “Passive” glasses, like the ones you get in movie theaters, will suffice for those few times you want to settle in for a 3-D movie, likely on disc. Content is still limited.

So, here it was technicalities, sellers usually don’t tell you for they want you to buy a set they get better profit margin on. Its up to you now to let them befool you or simply stay smart by questioning like you have just read above.

©Author is an Export Entrepreneur, Journalist and Social Activist.
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