A Conceptual bridge where critical reflexivity meets the leadership warrior mystique archetype


  • Pumela Msweli GSBL, UNISA




leadership, critical reflexivity, critical thinking, historiometry, extreme contexts, warrior mystique archetype


The objective of this paper is to present a conceptual integration of critical reflexivity and leadership archetype theory to capture the traits and characteristics of leaders leading in extreme contexts. Casting a historiometric glance at wars, battles and conflicts led by women warriors alongside their men in Africa during the trans-Atlantic trade period in the 15th to the 19th century, this paper argues that there is no context where leadership qualities are more discernible and pivotal than in extreme contexts. The paper offers the dance metaphor and archetypes as a theoretical bridge and a tool to problematise leadership performance in extreme contexts.  Dance as an operative metaphor makes visible the invisible virtuosity of a leader. The paper builds an argument that dance mobilises a visual expression of mental, emotional, spiritual and physical reflexivity. Epistemically, the paper take a stance that the warrior mystique archetypical energy of an effective leader is relative, and is imprinted in a leader’s “inner theatre” within cultural contexts facilitated by reflexivity capabilities. The paper concludes by demonstrating the contingent and fluid nature of leadership in extreme contexts, and how its practices enable the development of a special kind of nimbleness, agility, kinetic, intuitive, visual, mystique warrior leadership capabilities, required to lead influentially and impactfully in transformative and liberating ways.