The Five Levels of Solidity

Men don’t change (much) along the solidity axis, which gives us five categories of personality types. Let’s take a look at the five levels of solidity and the main characteristics of each.

SOLIDITY CAN be broken down into five levels: very low; low; medium; high; very high. These are shown in the graphic below. The level of Solidity refers to the level of connectedness that the man has to ideas (less “solid”) versus things (more “solid”). A man who has a very low level of solidity, and who is therefore more connected to ideas, will do lots of talking and explaining, but runs the risk of not ever getting into action. A man who is at the other end of the spectrum, with a very high level of solidity, and therefore more connected to things, will tend to get into action very quickly without explaining himself and may even become irritable or angry if someone asks him to do that. In between these two extremes are three more levels, all of which are described below.

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Very Low Solidity: The Ideas Men

Focus of Attention: Ideas About Nothing (“Castles-In-The-Sky”)

Subtypes: The “Optimistic” Ideas Men; The “Cautious” Ideas Men

You can think of very low solidity as being equivalent to the least solid, or dense, element, which is air, or sky. And, indeed, men who have very low solidity are all about ideas and imagination, even fantasy. Some are optimistic, some are cautious. Either way, we’d say that they build “castles in the sky”.

Men at this end of the spectrum don’t just have their head in the clouds. Their heads are beyond the clouds. They see things in the future that other people don’t see. Those can be great possibilities, like business ideas, or they can be great catastrophes, like business collapses. Of course, much of what they think about and talk about doesn’t become real. Those great business ideas often don’t materialise, and the catastrophes don’t happen. Hence ideas about “nothing”, because the future they’re always on about is all made up—it doesn’t exist yet, and, very often, it never will.

As you can see, these men divide along two lines: those who are eternally optimistic; and those who are eternally cautious. Both get frustrated when other people don’t see things the way they do, and so they spend energy trying to share, and get people to buy into, what they see.

The “Optimistic” Ideas Man

The optimistic men at this level see the future as exciting and interesting. They always believe things will get better, that things will work out. They express this in business by always having some fantastic new business idea, or chasing a new opportunity. In both their business and personal lives, they tend to avoid dealing with issues because, they tell themselves and everyone else, “It will be fine.” Sometimes they’re right; often, not.

For the sake of creating a picture in your mind, you can think of salesmen, Internet start-up guys (the fast-talking frontmen, not the programming geeks), and “rah-rah” motivational speakers, although men in those professions are not limited to this subtype, and men of this subtype won’t be limited to that range of careers. At the very least, they’ll be fast talkers who want to lift everybody’s spirits and shine a positive light onto every situation.

At a deep level, what these men are really hoping for is to escape from the current reality with its boring routine and rules and restrictions. Hence their focus on a positive future: they believe that the future will liberate them

At a low level of maturity, they can be quite scattered, erratic, and never get things done. At a high level of maturity, they can be visionaries who forge new pathways for the world. A paragon of this very low level of solidity, with a high level of maturity, and an optimistic outlook, would be Richard Branson and McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc.

The optimistic men at this level see the future as exciting and interesting. They always believe things will get better, that things will work out. They express this in business by always having some fantastic new business idea, or chasing a new opportunity. In both their business and personal lives, they tend to avoid dealing with issues because, they tell themselves and everyone else, “It will be fine.” Sometimes they’re right; often, not.

For the sake of creating a picture in your mind, you can think of salesmen, Internet start-up guys (the fast-talking frontmen, not the programming geeks), and “rah-rah” motivational speakers, although men in those professions are not limited to this subtype, and men of this subtype won’t be limited to that range of careers. At the very least, they’ll be fast talkers who want to lift everybody’s spirits and shine a positive light onto every situation.

At a deep level, what these men are really hoping for is to escape from the current reality with its boring routine and rules and restrictions. Hence their focus on a positive future: they believe that the future will liberate them

At a low level of maturity, they can be quite scattered, erratic, and never get things done. At a high level of maturity, they can be visionaries who forge new pathways for the world. A paragon of this very low level of solidity, with a high level of maturity, and an optimistic outlook, would be Richard Branson and McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc.

The optimistic men at this level see the future as exciting and interesting. They always believe things will get better, that things will work out. They express this in business by always having some fantastic new business idea, or chasing a new opportunity. In both their business and personal lives, they tend to avoid dealing with issues because, they tell themselves and everyone else, “It will be fine.” Sometimes they’re right; often, not.

