For those of us old enough to remember, Seinfeld was one of the most popular television series of all time. If you go back even farther, The Beatles dominated not only music, but the entire direction of our culture. The reason for this phenomenon of success was discovered a long time ago!
The ancient Greeks believed that everything in the universe was composed of a combination of four basic elements: earth, air, fire and water. Everything that existed could be broken down into these four basic components.
The Greeks attached this concept to everything, including philosophy and the arts. Even human emotions and personality were attached to the four elements. It is considered inborn, something beyond our control, but each one of us has varying levels of each of the four personalities as defined by the elemental assignment of traits.
So if you were to have four individuals that closely represented only one of these personalities each, you have the formula for success. It is easy to identify the predominant element in each one, and the combination of the four elements together makes for a satisfying completeness. In both Seinfeld and the Beatles, this distinction is obvious.
Let's get down to specifics: In Seinfeld you have Jerry (earth,) Kramer (air,) George (fire,) and Elaine (water.) In the Beatles you have Ringo (earth,) Paul (air,) John (fire,) and George (water.) Because each reflects one of these personalities, we relate to them based on our own internal make-up. No matter what our own preferences are, one of these individuals, or a combination of individuals, will appeal to us.
We all have some of each of these four basic elements in our own personality to some degree, and the weighting of the components determine who we are, and how people relate to us.
So how does all of this translate to business? It does in many ways. For example, if you are assembling a team, you do not want individuals of the same elemental disposition. If you have two "fire" on a team, you will only have arguments all of the time, if you have two "air" you will pitch ideas endlessly without ever accomplishing much of anything.
Rather, you want teammates that complement each other, with one filling the personality voids of the other. In this manner, the team can accomplish more combined as a whole, than the sum of its parts.
So where do you fit in all of this? Are you a Kramer, or a Ringo? Or perhaps you are a combination of John and Elaine? It's fun to think about, and if you really don't know you might want to try a D.I.S.C. test!
And in case you didn't know, I'm fire with a touch of air!
(Mel, this was for you!)
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