7 Archetypes of Leadership Styles

As project managers, one of our job function is to lead our project teams.  What values and traits does a great project leader have?  And how does our leadership style changes when we are working under stress or uncertainty?

During the 2016 PMI Talent Management Conference, Lolly Daskal, revealed the 7 archetypes of leadership styles that highly driven and successful leaders adopts.  More importantly, she speaks about the leadership “gap” that each archetype will become and negatively impact the effectiveness of the leader when he/she is under stress.  Leaders who are not tune into these “gaps” have a high chance of allowing the values and traits that made them successful into something that will work against them.

One powerful quote that I took away from her keynote presentation is:

WHO you are while you are leading

is more important than

WHAT you are doing while you are leading.”

Lolly Daskal (2016)

This means as leaders, we must be aware of who we are and how we come across to others.  Simply put, we must learn about ourselves, how do we perform in best situations as well as in the worst situations.  We must learn how to tune in to how our actions so that we can lead others to deliver our projects on time, in scope and in budget.


7 archetypes of leadership styles

Daskal encourages all project leaders to RETHINK their leadership style and the impression they are creating upon others.  RETHINK is an acronym stands for the 7 archetypes of leadership styles:

R – Rebel

E – Explorer

T – Truth Teller

H – Hero

I – Inventor

N – Navigator

K – Knight

Each of these archetypes has their strength/greatness that set the leaders apart and made them successful, yet each of them has what Daskal called the “gap” which will comprise the leader’s effectiveness if he/she is not aware of it.

Below is a high-level cheat sheet I created for myself to remind me of the archetype, their greatness, and gaps (you can download a copy of the table at the end of the post).

Source: Daska, 2016 (PMI Talent Management Conference)

If you are interested in learning more, I would encourage you to view the presentation through ProjectManagement.com.  Memberships are free and it offers access to articles, discussions, hundreds of free downloads and newsletter.


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