Discovering The 5 Archetypes of Leadership


Many of us in looking over our lives realize we never get to play the follower, or submissive. In spite of ourselves we end up in leadership positions in clubs, jobs, even places of worship. Embrace who you are.  There is a clear message there.


A balanced leader in and of him or herself is going to be a powerful person who is a natural at taking responsibility, having a vision, and making things happen. However, just as there are many approaches to personality, there are also many approaches and natural skills for leadership. I am presenting an approach and definition to leadership that defines the many aspects of leadership we all possess, but in varying degrees.


As you read them, preferably learning them as you do, notice which one or two are your top archetypes. Which traits of each are your strengths? Which traits need further development? Your top one or two primary archetypes will be your natural fallback. With developed emotional intelligence you can understand that when high stress happens you may go into defense but you can also learn how to get out of it quickly, before any negative ramifications or regrets.  


Remember as well, you can always develop a consistent pattern of not going into defense at all in order to respond rather than react to any upsetting stimuli.


In business you may be asked to assume a leadership position that doesn’t fit who you are and yet, knowing you are a born leader, you wonder why it is so hard. It is because the archetype of leadership needed is not developed or perhaps not even valued by you. Not everyone is willing to be placed in a position of hiring and firing people. Not everyone has the skills or mind function to be the organizational leader. This is not a defect, simply an archetype of leadership that isn’t yours. Period. You have others. Know which ones are yours.


Remember these archetypes are an aspect of your personality, not your essence. They do not define your character or your intrinsic value they simply show you and others where your strengths are in terms of personal and professional leadership.


You can balance your personality and leadership style by moving closer and closer to having each of these archetypes strengthened so that you can call on any one of them if needed.


Thought Leader

Being an Innovative, out of the box thinker and business partner.


Team Leader

Being the creator of a cohesive unit and team while also creating leaders of various styles throughout your team.


Supportive Leader

Never wanting to be seen as the face or official leader of a company yet the one who will guarantee, at all personal costs, that every project is completed, everything is working, and the Visionary leader shines –




Visionary Leader

Being the recognized face of the organization, the Dream Holder and Visionary who makes the way for the organization.


Organizational Leader

Easily and joyfully creates systems, sub-systems, and processes for the company.


Whether strengthening the vulnerabilities in your particular archetypes or developing other types, balance is what allows you to live a peaceful, joyful, and ever-developing journey. A brief overview of each of these five types follows. Remember there is no right or wrong type, only different styles of leadership. Put a check in each box that reflects you.


The 5 Archetypes of Leadership



Basic Beliefs

Relationship Patterns


·       Insightful

·       Sees Big Picture

·       Creative – Brilliant

·       Thinks Out of the Box

·       Idealistic

·  Constant Fear/Anxiety

·  Sees Life as Unsafe

·  Disorganized

·  Unfocused/Scattered

·  Can Be Hypervigilant

·  Life Is Limitless

·  Anything Is Possible

·  Life Is Dangerous

·  I Am Trapped and Disconnected

·  I Don’t Fit In

·  Highly Perceptive

·  Can Be Great Conversationalist

·  Can Isolate into Ideas – Aloof

·  Limited Ability for True Intimacy/Connection

·  Can Be suspicious


·       Community/Culture Builder

·       Great Motivator

·       Develops Individual leaders

·       Develops a Solid Team

·       Understands People’s Needs and Wants

·  Not Recognizing Own Needs

·  Fears Abandonment

·  Holds on Too Long

·  Can be Seen as Greedy

·  Expects Others to Fill Their Needs

·  We are All in This Together.

·  There’s No One Here for Me.

·  Everyone’s Going to Leave Me.

·  I’m All Alone

·  I Can’t Get Enough.

·       Safe to be Around

·       People Easily Confide in Them.

·       Clings to Others.

·       Consumed with Their Own Needs.

·       Others initially take care of them then abandonment.


·       Loyal

·       Persevering

·       Hard Worker

·       Capable of Great Love/Caring

·       Playful

·  Passive Aggressive

·  Goes to Martyrdom

·  Illusion of Victimization/Powerless

·  Sees Themselves as limited

·  Tends to Experience Being Overwhelmed

·  People are Good

·  I’m not Really Important

·  I must obey/go along with others to be valued

·  I would if I could but I can’t

·  I am powerless

·  Unconditionally loving/caring

·  Always ready and willing to help

·  Great ability to forgive

·  Co-Dependency

·  Gives excessively then blames others for taking


·       Powerful recognized leader

·       Charismatic

·       Powerful speaker

·       Generous

·       Cool under fire.

·  Fears any loss of control

·  Fears not being good enough

·  Fears not being powerful enough

·  Fear of being controlled

·  Feels betrayed easily

·  I can achieve anything I set out to do

·  I must never show hurt/vulnerability to anyone

·  You are with me or against me

·  If I don’t have control others will

·  It is my way or the wrong way

·  Lovingly protective and supportive

·  You can only be close to me if you look up to me

·  Doesn’t let others get too close

·  Wants all the power while others have all the responsibility

·  Insists upon being supported.


·       High Achiever

·       Very Organized

·       Self-Confident

·       Very Responsible

·       Passionate-Adventurous

·  Perfectionist

·  Easily Angered

·  Great Difficulty Expressing Emotions

·  Hides in Work

·  Excessively Competitive

·  Life is Meant to be Organized and Highly Functional

·  I Must Be Perfect in Order to be Loved

·  Love is Conditional

·  Chaos/Drama means Death/Danger

·  It is More Important to Appropriate and Perfect Than Real

·  Capable of Deep Connection

·  Others Feel Energized Around Them

·  Trouble Believing They are Loved – Unconditionally

·  Longs for Tenderness Yet Can Be Uncomfortable with Affection

·  Afraid of Being Hurt – Not Being Good Enough

Self-Reflections on The 5 Archetypes of Leadership:

  1. Can you identify your strongest natural form of leadership?


  1. Your second?
  2. Does your work history reflect that or have you struggled to be something else?