For the sake of creating a picture in your mind, you can think of salesmen, Internet start-up guys (the fast-talking frontmen, not the programming geeks), and “rah-rah” motivational speakers, although men in those professions are not limited to this subtype, and men of this subtype won’t be limited to that range of careers. At the very least, they’ll be fast talkers who want to lift everybody’s spirits and shine a positive light onto every situation.

At a deep level, what they’re really hoping for is to escape from the current reality with its boring routine and rules and restrictions. Hence their focus on a positive future: they believe that the future will liberate them

At a low level of maturity, they can be quite scattered, erratic, and never get things done. At a high level of maturity, they can be visionaries who forge new pathways for the world. A paragon of this very low level of solidity, with a high level of maturity, and an optimistic outlook, would be Richard Branson and McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc.

The “Cautious” Ideas Man

The more cautious men at this level, on the other hand, see the future as something you have to protect yourself from. They express this in their business and personal lives by being meticulous planners. They’ll also do tons of research, and canvas opinions of their trusted inner circle before they make a decision. If they don’t get enough support, they probably won’t make the decision.

They can sometimes try to impose their cautious outlook on everyone around them, by insisting that they should not go ahead with a particular plan, especially a business or travel plan. When they get told they’re being negative, they insist that, in fact, they’re just being realistic.

At a deep level, they don’t trust people or reality; they don’t believe things will work out in their favour; they think things will always go wrong, instead of right; and the only way to protect themselves from that is to plan ahead. Planning helps them to feel safe—or as safe as they possibly can in this dangerous world.

At a low level of maturity they can be quite suspicious of people and pessimistic about life in general. At a high level of maturity, they can be reliable guides who have a loyal following, or ”tribe”. A paragon of this very low level of solidity, with a high level of maturity, and a cautious outlook, would be the investor Warren Buffett, also known as the “Oracle of Omaha”.

The more cautious men at this level, on the other hand, see the future as something you have to protect yourself from. They express this in their business and personal lives by being meticulous planners. They’ll also do tons of research, and canvas opinions of their trusted inner circle before they make a decision. If they don’t get enough support, they probably won’t make the decision.

They can sometimes try to impose their cautious outlook on everyone around them, by insisting that they should not go ahead with a particular plan, especially a business or travel plan. When they get told they’re being negative, they insist that, in fact, they’re just being realistic.

At a deep level, they don’t trust people or reality; they don’t believe things will work out in their favour; they think things will always go wrong, instead of right; and the only way to protect themselves from that is to plan ahead. Planning helps them to feel safe—or as safe as they possibly can in this dangerous world.

At a low level of maturity they can be quite suspicious of people and pessimistic about life in general. At a high level of maturity, they can be reliable guides who have a loyal following, or ”tribe”. A paragon of this very low level of solidity, with a high level of maturity, and a cautious outlook, would be the investor Warren Buffett, also known as the “Oracle of Omaha”.

The more cautious men at this level, on the other hand, see the future as something you have to protect yourself from. They express this in their business and personal lives by being meticulous planners. They’ll also do tons of research, and canvas opinions of their trusted inner circle before they make a decision. If they don’t get enough support, they probably won’t make the decision.

They can sometimes try to impose their cautious outlook on everyone around them, by insisting that they should not go ahead with a particular plan, especially a business or travel plan. When they get told they’re being negative, they insist that, in fact, they’re just being realistic.

At a deep level, they don’t trust people or reality; they don’t believe things will work out in their favour; they think things will always go wrong, instead of right; and the only way to protect themselves from that is to plan ahead. Planning helps them to feel safe—or as safe as they possibly can in this dangerous world.

At a low level of maturity they can be quite suspicious of people and pessimistic about life in general. At a high level of maturity, they can be reliable guides who have a loyal following, or ”tribe”. A paragon of this very low level of solidity, with a high level of maturity, and a cautious outlook, would be the investor Warren Buffett, also known as the “Oracle of Omaha”.

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 Low Solidity: The Sensitive Men

Focus of Attention: Ideas About Ideas (“Head-In-The-Clouds”)

Subtypes: The “Creative” Sensitive Men; The “Listening” Sensitive Men

Low solidity (as against very low) can be equated to clouds, which are slightly more solid, or dense, than pure sky, and we find that these men, which include the artists and poets, are more philosophical than fantastical, and so we’d say that they have their “head in the clouds”.

