During my Leadership class today, I taught my students about the fruit personality test. Now, I am personally fond of personality tests, and have taken a large amount of them in my time. The rationatle behind the Fruit Personality Test (found in the Seven Habits book I have been teaching and am nearly finished with in that class) and the fruits it chooses seems to be a bit lacking, though strikingly the four types of personality in the test mirror (perhaps intentionally, perhaps not) the Myers-Briggs test. Grapes are the NF personality, Oranges the SP, Bananas the SJ, and Melons the NT. Not surprisingly, I am a stereotypical NT (why they are melons I don’t understand).
In the course of discussing personality tests with my fellow instructors here, I found out that all of us were NT (with one on the NT/NF boundary, close to an INFJ), and that all of the other teachers for the past few years were also NT’s. This is probably not a coincidence. It seems very striking that the half a dozen or so most recent instructors at Legacy Institute have either been INTJ or ENTJ personalities (I’m an ENTJ myself, according to the Myers-Briggs test). Why would this program be such a lure for rationals, since neither the ENTJ nor INTJ personality is very common (both are about 2% of the population, among the least common types—INFJ being the least common personality type of all, with only 1% of the population). So, why would such uncommon rationals find their way to the North of Thailand?
This is a mystery, and a mystery worth uncovering. Examining the behavior of rationals within the Church of God community is something very intriguing to me. We are a fairly rare breed of people in the general population, after all. The general personality type of the nation of Thailand, moreover, appears to be SP, the same personality type as my brother and stepfather. Likewise, the general personality type of the majority of leadership within the Church of God community appears to be SJ—traditionalist guardians who never met a change they liked. These happen to be the most common two types of personality—NT rationals and NF idealists tend to be far more rare, about an eigth of the population for each of those two types. The problem is when personality types run amok. Where SP types run amok there is an existential standard of living, activities are only valued to the extent that they are fun, and there is little focus on planning for the future. Where SJ types run amok traditions are held on to tooth and claw, long after they are obsolete, and routines and procedures cause progress and growth to go as slowly as a motorboat through a kudzu-infested pond. Since idealists and rationals are far rarer, it is hard to imagine any organization where there are enough of such people for them to run amok, sadly. Except for Legacy Institute, apparently.