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The fifth of the seven archetypes I’m going to discuss is the Knight of Swords. This style is fairly powerful, as the Knight is above all driven by results. When working with others, the Knight seeks to dominate and control. The downside of this style comes in burnout and turnover as people’s needs outside of delivering results are completely ignored. The Knight himself is usually hyper-competent, and expects as much from those around him.
I spent many years blissfully unaware that this was my own dominant style. I remember a colleague who had a serious talk with me about becoming a manager (I was a team leader at the time) saying that he’d had doubts about my ability, but that he’d talked to people who worked for me and had been surprised to find out they liked working for me. I didn’t understand this left handed complement at the time, but I now believe he was reacting to my style, which at the time was often direct, blunt, and full of scathing criticism.
A Knight will often become a leader because of his natural ability. His personal prowess may allow his team to succeed despite the weakness of others. The Knight will never take responsibility for the failings of others, and will sideline and ignore anyone who doesn’t pull their weight. If this style is not balanced by a secondary style that helps the knight understand the limitations of others and help them succeed too, the Knight will likely be branded an asshole, and no one will want to work with him.
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