Rather than flighty, these men are often perceived to be “deep”, or “sensitive”, probably because people believe that while their heads are in the clouds, they’re contemplating things mere mortals don’t usually even think about. In fact, that’s true. They are. They have a deep sensitivity to all the pain, suffering and disharmony in the world, and they’re always seeking ways to fix that.

These men divide along two lines: those who are more “arty” or “creative”, and those who are more reserved—yes, “reserved” is one of their defining traits—and whose special talent is listening.

The “Creative” Sensitive Man

The more creatively oriented of these men believe they can “fix” the world by finding some perfect interpretation, or representation, of the world’s imperfection and giving that back to the world in the form of art, music, poetry or literature. They believe that their creation will cause people to have that perfect insight that will forever change human nature and bring about some kind of nirvana.

Of course, they never quite manage to “nail” the message, and their audience never quite “gets” it the way they’d hoped. And so it’s a never-ending quest. If they’re not professional artists, musicians or writers, they’ll have that yearning, and at the very least will express their desire to bring about nirvana on earth as a quest for their own, personal meaning.

At a deep level, what they can’t handle is the possibility that life is chaotic, random and meaningless—or, as Hobbes said, “nasty, brutish, and short”.

At a low level of maturity, they can spend too much time in contemplation, without reaching any conclusion or producing any results, and be prone to bouts of melancholy. At a high level of maturity, they can temper the world’s suffering with great beauty and art. Paragons of this low level of solidity, with a high level of maturity, and a creative orientation, would be Carl Jung himself, Bruce Springsteen, or Deepak Chopra.

The more creatively oriented of these men believe they can “fix” the world by finding some perfect interpretation, or representation, of the world’s imperfection and giving that back to the world in the form of art, music, poetry or literature. They believe that their creation will cause people to have that perfect insight that will forever change human nature and bring about some kind of nirvana.

Of course, they never quite manage to “nail” the message, and their audience never quite “gets” it the way they’d hoped. And so it’s a never-ending quest. If they’re not professional artists, musicians or writers, they’ll have that yearning, and at the very least will express their desire to bring about nirvana on earth as a quest for their own, personal meaning.

At a deep level, what they can’t handle is the possibility that life is chaotic, random and meaningless—or, as Hobbes said, “nasty, brutish, and short”.

At a low level of maturity, they can spend too much time in contemplation, without reaching any conclusion or producing any results, and be prone to bouts of melancholy. At a high level of maturity, they can temper the world’s suffering with great beauty and art. Paragons of this low level of solidity, with a high level of maturity, and a creative orientation, would be Carl Jung himself, Bruce Springsteen, or Deepak Chopra.

The more creatively oriented of these men believe they can “fix” the world by finding some perfect interpretation, or representation, of the world’s imperfection and giving that back to the world in the form of art, music, poetry or literature. They believe that their creation will cause people to have that perfect insight that will forever change human nature and bring about some kind of nirvana.

Of course, they never quite manage to “nail” the message, and their audience never quite “gets” it the way they’d hoped. And so it’s a never-ending quest. If they’re not professional artists, musicians or writers, they’ll have that yearning, and at the very least will express their desire to bring about nirvana on earth as a quest for their own, personal meaning.

At a deep level, what they can’t handle is the possibility that life is chaotic, random and meaningless—or, as Hobbes said, “nasty, brutish, and short”.

At a low level of maturity, they can spend too much time in contemplation, without reaching any conclusion or producing any results, and be prone to bouts of melancholy. At a high level of maturity, they can temper the world’s suffering with great beauty and art. Paragons of this low level of solidity, with a high level of maturity, and a creative orientation, would be Carl Jung himself, Bruce Springsteen, or Deepak Chopra.

The “Listening” Sensitive Man

The more reserved subtype of Sensitive Men is just as attuned to the imperfections of the world, and just as idealistic about fixing it. Instead of abstracting, however, they’ll tend to read the situation and detect where the disharmony and conflict is. This will probably exhaust them, and they’ll want to withdraw back into the clouds.

However, if their desire to fix it wins, they’ll spend their energy on listening to everybody’s point of view and then counselling them. You might find them, for example, as pastors or political negotiators. They may also pursue regular careers, but will always be the peacemakers in one form or another.

At a deep level, what they fear is that conflict will destroy relationships, and the world. They don’t see the need for, or upside of, any form of conflict.

