Archetypal leadership is nothing new. In fact, it is the oldest philosophical approach to leadership there is – common across cultures, continents and languages. We use it every day when we talk about the “tyrant” manager, the young executive who is “driving” change throughout the organisation, the manipulations of the office “gossip” and the “compliant” team member who just wants to fit in. All of these approaches and strategies, while being dysfunctional, are at the same time, quite effective at achieving particular personal outcomes – outcomes that unfortunately, also create tension, anger and long-term behaviours that sabotage teams and organisations.
The Leadership Lounge workshop introduced participants to the basic theories of Carl Jung’s archetypal psychology and Robert Moore’s recent work on masculine psychology. The archetypes were explored in terms of their shadow and light forms and participants spent time reflecting on their own behaviours and strategies before sharing their insights within small groups. An experiential process focusing on self-declaration and ownership enabled the participants to ground their insights and this was followed up by an active imagination process that drew on the archetypal symbology in conjunction with a timeline visualisation.