Archetype Management Isn’t Easy – Three Rules to Getting the Most from Your Archetypal Team
Who says leadership is easy?
Whether you’re Chairman of the Board, or managing a group of pre-schoolers, we all know that getting people (even toddlers) to cooperate on a single mission or goal is a hugely difficult challenge.
In the company that I co-founded prior to my current one, my job was to be the Chief Scientist – the resident genius.
Being a genius was the easy job. The CEO’s job was much tougher!
The CEO had the hard job; he was managing much more complexity – different people, different groups of people, and each had their own sense of what was most important. He had to work with each person (or group) differently to get them to really come on board with his view for what we should all be doing next.
But just like learning to be a good CEO – or good Chairman of the Board – is a learned skill, learning to manage our inner archetypes is also something that we learn.
Three essential rules help us manage our inner archetypes for not just greatest effectiveness, but greatest inner calm and serenity as we create what we desire in life.
Rule #1: Keep It Simple
The pure sheer force of our inner archetypes is not some abstract, fuzzy-wuzzy concept. Instead, each powerful archetype pushes and pulls us towards circumstances in our lives.
Our inner archetypes have strong desires and tendencies; these lead to immersing ourselves in activities and committing to relationships and obligations.
Case in point.
My young colleague is brilliant. Truly a creative genius. She also has the drive, the passion, to make her visionary creations become real.
The result? Her inner Magician is one of her most dominant archetypes.
Because of her strong inner Magician, she’s in graduate school – and of course, in a very challenging major.
She pushes herself harder than her course-of-study demands. She takes courses that are not absolutely necessary to get her degree, because she sees that what she’ll learn is essential for what she’s creating. She does research, she builds systems that will let her experiment with her novel ideas.
All of this would be just fine – but …
She’s also a mother. Let me make that Mother, capital M. She wanted to be a mom. She fought hard to be a mom. And it didn’t come easy; numerous heartaches and personal sacrifices just to get her child.
So of course, her child takes time. Mental, emotional, and physical time and energy. And she gives this very gladly. This is her Empress/Isis archetype, with a very strong lead.
So now she’s got two of the strongest archetypes going full-tilt, and their demands are non-negotiable.
Even this could be handled. But … (you knew this was coming, right?)
Her income is essential to the family’s well-being. She is forced – more by life-circumstance than by personal desire right now – to spend a lot of time in a job. When you get right down to it, non-negotiable. This means that she spends a lot of time also being an Emperor; a major bread-winner for her family.
Three core power archetypes. Each of them needs – no, demands – a whole lotta time.
How do we deal, when we are in this (not uncommon) situation?
Ruthlessly prioritize how we use our time. Everything that is not essential to our archetype-needs must go towards rest and replenishment for ourselves.
Illustrative example (my colleague’s case):
Taking the child on a Disney vacation during school break. Good call. Doesn’t matter that my colleague had papers to write, experiments to run, and was just simply dragging-her-heels tired. Doesn’t matter that the vacation was damn expensive; meant ratcheting up a credit card. It created good memories. Fun family times. A much-needed break from routine and from consistently putting energy on papers, experiments, etc. Good use of time, money, and energy.
The money and time involved can be recouped.
The pictures that she, her husband, and her child took – irreplaceable. And there will never be this moment with that child again.
Now a not-so-good use of time? A family reunion when there’s emotional tension, demands, dynamics. When said young colleague feels drained after every interaction. She leaves this so-called “vacation” far more depleted than when she began.
See the difference?
When it comes to supporting our archetypes, we can recoup losses of money and time. If we have to borrow to start a business, go to school, whatever – we’ll recover.
It’s a lot harder to recoup from emotional bleed-outs; from situations that get inside our defenses with criticisms and nagging. From people who drain our psychic energy, for whatever rationale or reason.
The lesson from Rule #1: If we’re managing a tough archetypal challenge (three, or even two) dominant and demanding inner archetypes, and if we’ve committed to their aspirations and goals – everything that does not support these commitments must go.
This does not mean that we don’t take time for prayer and pleasure (High Priestess and Hathor). What it does mean is that we don’t let commitments to others sap our reserves; our reserves are necessary to keep ourselves going.
Ask yourself – how do I feel? – after each of these extra commitments or interactions. If we’re short on sleep, but bubbly, then yes – go for it. If we’re drained to the core, then – look more closely. A whole lot more closely.
Rule #2: Deliberately Involve Your Supporting Archetypes to Help with the Major Ones
Suppose that you’re managing a team that has some real hot-shot players. Something like a football team with a fabulous quarterback, or a basketball team with Michael Jordan. (At this point my sports-analogy-abilities run out. But you get the idea.)
The smart coach will make the big plays off the star players, right?
And he (or she) will train the team so that the other football players clear the field for the quarterback. Or they set up the throw for the basketball super-star.
This is a lot like taking the family on a Disney vacation. (See above.)
A lot like; a little different.
If we’ve got one, two, or three major archetypal commitments, then the rest of the archetypes must go into support mode.
Not everyone can be the quarterback.
Not everyone can call the shots.
Rule #3: Use Desire More than Drive in Mobilizing towards What You Want
I tend to write either in the middle of the night, or in the earliest hours of the morning.
This morning (really, closer to midnight), I woke up, and thought about writing to you. The injunction that all blog-writers have in their minds came up – how important it was to stay steady and consistent. I felt motivated, but it wasn’t really enough to get me out of bed.
Then I thought about how much I really wanted to connect with you. Some of you, I know in person, or via email exchanges. But with some of you (brave soul that you are), we’ve never met. Our relationship is strictly through this blogging channel.
Yet still – just by my showing up to write, and you showing up to read – this is a relationship.
What got me out of bed this morning wasn’t drive, it was desire.
Drive pushes from behind (we all know how good that DOESN’T feel!); desire pulls us forward.