Personality Types in History
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.