At a low level of maturity, these men can sometimes have a rather dreamy, even passive and withdrawn, manner; they can shy away from any form of conflict, even to the extent of putting their own decisions on hold and never expressing their own point of view, preferring to go along with everyone else’s. At a high level of maturity, they can lead the way as great diplomats and negotiators. Paragons of this low level of solidity, with a high level of maturity, and a peace-loving orientation, would be former US president Jimmy Carter, or Pope Francis.

The more reserved subtype of Sensitive Men is just as attuned to the imperfections of the world, and just as idealistic about fixing it. Instead of abstracting, however, they’ll tend to read the situation and detect where the disharmony and conflict is. This will probably exhaust them, and they’ll want to withdraw back into the clouds.

However, if their desire to fix it wins, they’ll spend their energy on listening to everybody’s point of view and then counselling them. You might find them, for example, as pastors or political negotiators. They may also pursue regular careers, but will always be the peacemakers in one form or another.

At a deep level, what they fear is that conflict will destroy relationships, and the world. They don’t see the need for, or upside of, any form of conflict.

At a low level of maturity, these men can sometimes have a rather dreamy, even passive and withdrawn, manner; they can shy away from any form of conflict, even to the extent of putting their own decisions on hold and never expressing their own point of view, preferring to go along with everyone else’s. At a high level of maturity, they can lead the way as great diplomats and negotiators. Paragons of this low level of solidity, with a high level of maturity, and a peace-loving orientation, would be former US president Jimmy Carter, or Pope Francis.

The more reserved subtype of Sensitive Men is just as attuned to the imperfections of the world, and just as idealistic about fixing it. Instead of abstracting, however, they’ll tend to read the situation and detect where the disharmony and conflict is. This will probably exhaust them, and they’ll want to withdraw back into the clouds.

However, if their desire to fix it wins, they’ll spend their energy on listening to everybody’s point of view and then counselling them. You might find them, for example, as pastors or political negotiators. They may also pursue regular careers, but will always be the peacemakers in one form or another.

At a deep level, what they fear is that conflict will destroy relationships, and the world. They don’t see the need for, or upside of, any form of conflict.

At a low level of maturity, these men can sometimes have a rather dreamy, even passive and withdrawn, manner; they can shy away from any form of conflict, even to the extent of putting their own decisions on hold and never expressing their own point of view, preferring to go along with everyone else’s. At a high level of maturity, they can lead the way as great diplomats and negotiators. Paragons of this low level of solidity, with a high level of maturity, and a peace-loving orientation, would be former US president Jimmy Carter, or Pope Francis.

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 Medium Solidity: The Right Men

Focus of Attention: Ideas About Things (“Joining-The-Dots”)

Subtypes: The “Learned” Right Men; The “Strict” Right Men

Connecting the clouds to the earth would be water, in the form of rain. We find that these men are the ones who connect ideas with things. We can say that they “join the dots” by giving form to ideas. They’re also able to abstract reality in ways that the more solid men don’t, or can’t.

These men like to test, experiment and learn, and figure out solutions that make people’s lives easier by inventing stuff, or by inventing processes and making sure everyone follows those processes. If their stuff is going to work, these men have to get it “right” and make sure people do things “right” so being right and getting things right matters a lot to them.

The men at this level of solidity split along two lines. The first subtype is more interested in knowledge and the application of knowledge. You would experience them as being very “learned” or “technical”. The second subtype is more interested in rules (in the form of ethics, morals and processes) and the application of rules. You would experience them as being very “strict”.

The “Learned” Right Man

The subtype of men who have a knowledge orientation want to understand reality, as a scientist would, in order to create technical solutions. For the sake of creating a picture in your mind, you can think of scientists, engineers and tech geeks, although men in those professions are not limited to this subtype, and men of this subtype won’t be limited to that range of careers.

That said, at the very least, these men will be hobbyists. At a deep level, they fear being caught not knowing something and losing face for that. This translates into a strong aversion to having to operate outside of their domain of specialist knowledge, for example when going to a family dinner party and having to make small talk.

At a low level of maturity, these knowledge-oriented men can be eternally sceptical and obnoxiously “logical”—nothing is ever “right” unless they’ve checked it out—to the point that they can be downright antisocial. At a high level of maturity, they can transform, Scrooge-like, into more benevolent versions of themselves. Paragons of this medium level of solidity, with a high level of maturity, and a knowledge orientation, would be Bill Gates and, with some reservations, Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein.

