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spike bullet September, 1999 - Personality Roles

Overview of the Role - Archetype for Primary Life Role
Expressive Roles: Artisan and Sage
Inspirational Roles: Server and Priest
Action Roles: Warrior and King
Neutral Role: Scholar
Resources: Books and Internet

Overview of the "Role" - an Archetype for Primary Life Role

Our Personality Game uses a system of personality traits that attempt to describe the many facets of individuals.  The "Role" is one of the most prominent personality traits, although it is greatly influenced by the other aspects of the individual. 

The Role is summarized on the Personality Game web page.  In this month's article, we'd like to delve more deeply into the Role and its attributes as they apply to workplace situations.

To take a short online quiz to find your own role, take the Personality Quiz, then return here to more easily follow the topic.

Our descriptions of the Roles and the occupations they choose are not meant to be limiting, rather to give examples of where people might gravitate.  Each person is unique and there are no hard and fast rules about how a person's Role defines them as a human being.  There are so many other influences and other personality attributes that everyone should remember to use these definitions as guidelines for understanding, not as restrictive labels.

The Expressive Roles: Artisan and Sage

Role of Artisan: Creators and Innovators

Artisans comprise about 20% of the US, with higher concentrations on the coasts of the US and in the "creative" areas (Los Angeles; New York City; Santa Fe, New Mexico).  Artisans are about 20% worldwide also.  .  Famous Artisans include many entertainers, artists and creative people of all kinds.  Artisans may be found in any place where their talents can be appreciated.  In the corporate world,  Artisans may be architects or graphic designers, as well as doctors, administrative assistants, trainers, department managers or executives.  The entertainment industry is filled with Artisans in every conceivable job.

Artisans are constantly looking for creative and innovative ways to accomplish something.  This is usually a positive effort, but a frustrated or bored Artisan can create chaos quickly and easily.  Artisans specialize in communication with a limited focus through many different forms: acting, art, music, dance, crafts, writing, designing and building. 

Artisans like to dress in unique and creative ways, with colorful or unusual clothing, jewelry or accessories.  And they get tired of the same thing every day, so may change their hairstyle or color frequently.  This is especially true for female Artisans, who have more cultural freedom to be creative than male Artisans.  Male Artisans may seem softer or more feminine because of their energy dynamics and love of color.   Male Artisans can also wear the color red, where many men in other roles can not.

The energy of Artisans seems to project forward from their abdomen (the creative energetic center) and their throat (the communication energetic center).  When in the company of an Artisan, you may sense their energy as light or of high frequency.  In fact, Artisans have the highest energy frequency of all the Roles.

Physically, they tend to be "cute" with slightly asymmetrical (off-balance) bodies.  In their relationships, they tend to be chaotic, dramatic and colorful.   An Artisan can have a dramatic effect on a work group as a whole when they put their mind to it, as they can be masters at transforming environments.

As managers, Artisans are creative in getting things done (on the positive side), or (on the negative side) they can be scattered, unfocused and continually changing things just for the sake of change.  To balance their energy, Artisans often depend on lower frequency roles (Warriors or Kings) for balance and they need more True Play than True Work, True Rest or True Study.

Artisans are the zaniest of the Roles and if mentally unstable, they are the craziest of all. 

Positive Attributes: Creative, innovative trendsetters.
Negative Attributes: Self-deceptive, chaotic, unfocused, scattered.

Famous Artisans:  Marie Antoinette, Dr. Christian Barnard, Marlon Brando, Francis Ford Coppolo, General George Custer, Walt Disney, Princess Grace Kelley, John F. Kennedy Jr., Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, Sir Walter Raleigh, Ted Turner.

Role of Sage: Communicators on a large scale

Sages comprise about 15% of the US population, but they have wide ranging influence through their love of media in all forms.  World-wide, Sages comprise about 5-8% of the population.  Professionally, Sages are newscasters, reporters, TV journalists, movie producers, teachers, corporate executives, sales people and master communicators of all types. 

Sages love to talk and they love to be the center of attention!!  Sages love to appear on stage and receive applause. They are light-hearted and fun to be around, sharing their love of life with as many people as possible.  If no one is listening, they write vociferously.

A big part of the role of Sages is to teach the world how to have fun, so they are usually the ones who like to get a party going.  Because of their playful nature, Sages often seem younger than they are or seem to never grow up.  Peter Pan is a good example of an immature Sage.  More mature Sages love to teach and share their wisdom.

