There are many studies of personality theory, but one of the most well-known is the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI). The MBTI categorises people based on 4 leading traits: 1. Introversion vs. Extroversion 2) Intuitive vs. Sense-oriented 3) Thinking vs. Feeling 4) Perceiving vs. Judging
Although the multi-variegated factors for personality development are complex and some components may be biological whilst other influences may be due to particular upbringing, education and cultural norms, personality analysis has been used over many decades in order to predict patterns within diverse groups of people. The psychological profiling of world leaders is not new and one that has been studied over time in order to determine a nation’s foreign policy. Here I examine some of the most fascinating personality types in global leadership of our era.
The Analyst, INTP
Xi Jinping, President of China
Moon Jae-in, President of South Korea
Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria
President Xi Jinping is known to be soft-spoken, polite and favours wearing comfortable clothes, such as his signature windbreaker. INTPs tend to be internally focused and not overly concerned with outward appearances. Photo by Xinhua News Agency
INTPs (Introvert-Intuitive-Thinker-Perceiver) are immensely polite, well-mannered thinkers who don’t like to impose on others and may find it hard to speak up for themselves in group situations in which they disagree with prevailing popular opinion.
INTPs may also have rich inner lives, in which they might entertain abstract concepts and may find comfort in visual and artistic media in which they can express their thoughts and feelings through poetry and literature. Despite being able to analyse complex political situations with relative ease, and are often liked by their colleagues, they may be sensitive towards criticism, especially if it is presented in an undiplomatic manner or in a satirical or mocking way. INTPs can also become stubborn and dictatorial when under extensive stress, and may begin to become argumentative and unreasonable when they are unable to express their need for care and attention.
INTPs are naturally aligned with ENFJs, who are skilled in reading the emotions of people, and may offer words of comfort to bring the INTP out of their introspective shells, but still share similarities in observance of social norms and being careful not to offend others. INTPs are also careful not to share their true opinions with others until they get to know them well and have a pervasive, indirect style of communication in which they do not directly say what they mean, but may give hints as to what they are referring to.
INTPs are also detail oriented and may come up with specific solutions to a problem set in which other types who are big picture thinkers, might find tedious (such as ENTJs and INFPs). Being able to focus on actionable steps makes them ideal partners with ENTJs in which the ENTJs can champion their causes, and INTPs feel more at ease to let others defend and carry out their vision.
Aside from being highly intelligent and analytical, INTPs are also non-confrontational types in which they will often delay in negotiation instead of resolving the issue straight away. They would rather wait patiently to think things thoroughly on an issue rather than making a decision straight away, which might make them seem slow to act. During this time, their minds may be percolating with different scenarios and examining all possible outcomes of a particular decision. However, one area of caution for INTPs is that they can sometimes be prone towards becoming people-pleasers and may end up agreeing with a situation, especially if their peers demand it of them, in order to build consensus, instead of speaking up for themselves if they have differing opinions.
President Xi Jinping surrounded by his cabinet members filled with many military generals. INTPs may have a tendency to go along with popular consensus, even if they might disagree. Photo by Jason Lee, Reuters
President Moon Jae-in, a former human rights lawyer, has also stayed silent on support for LGBT rights legislation and may feel pressurised by those in the South Korean govt and other dominant religious groups in not supporting the legislation due to the nation's prevailing cultural norms against homosexuality. In South Korea, homosexuality is a punishable offense that could lead to imprisonment. Photo from Geopolitical Monitor
President Bashar al-Assad, a trained doctor, may not have been interested in entering a life of politics, but as the eldest son of his father, dutifully took on the responsibility of overlooking his legacy after his father's death. Soft-spoken and immeasurably polite, President al-Assad may be more interested in the development of green energy for Syria, however may feel pressurised to continue to defend its fossil fuel reserves out of loyalty to his allies. Photo by Getty Images
Despite that INTPs generally tend to be peaceful people and more geared towards aesthetic and scientific pursuits, being surrounded by military men who would like to enhance their military ambitions may affect them to the degree that INTPs may simply go along with it, despite having personal reservations about building an army. INTPs may also internally strongly support the causes of disenfranchised people, but may not speak up due to popular prevailing opinion. INTPs may also feel they have no choice in matters in which they are given responsiblity and may go along with something out of a sense of duty, despite that they wish to do things differently. In this way, INTPs may benefit more from having a diverse group of advisers that also include writers, teachers, artists, scientists and human rights activists in order to enhance their world view and help them fine-tune understanding of their goals through the macro lens of seeing from the big-picture instead of focusing only on the details or working to please others.
