Deborah was a judge and prophet in Israel. Her story is told in the book of Judges.

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Was Deborah considered a sub-optimal leader?

I've sometimes heard that Deborah was allowed to be a leader of Israel only because no man stepped up to the responsibility. However, when she is introduced there is no indication of that: ...
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Did Barak already know what he was supposed to do in Judges 4:6-7?

Since we're on a Deborah kick lately: The ESV renders Deborah's statement to Barak in Judges 4:6-7 as a question: Has not the LORD, the God of Israel, commanded you, "Go, gather your men at ...