Sages make the best office gossips and joke-tellers as well as the best office communicators.  Their brains are connected to their mouth and their purpose in life is to communicate whatever they know.  They can do this with or without all the facts at hand.  In fact, Sages make the best sales people and some can sell snake oil better than anyone else.  Because Sages talk so much, sometimes they don't remember what they say or care whether it is true or not.  Sages love words and information, and they love to play with words and try out different meanings or interpretations of words just to see how people react.

Sages like to dress colorfully as part of their enjoyment of being the center of attention.  Sages can be so good at "dressing up" and acting out a part that they forget who they really are themselves. 

In relationships with others, Sages have large egos and a constant need for attention.  They can be zany, spontaneous and playful, especially when they have an audience.  They can be fun to work with or maddening when things need to be dealt with seriously.  A Sage is hard to nail down to a commitment as they have an inherent love of freedom and a desire to treat life less seriously than others.

As managers, Sages love to tell others what to do, but are not very good about follow-up, discipline or enforcing rules.  Like Artisans, Sages need the support of others who are more grounded to manage well. Also, like Artisans, they need more True Play than True Work, True Rest or True Study

Energetically, Sages project outward from their throat.  Physically, Sages often have large or noticeable mouths and a twinkle in their eye. 

Positive Attributes: Communicative expression in a broad way, teach the world how to have fun
Negative Attributes: Talk to much, write too much, large ego, narcissistic.

Famous Sages: Lucille Ball, Walter Cronkite, Michael Douglas, Duke Ellington, Larry Flynt, Betty Friedan, Scott Hamilton, Hugh Hefner, Wolfman Jack, Mikhail Gorbechev, Nikta Kruschev, Ann Landers, David Letterman, James Michener, Bette Midler, Leon Panetta, Martha Ray, William Shakespeare, Linda Tripp, Barbara Walters.

The Inspirational Roles: Server and Priest

Role of Server: Facilitators and Caretakers

Servers comprise about 10% of the US population and about 30% of the world-wide population.  Servers provide positive, inspirational support to individuals, usually in a way that keeps them out of the limelight.  Servers can be found in many support roles as caretakers, clerks, nurses, healers, secretaries, airline stewards/stewardesses, waiters/waitresses and facilitators of all kinds. 

Servers rarely enjoy the limelight and dress not to be noticed.  They often wear neutral colors, gray or black so they tend to fade into the background.  When office pictures are taken, Servers are behind the camera, not in the picture. 

On a one-on-one level, Servers can be very inspirational, encouraging people and helping them deal with life's challenges. While they are helping others, Servers may not serve their own interests well.

Because Servers spend so much of their time and energy helping others, people come to expect them to do all the dirty work.  It is hard for a Server to say "no" or to be assertive on their own behalf.   This can lead to them feeling trapped in a situation they cannot change.  Their negative response to this feeling is to be more manipulatively controlling of others when they find an opportunity. 

Servers do not usually aspire to management or to leadership roles, although occasionally they rise up to them.  As managers, Servers are always concerned about the welfare of others and how they can help them.  Discipline may be very hard for them as a manager, since it goes so much against their natural purpose of support.

In relationships, Servers are committed and dedicated, to the point of being devotional.  They tend to have the least power in any relationship although they can be controlling at times in a very subtle way.

Energetically, the energy of a Server projects from the lower part of their body (root energy center) and from their eyes (inspirational energy center).  Their eyes may sparkle with a look of "Can I help you?".  Their physical bodies are often slight and may not be noticeably attractive (in order not to stand out).

Servers need more True Rest in order to replenish the massive amount of energy they expend helping others.

Famous examples of Servers include President Jimmy Carter, especially his work in humanitarian efforts toward world peace.

Other Famous Servers:  Prince Charles of England, Ram Dass, Pope John XXIII, Monica Lewinsky, Emily Post, Grandma Moses, Florence Nightingale.

Positive Attributes: Supportive, inspirational and helpful
Negative Attributes: Controlling, manipulative; feeling trapped, can't let go of perceived responsibility.

Role of Priest/Priestess: Inspiration on a large scale

Priests comprise about 3-5% of the US population and 2-3% of the world-wide population, so a single Priest must inspire a lot of people to be successful.  Professionally, Priests can be found in all walks of life as business leaders, advocates for a cause, motivational teachers, ministers, counselors and coaches.

