By James Fisher
Both Keirsey and CelebrityTypes have assessed Larry Ellison to be an Se type. Keirsey ESTP; CelebrityTypes ESFP. On the face of it, these claims are understandable: Ellison’s public image is that of a big playboy, a stereotypical ‘SP’ male according to Keirsey’s portraiture of those types.
However, if one looks past the marketing, it will be seen that Ellison has an incredible amount of drive and determinism. He’s known to be ruthless and harsh, and in the way he talks, you can detect a preoccupation with ‘serious’ matters – far moreso than the energy expended on the playboy veneer.
If I had to choose between the assessments of Keirsey and CelebrityTypes, I’d say that CelebrityTypes’ idea of Ellison as an ESFP was not bad; at least they have all of the cognitive functions right. But their assessment just seriously cannot make it through a quantitative argument.
By a quantitative argument, I understand an analysis of a person’s function use that is not just qualitative in the manner described by CelebrityTypes, but which also keeps a vigilant eye to the frequency of function use. Ellison does the playboy thing, but it is unlikely that a person would achieve the kind of results ($49 billion net worth as of 2015) by chasing short-term pleasures all over the place. His results attest to the drive and focus of Ni-Te, which are at the top of his consciousness; the playboy and extreme sports fascination is the tertiary Se coming out.
Another way of discerning Ellison’s Ni-Te combination is by reviewing his track record in tech: As early as 1993, Ellison was predicting the death of the personal computer, with its need for backup software, floppy disks, etc. – in an interview with CNN Fortune, he said they were ‘terrible’ and ‘ridiculous’ – and he was totally right.
Through a short-term anomaly in the market, i.e. the sudden plunge in the prices of Windows PCs, Ellison’s vision was initially rendered inane. However, as it turns out, he had analyzed the parameters and long-term trends of the market correctly, and we are now finally – in 2015 – witnessing the transformation of his vision into tangible reality – the reality of cloud computing.
- CelebrityTypes: Larry Ellison ESFP Type Assessment CelebrityTypes 2012
- Ellison: CNN/Fortune talk to Ellison CNN Fortune 1999
- Keirsey: Larry Ellison ESTP Type Assessment Please Understand Me Blog 2012