Nobody likes putting people into boxes. But putting people in to many systems of boxes to contour character and counter-act the idea that people are not predictable is something we can’t ignore.
Anyway. If you like classifiying individuals by bundling behavioural patterns that would classify as consistent traits, this is a classification that I recently found to be entertaining.
Why is it entertaining. I appear to find some predictability on beliefs and feasible actions possibly observed by the classes. The four classes also appear to impact alliance forming behaviour.
And most importantly: Super important for understanding management team structures or making team-based investment decisions.
1. The Intellectuals
The types whose only natural way out-of-the-door is via a publication. The intellectuals. Sensitive, intuitive, intelligent, analytical, pondering. In their truest form, they would love to spend their life studying things, travelling on adventurous journey, discovering things, analysing things, making assumptions and seeing things pan out as the theory suggests. They take the outside as exogenous and observe it. In that sense. And go to the extreme. One could say: As long as they do not have to deal with people that they are not interested in, they are fine. They are interested in pure intellectual far more than in the quarrels, moods, natures of people. Or one could say: They do not want the world to be endogenous. They do not want to be exogenous. They are being excited. They do not see the excitement in exciting others. At least not in the bottom of their heart.
Then there are the leaders. Their way of getting-out-of-the-door is just getting out of the door. All the time. Yes, they are outside all the time. Talking to people. Not so much listening to people. More like, talking to people. Changing the emotion of people. Creating visions. Dreams. Stories. That people like to listen to. That people can find themselves in. They do not observe themselves in that sense. They don’t care what the outside world and experiences does to them. They want the outside world to experience them.
They genuinely enjoy creating positive vibes and emotions and they get better and better it. That is what they do. They enjoy this kind of craftmanship. And because they do, the also like forming relationships with very good listeners. They start to build tribes. Large congregations of followers. ANd they learn to steer them into a unified direction. They created ventures and companies in the purest definition of the words. And they become leaders. And the bigger the tribes get, the more they float around and start to network with and touch down with other leaders. Looking on strategic ancles to work together with some other leaders. They become elites. Members of the group of movers and shakers. Not because they command wealth. But because they command the love and inspiration of people for a cause. Yes, those are leaders.
The third kind are the disinterested island people, They are not very interested in expanding their knowledge and understanding of the world as the intellectuals are. And they certainyl don’t like to jump into the cold water every day and talk to strangers all day. They like to cultivate habits in their daily lives and adventures that create the emotions, moods and feelings they and they like to retain a small and close group.
They are in a sense people that do not want to have real responsibility for something they do not utterly love and admire. They are a bit more selfish. Because they can and do choose a size for their own world that is controllable and enjoyable as such, they are isolated rather than connected.
And then, of course, they also need to surive. And tap into the world of the leaders. They do not like to work. But it is a necessity. Hence they go out into the world and try to maximize income for given lost time per day. Or they look for good vibe work environments to make the time spent working less lost.
But in essence, they are permission seekers when moving and roaming around in the wider world. They want permission to be part of something that allows them to get income. They want permission to be part of the academic and intellectual systems to be later on priviledged to get high paying and good-vibe jobs. But they never want to be part of it. It is just all a “must do” to enjoy their island lives.
Surprisingly, it appears, they are the ones that desire the highest forms of respect, acceptance and love from the leaders and intellectuals. They are blind and in complete disregard of the struggle of leader and intellectual types. They have no empathy. But they get judgmental, vindictive and retaliating when facing conflict.
And they are the fastest ones to judge the intellectuals. Because they feel judged. They know they rely on the leaders. And leaders rely on them. But the intellectuals are not in power to give or take from them. But they are the better competitors.
Oh well and then are the crooks and aggressives. The ones who are not intelectual, not leaders of tribes and willing to accept that their life is about their island peace or they are islanders with little or no island to go for. The ones that failed to fall into the three categories and are now scheming in the realms of the three others to be part of it.
They do the knee jerks for the leaders when it is necessary and threaten when there is an opportunity. They always self-aggrendize their own standing, they are undeserving, but never satisfied and hungry. They completely lack the ability to trust or take real responsibility. They are leechers. Takers. Attackers. Crooks.
Overall view and takeaways
In our time, the most influencial people have become leaders with intellectual strenghts. And exceptional intellectuals who chose to serve the benefit of successful people and do so extremely well in a very small nieche. Think hedge fund managers and star entrepreneurs being more intellectuals in a leader costume or a serving the leaders hat. Or leaders that run for offices, build networks and capture enourmeous rents. Less limelight, less shininess. But a lot of grind.
In the struggle of life that is struggle between people, almost everyone tries to throw enemies into the crooks category. All defamation and social attacks against people aim at rendering people as crooks.
They attack the viability of intellect by making people look stupid, incapable. They attack the viability of leadership by putting pressure and stress on people to increase the level of aggression and frustration and reduce the leadership and charismatic elements of a person. And they attack the islands of the individual. They attack the quality of validity of the family, close circles of friends, the biography and associations one had. Just to show that people have no islands under their feet. And by reducing the strength in the 3 classes, you are moving people into the crooks class.
And naturally, the biggest fights are between the intellectuals and the leaders. It is always a fight of democracy and autocracy versuses meritocarcy and technocracy.
With the occasional crook or tyrant sneaking through the backdoors to to the rooftops. And sometimes, groups or societies heal by putting a feeble islander on the top of the hierarchy.
And then again, it is very easy to observe that whenever interest groups form and conflict arises, the types are colluding. A leader shareholder with a leader board member and a leader executive will always align with each other against intellectuals, islanders and crooks. In parts, because their wiring and world view is so aligned that they alliancing is just far more predictable and likely. And in larger parts, because their insecurities are so aligned. All crooks know when they meet a leader. All leaders know when they meet a crook. They know each other’s pros and cons, and how to use each others. And they form contracts to join forces. WHen those contracts break and the house is on fire, everybody knows they can rely on their own type most.
When looking at a fund manager in Venture Capital or PE, ask yourself who is at work here. Is it a leader/sales person? Is it a technocrat? Is it an islander? Is it a crook? If you cannot tell, look at the allies and friends. If tehy are crooks, the leader is a crook. And so forth.