The subtype of men who have a knowledge orientation want to understand reality, as a scientist would, in order to create technical solutions. For the sake of creating a picture in your mind, you can think of scientists, engineers and tech geeks, although men in those professions are not limited to this subtype, and men of this subtype won’t be limited to that range of careers.

That said, at the very least, these men will be hobbyists. At a deep level, they fear being caught not knowing something and losing face for that. This translates into a strong aversion to having to operate outside of their domain of specialist knowledge, for example when going to a family dinner party and having to make small talk.

At a low level of maturity, these knowledge-oriented men can be eternally sceptical and obnoxiously “logical”—nothing is ever “right” unless they’ve checked it out—to the point that they can be downright antisocial. At a high level of maturity, they can transform, Scrooge-like, into more benevolent versions of themselves. Paragons of this medium level of solidity, with a high level of maturity, and a knowledge orientation, would be Bill Gates and, with some reservations, Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein.

The subtype of men who have a knowledge orientation want to understand reality, as a scientist would, in order to create technical solutions. For the sake of creating a picture in your mind, you can think of scientists, engineers and tech geeks, although men in those professions are not limited to this subtype, and men of this subtype won’t be limited to that range of careers.

That said, at the very least, these men will be hobbyists. At a deep level, they fear being caught not knowing something and losing face for that. This translates into a strong aversion to having to operate outside of their domain of specialist knowledge, for example when going to a family dinner party and having to make small talk.

At a low level of maturity, these knowledge-oriented men can be eternally sceptical and obnoxiously “logical”—nothing is ever “right” unless they’ve checked it out—to the point that they can be downright antisocial. At a high level of maturity, they can transform, Scrooge-like, into more benevolent versions of themselves. Paragons of this medium level of solidity, with a high level of maturity, and a knowledge orientation, would be Bill Gates and, with some reservations, Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein.

The “Strict” Right Man

The other subtype has a moral orientation, which could also be described as a process orientation. These men are needed to keep a check on those scientists, for example—and everyone else, for that matter. They do this by setting standards and creating processes—which are really just elaborate forms of rules—and making sure that everyone meets those standards, or follows those processes—in other words, that everyone obeys the rules.

You can think of strict corporate compliance officers, auditors, policemen, judges, priests and saints, for this subtype, although men in those professions are not limited to this subtype, and men of this subtype won’t be limited to that range of careers. At the very least, these men will have an axe to grind about something moral or political.

At a deep level, they fear getting into trouble or being criticised for any kind of mistake or moral transgression.

At a low level of maturity, these men would be the ultimate white knights, always doing what they believe is “right”, even if it prejudices themselves. They’ll be very strict and judgemental towards anyone who doesn’t meet their moral standards. At a high level of maturity, they can become great moral leaders. Paragons of this medium level of solidity, with a high level of maturity, and a moral or process orientation, would be Al Gore, Prince Charles, Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

The other subtype has a moral orientation, which could also be described as a process orientation. These men are needed to keep a check on those scientists, for example—and everyone else, for that matter. They do this by setting standards and creating processes—which are really just elaborate forms of rules—and making sure that everyone meets those standards, or follows those processes—in other words, that everyone obeys the rules.

You can think of strict corporate compliance officers, auditors, policemen, judges, priests and saints, for this subtype, although men in those professions are not limited to this subtype, and men of this subtype won’t be limited to that range of careers. At the very least, these men will have an axe to grind about something moral or political.

At a deep level, they fear getting into trouble or being criticised for any kind of mistake or moral transgression.

At a low level of maturity, these men would be the ultimate white knights, always doing what they believe is “right”, even if it prejudices themselves. They’ll be very strict and judgemental towards anyone who doesn’t meet their moral standards. At a high level of maturity, they can become great moral leaders. Paragons of this medium level of solidity, with a high level of maturity, and a moral or process orientation, would be Al Gore, Prince Charles, Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

The other subtype has a moral orientation, which could also be described as a process orientation. These men are needed to keep a check on those scientists, for example—and everyone else, for that matter. They do this by setting standards and creating processes—which are really just elaborate forms of rules—and making sure that everyone meets those standards, or follows those processes—in other words, that everyone obeys the rules.

You can think of strict corporate compliance officers, auditors, policemen, judges, priests and saints, for this subtype, although men in those professions are not limited to this subtype, and men of this subtype won’t be limited to that range of careers. At the very least, these men will have an axe to grind about something moral or political.

