Book Summaries

Book Summary -The Leadership Gap by Lolly Daskal.

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 Leaders are encouraged to see themselves not as failures who who need to be fixed, but as successful people finding their potential to be even better.

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Lolly Daskal draws on her experience studying human behavior in the context of business, she created a unique methodology based on seven leadership archetypes—the rebel, the explorer, the truth-teller, the hero, the inventor, the navigator, and the knight.

The archetypes provide an accessible construct for deeper awareness and  personal growth. Understanding which role you embody—when and why—has tremendous value for a leader who seeks to optimize performance.

 Seeing yourself in each of these archetypes will help you leverage what you do brilliantly well and, by contrast, learn where and why you tend to fail. There are real “leadership gaps” that impede the success of even the most talented executives.

Here are my favorite takeaways from reading, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness by Lolly Daskal:

Learning to recognize your leadership gap is the factor that determines your greatness as a leader.

The Leadership Gap

  • As leaders, we all have gaps in our leadership, and they are not always easy to recognize given that they are so closely entwined with the very talents and skills that propel our success. But humility and vulnerability are the hallmarks of great leadership, and facing the reality of your shadow side is ultimately productive.
  • The problem is that one day, suddenly, what once worked so well to propel their rise stops working. And the very same traits that had worked for them actually start working against them. Another stellar career comes to an abrupt end. Another high-flying executive is brought swiftly back down to earth.
  • This is the mistake that highly driven, overachieving leaders make every day. They have soared to the greatest heights on the basis of what they know. But there comes a time when they must rethink everything and ask themselves:

What is the gap between who I am and who I want to be, and do I know what it is I still need to learn?

The Seven Leadership Archetypes and Gaps.

1. The Rebel, driven by confidence.

Gap: The Imposter who is so insecure they play havoc with their mind because they self -doubt.

2. The Explorer, fueled by intuition.

Gap: The Exploiter who manipulates every chance they get just so you will not know how powerless they really feel. 

3. The Truth Teller, embraces candor>

Gap: The Deceiver who is suspicious about everyone because they cannot trust themselves to speak the truth.

4. The Hero, embodies courage;

Gap: The Bystander who is too fearful to be brave, too conservative to take a risk, and to cautious to take a stand. 

5. The Inventor, brimming with integrity.

Gap: The Destroyer who is corrupt and would rather watch great ideas die than get credit for them. 

6. The Navigator, trusts and is trusted;

The Fixer who is arrogant and a chronic rescuer no one trusts. 

7. The Knight, loyalty is everything;

Gap: The Mercenary who is self -serving and put their own needs before those of the team, the business or the organization. 

The essential element of The Leadership Gap is a proven system that leaders everywhere can master and apply to heir leadership style and life.

Leadership Archetypes in Depth

The Rebel

The rebel sees something that isn’t right in the world, and then does everything in his power to correct it.

Rebels start revolutions—but not in the way you’d expect. Avoiding revolts and uprisings, rebels are the quiet warriors who embark on quests to achieve remarkable things. They overcome formidable obstacles to save the project, the team, or the company.

The rebel is confident about a cause and is willing to oppose the status quo in order to save the day,  team, company, and organization. The rebel is willing to stand up for something bigger than himself.

  • The rebel’s strength is driven by his confidence and competence.

They ask themselves, “How can I push the envelope?

  • Model Rebels: Rosa Park, Frances Hesselbein, Elon Musk, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Sir Richard Branson,
  • The Key to the Rebel’s Success: Confidence
  • The Rebel’s Leadership Gap: Self-Doubt
  • The Rebel’s Leadership Gap Archetype: The Imposter
  • The imposter archetype is expressed in a variety of different personalities that create gaps in our leadership and keep us from achieving greatness: Frauds, Perfectionists, Operators, Pleasers, Comparers, Saboteurs

I rebel; therefore we exist. —Albert Camus


The explorer knows when to rely on his analytical mind, and when to rely on his intuitive mind.

Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore. —André Gide

Explorers are the pathfinders, pioneers, and seekers who drive organizations, communities, and the human race forward. They are dissatisfied with the way things are, and are restless to find new approaches, new solutions, and new ventures. Explorers use their intuition to test the boundaries and limits of what is known.

 They reject the status quo and doing things just because they’ve always been done that way.

They ask, What can I discover?

The Key to the Explorer’s Success: Intuition

Knowledge has three degrees—opinion, science, and illumination. The means of instrument of the first is sense, of the second dialectic, of the third intuition. This last is absolute knowledge founded in the identity of the mind knowing with the object known.—Plotinus

The Explorer’s Leadership Gap: Manipulation

Manipulative, exploitive leaders are easy to recognize:

– They set themselves up as the expert.
– They withhold information
– They are mercurial.
– They make threats.

Avoid becoming an exploiter: concentrate on what brings value while being careful not to destroy what you value. Remain cognizant of who you are being as you are leading.

There are those whose primary ability is to spin wheels of manipulation. It is their second skin and without these spinning wheels, they simply do not know how to function. —C. JoyBell C.

The Explorer’s Leadership Gap Archetype: The Exploiter

The most successful exploiters are the ones who make others feel that he or she has their best interests at heart.—Randall Collins

Model Explorers: Jeff Bezos, Sara Blakely, Neil deGrasse Tyson.


The truth teller is driven by a sincere desire to help and will speak out courageously when his honesty serves others, even at the risk of offending people.

