What are the Jungian Archetypes, and how do we connect them to management and executive leadership at our dealership? Why would we want to? Self-awareness is a critical skill in which all successful leaders must become proficient. The work to master oneself creates powerful positive relationships both at the dealership, and at home. Understanding the archetypes leads us into a greater knowledge of our true nature: our unconscious mind, the origins of our personality, and the patterns which drive our behaviours. Carl Jung (1875-1961), a Swiss psychologist, identified 12 archetypes of humans (Jung, 1969). The list is not as definitive as one would expect, as the subject of human personality is quite varied and expansive. However, many interesting myths and legends, based upon the archetypes, have arisen from the depths of the imaginations of great artists. The Hero’s Journey is one such epic story.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a personality assessment based upon the work of Jung. It is an invaluable tool, which we introduce in The Currie Leadership Development Program. Those on the pilgrimage to enhance their leadership skills, begin this one-year program by determining their Myers-Briggs four-letter type. This is the very first step on the path toward increased self-awareness: what are my preferences; what are my strengths and how do they serve me and my peers; what are my blind spots; and what drives my reactions and responses? In short, the assessment gives the student a glimpse into the answer to a timeless question: who am I? Some may determine, based upon the MBTI and Jungian psychology, that they are The Hero.
The Hero is driven. His purpose is to defend, to lead courageously, and to provide for his family and neighbours. The Hero does not play small, and he works tirelessly. The Hero’s true victory lies in the depth of the need that others have for him. Are you now connecting this information to The Hero at your dealership? Is this you? Can you identify managers or principals who personify The hero? If you attended the Currie Conference last year, in Dallas, you would have had an opportunity to attend my lecture on Buddha, Jesus, and Greek gods. The story of Jason and the Argonauts is the epitome of “The Hero’s Journey”. Below is an interesting graphic which depicts the Hero’s Journey.
This graphic was found on Wikimedia.org, at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Heroesjourney.svg
Remember now the epic characters who also embodied The Hero. From Jesus, to Jason, to Superman and Harry Potter, we see the determined drive for righteousness and honour, and the perseverance to win. And, Luke Skywalker shows us the futuristic Hero’s Journey. Of course, there are women on The Hero’s Journey. You didn’t think I would leave them out, did you? Let us consider real-life heroines such as Jean D’Arc. And there is a great deal to learn from some modern-day heroes and heroines as well: Erin Brockovich, Karen Silkwood, and Nelson Mandela. These people stood clear, in their conviction of purpose and were so impassioned they were willing to risk it all. Each of us has, within us, a great hero. But each needs to discover for himself, which of the archetypes is our dominant one, and how that archetype becomes the persona which drives action. Who are you? Are you The Magician? The Lover? Or perhaps you are The Nurturer. What are your natural gifts?
Additionally, did you notice that most of these brave souls who embark on The Hero’s Journey are not necessarily alone? Many are accompanied, and nearly always by a powerful presence. Harry Potter and Dorothy (of The Wizard of Oz) had wizards by their side. Jason had his power team, and Jesus had connection to God. Think Aladdin, and the Genie. The lesson here: perhaps for each, the accompaniments were quite possibly connections to an additional archetype. As in the teachings from the legends of the Greek gods, we draw from their skills whenever we have need of them. The power to reveal solutions is always available. No matter the dominant archetype, all are present within each of us.
If your interest is sparked, join us for the next Currie Leadership Development Program. The new session begins August 6-7, 2018. But, we are looking for a new kind of leader to work with: one who is ready to engage with us in a new direction for the distribution company, and one who is ready to see with monocular vision, as opposed to singularity of sight. As we head midway into 2018, we must continue to develop a laser focus, as well as excellent insight. How do we keep our eyes on both the operational performance, and, at the same time, inspire new and emerging leaders? This combined vision is imperative for bringing our enterprises into the future. The distribution marketplace of today requires us to run faster, lead differently, and see with fresh eyes. There is a new way to lead a successful distribution company: practiced self-awareness is required, as well as the ability to build a bridge between your own preferences and tendencies, and those of all of the people you are leading into the future. We are all part of the adventure, and all must find the ability to tap into both Sensory tendencies, and Intuitive preferences.
The overwhelming majority of our dealership leaders show us a Sensory result, when they take the MBTI Assessment. This result is in keeping with the general population, where we find roughly 75% of people with the Sensor preference. These people prefer to rely on data, sensory experience, and physical information with which to make decisions—think The Currie Financial Model, KPIs, and other performance metrics. The remaining 25% of the population are those with the Intuitive preference, and they seek meaning within that which is present. Intuitives look for patterns within the information, and they look to determine what is the “story” which the performance metrics tell us. Both preferences are important, and true mastery is the ability to recognize both, and apply both in all situations. High level managers and executives must learn to access, and activate, their Intuitive personality traits, along with the Sensory tendency. This activity may not feel natural, and it may seem difficult, but the Sensor is already using Intuition more than she may realize. The leader must use all available strategies, including tenacity and perseverance, to tap into her resources, and retrieve that prize which is necessary for the thriving of her community: her dealership. But how does she accomplish this? Through the strength of the Sensory side of one’s personality, one can journey into the Intuitive. Here’s a unique example of what this means. Below are five common phrases which describe an intuitive process using a sensory modality.
“I see what you mean” (sight)
“I hear you” (hearing)
“This leaves a bad taste in my mouth” (taste)
“I have a good feeling about this” (touch)
“This doesn’t smell right” (smell)
What we have, are phrases which begin with evaluation of a sensory input, and then convert into a statement which derives intuitive meaning from that same sensory input statement. We have now discovered the bridge between The Sensor and The Intuitive. The phrases above are descriptive of a sensory experience. However, as we analyze the way we use these statements, a deeper meaning is discovered. This is a simplistic manner with which to describe the connection between the tendencies of a Sensor, and those of an Intuitive. But we can take this information much deeper, and Sensors can continue to engage Intuitive thinking by taking a more Socratic approach: asking questions and seeking meaning. Take the helicopter and see the view from the top. It opens entirely different perspectives for the developing leaders and empowers the leaders with new inspiration and additional tools for their journeys.
The Currie Financial Model is a quantitative tool, applied in order to measure the financial performance of a dealership or distribution company. What is immediately visible, are the numerical results. Now, enter the Intuitive application—what is the meaning, what are the patterns, and what story are the numbers telling us? Intuitive are all about concepts, Sensors are about logic. If you have attended a Currie lecture on High Performing Executives, you will remember that the competencies of mental agility, curiosity, and the ability to embrace complexity are required. The Socratic approach, as mentioned earlier, is the way to find the answers. What are the questions which arise out of the results: who do we ask, what is happening behind these data points, and what strategies or processes should now be created and implemented?
In this piece, we have covered psychology, personality, leadership, financial modelling, and perhaps a little bit more. For more information about The Currie Leadership Development Program, and other offerings at The Currie Training Center, visit our website at www.CurrieTrainingCenter.com.
Jung, C.G. (1969). Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious [sic], Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 9 (Part 1), Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. New York: Scholastic, 1999.
Baum, L. Frank, and W. W Denslow. The wonderful Wizard of Oz . Chicago ; New York: G.M.