Four Types of Superpowers for Consultants and CoachesApr 08, 2022
Are you ready to find your superpower?
Even though you've taken personality tests and can easily list your strengths, you may still be unclear about what you do that makes you unique and intensely valuable to the people you want to serve.
You might even know how your approach to consulting or coaching differs from others, but you can't isolate that point of differentiation or what drives it.
When you are operating from your superpower, you are in flow, confident, and bold! When you're in this zone of genius, you make more and work less or feel like you're working less because you're doing what makes you happy!
Here is one reason it's hard to really find your superpower:
Strengths are a great description of what we're innately good at and better at than others. But this language isn't sufficient for describing our genius or superpowers because I believe genius is more than what's in our DNA. It's about gifts that we are given for this life that reflect our purpose and joy! The word genius comes from Latin and means "attendant spirit present from one's birth."
We need to get beyond personality tests that give you yet another list of your strengths and weaknesses. Instead, we need language that conveys the power of your being, how you show up with your clients, and what you activate in them.
We need the language of archetypes.
I have been certified in many personality tests like the Myer-Briggs, which I love. But getting certified as an archetype consultant through Caroline Myss (Mace) was a gamechanger. I knew instantly that archetypes were the secret behind great brands like my former employer Disney which does not sell room nights and theme park tickets but magical memories!
Archetypes are the key to figuring out the answers to those pressing mid-life core questions: Who am I? What is my purpose?
Archetypes are why my brand-building process is so transformational. I mirror for my clients the essence of their greatness and who they have been their whole lives! Click here to learn more about my brand-building program.
Let's bring all of this into context.
How many times have you looked at someone and quickly characterized them with a statement like, "He's such a bully." or "She's a saint." or "What a diva?".
These are archetypes! Archetypes are a universal language of the human soul.
Archetypes date back to the dawn of human history, and awareness of archetypes dates back to at least the time of Plato, who believed that these eternal forms were reflected in material objects. The great Swiss psychologist Carl Jung further developed a more comprehensive understanding of archetypes and asserted, "There exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature that is identical to all individuals." Archetypes are the reoccurring characters in art, literature, myth, and religion.
You already know this language because they are coded within you, and you see these archetypes in art, movies, myths, history, and culture. There is a reason why actors seem to play the same role over and over. Tom Hanks always plays the Everyman – from Forrest Gump to Mr. Rogers. Hugh Jackman is a Warrior Hero who relentlessly overcomes the odds to experience freedom in roles as diverse as Wolverine, Jean Valjean in Les Miserable, and PT Barnum in The Greatest Showman.
Speaking of the Greatest Showman, Zac Efron always plays the Prince who finds a heart. He also plays this role in High School Musical and Hairspray.
Jennifer Anniston is the Girl Next Door, and Sophia Vergara is the Goddess. Even Meryl Streep plays according to her archetype as she is a Shapeshifter who can change form for a role.
Our favorite movies are deeply archetypal.
Even though the details of Star Wars, The Lion King, Harry Potter, and the Wizard of Oz are vastly different, they tell one familiar story, and that is the Hero's Journey. This monomyth cuts across all cultures identified by 20th-century mythologist Joseph Campbell.
While archetypes provide the foundation of many popular personality tests like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, it's better to think of them more comprehensively. Archetypes are intimate companions and a more holistic view of one's personality, drives, feelings, beliefs, and motivations.
Now, let me introduce you to my internal boardroom framework, where I have organized the endless archetypes that are out there in the collective unconscious into four families that connect with the different ways people approach work.
As I go through each of the four families of work-related archetypes, think about which family feels most like home to you. Do not focus on where you're successful or proficient, but zoom in on what feels MOST like you - in your core.
All work begins with an idea, and the ones that work in the realm of ideas are the Visionaries.
The Visionary Family are the ones that dream about the potential of what the world and organizations can be and create. They are the ones that others turn to for out-of-the-box ideas, shift perception on challenges and ideas that will generate a future gain.
Their core contribution is to envision and create opportunities. They offer ideas and creative expression.
They are the tribe of creative expression. Visionaries thrive on ideas, intuition, and what is possible. They get others to dream bigger, dare more, and embrace ambitious goals and dreams. They strive to create the ideal product, service, or experience and aren't afraid to challenge convention or the status quo.
Visionaries are Creators, Dreamers, Magicians, Storytellers, Shapeshifters, and many others in this tribe.
- Walt Disney
- Steve Jobs
- Elizabeth Gilbert
- Moira Rose from Schitt's Creek
- Lin-Manuel Miranda
- Dr. Strange from Marvel
My client Chris' primary archetype is Visionary/Entertainer. When he tapped into this energy, he realized that what makes him unique is that he doesn't just produce workplace videos that improve employee performance but ones that are fun and memorable and that transform motivation.
