Sage Leadership

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Archetypes & YOU

There is an under-ground swell occurring in leadership around the term Sage Leadership. I'm not going to spend too much time writing about this today, as I intend on authoring a white-paper on the topic. I did want to try to spur your thinking a little.

Take this idea from Carl Jung on Archetypes by Pearson-Marr:

"Archetypes are psychological structures reflected in symbols, images, and themes common to all culture and all times. You see them in recurring images in art, literature, myths, and dreams. You may experience archetypes directly as different parts of you. If you say on one hand that you want one thing and on the other you want something else, you can give archetypal names to those parts, as they generally communicate desires and motivations common to humans everywhere. Although the potential characters within us are universal, each of us expresses them differently, endowing them with somewhat different styles, traits, and mannerisms.

For example, while the Warrior is an archetype, different kinds of warriors engage in different battles. The Warrior archetype ecompasses the Japanese Samurai and the American G.I., but it also might include the HIV researcher, the advocate for social justice, or the member of a street gang. Each of them are all warriors. The expression of an archetype will be influenced by a person's culture, setting, and time in history, but it also will be a manifestation of his or her individuality.

As aspects of ourselves, archetypes may reveal our most important desires and goals. Understanding their expression in our life myths or stories help us gain access to unrealized potential, grasp the logic and importance of our lives, and increase our empathy for the stories that others live."

The Pearson-Marr Archetype Indicator™ identifies the following Archetypes:

Innocent, Orphan, Caregiver, Warrior, which help you, others and the species to survive.

Seeker, Lover, Destroyer, Creator, which help you and others find yourselves, and express your gifts.

Ruler, Magician, Sage, and Jester, which help you and others live authentically, making a positive contribution to the world while also experiencing personal fulfillment.

The reason I decided to "begin" my discussion of Sage Leadership here is that to me, we have be distinct enough about what we are talking about that we find ways to define terms we use.

Main Entry: 1sage
Pronunciation: 'sAj
Function: adjective
Inflected Form(s): sag·er; sag·est
Etymology: Middle English, from Old French, from (assumed) Vulgar Latin sapius, from Latin sapere to taste, have good taste, be wise; akin to Oscan sipus knowing, Old Saxon ansebbian to perceive
1 a : wise through reflection and experience b archaic : GRAVE, SOLEMN
2 : proceeding from or characterized by wisdom, prudence, and good judgment <sage advice>
synonym see WISE
- sage·ly adverb
- sage·ness noun

Main Entry: 2sage
Function: noun
1 : one (as a profound philosopher) distinguished for wisdom
2 : a mature or venerable man of sound judgment

In each of these definitions, there are a myriad of ideas about how "sage" might be applied to leadership.

And this is as good a place as any to start in my view.

Defining Sage Leadership.

But! That's for another time.

After all, these musings on leadership must be fun...yes?

Ok, here's my theory for in a nutshell, more later.

"Top 10 Points To Consider About Sage Leadership"

1. Sage is an Archetypical Metaphor. (see attributes above)
2. The Sage Archetype occurs in people and in systems.
3. Certain people are pre-disposed to the Sage Archetype.
4. Certain systems are pre-disposed to the Sage Archetype.
5. Sage Archetypes are particular operational principles
6. The evidence of "Sage Archetype" can be measured.
7.  Sages are necessary but not sufficient for sage cultures.
8. Ecologies can be designed to promote sageness.
9. Leaders can become sage-like, but sageness is inborn.
10. Organizations can create the principles of sageness.

Ok, that ought to get you thinking, we'll see how soon I'm drawn back into this discussion. Psst: remember I have a blog, go there, post, discuss, etc.

To Self-Knowledge!

Still time to reach my inner circle….

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