At a deep level, they fear getting into trouble or being criticised for any kind of mistake or moral transgression.

At a low level of maturity, these men would be the ultimate white knights, always doing what they believe is “right”, even if it prejudices themselves. They’ll be very strict and judgemental towards anyone who doesn’t meet their moral standards. At a high level of maturity, they can become great moral leaders. Paragons of this medium level of solidity, with a high level of maturity, and a moral or process orientation, would be Al Gore, Prince Charles, Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

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 High Solidity: The Best Men

Focus of Attention: Operation of Things (“Feet-On-The-Ground”)

Subtypes: The “Winning” Best Men; The “Helping” Best Men

More solid than water, but not yet completely solid, would be earth itself, in the form of ground, or sand. The men at this level of solidity are the men who are all about finding practical solutions and getting things done. We’d say they have their “feet on the ground”. They’re much more about results and much less about abstract thinking.

These men are more operational than the other categories of men. This means they’re less about imagining, idealising, rationalising or understanding, and more about helping, solving problems, making things happen and achieving goals. They’re about doing what’s “best” in any situation, either for themselves, or for others.

The men at this level of solidity split along two lines. The first subtype is more about making things happen for themselves. In other words, they’re all about “winning”. That may or may not involve taking other people along with them. The second subtype is more about making things happen for other people. In other words, they’re all about “helping”, and are more likely to put themselves last.

The “Winning” Best Man

The subtype of men who have a winning orientation want to make sure they’re always at the top of the heap in whatever they do. To that end,
everything they do is geared towards building and/or protecting their social status and professional reputation.

For the sake of creating a picture in your mind, you can think of ambitious lawyers, polished politicians and super-slick talent agents and publicists, although men in those professions are not limited to this subtype, and men of this subtype won’t be limited to that range of careers. At the very least, these men will be stylish and well put together.

At a deep level, they have a great fear that life is actually a game of musical chairs and that if the music ever stops and they don’t have a chair, it’s over.

At a low level of maturity, these men can be inclined to do whatever it takes to win, which can mean being morally expedient and/or ruthless. At a high level of maturity, they can become great role models. Paragons of this high level of solidity, with a high level of maturity, and a winning orientation, would be Barack Obama and John F. Kennedy. No surprises, they’re both American.

The subtype of men who have a winning orientation want to make sure they’re always at the top of the heap in whatever they do. To that end,
everything they do is geared towards building and/or protecting their social status and professional reputation.

For the sake of creating a picture in your mind, you can think of ambitious lawyers, polished politicians and super-slick talent agents and publicists, although men in those professions are not limited to this subtype, and men of this subtype won’t be limited to that range of careers. At the very least, these men will be stylish and well put together.

At a deep level, they have a great fear that life is actually a game of musical chairs and that if the music ever stops and they don’t have a chair, it’s over.

At a low level of maturity, these men can be inclined to do whatever it takes to win, which can mean being morally expedient and/or ruthless. At a high level of maturity, they can become great role models. Paragons of this high level of solidity, with a high level of maturity, and a winning orientation, would be Barack Obama and John F. Kennedy. No surprises, they’re both American.

The subtype of men who have a winning orientation want to make sure they’re always at the top of the heap in whatever they do. To that end,
everything they do is geared towards building and/or protecting their social status and professional reputation.

For the sake of creating a picture in your mind, you can think of ambitious lawyers, polished politicians and super-slick talent agents and publicists, although men in those professions are not limited to this subtype, and men of this subtype won’t be limited to that range of careers. At the very least, these men will be stylish and well put together.

At a deep level, they have a great fear that life is actually a game of musical chairs and that if the music ever stops and they don’t have a chair, it’s over.

At a low level of maturity, these men can be inclined to do whatever it takes to win, which can mean being morally expedient and/or ruthless. At a high level of maturity, they can become great role models. Paragons of this high level of solidity, with a high level of maturity, and a winning orientation, would be Barack Obama and John F. Kennedy. No surprises, they’re both American.

The “Helping” Best Man

The subtype of men who have a helping orientation almost can’t stop themselves from spotting people’s needs and pain points and jumping in to help them. They appear totally selfless, but what they’ll never admit—because for the most part they don’t realise it themselves—is that in fact they’re all about building and/or protecting their reputation as a generous, even selfless person.

For the sake of creating a picture in your mind, you can think of you favourite, friendliest uncle who is also a little out of shape because he’s neglected his own self-care, although that doesn’t mean they’re all necessarily out of shape.

