The Destructive Nature of (E)s
I am in Israel. I can’t get over how much this country has advanced. I often tell people, “America is here”—“America” meaning “bounty,” “good quality of life,” etc.
Still, everyone here complains endlessly. It’s as if they are all looking for something to complain about.
Which reminds me of a joke:
“What does a waiter say to a table full of old Jewish ladies?
“Is anything OK?”
Come to think of it, I have never, ever been to Israel—and I have been going there at least once a year for the last forty-seven years—when people were not complaining about how terrible Israel is in some way or other.
But then it occurred to me that it is not just Israelis who complain. It is Jews. They are never happy. My Jewish clients, no matter how successful they are, bitch and moan and endlessly complain.
But when I thought about it some more, I realized that this phenomenon of not being happy is not only a Jewish characteristic. It is also true of all the (E)-types I know. It just happens that Jewish people are more (E)-oriented than others.
Aha! It seems that what drives (E)s to cause change—and often it’s change for the sake of change—is a deep dissatisfaction, a sense of being “incomplete,” or not content with themselves.
When an (E) feels unhappy with himself, he tries to fill that emptiness by making changes “out there”—building business empires, starting a political revolution, or being the best research scientist alive.
That is how (E)s end up leading change.
We (E)s are unhappy people who try to find peace and happiness outside ourselves, when the truth is that we can only find peace and happiness within us. So what does this mean?
The ORGANIZATIONAL THERAPIST™
My first conclusion, as an Organizational Therapist™, is that from now on I should take the (E)s’ perpetual complaints with a grain of salt. I will take them less seriously and also make sure I don’t get so depressed about it that I become an ineffective consultant—in other words, that somehow I never succeed in bringing my client to self-fulfillment and satisfaction.
Instead, I need to take their accusations about my inadequacies as a manifestation of their inner struggles with themselves. And I must learn to differentiate between real problems and my clients’ need to have a problem.
Finally, I must remember to let my (E) clients hold onto at least one of their problems—otherwise they will feel less alive.
And come to think of it, this conclusion applies to me, too!
Dr. Ichak Kalderon Adizes