Shap closed the book he had just finished reading. He put the book in its new home on his bookshelf. Right next to the dozens of other leadership books he had read over the years.

This latest one had promised secrets of great leaders, of people that Shap admired, like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk. And the book had delivered. He had taken notes of the five things he should be doing differently. He knew the changes would make a difference.

“But there’s big gap between knowing and doing,” thought Shap.

He wondered if he should keep reading these leadership books or just stop at some point. It seemed to him that each book recommended that he spend all of his time doing leadership. Shap felt like he was too busy for that. There were too many practical things that he had to get done each day.

Shap also felt like he “knew” what he needed to know. It was the “doing” that was causing problems. He knew he had patterns, blind spots, etc. He just didn’t feel like he had the time or the energy to change them on his own. Knowing what to do differently – and not doing it – just made things worse. It was frustrating.

The next day Shap went into the office and observed his team. “What leadership do they really need from me?” he asked himself.

Questions for Discussion

  • How do you decide what to focus on to improve your leadership?
  • What role does feedback play in your leadership development?
  • Do you work with measurable goals for your growth as a leader?