C. G. Jung’s Thoughts on the Concepts of Leader and Leadership


  • John G. Corlett
  • Laura F. Chisholm




archetype, cultural relativity, Dionysus, C. G Jung, leader, leadership, leadership theory, personality, prestige, , symbolic principles


A review of the written record suggests that C. G. Jung had relatively little to say about leadership. It also appears that the scattered comments he did make on the topic have garnered him little credit. Sensing, however, under-acknowledged value in Jung’s offerings, the authors of the present study curate the various pieces of this material and comment on the relevance of Jung’s thoughts to the field of leadership studies. The authors suggest caution in interpreting his ideas, given the differences between social norms prevailing in Jung’s time and those current today, and recommend avenues for further application of Jung’s ideas on leadership.

Author Biographies

John G. Corlett

John G. Corlett spent 25 years as a political analyst, as a manager, and finally as an internal change consultant for the federal government. He then taught for nearly 20 years at the University of Virginia. Mr. Corlett earned a PhD in organizational psychology from the Union Institute. He is the co-author of Mapping the Organizational Psyche.

Laura F. Chisholm

Laura F. Chisholm has worked in public health education, program implementation, and management for more than 18 years. She holds a PhD in depth psychology with emphasis in somatic studies from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Her 2018 dissertation, Seeing through to the organizational psyche: An archetypal analysis, explored the application of Jungian and archetypal psychology to the organizational development of a public agency.