Recently, while enjoying a run in the park, I suddenly thought of archetypes — those classical roles that, without most people noticing, time and time again populate the world’s great stories, novels, and movies. Then, in my next thought, I began wondering: How do these common archetypes relate to TIPS, thinkergy’s talent & innovator profiling system? How would they profile, and where would they locate on the TIPS profiling map? Intrigued by these thoughts and questions, I began working on these questions after returning home from my run. Here are the insights I gained from my investigation.
Archetypes are patterns of behavior, symbols, or motifs that repeatedly appear in mythology and the narrative arts. For example, Achilles, the Greek warrior of Homer’s Iliad, General Maximus, from the movie Gladiator, and Wonder Woman are all examples of the well-known “Hero” archetype. In contrast, Vito Corleone from The Godfather and President Snow from The Hunger Games franchise exemplify the “Ruler” archetype. (An earlier article titled “Archetypes and your brand” featured the key archetypes in greater detail and explained how they can be used in brand design. For example, Nike and BMW are cases in point of a Hero brand, while Rolex and Mercedes-Benz exemplify a Ruler brand.)
While archetype classifications differ in number and name choices, the most common concept distinguishes twelve archetypes - the Caregiver, the Creator, the Explorer, the Hero, the Innocent, the Jester, the Lover, the Magician, the Rebel, the Regular Guy/Gal, the Ruler, and the Sage.
TIPS uses four base orientations (theories, ideas, people, systems) and four personal style preferences (to think, work, interact, and live) to profile people. Upon completing a questionnaire, we can compute which of the 11 talent and innovator types is your profile and map your result in the appropriate space on the TIPS Profiling Map.
The four TIPS bases play a major role in how technological, social, and ultimately political change unfolds in the long run (i.e., over several decades). And interestingly, precisely such turbulent changes often provide the backdrop before which the great stories of humanity unfold. So, little wonder that I became curious to explore if and how many of the common archetypes connect to one of the TIPS profiles and find a space on the TIPS Profiling Map.
So what are the most common archetypes all about? And how do they relate to and show up in TIPS?
In the following, I am going to introduce the twelve most common archetypes to you, explain what is the corresponding TIPS profile, and visualize where each archetype likely would end up on the TIPS Profiling Map:
The Caregiver enjoys helping and caring for others. They are all about compassion and empathy, which in TIPS represents the highly interpersonal ways of a Partner.
The Creator believes that “if I can imagine a thing, I can find a way to manifest it.” These people love to create something meaningful out of nothing, which corresponds with the unique knack of the Ideator in TIPS.
The Explorer craves to find out who they are by exploring the world and seeking to learn about and experience new things. The equivalent TIPS profile is the Conceptualizer.
The Hero (or Warrior) must continuously prove their worth through courageous, competent action. They fight for a worthy cause related to preserving or improving a status quo, which resembles the role that the Experimenter fulfills in TIPS.
The Innocent is a childlike optimist who wants a happy, carefree life and is keen to do things right. In TIPS, this notion corresponds to the comradely, eager, and flexible work attitude of an All-Rounder.
The Jester lives fully in the moment and wants to enjoy life and entertain the world through playful wit. Undoubtedly, the TIPS profile equaling this humorous, eloquent archetype is the Promoter.
The Lover longs to be in intimate relationships with the people, work, and surroundings they love. In TIPS, a Popular Promoter (located close to the People-base) represents this archetype vying to become ever more physically and emotionally attractive.
The Magician seeks to understand the fundamental laws of the universe to make dreams come true. In TIPS, this archetype equates with a rather rare profile, a Triangular All-Rounder, a cross-over between a Coach and an Ideator who plays on three TIPS bases (Theories, Ideas, People).
The Rebel (or Outlaw) maintains that rules are made to be broken. They are motivated by overthrowing what is outdated or not working as it should through creative destruction or even revolution. In TIPS, this highly disruptive energy aligns with either an extreme Ideator or a —more charismatic— Imaginative Promoter.
The Regular Guy/Gal lives to belong and connect with others. These down-to-earth, realistic, and communal people aim to do things right and blend in. In TIPS, they correspond most closely to a (Popular) Organizer.
The Ruler subscribes to the motto, “Power isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.” They are determined to control others to create a thriving, powerful family, work team, company, or community. No doubt about who’s their equivalent in TIPS: the Systematizer represents the corresponding determination to establish order and preserve the status quo and cherished rituals and traditions.