Once ideas take form, the Sage Family steps in. They are the ones that use the power of their thinking and intellect to ensure the security and stability of others. They make sure ideas and tasks are approached strategically.
A sage's core contribution is to stabilize and engineer sustainability. They offer structure and thought-out plans.
The Sages are the tribe of thinking. They thrive on learning and data to seek truth and wisdom in every situation. They like to be perceived as competent and in control. They contribute to the world through their ability to strategize, plan and organize. Sages make the world better by creating structure and order.
Sages are Architects, Engineers, Analysts, Strategists, Experts, and many others in this tribe.
- Hillary Clinton
- Jim Collins
- Deepak Chopra
- Marty Byrde from Ozark
- Tony Stark and Bruce Banner from Marvel
Many of my clients are Sages. Rachel, the dating coach, is a sage. Her archetype is what makes her truly unique as a dating coach. Rachel offers advice about dating and a strategic plan to find love, which was exceptionally powerful for her high-achieving women clients!
Once strategies and structures are in place, the Caretaker Family takes over. Those who live in this quadrant of belonging place a high value on the relationships within and among people. A Caretaker's top priority is ensuring everyone works and lives together collaboratively and harmoniously.
The Caretaker's core contribution is to foster belonging. They forge connections with and between people.
The Caretakers are the tribe of feeling. They thrive on caring, nurturing others, and creating relationships. Caretakers are all about supporting others in their careers or life journeys. They want others to know that they have someone in their corner. They contribute to the world through their ability to forge community and teamwork and match the right people to the right tasks.
Caretakers are networkers, ambassadors, mentors, teachers, guides, and many others in this tribe.
- Ted Lasso
- Maria from the Sound of Music
- Mary Poppins
- Mother Teresa
- Princess Diana
- Tom Hanks
- Black Widow and Captain America from Marvel
My client Renee is almost ready to launch her business and brand. She consults association leaders. The game changer in our process was when she figured out the role that her Ambassador (aka Caretaker) energy played throughout her life and now in her business. She has always been the one to create harmony among different people – first in her family, then at school, and in her career. Renee is unique in the alignment she creates among boards, members, volunteers, and employees.
Finally, once ideas have formed, strategies are created, and people are enrolled, the Warrior Family steps in to ensure results happen. Those in this quadrant place a high value on achievement and getting things done. They are all about getting things started and orchestrating people and tasks to effectively and efficiently deliver results.
The Warrior's core contribution is to encourage action. They mobilize others to make things happen.
Warriors are the tribe of action. They thrive on accomplishment, doing, outcomes, and performance. They contribute to the world through their ability to overcome impossible odds and activate change and possibilities. Warriors make the world better by being the best. They are less about nurturing others and more about challenging them to rise to the occasion.
Warriors are operators, athletes, rebels, activators, commanders, and many others in this tribe.
- Erin Brockovich
- LeBron James
- Maximus from the Gladiator
- Han Solo
- Thor, Wanda, Hulk from Marvel
So, what about you? What's your primary archetype? Not sure?
Choosing your primary archetype that reflects your business superpower might be a challenge for one big reason. What drives you to grow your own business isn't the same as what drove you in earlier parts of your career.
In our 20's, we figured out what we were good at doing. In our 30's, we honed our skills and competence and became an expert. And then, somewhere in mid-life, we notice significant parts of who we are and what we are truly excellent at got left behind. And now we're struggling to create a business off what's most true about us, and our survival brains aren't always cooperating.
Here is how to figure out your archetype:
- Start to notice these four families of archetypes all around you. These four show up all the time as a unit. In the Wizard of Oz, you have Dorothy the Visionary/Dreamer, Scarecrow the Sage, Tin Man the Caretaker, and the Lion, who should be the Warrior but is operating in his shadow. That's a different story for a different day. You can see these four in the original Sex and the City – with Carrie the Visionary, Miranda the Sage, Charlotte the Caretaker, and Samantha the Warrior.
- Pay attention to yourself and what is your true native way of being in the world (without the shoulds and expectations).
- Pay attention when people come to you for help and advice and what they are asking. For example, do they want your help seeing a situation differently, finding words, or creating images to describe something they see? If so, you might be a Visionary. Do they ask for your wise advice and counsel, or do they ask you to fix something or help them plan? If so, you might be a sage? Do they come to you for comfort, guidance, training, and support? Do they need your help connecting better with others? If so, you might be a Caretaker. Do they need your help getting their butt in gear and getting things happening and moving? If so, you might be a Warrior.
Are you interested in starting your own business or getting your existing consulting or coaching business to stand out in the marketplace? Then, check out my FREE resources to help you get instant traction and accelerate your success! Click here for free goodies.
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