28 The Warrior Archetype

Episode Twenty-Eight: “I Will Tell His Majesty What a King Is…”

We will talk about the King archetype a lot as this series goes along.


Because at the center of all our psyches resides this paramount figure, upon whom our happiness, our honor, and the health and prosperity of our family and our country depend.

When the king is absent or unjust, the kingdom falls.

When the king rules with justice and wisdom, the kingdom prospers.

Subscribe here for the full series, or watch previous episodes here

Subscribe here for the full series, or watch previous episodes here


  1. Brian Nelson on November 19, 2020 at 9:20 am

    I have decided to memorize some of my favorite poems/quotes. As a kid in Awana, (essentially church Boy Scouts) we always had to memorize Bible verses. I never understood why, but the sooner I could memorize them–the sooner I could get back to the sports–which was my true motivation.

    Even with Google on my phone, I realized this is not the same as having quotes written into my heart. Instead of reminding myself of something inspiring, I think that each time I recite it from memory it goes deeper and deeper into my psyche. That’s what I’m telling myself anyway.

    I started with “If” by Rudyard Kipling, “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley, and “Man In Arena” by TR. I was going to ask this blog’s participants for their favorite Pressfield quotes so I could add a few of those. I was planning to look up this very quote this week. There is something so deeply meaningful about this passage to me that I rarely read it with dry eyes.

    I have learned this in the military both explicitly and implicitly. When we eat tactically, spaced 10m apart in the field, slowly meandering to the Mess SGT–we line up in reverse rank order. The Commander eats last. We act it out. In nearly every leadership school from Basic Training thru War College, the tenants of servant leadership are explicitly detailed as well.

    Andrew mentioned this same value on Monday with his parents, “Marine Officers eat after Marines.”

    There is so much packed into this quote. Empathy. Courage. Self-Restraint. Camaraderie.

    What it has taken me years to fully unpack is the wisdom that a King/Commander/Leader gains from serving others first. The leader not only understands the impact of his/her orders–the nuanced understanding of the battlefield, how heavy is the weapon, how his boots get stuck in the mud, how long he can march before needing water…then his orders are grounded in truth more than myth or idealistic hopes. Orders are modified in his head below the surface, before they are ever articulated. The orders are still likely very ambitious, challenging, scary, and dangerous–but they are not insane. He knows his people, knows their capacities–not from an intellectual sense, but in the body. Kinesthetically.
    The inspiration that this behavior instills in his men is authentic.

    A warm man doesn’t know how a cold man feels. If you want to lead, you better get cold first.
    Thank you again for this series.

  2. Andrew+Lubin on November 20, 2020 at 9:03 am

    An over-used term these days is ’empathy’, but taking the time to know your people is just as important to leadership as a command of strategy, tactics, or a booming parade ground voice. What Leonidas knew, and Xerxes (and most others, both mil and business) never understood, is that being a king isn’t much different than being a father. Leadership can be demonstrated, as opposed to ordered, and that comes from knowing your troops – employees. Whether you’re a Spartan in the line at Thermopylyae, or a guy casting motor blocks at Ford, knowing that your leader values your efforts makes you want to do your best. Alan Mullaly @ Ford knew it; Roger Smith @ Gm never had a clue. Who went Chap 11? GM.

    Brian – I love that line; “A warm man doesn’t know how a cold man feels. If you want to lead, you better get cold first,” and wish my Dad was still here so I could share it with him.

  3. Mark Q. Kerson on November 20, 2020 at 1:11 pm

    Steve, I’m wrapping up a book of interivews with builders/tradesmen (based on Studs Terkels book WORKING) in which I use inspiritional quotes. I wonder if I could use the squire Xeones answer to the opposing king? With attribution of course. Did you write this or is it an historical event? I would bracket the word [builder] once or twice thoughout in order to make it clear I want to reader to transfer the image of the King to themselves as a builder.

    I have listened to everyone of your posts and forward them to friends. They are wonderful in their brevity and clarity and the core lessons they discuss. Thank you for posting them.

    Thank you, Mark [email protected]

    • Brent Cantrell on November 22, 2020 at 6:56 pm

      I can’t believe this is free. Thank you Steve! Keep fighting the resistence.

  4. Taci18 on February 27, 2021 at 11:24 pm

    Nice post.

  5. Tutuapp on July 18, 2021 at 3:17 am

    Talking to your girlfriend face-to-face is an excellent way to gain a better understanding of her.

  6. Showbox on July 18, 2021 at 3:18 am

    Sometimes you can’t pick up on things like voice intonation or sarcasm through text message, and you can’t look at her body language when you’re talking to her over the phone.

  7. png free on September 9, 2021 at 2:53 am

    “King” is the supreme head, actual or symbolic, of a government; directly or indirectly have the honor, right to rule, or power in a country.

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