I've long believed that executives and managers should study history and international politics in order to understand the personality types they may encounter in the workplace. Some they may observe:
- The putative ally who wishes to join your cause in order to hinder it.
- The critics who conveniently forget (or rapidly revise) their criticism once you have succeeded.
- The opponent who disdains negotiating anything but your destruction.
- Those interesting souls who will give you "everything" to achieve an objective; i.e. everything but resources and assistance.
- The predators who regard friendliness as weakness and who operate with a completely different set of rules.
- The opportunist (think Alcibiades) who can switch "deeply-held" positions on a dime in order to further his ambition.
- The naive negotiator who believes everyone is as decent and open as herself.
- The leaders who wait until a disaster strikes before acknowledging the presence of a threat.
- The impatient observers who believe that amazingly complex projects can be resolved within a short period of time without a single major mistake.
- The leaders who ignore all evidence and cling to a strategy that is not working.
- The hubris of very bright people who have been given a great deal of power.
- The zealots whose passion for one issue causes them to be blind to all other considerations.
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