What is your Leadership Archetype?

Jan 28, 2022

What is your Leadership Archetype? Having an understanding of your leadership archetype can really help and support you in being a strong and confident leader. 

Here are 8 Leadership Archetypes and you'll probably recognise a few of these archetypes in your colleagues and your boss.

1. The Diligent Leader: this leader works hard, is probably a perfectionist, and gets into leadership through hard work and effort. Upside: this hard working leader will be connected to their teams and always kicking goals. Downside: They drive their teams hard with high standards, expecting the same work ethic. They can be competitive, potentially alienating their peer group. And despite working hard, at times their effort isn't recognised.

2. The Maverick Leader: This transformational leader is always coming at things from different angles. They love to think about how they can improve on and change things. Upside: They think outside the box, are outcome driven and comfortable with high levels of change and ambiguity. Downside: their conceptual, out of the box thinking and approach can become disruptive and exhausting for their teams and they need to learn to balance conceptual thinking with a more balanced approach. 

3. The Reluctant Leader: this leader doesn't think of themselves as a leader, but everyone goes to them with their problems and looks to them for answers. This leader would love to just glide along and have others take charge, but they keep getting put in leadership situations. Upside: a natural leader who can take charge and make things happen, whilst connecting to employees and customers. Downside: once the need is over they retreat from leadership to follow their chosen path.

4. The Sovereign Leader: Sage and wise, this ruler archetype leads the pack with leadership and will likely be found in the C suite. Upside: Well rounded leader with the communication and influencing skills that will benefit any company, and the right level of focus on customer, employee, shareholder, strategy, outcome. Downside: Can be difficult to make decisions in their absence, and their opinion is often deferred to - which can add risk if they aren't taking the correct course of action. 

5. The Entrepreneurial Leader: this leader works hard, and is focused on delivering outcomes and value for customers, employees and shareholders. They are not a perfectionist, are happy with the minimum viable product, and will roll up their sleeves and get the work done when required. Upside: the Entrepreneurial leader needs their own space to make things happen. They will do what it takes to achieve outcomes. They learn by doing and have strong growth mindset. Downside: These strong individuals may forget to take their peer group on the journey with them, which can be alienating. They forge ahead and can leave others behind. 

6. The Teacher: this leader is focused on achieving through their teams, and spend a lot of time teaching and coaching their team members. Upside: strongly engaged teams in a psychological safe environment. Downside: this leader puts their teams before outcomes, which works if the team is high performing and engaged, but can backfire if team morale is impacted through external factors. 

7. The Servant Leader: this leader focuses on empowering their teams and removing the blockers to success. Down to earth and approachable, these leaders are usually genuine and authentic. Upside: This leader empowers their teams, and the flatter structure results in those people closer to the knowledge making the decisions, which reduces risk and achieves outcomes. Downside: Distributing power results in a more collaborative decision-making approach which could devolve to decisions not being made effectively or promptly. 

8. The Hero Leader: this leader regularly saves the day, and loves the accolades that come with that. A problem solver and high achiever, the hero leader is here to remove pain points and solve pressing issues.  Upside: this leader swoops in and saves the day, fixing serious issues that are impacting the organisation. Downside: systemic, continuous and incremental improvement isn't something this leader enjoys.

I hope you have enjoyed learning about these 8 key Leadership Archetypes.

Which Leadership Archetype are you? You'll probably find you have more than one leadership archetype or style, as most people do.

Think about the people you work with. Can you recognise their primary archetypes?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on these archetypes :)


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