The Sage archetype is the expert, the scholar, the thinker.  It’s the one who uses intelligence and analysis to understand the world.  The dark side of this archetype is that it can be so focused on studying and researching that it fails to act …this is also known as the ‘Ivory Tower’ mentality, a concept that’s all too familiar to those of us who spent a bit of time in big corporate land.

I had hoped that the U.S. election results would have enabled me to say the ‘Sage’ within the voting public had triumphed, but alas I cannot; and therefore, I turn to other examples within our culture to illustrate this archetype in Brand America.

The Sage archetype is evident in …

  • NASA … the home of the real rocket scientists
  • Authors who really make us think like Dan Brown, Stephen King and Whitley Strieber
  • Intelligently written TV programs such as The Daily Show, The Wire, 30 Rock, Big Bang Theory, Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Breaking Bad, Lost, Law & Order as well as ultra-clever animated series like Family Guy, The Simpsons and South Park
  • Motion Pictures that rack our brains such as The Matrix and Inception
  • Iconically wise characters like Yoda and Spock as well as the cantankerous genius of Dr. Gregory House and the juxtaposition of savvy Gabe Kotter against the backdrop of his incorrigible underachieving students
  • Intellectually renowned places such as The Smithsonian and The Mayo Clinic together with prestigious Universities like Princeton, Emory, Harvard and Yale.
  • Presidents including Clinton (IQ 149), Carter (IQ 153), Obama (IQ 145) … it might be worth noting that, over the past 100 years, Democratic Presidents have had an IQ average of 142 compared to Republican Presidents with an IQ average of 129 … I think that’s rather significant.

What makes America ‘Sage’ to you?

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