Gap Finders vs. Gap Standers

March 22, 2013 — 2 Comments

It’s a concept I heard from my pastor, Walt Roberson, earlier in the year.  We can see this applied in community and organizational life. But I also believe it can be helpful in understanding our own creative perspectives.  I took a some time to write out ways we see this play out. Maybe you have more to add to this list…

Photo by Brenton Clarke, LightStock.

Photo by Brenton Clarke, LightStock.

What are the differences between Gap Finders and Gap Standers?

Gap finders are primarily conscious of everything that IS NOT happening.
Gap standers celebrate everything that IS happening.

Gap finders face problems, and can only see a wall.
Gap standers face problems, but can see through and around them.

Gap finders think the problem is someone else’s responsilbility.
Gap standers find ways to own the problem or help those involved.

Gap finders see limitations.
Gap standers see solutions.

Gap finders have no issue in inviting others into their criticism.
Gap standers take joy in inviting others into all the possibilities.

Gap finders like the idea of hope, but can never quite get there.
Gap standers overflow with hope, even if the situation is complex.

Gap finders live in a place of anxiety.
Gap standers live in a place of rest.

Gap finders assume the worst of people and point to their deficiencies.
Gap standers believe the best of people and affirm all of their victories.

Gap finders have a hard time believing anyone else can do the job “right”.
Gap standers empower others and aren’t afraid if they get it “wrong”.

Gap finders ask questions to make others feel dumb.
Gap standers ask questions to spark conversation and gain understanding.

Gap finders look at failure and say “I told you so.”
Gap standers look at failure and say “We did our best.”

Gap finders look at success and say “You got lucky.”
Gap standers look at success and say, “I knew we could.”

Gap finders are usually annoyed with gap standers.
Gap standers are usually too busy helping others to notice the gap finders.

Honestly, I can see myself on both sides of the spectrum.  I’m not sure that any of us are FULLY one or the other.  But more and more, the people I find myself attracted to and wanting to partner with are the Gap Standers.  These are the people you want on your leadership team and working alongside you on creative projects.

What are your thoughts?
Have you see these same tendencies?
Are you a Gap Finder or a Gap Stander?

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  • Londa Crigger

    This is an absolutely fantastic post! Our daughter’s fourth grade is part of a leadership pilot program, and she loved reading this! We’re excited to share the link with her teacher! Thank you so much for writing!

  • Thanks Londa! I’m glad that was helpful. Please, feel free to pass it on to anyone else who may benefit from it.