Title: The Leadership Gap

Author: Lolly Daskal

Publisher: Penguin

Ratings: 4.5/5

The Leadership Gap is a compulsion for all those who tend to become a great leader. This book artfully explains the fine gap between the achievers and the losers. Within each of us, there are two competing sides, polarity of character, but only one leads to greatness. This book explains the different leadership archetype needed to wake up the leader within us.

This book says, “What you don’t own, owns you” and “We are not just what we think. We are what we hide.” Many times we don’t accept or try to understand things which are happening in our life, we try to run from them. These lines delineate the flaws which are there within you that you are not aware of.

The author has explained the success key of each archetype and the leadership gap as well. The essence of author’s approach is built on the following leadership archetype:

  1. The Rebel

Driven by confidence, these people do what is within their reach. Confidence is their main weapon. Through confidence, belief is gain and then the things are made to happen. The book says, “The more skill you have, the more talent you have; the more competent you feel, the more competent you know you are; and ultimately – the more confident you will be.”

The Rebel’s Leadership Gap Archetype – The Imposter

Self-doubt keeps us from achieving greatness. Some of the imposters are – frauds, perfectionists, operators, pleasers, comparers and saboteurs. It is necessary to leverage the imposter within us. This book discusses the various ideas to demolish the imposter and wake up the Rebel within you. Some of the ideas are –

  • Stop comparing yourself to others
  • Remind yourself there is no such thing as perfect
  • Make a list of our accomplishments
  • Create an inner circle that supports you
  • Cultivate self- awareness
  • Assess your skills
  • Learn to be adaptable
  1. The Explorer

Fueled by intuition, Explorers concentrate on what brings value while being careful not to destroy what they value. Intuition is the main key to the Explorer’s success. Explorers listen to their inner voice and gut and then make the decision using the knowledge gained through past experiences. The author has described the significance of intuition in one’s life.

The Explorer’s Leadership Gap Archetype – The Exploiter

Being the master of manipulation, the Exploiters do not know how to work in a simple way. Some of the traits of the exploiters are – setting themselves as the experts, withholding information within them and making threats. To leverage the Exploiter within us, few ideas are discussed in the book. The characteristics that lead towards greatness are –

  • The master of innovation
  • The gift of vision
  • The power of self-assurance
  • The ability of persuasion
  • The capacity of decisiveness
  • The balance of rationality
  • The quintessence of preparedness
  1. The Truth Teller

Embracing candor, these people seek for the right path. When you speak with candor, you do not need to keep track of the things you have said. Truth Tellers avoid dishonesty and never hesitate to speak the truth even it makes other people feel uncomfortable. The main motive of a truth teller is to help others by being honest.

The Truth Teller’s Leadership Gap Archetype – The Deceiver

Suspicion is the truth teller’s leadership gap which infiltrates our heart as well as our mind, affecting our process of thinking and acting. Well, at some level we all are deceivers and have been deceived by someone else. The traits of Deceiver are – remarkably charming, emotionally manipulative, notorious blamers, wonderful at distraction and professional switchers. To leverage the deceiver within, you can follow these ideas –

  • Work on being a truth teller
  • Don’t let the pride get the best of you
  • Stop obscuring the truth
  • Admit when you are not telling the truth
  • Learn to be flexible
  • Create a culture of candor and solutions
  • Treat everyone equally
  • Eliminate barricades of insufficiencies
  • Model your own high standards
  1. The Hero

Embodying courage, Hero is the fearless leader. The author says, “Most of us aren’t afraid to be brave- we are afraid of what it takes to be brave.” This line influences power within it. Courage is the key to Hero’s success. Heroism is performed for those who are in need. Hero helps voluntarily.

The Hero’s Leadership Gap Archetype – The Bystander

In simple words, Bystanders are the cowards. Fear is the root of the Hero’s leadership gap. Leaders shouldn’t just face the fear but also learn how to manage them all. The traits of the Bystanders are – watching devils without doing anything and ignoring the opportunities. To leverage the bystander within, the author has discussed these ideas in detail –

  • Implement an intervention on yourself
  • End your own passivity
  • When you see something, do something
  • Be the person, you know you can be
  • Stand up, stand out, stand tall
  • Stay calm
  1. The Inventor

Brimming with integrity, the Inventors are the visionary leaders. For them, compromise is not an option. The Inventors always aspire to high standards and excellence. Referring to integrity, the author has discussed the character, conviction and Code of Conduct. Trust, honesty and respect are the main components of an Inventor.

The Inventor’s Leadership Gap Archetype – The Destroyer

Destroyers are morally corrupt. The traits of the Destroyers are – prioritizing their goals and needs, damaging his own organization and his people. The author has discussed many ideas to leverage the Destroyer within us. Some of the ideas are –

  • Look for what is good, not what is bad
  • Try complimenting instead of criticizing
  • Be who you want to see in the world
  • Get to know yourself
  • Set high personal standards
  • Make conscious choices
  1. The Navigator

The Navigator trusts and is trusted upon. The book says, “Don’t settle for anything other than trust.” We set standards for ourselves through the ways we treat ourselves. To gain trust we need to trust ourselves and this trust will develop through respect and honor we give to ourselves.

The Navigator’s Leadership Gap Archetype – The Fixer

Arrogant is driven by the Fixer. A Fixer is a Navigator no one trusts. There is a very fine line between the Navigator and the Fixer. The traits of a Fixer are – becoming a chronic rescuer, emotional caretaker or sacrificial victim. To leverage the Fixer within and wake up the Navigator, the author has discussed these ideas in the book –

  • Be mindful of boundaries
  • Pay attention to communication, competence, commitment and character
  • Demonstrate trust by honoring, admiration, appreciation and esteem
  1. The Knight

Worshipping the loyalty, the Knight is protector, defender and champion. The success of the leadership mainly depends on the belief one carries. Sharnay has quoted, “Loyalty isn’t grey. It is either black or white.” It’s true. You can be honest or dishonest. To feel the sense of loyalty to another person, these three specified things help to determine it – a sense of trust, a sense of belonging and a sense of purpose.

The Knight’s Leadership Gap Archetype – The Mercenary

Serving one’s own self is the priority of the Mercenary. The traits of the Mercenary are – lack of dedication, inadequate loyalty, absence of accountability and shortage of competence. It is essential for a person to leverage the Mercenary within. Some of the ideas discussed in the book are –

  • Pay attention to how people respond to you
  • Put yourself in other person’s shoes
  • Walk your talk
  • Listen intently
  • Lead only with the best
  • Be honest with yourself

Author has discussed all the archetypes in detail in this book. Some of the powerful lines in this book are –

Your vision will become clear only when you will look into your own heart. Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside, awakes.

When you can admit instead of hide what makes you feel ashamed, vulnerable or inadequate, you are one step closer to achieving greatness from within.

Calm does not mean weak; calm means you are credible.

Every single one of us has the chance and the choice to choose to stand in our greatness or not.

It is recommended for those who want to become a great leader.

About the Author


Lolly Daskal is the founder of Lead from Within, a global leadership, executive coaching, and consulting firm based in New York City. With more than thirty years of experience with some of the world’s largest and most successful companies, Daskal is one of today’s most sought-after executive leadership coaches and leadership consultants. She has written thousands of articles and columns for a variety of media, including Inc., Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Huffington Post, and Psychology Today.


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