Archetype: Defenders

Driver: Motivated to protect something they believe is important from being changed or undermined.

Behaviors and Characteristics:

  • See their role as the guardians of something precious.
  • Often feel they have a special view of why something should be preserved that others are not privy to.
  • Ready to step forward on behalf of their community – to take the credit or the arrows.
  • Learn that through compromise and allying with partners, they can accomplish more.
  • May come to their ‘Defender’ role later in life as they see the value of preserving the past.


  • To continue to welcome change, new ideas or new attitudes.
  • To avoid being emotional; to maintain their ability to step back and see the bigger picture.
  • To share their point of view in a way that doesn’t make them appear intransigent or blind to change.
  • To avoid having their views distorted or their credibility undermined.

Greatest Fear:

  • They are fighting a losing battle.

Must Avoid

  • Righteous anger that may overtake their calm certainty.

Call to Action:

  • Leave it alone!

Example Protector Thought Leaders:

  • Lynne Twist, co-founder, Pachamama Alliance (See Chapter 1 of Ready to Be a Thought Leader?)
  • John Muir, naturalist, early advocate for the preservation of the wilderness
  • Greta Thunberg, Swedish environmental activist known for challenging world leaders to take immediate action for climate change mitigation
  • Ukrainian President Zelensky, advocating for global sanctions and military support against the Russian invasion

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