The Crusader Complex occurs when the team overuse the Campaigner team role.
When used appropriately, the Campaigner team role is used to focus on those particular thoughts, ideas, or beliefs that are important. Campaigners are value driven, and in a team discussion they often bring a sense of priority that is derived from their strong convictions. They seize upon and emphasise ideas or thoughts that have the greatest import, bringing them to the fore and stressing their significance. They assess the inherent value or importance of new ideas, focusing on those about which they feel most strongly.
If the Campaigner team role is used to excess, however, and Group-Think sets in, then certain values or beliefs take overriding importance at the expense of other things. The team take an uncompromising stance on certain issues and employ tactics to promote them that, whilst seeming reasonable and justified to the team, cause concern to others and seem to cross the boundary of reasonableness. This strong stand can therefore alienate others and generate opposition to the things they are trying to promote. Also, the team fail to engage in what others see as reasonable or rational debate, because their discussion is overly driven by their values/beliefs.
The complex is given the name "Crusader" because the mediaeval Crusaders were motivated, in part, by certain ideals or values, yet their impact was to create greater division in the world rather win people over to their beliefs.
Complexes can be very difficult to deal with. See our general page on Complexes for more information.
A good facilitator or consultant can help the team address the Crusader Complex in various ways, such as:
- Raise the team's awareness of how they are perceived by people outside the team
- Get the team to think through the consequences of their actions and alternatives, particular in terms of which strategies will win commitment from others and/or create opposition, thereby having an impact on whether their values/beliefs will be adopted
- Encouraging recognition of the validity in other people's beliefs, and focusing on a win-win solution rather than win-lose.
The Crusader Complex results from the team's rigidity in their use of introverted Feeling.
See all sixteen team complexes.