Priests love to inspire a group and naturally become the "counselor" because of their ability to have compassion for others.  The Priest's natural ability to see beyond a situation to the heart of the matter can be a powerful force when they are in the healing professions.  When not thoroughly trained, they can be overly zealous in their desire to help someone who isn't yet ready for help. 

The Priest's ability to see beyond the obvious in an unhealthy corporate environment can lead them to passionately try to fix something that may not be fixable.  Priests are strong advocates for human rights and will champion poor working conditions (or other chosen causes) with a fervor no other role has. 

Priests cannot be controlled or dominated and can be hard to supervise.  Priests, like Sages and Kings, like to be in leadership positions where they can influence large groups of people in their chosen way. 

Priests tend to stand out in a crowd, through their high energy or their inspirational clothing;  Priests like colorful clothing that reminds people of robes or royalty.  

In relationships with others, Priests can be very charismatic and overwhelm others at times.  Their energy stretches far around them so that when they are with someone else, the other person can actually feel a deep sense of compassion and comfort.   When a Priest focuses their energy on someone when mentoring or healing, the person can feel a deep sense of peace.  The sudden withdrawal of that feeling as the Priest shifts their attention to others can be quite disturbing to the person who loses it.   Because Priests have so many people constantly seeking their attention, it is hard for them to stay focused and committed to just one person or project. 

Energetically, Priest's energy projects outward from their eyes, often prompting people to give them nicknames like "Bright Eyes" or "Blazing Eyes."   Priests have the 2nd highest energy frequency and for those in lower frequency roles, Priests may seem to "buzz" or be "off the planet." 

The Priest's particular blend of energy and their ability to be deeply compassionate, leads many people to want to be in their presence because it simply feels so good.   Male Priests find women falling in love with them, and female Priests find men falling in love with them just to stay in their warm glow of energy.  A Priest's energy can be drained from all the attention of the many people they interact with, so like Servers, they need a lot of True Rest to replenish themselves.

Because a Priest's energy is so different and their numbers are very limited in the general population, sometimes people will try to 'capture' them and hold onto to them.  No one can own or dominate a Priest, they simply will not allow it.  Given their role in bringing inspiration to the world, that makes sense. 

Physically, Priests tend to be tall and thin, with rather fragile bodies, like violins that must be finely-tuned to work well.  Their heads seem to be in the clouds at times.

As managers and coaches, Priests are very inspiring, encouraging people to be all they can be.  Priests are able to intuitively sense someone's  potential as well as their blockages to improvement.  When Priests are operating in a positive way, they encourage people to improve themselves and fulfill their potential.  On the negative side, Priests sometimes tell people about their faults, even though the person may not yet be ready to hear about them or to deal with them.  

Because Priests deal with a larger vision of possibilities, they often do not remember details well. 

Priests will fight for what they believe in, sometimes when no one else has the courage to pursue a cause that needs attention.  Priests can be very effective at enlisting others to help them with whatever project they need help with.

Famous examples of a Priest in action include Princess Diana in her compassionate work with children and advocacy of Land Mine reform.  Ralph Nader exemplifies the work that Priests do in getting attention to issues that may be harmful to the population as a whole.  Kevin Costner provides inspiration through his movies, which usually have a theme of someone overcoming the odds and doing something that benefits many people. 

Other Famous Priests:  Edgar Cayce, Bob Dylan, Jerry Falwall, Mahatma Gandhi, Sigmund Freud, Alger Hiss, Barbara Marx-Hubbard, Corretta Scott King, St. Francis of Assisi, Diane Sawyer, Dr. Bernie Siegal, Denzel Washington, Terry Cole Whittaker

Positive Attributes: Inspiration for a broad audience; insightful and able to see through a person's internal blocks to growth; deeply compassionate and sensitive to other's pain
Negative Attributes: Overly zealous for a cause they believe in, telling people about their faults (whether they are ready to know or not), head the clouds or "off the planet"

The Action Roles: Warrior and King

Role of Warrior: Producer and Defender

Warriors are the most common role, comprising about 30% of the US population, which explains why we have such a high level of productivity, technology and development of our physical resources here.  World-wide, Warriors comprise about 20% of the population.  Warriors are solid folks (both men and women) that organize, defend and protect society.

Warriors are action-oriented and love to get things done, whether building roads, creating laws, developing technology or planning strategy.  Warriors like to work in groups and tend to organize any endeavor, whether they are the leader or not.

