Charles Chang ran his company, Vega Health Products, like a one man band.  Worked long hours, did all the heavy lifting himself, consumed family vacation time with checking his emails: the usual symptoms of the “unbalanced” leader. But the continued frustration got to him and Charles went looking for solutions. As he recounts in Business in Vancouver magazine, Charles was animated by what he learned about successful companies. Turns out that trying to do it all yourself is not only stress-inducing, it’s bad for business.

Charles revised his leadership approach with spectacular results: Vega revenues tripled and his holiday time with family increased to 14 weeks.  In making these major changes, Charles was applying one of the four elements of Balanced Leadership: Archetypal Intelligence. In simple terms, archetypal intelligence is the ability to understand the deep patterns of thought and emotion that shape human behaviour. Charles’ original approach to running his company was characterized by intense, stress-inducing micro management.  This shadow archetype of tightly controlled leadership invokes images of the classic Tyrant, wherein the concentrated control stifles employee development and hence company growth. We all have this shadow side to us.  Charles’ gift was to recognize this and revise his approach accordingly.

 

When Charles adopted a different approach to running his company – delegated decision-making, created space for employees to makes mistakes and fix them- he demonstrated the archetypal characteristics of the Warrior King. This approach balances expectations with empowerment, delegates authority with clear objectives, and specifies the skill set each position requires then trains staff accordingly. The Vega company’s dramatically improved bottom line demonstrates the value of Charles’ new leadership approach!

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