We are all in it together–spirits on a human journey, navigating our boats along the river, headed to the One Ocean!


Understand and Relate with Others: The Fourth Principle of Purposeful Action

The Fourth Principle encourages us to understand and relate to others, our interrelationships and the surrounding environment, including laws, customs, etc.  This Principle also recognizes that our personal as well as professional life, is affected by others.

In the metaphor of the Brook of Life, the Fourth Principle is represented by the other navigators and boats in the river, and by the surrounding environment. This includes the changing waves and currents, serene flow or white waters. Environmental conditions outside the river also will affect the journey of the navigator. Every journey is determined both by the actions of the navigator and by the actions of other travelers in the waters.  In practice, every journey is affected by the environment and other events during the course of travel, including “acts of God.”


This sketch of the Brook illustrates the Fourth and final Principle of Purposeful Action, by adding other navigators to the brook. You are not in it alone. We’re all in it together.

In order to understand others, you need to observe their behaviors and attributes. That is to say, you observe how they perform action (First Principle), what their ethical balance is (Second Principle) and what levels of desires they appear to be driven by (Third Principle). Once you have this understanding, you will then be in a better position to start building meaningful relationships.

So, how do we assess and and understand the individuals and organizations we come across? It turns out that if you understand the “archetypes” of other travelers in the waters, it will help you relate with them. The concept of Archetypes follows Plato’s theory of forms and Jungian archetypes. and was developed over decades of research and inter-active teaching in graduate courses and leadership seminars.

Archetypes of the Brook

Plato-raphael200px-Jung_1910The Archetypes of the Brook were developed to provide a simple and practical way to assess the behavior patterns of individuals and organizations. Starting with a long list of Archetypes, after several years of research and testing we narrowed it down to six Business Archetypes. We also selected two Grand Archetypes to represent ethical balance.

The six Business Archetypes are challenged with balancing Action with Ethics. The two Grand Archetypes determine the Ethical Balance of the individual or the organization.These Archetypes complete the metaphor of the Brook journey. Here various types of navigators interact and influence one another and their flows. The Fourth Principle applies to individuals as well as organizations, since all entities are comprised of individuals.

Six Business Archetypes

nexusdarkerfontcover1These Six Archetypes cover the characteristics of most organizations and individuals you will come across:

  • Leader
  • Entrepreneur
  • Manager
  • Consultant
  • Trustee
  • Intellectual

The attributes of these Six Archetypes are covered in detail in Masters of the Game. As a Leader archetype, your decisions and actions will affect the other archetypes whom you lead. However, the actions of the other archetypes also will affect you and your future actions. If you know and understand the archetypal profiles of those you lead, you will be in a better position to lead the team to success.

An accomplished navigator can assume the archetypal characteristics demanded by the circumstance. The ability to transform into the an archetype of choice, dictated by the situation, can make an individual indispensable.

Watch Video: Comparison of Archetypes through Ditch Digging.

Two Grand Archetypes

Givers and Takers are the two Grand Archetypes that define the ethical balance of all individual and organizations. Givers are those individuals or organizations that do no harm and, beyond that, they serve others, including all stakeholders. Takers, by contrast, exploit all those with whom they interact in single-minded pursuit of profits, self-interests and self-serving goals.

The Giver-Taker balance of the individual or organization is a direct reflection of ethical balance (Second Principle). Needless to say, ethical balance can change from one action to the next as well as during the course of an action, depending on circumstances. The lives and actions of all archetypes are affected by the ethical choices made by the two Grand Archetypes.

Each of the Six Business Archetypes can behave or act as either a Giver or a Taker, based on the choices they make. These choices are influenced by the motivation for the action (Third Principle) and the effect it has on others (Fourth Principle).

For a more complete representation of archetypal and ethical balance, each individual or organization is characterized by a combination of a business archetype and a grand archetype. For example you could have a Leader-Giver, Manager-Taker, Manager-Giver, Intellectual-Taker, Entrepreneurial-Giver, etc.

Thebrookmastericon BrookMaster Game shows your Archetypal and Ethical Balance

The concept of Archetypes of the Brook has been coded into the BrookMaster Personal Assessment and Leadership Coaching Game. This game has been refined over a period of three decades of research and testing with numerous case studies on individual leaders, entrepreneurs, managers, and organizations. BrookMaster utilizes the Four Principles, and the Archetypes in particular, to evaluate the professional tendencies and ethical balance of the individual or organization .

You can use BrookMaster to improve your understanding of other individuals and organizations, and to become better equipped to relate with them. You also can discover your own archetypal profile and learn how to transform yourself from your current archetypal mix to an archetypal combination of your choice — as circumstances demand.

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