The Leadership Gap

The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

Author: Lolly Daskal.
Publishing year: 2017.

According to The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness, a leadership style can be defined by its characteristics. Furthermore, each leadership style has a weak point that makes it fail. This is the leadership gap

Leadership Archetypes 

Lolly Daskal groups leadership styles into seven archetypes based on their characteristics. This book teaches us how to find the gap in our knowledge and overcome it. Mainly, become better leaders:

“As humans we will never be perfect, but we can be the best versions of ourselves.”

For example, we have The Hero archetype. This has as main characteristic Courage. On the other hand, the gap is Bystander. Another example is Inventor. This style’s main characteristic is Integrity and it’s weakness is Corruption


The book starts by explaining what a leadership style is. And what the author understands as the gap. It then proceeds to describe the seven main archetypes. Each chapter is elaborating on one of the archetypes. It gives a clear description, with detailed stories and examples. 

It then explains where the gap is and how we can overcome it.

The book ends with a list of practical advices on how to be a better person and leader:

“Being real is the first step to being great.

Finding the Leadership Gap

Each chapter is set up in a similar way. It starts by giving a short definition of the archetype. For example:

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

Next, Lolly Daskal tells us a real story that reflects the archetype as an example. Further,  makes a detailed description of the archetype highlighting its characteristics. The author uses famous quotes  from well known persons to bring the point home. 

In order to help us identify our own particular leadership style, the book explains in details characteristics of each archetypes. 

Bridging the Gap

After having identified what makes a style we can move on to understanding how it can fail: 

“To make a dynamic shift from where leaders are to where they want to be, I help them rethink what they know.”

We can now read about the gaps of this style. For example the style Truth Teller has Suspicion as its gap. The book contains many real life stories that exemplify each gap. 

In the end, the book provides a set of tools to help us find our style and bridge the gap: 

“Greatness, as it turns out, lies within your leadership gap and knowing how to leverage them.”

Furthermore, each chapter ends with a summary enumeration of the real life great leaders that mold that archetype. 

Lolly Daksall makes a point in explaining that people are complex. We all have a cocktail of characteristics. Despite this, one leadership style will stand out. She does not attempt to simplify personalities, but rather to help identify a predominant behavior. If we know what our leadership style is we can overcome its gap.

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