In the last six months, with Covid becoming endemic, we have had the opportunity to kick start some very interesting coaching engagements for our clients. They were investing to develop their talent, and particularly their leaders, to embrace the future better. Through these leadership and executive coaching engagements, we have been able to define five specific and meaningful trends that are changing the workplace today:
- Getting comfortable to lead and manage multiple generations (Gen Z, Gen Y, Gen X, Baby Boomers)
- Managing and leading diverse teams and technologies
- Being human
- Being able to balance accountability while focussing on execution
- Curiosity and growth mindset
There is no dearth of such trends as stated by experts and researchers. With due respects to them, I want to take this opportunity to give some rest to the left side of our brains, and together explore the power of what our right brains can do to our leadership.
The key to managing and thriving in these times, is to have the power, accessibility and deliberation to be agile to change. The human brain has the plasticity to handle change, but how can we tune ourselves to the right frequencies to change faster, better and smarter?
We can do this by leveraging the power of archetypes within us. Archetypes are patterns of behaviour or hidden personalities that influences our actions. Learning about the different archetypes and identifying which archetype is influencing your actions will lead you on a self-discovery and growth journey. You can then consciously choose the archetype you wish to showcase instead of letting the archetype control you.
As a classical dance exponent, I have helped leaders explore these archetypes within themselves, using the power of dance, voice and theatre. During these sessions, I have heard leaders say that they are able to gain some new powers to handle their challenges, and the best part is that these powers are within their control and influence.
Through the experiences I’ve had while coaching leaders, I’ve become more convinced of the power of archetypes. To begin with, I want you to consider three archetypes that can help you tackle at least three out of the five abovementioned workplace trends.
D – DESTROYER
E – EXPLORER
C – CAREGIVER
Seeking the DESTROYER within you
Imagine you are in your annual team meeting. With many things to discuss around plans and strategies for the year, you decide to hone your Destroyer archetype. You write on the white board, in front of you, two equations:
1+1 = 0.5 1+1 = 11
You first encourage your team to identify behaviours that collectively hold you back (1+1 = 0.5). Next, you focus on the behaviours that can accelerate your collective success (1+1 = 11).
You will soon find that destruction can be constructive too. The power of the Destroyer archetype helps you and your team to “destroy” some of the beliefs, biases and perceptions that held everybody back as a team. This would greatly help in dealing with two trends –
- Lead and manage multiple generations
- Lead and manage diverse teams
By destroying things that hold you back, you create the space to embrace another archetype – The EXPLORER.
Seeking the EXPLORER within you
Today our lives are lost in the midst of never ending “busy”-ness. We have buried the possibility of using the Explorer personality, that we exhibited effortlessly until the age of 14 or 15.
You have the wonderful opportunity to invoke this archetype every day at work. One of the trends that defines the leader of the future is one who has Curiosity and a Growth Mindset. To consciously build this into practice, you need to invoke the Explorer archetype.
Visualize a team meeting where there are multiple things to discuss. Before deep diving into a project/deal closure, would it not be wonderful if you had 15 minutes of learning and exploration. Would it not be nice to have these in every meeting? As the invoker of this archetype, you must encourage your team to explore the possibilities of KSBT.
K – KNOWLEDGE
S – SKILLS
B – BEHAVIOURS
T – TECHNOLOGY
As a team you should explore new knowledge, skills, behaviours and technologies that can keep you and your team well ahead of your peers and competitors. The Explorer helps you to create mindful pockets for continuous learning, building curiosity and developing a growth mindset.
When you discover more opportunities through your Explorer archetype, you can accelerate results through the CAREGIVER archetype.
Seeking the CAREGIVER within you
With the explosion of devices, technology and distractions, think about how your emotional maturity can nurture better individuals and leaders?
You have the opportunity to invoke the Caregiver archetype when you are thinking of “Multiplier Growth”.
Imagine you are in your leadership team meeting – your super boss sets very high growth expectations for you and your team. You come out of the meeting and your team is curious to find out more. At this juncture, if you invoke the Caregiver within you, you will set the larger context of the aspiration, while also aligning the aspiration to the motivation of your different team members, thus setting the stage for multiplier results.
The caregiver within you, embraces your team to deliver, yet understands that accountability is underpinned by “being human”, which is one of the trends mentioned above. When your team encounters this archetype, they become motivated to strive further and deliver results that would make you and your bosses proud.
Through this article, I hope I have raised your awareness to the possibilities of unleashing the power of your archetypes. My intent was for you to blend your left-brain prowess with the power of emotions inherent within you. You now have the choice to bring your cherished childhood/teenage personalities to your workplace and use them effectively to transform you and the world around you.
Unleashing these emotions by connecting to the personalities that showcase the archetypes is a powerful way to multiply your impact.
Want to learn more about Archetypes?
You can purchase “The 12 Powerful Leadership Archetypes” course from our UStepUP campus.