A moment of choice is a moment of truth. It’s the testing point of our character and our competence.—Stephen Covey

The truth teller strongly believes that he owes it to his people, customers, and communities to be open, sincere, and honest at all times. The truth teller will not hesitate to tell the truth, even if it means that his candor makes peo

The truth teller strongly believes that he owes it to his people, customers, and communities to be open, sincere, and honest at all times. The truth teller will not hesitate to tell the truth, even if it means that his candor makes people uncomfortable. He speaks with openness and honesty, driven by a sincere desire to help, and the authentic intention to be of service to others.

For truth tellers, speaking up is a duty. The truth teller always asks himself, “Where should I speak up?

They Ask: Where should I speak up?

The Key to the Truth Teller’s Success: Candor

Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly. – Mahatma Gandhi

The Truth Teller’s Leadership Gap: Suspicion

The moment there is suspicion about a person’s motive, everything he does becomes tainted.—Mahatma Gandhi

The Truth Teller’s Leadership Gap Archetype: The Deceiver

Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deception.—Niccolò Machiavell

Here are the marks of an archetypal deceiver:

– Remarkably charming
– Emotionally manipulative.
– Wonderful at distraction.
– Notorious blamers
– Professional bait and switchers.”

Model Truth Tellers: Ronald Reagan, Indra Nooyi, Winston Churchill


  • The hero is fearless. He doesn’t hesitate to act while others stand by.

A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles. – Christopher Reeve

Heroes are courageous—they are willing to put their careers at risk for a shot at greatness. Heroes act when others of lesser courage will not. Heroes act in spite of fear and overwhelming opposition.

Most of us are not really afraid of being brave—we are afraid of what it takes to be brave. Heroes consistently ask themselves, “Where is courage needed?”

The Key to the Hero’s Success: Courage

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear—Mark Twain

The Hero’s Leadership Gap: Fear

Fear defeats more people than anything in the world.—Ralph Waldo Emerson”

The Hero’s Leadership Gap Archetype: The Bystander

The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.—Albert Einstein

Model Ciourageous Leaders: Justice Anthony Kennedy, Malala Yousafzai, J. K. Rowling


The inventor is a visionary, constantly innovating and improving processes and products. The integrity of his ideas is paramount, and he refuses to settle for anything less than excellence.

Nothing is more difficult than to introduce a new order, because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new.—Niccolò Machiavelli

Inventors constantly search for the best way to improve processes and products and to perfect their craft. They are experimenters who make many small bets and are willing to fail in pursuit of big wins.

They ask the question, “How can we make this better?

The Key to the Inventor’s Success: Integrity

The Inventor’s Leadership Gap: Corruption

Corruption is like a ball of snow, once it’s set a rolling it must increase.—Charles Caleb Colton

The Inventor’s Leadership Gap Archetype: The Destroyer

If we destroy something around us we destroy ourselves.—Buddha

Model Inventors: Walt Disney, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Blake Mycoskie


The navigator is a trusted leader who steers people toward pragmatic workable outcomes, uncomplicated solutions, and powerful results.

  • The navigator takes you to new places, and you trust her enough to follow. The navigator encourages you to take new approaches to problems and to come up with better solutions that get results.

A mind that is stretched to a new idea, never returns to its original dimension.—Oliver Wendell Holmes

  • Navigators know where they need to go and they take people there. And they do this with such credence that people trust and follow them. Navigators have a way of making the complicated simple, and the simple understandable. They masterfully steer their organization and the people within it to even better outcomes. But first, navigators must be able to navigate themselves.

Navigators ask the question, “How can we get to where we need to go?”

The Key to the Navigator’s Success: Trust

Building trust begins with an appreciation and understanding of trust, but it also requires practice and practices.—Robert C. Solomon

  • The Navigator’s Leadership Gap: Arrogance

The smaller the mind the greater the conceit.—Aesop

The Navigator’s Leadership Gap Archetype: The Fixer

Suffering attracts fixers the way road-kills attract vultures.—Eugene H. Peterson

Model Navigators: Michael Bloomberg, Sheryl Sandberg, Nassim Nicholas Taleb


The knight is a loyal protector, champion, and defender with unwavering beliefs.

Fight on, brave knights! Man dies, but glory lives! Fight on; death is better than defeat! Fight on brave knights! for bright eyes behold your deeds!—Walter Scott

Knights are primarily associated with chivalry and protection, but they are driven by going to battle to defend their beliefs and are devoted to serve. Knights display fierce loyalty and partnership with others while protecting people and bonding them together.

“Knights are always asking, “How can I serve you?” while others are thinking, “How can I serve me?”

The Key to the Knight’s Success: Loyalty

Loyalty isn’t grey. It’s black and white. You’re either loyal completely, or not loyal at all. And people have to understand this. You can’t be loyal only when it serves you.—Sharnay

  • The Knight’s Leadership Gap: Self-Serving
  • The Knight’s Leadership Gap Archetype: The Mercenary

A true warrior can only serve others, not himself. . . . When you become a mercenary, you’re just a bully with a gun.- Evan Wright

Model Knight Leaders: Mother Teresa, Herb Kelleher, Jill Abramso

All the best in your quest to get better: Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

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Lifelong Learner | Entrepreneur | Digital Strategist at Reputiva LLC | Marathoner | Bibliophile |

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