Warriors love strategy and the law and seeing things get accomplished.  They are also strong defenders of others and can be counted on to fight society's battles when necessary.  Warriors love physical things and making things, which explains the American love affair with automobiles, sports, high technology gadgets and "toys" of all kinds.  Everyone in the US is deeply affected by our predominant Warrior culture. And, the world at large looks to the U.S. to serve as defenders of people, where ever they are.   That is a natural recognition of the Warrior's inherent talents and abilities. 

Warriors are found in any profession that can use their talents for organization, teamwork, physical endeavor or strategy.  Professionally, Warriors may be athletes, builders, construction workers, doctors, engineers, firemen, police officers, soldiers, lawyers, judges, models, physicians, massage therapists, managers and strategic organizers of all kinds. Warriors like using their bodies and are often physically fit, whether men or women.  A growing proportion of Warriors are women, leading them into the legal field and into opening up many previously male-oriented jobs to women. 

Warriors like challenging the world, seeming as if they always want to fight, especially younger or immature Warriors.  It is part of their nature to do that and they are usually ready to go whenever a challenge appears.  Warriors like to get right to the point in any business endeavor and are interested in bottom-line results.  Warriors can be very direct, to the point of being blunt and are not sensitive to the undercurrents of corporate politics and people's emotions the way Priests are.

Warriors like to be surrounded by and "hang out" with other Warriors.  They like to win and can be intensely loyal to their leader, to the point of following without questioning them.  Should their leader betray their trust, a loyal Warrior can be devastated and unable to resolve their pain easily.

Physically, Warriors have a solid stance and a direct stare.  They tend to have eyes close together and a square jaw, with strong bodies.  Warriors tend to dress in very utilitarian ways, the opposite of Artisans, Sages and Priests. Even female Warriors tend to be less concerned about wearing distinctive clothing, although Warriors make excellent models because of their attention to their body.

Energetically, Warriors project energy outward from their solar plexus.  When provoked, they can project energy very strongly that feels like a blow to the stomach to the person on the receiving end. 

Warriors tend to have a very low energy frequency giving them a sense of being grounded, the opposite of Artisans and Priests.  When in the room with a Priest or Artisan, a Warrior may notice the higher energy frequency and feel uncomfortable, even though they usually cannot identify the reason. 

Because of the difference in their energy levels, Warriors and Priests have a natural energy attraction that helps each of them provide balance for the other (almost like a magnet).  This attraction can develop into extremely compatible and productive working relationships, or it can create conflicts if they are not able to understand the energy dynamics.

Warriors are very hard-working and loyal, but not very emotionally open or sensitive.   Warriors need more True Work, and less True Rest, Trust Study and True Play.

Famous Warriors John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and Demi Moore (through her movie "G.I. Jane") exemplify the physical strength and protective ability of Warriors.  Hilary Clinton and Janet Reno are examples of female Warriors in the legal field, while Sharon Stone and Mae West show the softer, more feminine aspect of female Warriors. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and President Nelson Mandella show the ability of Warriors to be peaceful leaders.  

Positive Attributes: Hard-working, loyal, organized, strategic thinkers, very persuasive, excellent members of a team.
Negative Attributes: Coercive, trample on the rights of others, overly forceful (physically or in other ways).

Role of King/Queen: Born Leaders

Kings are even rarer than Priests, comprising only 1 - 2% of the US population.  Kings are as rare in most other countries, with the exception of Iceland, which has a large population of Kings.

A single King goes a long way.  Kings are exceptional at leadership and like to rule whatever group they are involved with.  If not in charge, a King may be very competitive in holding their own.   They do not like following others.  Even as children, this trait shows itself very early.

Professionally, Kings can be found at the heads of countries, companies or departments and as leaders in any field.  Occasionally, a King will take a lower-profile position (such as an administrative assistant), where they can still direct things according to their own sense of what is right.  In such a position, they handle large projects with amazing ease.

Kings are superb at broad strategy, giving orders and getting others to follow them.   Warriors are especially willing to follow the leadership of a King. 

Energetically, Kings have a lower energy frequency like Warriors.   Their energy is very solid and grounded yet softer than a Warrior with a commanding presence that draws attention toward them where ever they are.  Most Kings have strong piercing eyes.  Like Warriors, Kings tend to take care of their body and like to be physically active. 

