Strengths and challenges for your archetype


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Hi All - Thank you so much for sharing with us, we truly appreciate it. 


We have just shared a video of Adam Grant (Organizational Psychologist at Wharton and Co-Creator of PrinciplesYou) explaining the thought process that went into creating PrinciplesYou!  You can find this post here! 


We invite you to watch this video and share your thoughts.



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As an  INTP my greatest strength is a conceptual ability that allows me to frame ideas in ways that clarify or expand on current thinking. My greatest weaknesses are connected - jumping ahead without adequate attention to detail.

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I am a Shaper (my MBTI is ENTJ), and I think that my greatest strength is my ability to pick up on new things very quickly. I think this is helpful for me because I am able to focus on strengthening my skills sooner than if it took me longer time to grasp concepts. The challenging side of this is that I often get irritated with others who don't understand the concept or take a longer time to learn

I think my biggest challenge is my lack of reliability and empathy with others. I am 18, but I am talking about real estate and investment strategies while others my age talking about what new phone to buy or what game to play on their Switch. You know, stuff 18-year-olds are supposed to be interested in. This means I get along very well with people who are 40-70 years old, but it sometimes hinders my ability to make friends.

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I am a Peacekeeper, then a Helper, and then a Problem solver.
This puts me squarely on the "Givers" island and means that I am nurturing and in-tune with others' emotions and needs. I am great at compromising, defusing tense situations, adapting to circumstances, and communicating clearly and effectively.

The downside to my archetype is that I care too much about others' opinions of me and this makes it difficult for me to have tough conversations, view my mistakes in a positive light (especially when they affect others negatively), and share my opinions directly and forcefully. 

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Um... I wrote a little extra description of what I should be able to do, but it's something that I believe is unique to a lot of Shapers. I actually recommended to Dr Grant (still smiling every time I think about how he's just like the dinosaur dude from Jurassic Park) and Ray Dalio about how people should be able to write their own descriptions of what their archetype can do. The wonderful psychologists who design this test can't possibly have all the archetypes between just the 3 of them right? So they might have missed something? I don't want to influence other people. So don't read this until you've thought about what extra abilities and weaknesses your own archetype has first maybe? I don't know how to hide something behind a "click to reveal" sadly. So stop reading until you've thought about it yourself first without my influence.

Personality Archetype Self-Description: Shaper Talents

Shapers can not only shape reality and the future by setting goals and relentlessly pursuing those goals.

Shapers can shape other people too. Shapers can see the potential and the best in the other people around them and help them achieve greatness by helping them become the best that their natural abilities can take them.

But above all else, Shapers can shape themselves, which is perhaps the most unique of all personality archetype talents.

People have values, abilities, and skills. A skill is like being able to program or speak a language. An ability is the capacity to learn to do something you didn't know how to do before.

Values are, however, difficult to change. And Shapers are unique in that if they realize that their own values are not what is needed to accomplish a particular goal, Shapers can change their own values and make better new values.

That alone is the most valuable talent of a Shaper. 

General Explanation:

A little quote from the Avatar the Last Airbender cartoon for context:

Lion Turtle to Aang the Last Airbender:

"In the era before the Avatar, we bent not the elements, but the energy within ourselves. To bend another's energy, your own spirit must be unbendable or you will be corrupted and destroyed."

And the most incorruptible part of a Shaper’s spirit is that if a Shaper knows that he or she needs to change in order to achieve a particular goal, a Shaper has the humility and courage to admit that his or her Soul is slightly flawed and needs adapting.

The most important value is not in whatever principle or value that the Shaper has held onto for so long, but the value that change is a necessity of life. Adaptability is a path of lotus flowers paving the way across a river to greater evolution.

The only way to evolve is to change your habits. Shapers evolve rapidly.

I hope other people will think about writing their own little extra description of their own archetype's strengths and weaknesses beyond what is already there in this test. If multiple people with the same archetype all write about the same extra skill or ability not listed in the test, we will have found a missing piece of the puzzle to add to this really fun and amazingly helpful test. And we will all be better for it because other people with other archetype will understand that archetype better too.

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Andrew, your statement about Skills/Abilities/Values is interesting, but not how I've come to personally understand it, so far.

"ability is the capacity to learn to do something you didn't know how to do before".

As I assume you are an individual who learns and practices various hobbies and interests constantly, is it merely the "learning how to do" something that IS the "ability" to turn it into what is essentially a "skill"?

I think of abilities like "able to quickly assess and determine when something is truly wrong", or "feels comfortable when handling high-pressure, fast paced situations" - these are the ABILITIES which, in very many ways, are built into some individuals, and not others.

I would find an individual with these abilities, and a decent amount of (skilled) study, in any Emergency Room department of any hospital around the planet.

Someone who IS "able to be" detail oriented can't HELP but be that way, they are ABLE (or burdened) to be AWARE of the specifics - conversely someone who overlooks the DETAILS for the "big picture" is ABLE to see the resultant OUTCOMES of the courses/trajectory, while not being tied up in the specific elements which may ILLUSTRATE the small details of the big picture they see.

They both VALUE "patient care and comfort", but one is the ER doctor you want to have, and the other makes sure the hospital runs like a top, and can HIRE the ER doc in the first place.

"A natural inclination that makes a skill/job/career easy" is more in line of how I view "Abilities".

Your definition that Shapers CAN or CAN NOT change their Values easily, or that they are intrinsically better at it than all other archetypes - that's a STRONG statement.

There is a measure of fortune 500 leaders, referenced in Principles, that indicates many individuals who hold leadership roles at these highest rungs share a "dedicated ability to put their "needs", and then the needs of the organization, above that of any individuals who make UP the organization" (paraphrased).

I KNOW this is a weakness of mine, (I see the greatness in people, whether they do themselves or not, and allow them to exist in their roles with the hope to grow toward greatness) and while I've accepted that I must "harden my demeanor" against the limitations of it - I've taken ~9+ months to start that journey, if not longer.

To BE a shaper indicates that there is VISION and a POTENTIAL pathway toward something OTHER that what IS - but Shapers are not CLAIRVOYANT nor OMNISCENT - but knowing that change CAN happen and is NEEDED, is the value they bring, but creating the MAP and finding agreement on the GOAL - that's not a given, it only comes with... a shared IDEA meritocracy - where the BEST ideas WIN in light of the GOALS...

Because without help in charting the right COURSE forward, Shapers are no better at GETTING to the real destination than anyone else, because how can we even be sure to head in the right direction - alone?


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