Top 3 Archetypes to Avoid in the Workplace
Finding talented people with true leadership skills is a difficult task. For a workplace to be dynamic, productive and satisfying, it needs leaders who have that extra ‘something’ that cannot be taught.
Even more importantly, the modern workplace needs leaders who can weed out the types of employees that impede the productivity and satisfaction of others. Imagine the benefits of selecting out negative employees so they can no longer wreak their havoc!
Here’s a novel approach. It’s based on an age-old theory that each human being has both feminine and masculine energy inside them. When you analyze how a certain person uses their two internal energies, it illustrates clearly how they will operate in the real world. Throughout my career in corporate life and then as a transformational coach during the past 14 years, I have identified several detrimental archetypes in today’s world. Here’s how to identify them so you can avoid them.
The Villainous Andro
One of the most power hungry players in this game is a woman I call the Villainous Andro. This archetype has lost complete touch with her internal feminine side and she is almost exclusively masculine in her approach to work and life. She is as ambitious as she is ruthless and if you get in her way, you will feel her wrath.
The Villainous Andro is a strong archetype, used to being in control, so her behavior is not easy to reprimand. You see, she is cunningly manipulative and you would be well served to watch her closely if she is in your sphere of influence. She will stop at nothing to get where she is going.
How can you spot her? It’s not always easy because her skilled politics and her extensive networks can disguise her. She often has ingratiating ways that could seduce a snake charmer’s cobra. She has quite likely risen to the upper echelons of management by riding the coat-tails of someone else. She has a talent for spotting the most advantageous route to the top and usually the person wearing the coat is blissfully unaware of how he or she is being played.
Another tell-tale sign of the Villainous Andro is the collateral damage. She has a way of disabling other women in her environment and making men feel emasculated if they have to report to her. So if you are noticing that too many of your fellow workers, female or male, are leaving in droves, look just above them and I bet you will find a Villainous Andro boss who broke their spirit until they left. Steer clear of her; she is a top archetype to avoid.
The Pseudo Masculine Man
Another one to watch out for is a man I term the Pseudo Masculine Man. The numbers of these types of men have exploded over the past few decades. They dress and look like men, but they are accessing far too much of their inner feminine essence and they simply get nothing actually done.
Ultimately this man is not a friend to women, especially women in the workplace. He is a masterful flatterer and he will try to allay your suspicions when you first meet him, but don’t be fooled. Be cautious and observe him for a while because this man is neither honorable nor trustworthy.
The Pseudo Masculine Man craves position, power and authority over others. He fears and envies truly masculine men, so he chooses instead to surround himself with hard-working ‘masculine-oriented’ women, the Good Doers of the workforce, who will ‘duel’ with each other for his attention. He can also rely on those women to do the work that he does not want to do or does not have the ability to do. Ultimately you will find that this man is lazy and arrogant and cannot be trusted to lead.
The Faux Feminine Woman
The last archetype to keep an eye out for is the Faux Feminine Woman. She will appear finely dressed, with beautiful hair, nails and accessories, but she is not coming to work for you, she is looking for someone to work for her.
The Faux Feminine Woman is extremely self-centered and her agenda is to go to work to ensnare an eligible man whom she can make her permanent slave. She might work for the Managing Director but she fully intends to manage and direct him into her lair. We’ve all seen this archetype in action, and it is best to avoid her at all costs.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennifer Granger worked as a corporate insider on four continents over a 20 year period before becoming a transformational coach. Living now in Melbourne, Australia, she is the author of the new ground-breaking book, “Feminine Lost: Why Most Women are Male” (Weinstein Books, $19.99). Her book discusses the sorry state of relationships between men and women in bedrooms and boardrooms around the world, and she explains how finding one’s own correct balance of internal energies creates a better life at home and at work. For more information visit www.femininelost.com.
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.