What’s your Leadership Style? Uncover your Authentic Pattern

 In [email protected], Leadership, The 12 Archetypes

There’s no shortage of advice about how to become a better leader. But no model of leadership is one-size-fits-all.

Some leaders are born to be out front; others support from behind. Some take time to mentor and mold; others are known for few words and fast action. Some have inspirational big visions; others, the tenacity to make them realities.

Becoming a better leader begins by understanding what kind of leader you are – both your innate skills (why others rely on you) AND shadow behaviors that operate on an unconscious level and impede your potential.

Archetypes can help you uncover your leadership style (both strengths and shadows), helping you identify specific areas for growth.

To give you a preview, we’ve highlighted how each of the Archetypal patterns approach leadership. Which one sounds most natural to you? Might you be a combination of more than one? Consider the managers and leaders you’ve experienced in the past as examples to help orient yourself. And, think about your behaviors both in and outside of work as your leadership style may be inspired by multiple areas of your life.

The 12 Archetypes and their Leadership Styles



Caregiver leaders believe that if they take care of the needs of others, the rest will take care of itself. For projects, teams, and organizations to thrive, they need to be nurtured/

You may have a Caregiver Leadership Style if:

  • You prefer to lead by example
  • You’ve heard people call you supportive, compassionate, selfless, or encouraging
  • You consider the whole person and their overall well-being, not just the goal at hand
  • People often confide in you, looking for guidance for both work and personal life

Famous Caregiver leaders:

  • Saint Mother Teresa
  • Dr. Daniel Amen
  • Jesus of Nazareth
  • Princess Diana


Creator leaders take things in, establish a vision, and move forward in fashion. They can be unapologetic or unorthodox as they’re usually thinking outside-the-box.

You may have a Creator Leadership Style if:

  • You’re inclined to say, “We need a process for this.”
  • You err on the side of perfection and have an eye for details
  • Others count on you for a big vision or way out of ‘the box’

Famous Creator leaders:

  • Elon Musk, Tesla
  • Martha Stewart
  • Steve Jobs
  • Walt Disney


Everyperson leaders prefer to operate behind the scenes and influence by moving others forward. They have no patience for elitism. The concerns of those who follow them are always front and center.

You may have an Everyperson Leadership Style if:

  • You ground your decisions in morals
  • Believe success comes naturally when you’re honest and trustworthy
  • You’re team-oriented and work toward common good
  • Those that feel jaded or cast aside ask you to stand up for them

Famous Everyperson leaders:

  • Angela Merkel
  • Peyton Manning
  • Blake Mycoskie, Toms Shoes


Explorer leaders are at the forefront of new boundaries, industries, and accomplishments.
Like Louis and Clarke, they often trek alone into uncharted territory.

You may have an Explorer Leadership Style if:

  • You move quickly, always on to the next thing
  • You rely on others to fill your followers in on what you’re thinking
  • Your eyes and mind are set on five years from now with little thought of the present

Famous Explorer leaders:

  • Christopher Columbus
  • Neil Armstrong
  • Steve Irwin
  • Amelia Earhart


Heroes are born leaders. Given a cause or someone to lead, you gladly take up the baton and charge up the hill. With high expectations, they believe nothing worthwhile is ever easy.

You may have a Hero Leadership Style if:

  • You perform best under deadline, helping everyone push through to the end
  • Winning and celebrations make you feel accomplished
  • Your followers feel overworked and overtired
  • You inspire feelings of pride in other people

Famous Hero leaders:

  • General Patton
  • Harry Potter
  • Cesar Chavez
  • Nelson Mandela


Innocent leaders are a rare breed that rely on a strong sense of values, a drive for the simplest solutions, and a quiet fortitude that builds respect. Their believe in the basic goodness of others brings out the best in their followers and helps them evolve to a higher level of being.

You may have an Innocent Leadership Style if:

  • You’re turned off by people that are strong-willed, iron-fisted, or unbending
  • You willingly let others shine
  • You trust traditional patterns and mindsets, believing things will unfold in a natural order
  • Others have called you honest and decent and frequently compliment you on your positive outlook

Famous Innocent leaders:

  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Pastor Joel Osteen
  • Peter Pan
  • Maria from The Sound of Music


Jester leaders have a gift for persuasion and their humor attracts everyone to their side. Your meetings are short and light, getting to the bottom line quickly.

You may have a Jester Leadership Style if:

  • You have a hands-off style
  • Over-serious, over-stressed people put you off
  • People rely on you to lighten the mood or cheer up challenging situations
  • You followers don’t always take you seriously

Famous Jester leaders:

  • Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines
  • Tony Nicely, Geico
  • John Legere, T-Mobile


Lover leaders take on roles that allow them to connect and collaborate rather than direct and delegate. They make everyone they work with feel like a VIP, perhaps through nicknames or special roles, or just with authentic interest in their personal stories.

You may have a Lover Leadership Style if:

  • You’re a natural networker and people look to you for connecting them to others
  • Your followers are very close and you know each other on a personal level
  • Celebrating means hosting special events, giving out awards, or giving public recognition

Famous Lover leaders:

  • Pope Francis
  • Dalai Lama
  • Geoffrey Canada, Harlem Children’s Zone
  • Angelina Jolie


Magician leaders are focused on positive thinking, energetic enthusiasm and total commitment to seeing people change their lives for the better. They transform people and situations and easily persuade people to follow their plans.

You may have a Magician Leadership Style if:

  • You followers don’t always understand how you got from Point A to Point F
  • Your visions of success mean setting the bar high and willing things to happen
  • Decisions are made by trusting your intuition, or asking others to ‘feel things out’
  • You see opportunities and connections others can’t conceptualize

Famous Magician leaders:

  • Barack Obama
  • Howard Schultz
  • Richard Branson


Revolutionary leaders are born troubleshooters, always looking to what can be done quicker or better. They rarely follow the rules and often surprise people with their communication and delivery styles.

You may have a Revolutionary Leadership Style if:

  • Anything that can expedite the success of your team, and is above board, is fine with you
  • Nothing holds you back and you always put all the cards on the table
  • You never keep secrets and always say what’s on your mind
  • People wish you would stop reinventing the wheel

Famous Revolutionary leaders:

  • Rosa Parks
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Mark Zuckerberg


Ruler leaders take their title seriously because they built a reputation and earned it. They have a clear sense of what’s best — for their organization, their staff, and their customers.

You may have a Ruler Leadership Style if:

  • Gray areas are not allowed and failure is not an option
  • Your expertise is sought after because you demonstrate excellence
  • You prefer to be in charge
  • You make every effort not to show vulnerability

Famous Ruler leaders:

  • Winston Churchill
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Queen Elizabeth
  • Hillary Clinton
  • Jeff Bezos, Amazon


Sage leaders like to surround themselves with other deep thinkers. Often the most intelligent one in the room, they’re sought after for straight talk and proper, trusted solutions.

You may have a Sage Leadership Style if:

  • You help others grow by recommending research or reading materials
  • Trustworthy means well-vetted, practiced, or tested
  • You feel like your followers process things too slowly
  • You prefer to approach people one-on-one and avoid anything reminiscent of drama

Famous Sage leaders:

  • Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin
  • Stephen Hawking
  • Deepak Chopra
  • Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook

Different types of leadership styles can be needed for different situations. And, different styles may be more or less successful depending on the organizational culture. Finding an authentic style is the challenge but, in the end, is a more sustainable and successful path.

CultureTalk offers an accurate assessment of the authentic Archetypal patterns that motivate your interaction. Taking the Individual Survey may be the solution you need to define or develop your Leadership Style.

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