The Sage seeks to know the truth and use reason, intelligence, and analysis to better understand the true nature of things. Often, they become a scholar just like their counterpart in TIPS, the Theorist.
So what did I learn from my explorative investigation?
After having linked the archetypes to a TIPS profile and position on the TIPS profiling map, I stepped back to take in the resulting big picture, look for discerning patterns and synthesize congruencies between the two distinct, yet surprisingly connected people concepts. To structure my thinking and share my insights with you, I use the overall compendium of TIPS profiles as well as the four TIPS styles to think, work, interact, and live:
TIPS Profiles: Overall, all but one TIPS profile finds an equivalent in the common archetypes. The exception is the Technocrat, which is more of a sober administrator and bureaucratic number cruncher who perhaps is too anodyne and mundane to feature as a separate archetype in the narrative arts (or is one not featured in the basic twelve archetypes).
Thinking style (Figure vs. Fantasy): The TIPS thinking style captures if you prefer a more quantitative, analytical, and linear sequential thinking style (Figure), are more of a qualitative, creative, free-wheeling thinker who’s good at synthesizing solutions by connecting the dots (Fantasy), or equally enjoy both styles (Figure and Fantasy). It’s interesting to see that only two of the twelve archetypes (the Sage and the Ruler) show up on the left side of the TIPS map as clear Figure thinkers, while five profiles each are either Fantasy thinkers (on the right side of the map) or balanced whole-mind thinkers (Figure and Fantasy, located in the middle of the map). It seems like the creative types make for more interesting characters in a story plot.
Work style (Brain vs. Brawn): The TIPS work style depicts if you enjoy working on abstract, conceptual projects (Brain) or ticking off items on a long list of concrete, practical tasks (Brawn), or feeling comfortable with both (Brain and Brawn). Here, the TIPS profiling Map reveals a largely balanced composition with five archetypes Brain workers who have their heads in the clouds, four being hands-on, down-to-earth Brawn workers, and three being both Brain and Brawn). So when it comes to how our story protagonists work, all styles are well represented.
Interaction style (Fact vs. Feeling): The TIPS interaction style expresses if you prefer to make your case and decide based on hard evidence (Fact), consider others involved and your intuition (Feeling), or cater to all of these aspects (Fact and Feeling). Predictably, only one archetype (the Sage) unquestionably argues and makes decisions based on facts. In contrast, six archetypes are Feelers who interact emotionally, and the remaining five use both their head and heart. After all, what tends to spell-bind readers and movie-goers is not dry evidence and hard facts but lively emotions and soft opinions and feelings.
Life style (Form vs. Flow): Finally, the TIPS life style reveals if you prefer to live in a well-regulated, controlled, and static world (Form), to freely and flexibly go with the Flow of life, or prefer a bit of order but not too stifling (Form and Flow). Unsurprisingly, 5-6 archetypes in popular narratives practice a more free-wheeling, flow-based lifestyle, and only two archetypes (the Ruler and the Regular Guy/Gal) prefer to operate in a more formal, well-regulated world. After all, many intriguing stories feature a plot where more freedom-oriented Flow protagonists break out of a boring, regulated traditional environment (Form) to seek adventure, growth, riches, and love.
Conclusion: The world’s a stage. What archetypical role can you play?
For me, it’s creative fun to connect unrelated concepts and see what novel insights and ideas emerge from connecting the dots. After all, as Leonardo da Vinci said: “Everything is connected to everything else.” So, connecting classic archetypes with our TIPS profiling tool has been just a playful exercise to satisfy my curiosity after the initial question popped up in my mind. But truth be told, I was surprised how closely prominent archetypes align with the TIPS profiles. And given that we’re at the beginning of a new long wave of technology innovations, we can expect a fresh round of technological, social and political changes that will produce lots of new stories featuring some of the classical archetypes. And if you know your TIPS profile, you might know which role you can play in what kind of story, and where in the plot you can add most value with your unique personality, styles, and talents.
Would you like to learn more about TIPS? Check out our website and consider watching this video or downloading our TIPS booklet.
Or have you become curious to find out how we manage the people-side of innovation with the help of TIPS, our talent & innovator profiling system? Find out what talent & innovator type you are and get TIPS-ed for USD 89 by clicking here.