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All exec.TRAITS have positive and inflated or negative aspects. They can be the “Best” and the “Worst” in us. Generally a balance of styles works best. Some are more necessary in leading others. However, they are all present in an organizational working group to some degree.

The exec.TRAITS Survey assesses 15 leadership personality styles using concepts of archetypes introduced by Carl Jung in the 1920’s and furthered by Jungian analysts such as Jean Shined Bolen. The archetypes are used to explain universal patterns of behavior in human beings.

The “collective unconscious” was Jung’s way of saying these archetypes and patterns reside deep within each of us affecting the way people think and act.  Bolen and her colleagues furthered the work focusing on the personalities of ancient mythic figures found in folklore to show us how they appear in the human psyche today. Myth does not end in ancient folklore. We regularly create characters that take on mythical qualities like John Wayne in cowboy or World War II movies, or those who live in our television sets, like “Mad Men” or “Game of Thrones.”  These patterns are reflections of human patterns existing in our lives today.

The personality styles in the exec.TRAITS Survey come from the classical Greek myth of Zeus, his siblings and family.  Each style is labeled masculine or feminine according to the mythic figure, e. g. , Zeus’s behaviors are labeled masculine, Aphrodite, feminine, etc.  Because democratic cultures in the west are based on Greek City States these patterns often describe the expectations in our western culture of how a man or woman should act as a leader. Yet our culture is evolving and archetypes that have not been traditionally favored are now coming to the fore.

For example, executive positions require behaviors that have traditionally been labeled masculine as naturally male, such as, strategic thinking, cool emotions, competition and use of power. As women moved into these positions they displayed how traditional feminine behaviors influence the success of an organization, like nurturing staff and customers. Further in some archetypes represented in a few mythic figures, like Athena and Artemis, “masculine” characteristics are a part of their normal behavioral patterns. Yet, in displaying more masculine behaviors women are often judged as being too aggressive. Frustrations build among women who wonder how to be successful as leaders in the work setting.

You will see your favored leadership styles, their strengths and vulnerabilities that lead you to choices you can make to develop aspects of your leadership.

The higher your score on a style, the more likely you will display the leadership strengths and challenges of that personality pattern.  They tend to be your outer face or persona that you show the world. You will likely recognize your strengths and if you score very high you will likely recognize some of your leadership challenges, too.  You may have more than one higher scoring style in both the masculine and feminine patterns indicating flexibility in your leadership abilities.

Lower scores in some of the styles describe aspects of yourself that you may have repressed, suppressed or not acknowledged saying “This is just not me”. Jung describes these as shadows. In the scores of your same gender you are likely to find your strongest shadow. Investigating the leadership strengths of these low scores can be a rich development area for you. Considering how the absence of the strengths of these styles affect your leadership now can uncover a rich development need.

As you consider the archetypes of your high scores in the opposite gender you may find aspects of yourself that you project on others without recognizing them within yourself.  These are  called the anima for a man or animus for a woman. They are often underdeveloped in you. To understand your anima or animus look at those of the opposite sex to whom you are attracted and ask yourself if  this person describes something you are not aware of in yourself.

The archetype of Psyche gives you an indication of your journey towards individuation, I. e., Jung’s theory of merging the masculine and feminine, the conscious and the unconscious.  Psyche is the only pattern added to the Profile that is not a part of the Zeus pantheon originally.  In the mythical story Zeus accepts Psyche into the Pantheon because of her ability to combine the best of the masculine and feminine strengths making  her unique.   Zeus granted her immortality.  She represents the growth and learning one must travel through to integrate the masculine and feminine styles becoming  a fully aware, harmonious, mature, responsible and empowered leader. Which aspects of Psyche’s strengths and challenges describe you now and which, if you developed them, would empower your leadership?

All exec.TRAITS have positive and inflated or negative aspects. They can be the “Best” and the “Worst” in us. Generally a balance of styles works best. Some are more necessary in leading others. However, they are all present in an organizational working group to some degree.

Knowing yourself will help you be comfortable with your persona, shadow, anima or animus and  point out what you might need to develop in order to be a better leader.

It will also help you to know your colleagues and bosses better by observing their styles.

Evaluating  the exec.TRAITS database of masculine and feminine leadership behaviors showed that women’s norms are significantly lower than men’s in masculine behaviors necessary for CEO, COO, CFO, CIO, that is the C-Suite positions.   In contrast, men’s norms in feminine leadership behaviors are similar to women’s in the feminine.  The data indicates that men have integrated feminine behaviors into their leadership styles while maintaining their masculine.

