Go online and look up bios and profiles of some well-known leaders who interest you (famous coaches, CEOs, social activists, clergy, etc.). From the information provided (such as testimonials by followers), see if you can find an example of the various archetypes. For each example, how does the personality type affect the leader’s success? Would the leader still be successful if his/her personality type were different? What patterns are seen in the distribution of personality types across professions? How is personality type best determined—by psychoanalysis, self-assessment tools, follower feedback, or . . . ? Is there much variety within types? How useful is this information?
Create a slide show to present to the class about the Psychodynamic Approach. Using an online tool such as Slideroll (slideroll.com) to produce a 1½-minute show about one aspect of the approach. Examples: The influence of childhood and adolescent experiences, people’s unconscious motives that influence their behavior, productive and unproductive versions of narcissism, people’s blind spots, the inner theater, social defense mechanisms, different archetypes, and the like. The slide show should include text that you develop about your topic. These can be quotes from the chapter or other sources. Rather than being merely informative, the purpose of the slide show should be to pose intriguing questions about this approach or to persuade the viewer about its value and applicability.
Kets de Vries Institute
This chapter was written by Manfred Kets deVries, who is both a business consultant and psychoanalyst. Peruse the website of his Institute (www.kdvi.com) to read about his philosophy of consulting and the resources available.
(a) Take the sample leadership questionnaire online.
(b) Watch one or more of the videos available on the site (under the media menu) in preparation for class discussion. For example, the 16-minute TEDXAmsterdam talk—“From Hero to Zero: When Leaders Derail”—poses the questions: Why do so many leaders self-destruct? Why don’t they get the best out of their people? Why don’t their teams function better? Why do so many organizations have a gulag mentality?
Consider these questions: How relevant are the three fears of leaders? Where do you observe and feel the brunt of another’s narcissism? If you were to ask for 720-degree feedback about yourself, what new perspectives would you discover? How can you practice using yourself "as an instrument” today?
(c) Ask students to look at the training and consulting resources offered by the Institute. One of the criticisms of the Psychodynamic Approach is that it doesn’t lend itself to training in a conventional sense. From the website, what can students infer about the type and utility of the training that the Institute offers? What questions might they submit to the Institute about their training effectiveness?
The Hero’s Journey
Find and watch YouTube clips on various archetypes. Another option is to view “What Is the Hero’s Journey?” by Pat Soloman at TEDX Rock Creek Park. Pair this with “Enough with the Hero’s Journey Already” by Colin Stokes at TEDX Beacon Hill. Which talk did you relate to most? Why?