Remember the clothing franchise, The Gap? The slogan that attracted all the attention to the brand was, “Fall into the Gap.” It took a minute for me to resonate what the purpose was, but now that I understand it from a marketing perspective, I can see an even deeper significance. One that is symbolic to leaders and their purpose.
Look at all the functions that leaders perform and the responsibilities they have to the groups, organizations and businesses in their charge. It becomes challenging many times during the process. One of these responsibilities is building brides for others to become leaders. This bridge is invisible to the naked eye, but those who focus on becoming a leader can see it clearly in their mind. This bridge is the path to success and influence, but oh, how so few chose to take it.
Narrow and difficult is the road to true leadership (The Bridge), but the path to conformity and comfort is wide open and without hinderance (The Gap). It is so much easier to fall into The Gap because most everyone else is already there and ready to welcome you with open arms. It takes no extra effort to get there and you will find others who are more than willing to help you join the crown.
The bridge leaders build is more complicated. It is created with steel beams of determination, the concrete of courage, the timber of transformation, the stones of blood and sweat, the asphalt of aspiration, and the virtue of vision. However, the bridge is narrow and doesn’t come with guard rails nor safety nets. It also offers no guarantees nor does it offer protection. This is perhaps why so few people attempt to cross.
Some will try to walk across with just a glimpse of the other side, but when the storm and high winds come, they run back to the start to where it’s safe. They look down into the simplicity of The Gap and jump in with everyone else. They conform to the mindset of fear, being average, and ease. Oh how easy it is to be like everyone else and hide in the crowd with the fear and intimidation of reaching your full leadership potential.
Those inside The Gap, and believe me there are many, fail to understand that fear is what drove them there. If they would only collaborate together and tap into the hidden value that each person has, they could build a ladder of potential leaders and climb out. They could still reach the bridge if they were only willing to look for it and try. The problem is the bridge can be a lonely journey, but in The Gap, you are never alone. Does this sound like you?
What most people in The Gap (the 99%), don’t understand is that the bridge towards leadership was never designed for you to walk side-by-side and never designed for you to walk alone. It was designed so you can walk across in a single-file line to make the bridge stronger as you take each step. As a result, the person who follows the path can learn the lessons and prepare the next person to cross. As mentioned, the bridge has no rails nor safety nets, so there is always risk.
Those who desire to become special, unique and influential are willing to risk it all. They know the bridge to leadership would not have been built if it were not possible to make it to the other side despite the storms along the way. You remember the old joke, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” Leaders cross the bridge for the same reason. Even the chicken knew the danger of crossing the road, but it saw the vision of what could be there despite the hinderances along the way. Are you willing to risk it all, so you can have it all?
Examine yourself and determine what you really want. Those who want to become great leaders see the vision on the other side of the bridge. The bridge is just the means to get there. The see the potential within themselves and dismiss the obstacles in the way. Much like in the movie, The Matrix, “There is no spoon.” This applies to the future leader as well; There is no Gap. All that matters is; the bridge.
Ask yourself, are you are willing to weather the storm on the bridge? Are you willing to risk it all? Or will you be just like everyone else around you who lives in fear of who they could truly be. Will you accept the challenge to become a great leader? Will you walk across the bridge that leaders prepared for you and strengthen that bridge for the people that follow behind you? Or will you choose to simply; Fall Into “The Gap?”
For more information: https://terrybudget.com