A Man for All Reasons

He is a man of an angel’s wit and multiple learning. I know not his fellow. For where is the man of that gentleness, strength, and resolve? And as time requireth, a man of marvelous modernity and reasoned enterprise, and sometime of as sad gravity. A Man for All Reasons.

fridtjof_nansen

“His greatness sprang first and foremost from his moral qualities.”

“He was what might be termed a moral genius, an upright and noble personality, a practical idealist, independent, incorruptible, and indomitable, uncompromisingly self-sacrificing, a man devoid of guile and to whom the concept of self-indulgence was entirely foreign.”

Fridtjof Nansen, Mastermind Rational, (pron.: /ˈfrɪd.tjɒf ˈnænsən/ FRID-choff NAN-sən; 10 October 1861 – 13 May 1930) was a Norwegian explorer, scientist, diplomat, humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. In his youth a champion skier and ice skater, he led the team that made the first crossing of the Greenland interior in 1888, and won international fame after reaching a record northern latitude of 86°14′ during his North Pole expedition of 1893–96.

Although he retired from exploration after his return to Norway, his techniques of polar travel and his innovations in equipment and clothing influenced a generation of subsequent Arctic and Antarctic expeditions.

Nansen studied zoology at the Royal Frederick University, and later worked as a curator at the Bergen Museum where his research on the central nervous system of lower marine creatures earned him a doctorate and helped establish modern theories of neurology. After 1896 his main scientific interest switched to oceanography; in the course of his research he made many scientific cruises, mainly in the North Atlantic, and contributed to the development of modern oceanographic equipment. As one of his country’s leading citizens, in 1905 Nansen spoke out for the ending of Norway’s union with Sweden, and was instrumental in persuading Prince Charles of Denmark to accept the throne of the newly independent Norway. Between 1906 and 1908 he served as the Norwegian representative in London, where he helped negotiate the Integrity Treaty that guaranteed Norway’s independent status.

In the final decade of his life Nansen devoted himself primarily to the League of Nations, following his appointment in 1921 as the League’s High Commissioner for Refugees. In 1922 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on behalf of the displaced victims of the First World War and related conflicts. Among the initiatives he introduced was the “Nansen passport” for stateless persons, a certificate recognised by more than 50 countries. He worked on behalf of refugees until his sudden death in 1930, after which the League established the Nansen International Office for Refugees to ensure that his work continued. This office received the Nobel Peace Prize for 1938. Nansen was honoured by many nations, and his name is commemorated in numerous geographical features, particularly in the polar regions. [Wikipedia, revised]

All Rationals share the following core characteristics:

  • Rationals tend to be pragmatic, skeptical, self-contained, and focused on problem-solving and systems analysis.
  • Rationals pride themselves on being ingenious, independent, and strong willed.
  • Rationals make reasonable mates, individualizing parents, and strategic leaders.
  • Rationals are even-tempered, they trust logic and reason, yearn for achievement, seek knowledge, prize technology, and dream of understanding how the world works.

All Rationals are good at planning operations, but Masterminds are head and shoulders above all the rest in contingency planning. Complex operations involve many steps or stages, one following another in a necessary progression, and Masterminds are naturally able to grasp how each one leads to the next, and to prepare alternatives for difficulties that are likely to arise any step of the way. Trying to anticipate every contingency, Masterminds never set off on their current project without a Plan A firmly in mind, but they are always prepared to switch to Plan B or C or D if need be.

… Although they are highly capable leaders, Masterminds are not at all eager to take command, preferring to stay in the background until others demonstrate their inability to lead. Once they take charge, however, they are thoroughgoing pragmatists. Masterminds are certain that efficiency is indispensable in a well-run organization, and if they encounter inefficiency — any waste of human and material resources — they are quick to realign operations and reassign personnel. Masterminds do not feel bound by established rules and procedures, and traditional authority does not impress them, nor do slogans or catchwords. Only ideas that make sense to them are adopted; those that don’t, aren’t, no matter who thought of them. Remember, their aim is always maximum efficiency. [Please Understand Me II]

Other Mastermind Rationals include:  Sheryl Wudunn, Salman Khan,  Susan B AnthonyIssac NewtonSharon PresleyBill GatesMasha GessenAyaan Hirsi AliRosalind Franklin

6 thoughts on “A Man for All Reasons

  1. Stig April 4, 2013 / 1:30 am

    Maybe the most known and most regarded Norwegian. In Norway him, Amundsen and Tordenskjold (a Norwegian naval officer, likely Artisan) are the greatest heroes (i.e. the most popular). Interestingly Amundsen, the first man on the South-pole, is most likely a Mastermind too.

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    • David Keirsey April 4, 2013 / 11:07 am

      I don’t see the same kind of behavior in Amundsen as in Nansen. Nansen spent much of his time while exploring recording his observations: he was always interested in science. Amundsen quit school, as soon as mother died, and did not pursue any other academic avenue. Amundsen seemed to want to “climb that mountain because it was there,” but I don’t know enough about him to make a good judgement.

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      • Stig April 5, 2013 / 12:46 am

        Yes, it’s true he seems like an Artisan, but at the same time he learned skills related to polar expeditions from a young age, always with the long term goal to conquer the north-pole (when the north-pole was conquered he went for the south-pole). He did a lot of exercise to train his body and cycled from Oslo to Spain to become a crew-member on a ship. He also lived with the eskimos to learn from them (he could have gotten the idea of using dogs there). He was also very imaginative as a child, dreaming up ships runned by electricity and living in a dream-world. He reminds me of Peter the great traveling around to learn and later invent the technology of polar expeditions.

        We discussed him in the forum: http://brainsandcareers.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1874&p=47931&hilit=amundsen#p47931

        One problem is of course the science aspect. He didn’t care that much about it. So because of his introversion, if not Mastermind then Crafter.

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      • psalles April 6, 2013 / 5:53 am

        The idea that all rationals thrive in school or academic environments may not be so accurate. The structure can be very limiting for the intuitive mind.

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  2. tallgrayguy April 5, 2013 / 10:26 am

    Wow, your analysis and insight are so illuminating. Thank you for these gems. If someone handed me a resume with his accomplishments, I would not believe it.

    I am reading Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, the story of Louis Zamperini, another impossibly large personality, who accomplished remarkable things. If you ever get around to analyzing him, it would be most intriguing.

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  3. Michael Lovell February 16, 2014 / 9:23 am

    The most rational approach to achieving any goal would seem to me to be varying your approach according to circumstances. I would think this would make it very difficult to label the truly rational, since they will inevitably display characteristics of other personality types, and those characteristics will seem more or less pronounced in different circumstances. Nonetheless, I find Mr. Kiersey’s insights quite interesting. I dropped out of school in 8th grade, am a convicted felon,and a dedicated social activist with no desire for wealth. I have been diagnosed as bi-polar with social anxiety disorder, but have refused treatment of any kind thus far. Tests indicate that I may best fit the label “INTJ.”

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