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The Dialogue Recap Episode 4

Our ambassador Luis Velasquez gives us his thoughts on our podcast with Lolly Daskasl about ‘Inner Leadership’. Originally from Peru, which explains his fascination for soccer and the metaphor at the beginning of his blog, he now studies at Columbia University in New York City. Since more than 4 years he supports the World Business Dialogue as a delegate at our conference and as an ambassador.

Episode 4 – Lolly Daskal – Inner Leadership

Mrs. Lolly Daskal’s podcast episode evokes a memory I certainly forgot about, mainly due to the stress of the current pandemic situation. As I hear through the words of Inner leadership, the notion of a leader, and the main aspects leadership should have I cannot help but to move to the 1986 Fifa World Cup’s match or Argentina against England. As Maradona took the pass from Burruchaga a single tear came down my cheek but stopped abruptly as I hear Mrs. Daskal statements of leadership and how just a talk or a ‘pass’, like Burruchaga did, Argentinian team player can make yourself a leader. Instantly my focus was solely on her words as she precisely and wisely draws away all the myths that have been instated around leadership and how some people were ‘born to be leaders.’ 

As the podcast moved to topics such as there is no need for a charismatic leader or sugarcoating actions I cannot help to wander to that Goal at the World Cup. Was Maradona the actual leader at that point or was it actually Burruchaga, as without the pass there would have not been a goal. As Mrs. Daskal, wraps up with the importance of concentrating on following a path with the knowledge of people we may not have interacted with before. The inquiry in me evolved. Did leadership as a whole concept was not based on power or presence but rather leveling up the ground? 

Mrs. Daskal brings many thought-provoking arguments to the table that, without a doubt, would be a topic themselves. Nonetheless, there are two main arguments that grasped my attention and curiosity; Her perspective of Balance of power, and her viewpoint on a leader. Firstly, going against the core knowledge taught by generations of aspiring businessmen or politicians from High School’s debate teams to Government School, she states that ” If you think you are the smartest person in the room, and you act like the smartest person in the room you’ve lost the room.” By taking upfront and facing the egotistical ambiance of superiority negotiations have been characterized as, she delivers a more equal perception where the need to level the ground for all the attendees is the key to success rather than raw pressing power. It is with these thoughts of leveling the ground, that we later discover Mrs. Daskal’s viewpoint of a leader which, as expected, does not fail to go against the established. The thoughts that anyone who has influenced a person during any point in their lives is a leader is heartening, and reminds the listeners that we are leaders, even when we don’t realize it, just by pointing out in the right direction someone at some point evoking a change in their path.

Mrs. Daskal is an established leader between leaders. Her lifelong career achievement is the lives she has changed and how her approaches disrupt the basis of the core concepts of entrepreneurship will inspire us through time. Saying this, I cannot help, but digress at some points with her. Leadership and the concepts that make it so unique are inherent to our human nature, hence a sense of competition is created, and while it may raise conflicts those are needed to raise the bars of what is already established. The equality scenario is one that will always be an ideal utopian one, nonetheless, reality will always rule for the person with the most assets, name it power, education, influence, etc. As a consultant working with fortune 500 I can acknowledge that the feeling of leadership lies in the mixture of presence, empathy, and fairness. Sadly, leveling up will provide a cease of power which may disrupt the distribution of that, which is the first cause of distrust and bankruptcy in companies, and CEOs will most likely frown upon, regardless of their size. 

What is required now in these crisis are leaders who willingly put themselves on the line and lead the team with empathy and continuously, it is not a one day pass or a simple direction giving that can give the tag of leader to anyone, this can fall in the category of influence, but a leader is way more than that. A leader is there when the stakes and risks are high and has the willingness to take the fall and inspire the group he is in charge of. This is why leadership is never given, but, in the long term, earned. Going back, as a leader, would you choose Burruchaga, the one who gives the pass to Maradona against the English national team, or Maradona, the one who scored? For me, well I have been replaying Maradona’s goal on loop for the past hour.