At a deep level, these men have a great fear that they might actually not be as generous as they themselves make out, that they might be as selfish as everyone else—and, even worse, that other people might see that.

At a low level of maturity, these men can be inclined to neglect themselves, their children and their partners, because they’re so busy saving the day for everyone else. At a high level of maturity, they can also become great role models. Paragons of this high level of solidity, with a high level of maturity, and a helping orientation, are Desmond Tutu, U2 frontman Bono and, debatably, Rich Dad, Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki. Despite those more visible examples, these men can be quite hard to spot, naturally, because they’re always in a supporting role. An example of this is Steve Ballmer of Microsoft.

The subtype of men who have a helping orientation almost can’t stop themselves from spotting people’s needs and pain points and jumping in to help them. They appear totally selfless, but what they’ll never admit—because for the most part they don’t realise it themselves—is that in fact they’re all about building and/or protecting their reputation as a generous, even selfless person.

For the sake of creating a picture in your mind, you can think of you favourite, friendliest uncle who is also a little out of shape because he’s neglected his own self-care, although that doesn’t mean they’re all necessarily out of shape.

At a deep level, these men have a great fear that they might actually not be as generous as they themselves make out, that they might be as selfish as everyone else—and, even worse, that other people might see that.

At a low level of maturity, these men can be inclined to neglect themselves, their children and their partners, because they’re so busy saving the day for everyone else. At a high level of maturity, they can also become great role models. Paragons of this high level of solidity, with a high level of maturity, and a helping orientation, are Desmond Tutu, U2 frontman Bono and, debatably, Rich Dad, Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki. Despite those more visible examples, these men can be quite hard to spot, naturally, because they’re always in a supporting role. An example of this is Steve Ballmer of Microsoft.

The subtype of men who have a helping orientation almost can’t stop themselves from spotting people’s needs and pain points and jumping in to help them. They appear totally selfless, but what they’ll never admit—because for the most part they don’t realise it themselves—is that in fact they’re all about building and/or protecting their reputation as a generous, even selfless person.

For the sake of creating a picture in your mind, you can think of you favourite, friendliest uncle who is also a little out of shape because he’s neglected his own self-care, although that doesn’t mean they’re all necessarily out of shape.

At a deep level, these men have a great fear that they might actually not be as generous as they themselves make out, that they might be as selfish as everyone else—and, even worse, that other people might see that.

At a low level of maturity, these men can be inclined to neglect themselves, their children and their partners, because they’re so busy saving the day for everyone else. At a high level of maturity, they can also become great role models. Paragons of this high level of solidity, with a high level of maturity, and a helping orientation, are Desmond Tutu, U2 frontman Bono and, debatably, Rich Dad, Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki. Despite those more visible examples, these men can be quite hard to spot, naturally, because they’re always in a supporting role. An example of this is Steve Ballmer of Microsoft.

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Very High Solidity: The “Real” Men

Focus of Attention: Things (“Solid-As-A-Rock”)

Subtypes: No subtypes

Finally, we get to the most solid element, and no, we’re not going to call these men diamonds. They are the most solid, practical and reliable, and also the most immovable, men. We’d say they’re as “solid as a rock”.

Men in this category are more likely to have that “highly masculinised” brain that was described in Chapter 4. They’re going to have almost no need to describe or explain things. They’ll be much more about direct and immediate action. If you suggest something to them, they’ll either do it or not do it. In fact, if you suggest it they probably won’t do it, but if they think it, they will almost immediately and necessarily turn it into action. They honestly believe that any thought that arose in their own mind deserves to be defended as the right way, the only way—or you can take the highway. Their saving grace is that they are great providers and protectors. They also hate injustice and will contribute all of their mighty power and presence to fight a cause on behalf of the underdog.

The “Real” Man

These men like to be in control of whatever they do. To that end, they’ll tend to micromanage, yet will get explosively angry if anyone tries to micromanage them.

For the sake of creating a picture in your mind, you can think of factory bosses, angry sports coaches and military generals, although men in those professions are not limited to this subtype, and men of this subtype won’t be limited to that range of careers. At the very least, these men will be blunt, forceful and commanding.

At a deep level, they fear the exposure of their own vulnerable, soft, inner child, who was never protected when they were young, and the protection of which, through sheer bloody-mindedness, caused them to become the way they are.