Over the last 40 years men expanded their roles at home, caring for children, cooking meals and basically taking on more nurturing roles which many report they enjoy. Also in the work setting during this period participative and collaborative management models showed promise for increased productivity and profit.  Men were challenged to let go of dominating, aggressive behaviors in favor of more egalitarian behaviors.

In the same period women generally have yet to sufficiently modify their styles integrating strong masculine behaviors while maintaining their feminine.  The exceptions are women who are already in C-Suite positions whose profiles are similar to men’s.  It’s now acceptable, even desired, for men to use “feminine” approaches to leadership, e.g. taking care of the workforce, while women are still accepting the need to use masculine behavior.

We can learn from the transformation that Psyche made to integrate the masculine and feminine into her self-awareness. In her myth, Psyche, a beautiful young woman at the edge of adulthood,  believes she has to follow her fate, that is, society’s expectation for her marriage and life. Grudgingly accepting she is destined to marry a monster, she awaits her misery to begin. However, at that moment happenstance intervenes in the form of Eros who is supposed to initiate her fate. Instead he falls in love with her against his mother’s wishes. Trying to stifle his love he leaves her and goes home. She then starts her journey to find him. She faces very difficult trials – the kind that a man typically faces. She learns to delegate and work with power in completing a task that one could not possibly accomplish alone. When confronted with a task truly beyond her skill she accepts sponsorship from someone more powerful who has the resources to assist in completing the task. She learns to stay focused on her goal even when others plead with her to help them.  Near the end of her journey she learns to rely on her higher values rather than be tempted to deceive and manipulate in order to succeed. She keeps on going fighting though her desire to give up is strong. She matures leaving old concepts of herself as a weak, compliant person behind and acknowledges she is a strong confident leader in charge of her life. Eros represents the loving masculine aspect in her personality joining her strengthened feminine aspects.  Carl Jung calls this individuation, i.e., becoming an individual fully capable of using all aspects of her/himself to live a unique life – the human journey of self discovery.

The lesson for us is to look at the unconscious beliefs we hold about leadership and who can demonstrate it effectively. Women’s scores on the exec.TRAITS Survey are significantly lower in masculine traits deemed necessary in C-Suite positions which affects their credentials for upward mobility. Because of this gap women who aspire to top management have the responsibility to risk transforming themselves in ways that affirm their masculine and feminine leadership aspects. Women in the military and sports are models for taking this on. Men can help by championing these efforts, as women did for men in taking on traditionally feminine aspects sorely needed in building and running an organization. Self development has inherent risk of changing the status quo. However, the benefits of encouraging talented leaders, men and women, to use all aspects of our psyches to perform at our peak improves all aspects of our organizational health.

Only you can assert that “This is just the way I am” meaning you have only one style that you prominently use. Depending on the strength of your persona it may be difficult not to stereotype yourself.

However, awareness is always the first step to change.

If the incentive to be a better leader is deep in you, you can change and others will see it. Subsequently stereotyping you is more difficult. You can always speak about your strengths and development areas which signals others to see you as dynamic, not staid in who you are.

Phone consultations with certified coaches are available. Webinars, You Tube videos, seminars, blogs and other resources are posted on regularly.

Yes. However, employees’ data is confidential to them. Individuals may not want to share their personas and shadows and should not be required to. Your session with your team will be more successful if you focus on sharing strengths and development areas. Using a certified consultant in the exec.TRAITS Survey concepts will also help you deepen your understanding of working together as unique individuals in a team.

Yes, Certification training and workshops for coaches, human resource individuals and individuals who are trained in depth psychology are scheduled regularly. Contact Lana directly to inquire about becoming a coach.

No. A hiring manager should not require a candidate to take the exec.TRAITS Survey for a specific position. While the exec.TRAITS Survey is certified for reliability, it is not yet validated for specific positions and should not be required to filter candidates for  an actual position at this time. However, to assist hiring managers in finding the right person for their positions they can become skilled in the exec.TRAITS personality styles and tailor their interviews seeking leadership behaviors that might help them to know whether the candidate has the leadership qualities their positions require.

Adults 16 years and older are likely to have formed their personas substantially to benefit from the assessment.  Those who are already in leadership positions or those who want to be leaders will benefit the most from learning about their personas, shadows, anima or animus and individuation.