Kings and Artisans have a natural attraction to each other because their energy frequency is so different.  When they recognize their differences, these two roles can help balance each other quite effectively. If they are confused by the differences, they may feel incompatible or conflict with each other.

Because they are usually in command, Kings often find themselves as loners, with few intimate friends and confidantes.  They tend to take charge of their relationships, rather than sharing the power and decision-making with others.  Kings can be very generous and magnanimous with those they care for.

Kings tend to master whatever they attempt, whether it is building a company or managing a business project.  They do it with a style that makes it look natural and easy.  For the King, few things can intimate them and they believe they can do whatever they choose to do.  Failure is not a word in their dictionary; should they fail at something they attempt, they are devastated.

Famous Kings include both President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy, which of course raised the image of Camelot, an appropriate kingly image.  Billy Graham and Donald Trump command their chosen professions.  Elizabeth Dole shows her strength as a female King through her success at the Red Cross and now as a candidate for president of the United States.   Sandra Day O'Connor is a commanding force on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Positive Attributes: Mastery of whatever they attempt, broad strategy with a deep concern for others, excellent leaders.
Negative Attributes: Tyrannical, dominating, forcing their will on others, giving orders rather than leading. 

The Neutral Role: Scholar

Role of Scholar:  Information Keepers

Scholars comprise 15-20% of the US population and are found in every conceivable industry.  World-wide, Scholars comprise 12-15% of the population. 

Scholars may be writers, academics, adventurers, anthropologists, authors, detectives, librarians, judges, mediators, philosophers, researchers, spies, students or teachers.   Scholars may find themselves in any position that requires a love of knowledge and investigation. 

Scholars gather, maintain and preserve our cultural history and love to share their knowledge.  Ask a Scholar what time it is and they may tell you the entire history of time as they know it.  Once they get started telling you about something, it is hard to stop them.  They get very frustrated with other people who are not as interested in knowledge for the sake of knowledge as they are. 

When Scholars don't have an answer, they may develop extensive theories about why something is the way it is. 

In any company or organization, it is usually the Scholars who are asked to write a report, do the research and develop written materials - that is their prime specialty and usually do it well.

As teammates, Scholars can get along with almost everyone.  They don't like conflict and can usually adapt to most situations, although when they defend their theories, they can become quite adamant. When confronted, they tend to withdraw rather than fight.

Scholars do not do well in environments filled with intense, passionate people or energy.  They usually don't have the emotionally capacity to deal with those well.   Any group that is searching for knowledge will be filled with Scholars. 

Scholars often project a "cool" feeling because of their strong intellectual bent, often seemingly devoid of emotion. 

Energetically, Scholar's have a "soft" energy centered around their heart, with a kind and gentle look.  

Physically, Scholars may have a pronounced forehead and their bodies may seem stiff and unrelaxed.  They are on the alert for any knowledge that may come their way and don't want to miss anything.  If you ask a Scholar a question, they may seem "spaced out" for a while.  Actually, they are searching their internal archives for an answer; if you wait, they will tell everything they know.  Scholars tend to dress in neutral colors, so they may not be noticed or stand out. 

Famous Scholars are plentiful as writers (Michael Crichton, Carlos Castaneda, Carl Sagan, Jane Bryant Quinn), researchers (George Gallup, Faith Popcorn), musicians (Johan Straus Bach, Ludwig Beethoven, Peter Tchaikovsky), adventurers (Augustus Caesar, Margaret Mead), actors (Claire Danes, Bridget Fonda, Susan Sarandon), philosophers (Plato) and technology wizards (Stephen Jobs).

Positive Attributes:  Keep records, observe and study life, explain life for the rest of us.
Negative Attributes: Theoretical, verbose, stiff, spaced-out, overloaded from taking in too much information; can't connect their brain to their mouth; may be eccentric.

Using this Information

The purpose of this information to help people learn more about themselves and those around them in order to work together more effectively.  The Rules to Play give examples of using the Personality Game for fun and for teamwork.   The books, teachers and other resources listed below provide more in-depth information. 

The Positive Attributes listed with each Role are those shown when people are fulfilling their true purpose in a positive way.  The Negative Attributes usually appear when someone is under stress or not working in a positive way for whatever reason. 

The examples of Famous People provide additional clues to how the Roles manifest themselves and show the great variety of unique combinations of personality traits.


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Page updated: October 16, 2023      

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