At a low level of maturity, these men show little understanding for other points of view or approaches and little to no tolerance for other ways of doing things. It’s their way or the highway. They’ll have little capacity or inclination for abstract thought, or for processing their inner thoughts and feelings, and limited appreciation for aesthetic details or tolerance for exploring creative ideas and different ways of doing things.

At a high level of maturity, these more concrete men will know how leave people be, and how to put their tremendous presence and power, and their eye for practical solutions, into becoming champions of much bigger causes. Paragons of this very high level of solidity, with a high level of maturity, would be Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela.

These men like to be in control of whatever they do. To that end, they’ll tend to micromanage, yet will get explosively angry if anyone tries to micromanage them.

For the sake of creating a picture in your mind, you can think of factory bosses, angry sports coaches and military generals, although men in those professions are not limited to this subtype, and men of this subtype won’t be limited to that range of careers.

At the very least, these men will be blunt, forceful and commanding. At a deep level, they fear the exposure of their own vulnerable, soft, inner child, who was never protected when they were young, and the protection of which, through sheer bloody-mindedness, caused them to become the way they are.

At a low level of maturity, these men show little understanding for other points of view or approaches and little to no tolerance for other ways of doing things. It’s their way or the highway. They’ll have little capacity or inclination for abstract thought, or for processing their inner thoughts and feelings, and limited appreciation for aesthetic details or tolerance for exploring creative ideas and different ways of doing things.

At a high level of maturity, these more concrete men will know how leave people be, and how to put their tremendous presence and power, and their eye for practical solutions, into becoming champions of much bigger causes. Paragons of this very high level of solidity, with a high level of maturity, would be Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela.

These men like to be in control of whatever they do. To that end, they’ll tend to micromanage, yet will get explosively angry if anyone tries to micromanage them.

For the sake of creating a picture in your mind, you can think of factory bosses, angry sports coaches and military generals, although men in those professions are not limited to this subtype, and men of this subtype won’t be limited to that range of careers.

At the very least, these men will be blunt, forceful and commanding. At a deep level, they fear the exposure of their own vulnerable, soft, inner child, who was never protected when they were young, and the protection of which, through sheer bloody-mindedness, caused them to become the way they are.

At a low level of maturity, these men show little understanding for other points of view or approaches and little to no tolerance for other ways of doing things. It’s their way or the highway. They’ll have little capacity or inclination for abstract thought, or for processing their inner thoughts and feelings, and limited appreciation for aesthetic details or tolerance for exploring creative ideas and different ways of doing things.

At a high level of maturity, these more concrete men will know how leave people be, and how to put their tremendous presence and power, and their eye for practical solutions, into becoming champions of much bigger causes. Paragons of this very high level of solidity, with a high level of maturity, would be Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela.

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 A Final Note

It’s important to recognise that a man may demonstrate elements of two different levels of solidity, even ones that are quite far apart. That’s acceptable. However, there will always be one level that’s dominant, even if only slightly, and he should be assessed as being at that level, or of that type. You would then regard him as having a dose of the other type, and recognise how that flavours the way he shows up. For example, let’s say an “Optimistic” Ideas Man has an element of the “Winning” Best Man. He’ll tend to pay a lot more attention to his dress style, and other aspects of his public image, than if he had a streak, say, of The Real Man, in which case he’d be less image-conscious and more blunt, assertive, and perhaps even aggressive, in his approach.

Also, remember that a man is unlikely to “change” by moving permanently to another level, or even into the other subtype at the same level as him. However, as he matures and becomes more self-aware, he may be able to turn up—or turn down—the volume on different parts of himself, according to what’s needed in the situation. Let’s say he’s that “Optimistic” Ideas Man with a fairly strong “Winning” Best Man streak. In a business context, for example, he may turn up the volume on his “Winning” Best Man streak, while at home he turns it down.

He may even take this up a notch and learn to “reach into” all the other levels, or types, and “borrow” behaviours from what he’s seen working for those men. For example, our “Optimistic” Ideas Man might notice that the “Strict” Right Man never gets unnecessary tax penalties because he’s always on top of his admin, pays attention to the detail, and gets his returns in on time. If he can stop insisting on being so one-sided—“I hate admin, it’s not me, it’s a bore, I’ll never be like that!”—and instead learn to integrate different styles of behaviour on his own terms, he can smooth off his rough edges and become more tolerable for everybody and easier to live with, and more effective, successful and fulfilled.

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