INTPs may also be sensitive to criticism, and may view it as a personal attack on their abilities, but should be cautious of acting with indignation and attempting to censor those with differing opinions, even if presented in an undiplomatic or satirical way. Often, criticism serves to give a broader understanding of prevailing trends and opinions, and can become opportunities for growth.
INTPs may also find those with off-colour humour offensive and disrespectful, and may clash with ESTPs and ENTPs in this regard, who have a tendency to be devil’s advocate and entertain many contradictory positions and have an aggressive style of argument that likes to “roast” or poke fun at their opponent. It is much to the advantage of INTPs not to take these words as personal attacks, but rather as a type of entertainment, and instead focus on their actions or come up with clever ways to utilise their own wit to win over their opponent.
The Shakespearean insult generator. INTPs may be sensitive towards criticism and may have a tendency to want to censor those whom they find offensive. Instead, INTPs might want to focus on learning how to insult people with wit and humour and not take a "roasting" too seriously. INTPs may also benefit from not reacting emotionally to people with whom they strongly disagree with and instead utilise a method of Socratic style questioning in order to better understand their opponents’ positions in order to engage with them.
INTPs and Health
INTPs under extreme stress may also indulge in excessive food and drink to cope with their problems and may fall into unhealthy behaviours. Therefore, it is important for INTPs to develop a consistent exercise and fitness schedule and take an hour each day to regularly go out and engage in cardiovascular activity such as biking, walking or jogging whilst listening to a podcast in order to counter negative habits they may develop.
INTPs also may have a high tendency towards alcoholism. It is important for INTPs to drink moderately and to refrain from the consumption of hard liquors, such as whiskey, soju or vodka. Instead, they may opt for lighter, refreshing beverages such as champagne or organic wines. INTPs may also find supplements such as Vitamin C and Vitamin B-complex beneficial, as those are the nutrients most depleted in those INTPs who may suffer from alcoholism or regularly consume alcohol. INTPs should also take care to drink lots of clean, spring water during the day to prevent dehydration.
The Innovator, ENTP
Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the UK
Kim Jong Un, President of North Korea
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, commuting by bicycle in his suit. Mr. Johnson is known for his eccentricity and affability. ENTPs are also known for their charm and humour. Photo by Getty Images
ENTPs (Extrovert-Intuitive-Thinker-Perceiver) embody the motto: “Think Different”. They tend to be rules-breakers, not hindered by controversy, are Devil’s Advocates in debate in which they can easily defend a contrary position in addition to their own, and readily think outside the box. ENTPs tend to be sparkling conversationalists and are often full of humour, good will and clever insults using their wit to disarm and charm their opponents.
Two things that ENTPs may dislike are routine and tradition. They may often find themselves bored and longing to go on an adventure. ENTPs prefer spontaneity in their speech and dislike having to read from the teleprompter. They prefer lively debates and might often find themselves veering off-script to do something rather unexpected in which may win the adoration of the public, but which their colleagues might view as inappropriate or unnecessary. However, ENTPs may often come up with convincing reasons why they did something they shouldn’t have just so that it often confuses others.
President Kim Jong Un (far left) with basketball icon Dennis Rodman (far right), the two share an easy friendship. President Kim Jong Un may want to break with tradition and adopt Western philosophy into his nation. According to his friend Dennis Rodman, Kim Jong Un is a fan of American culture. ENTPs often want to conduct things differently than their predecessors, resistant to tradition, and prefer open-ended, ongoing dialogue. Photo by Reuters
Despite their many charms, one of the weaknesses of ENTPs is that they may have a hard time sticking to a plan or action or abiding by a contract. ENTPs may also constantly change their minds to the degree that others may become frustrated with them and view them as unreliable. Hence why it is to the ENTP’s advantage to stick with something despite that they may be wanting to suddenly explore other options at the 11th hour.
In negotiation, ENTPs are sometimes more responsive to a competitive strategy or giving them a hard option. They may go back and forth many times, often changing their minds at the last minute, but when ENTPs realise their opponents are not budging, they may suddenly take on a different tune and act in compromising and conciliatory ways. ENTPs may also delay in answering for as long as possible and may avoid having to answer, similar to INTPs, so it is best to set both a soft and hard deadline with ENTPs in order to manage expectations. To appear more reliable and trustworthy, it may also be to the ENTP’s benefit to take a step-by-step approach and not write contracts on general terms, but in specific, actionable terms set by timeline that they can abide by so that they can build trust and confidence with others.
Mr. Kim Jong Un found natural affinity with former President Donald Trump. Negotiation with ENTPs may be the most effective when set by specific items by timeline that can continually be updated and added upon and not set in general terms. ENTPs prefer open-ended dialogue and may waver when having to making a final commitment to a plan of action.
ENTPs may also prefer to use humour to alleviate differences and build repertoire with others. They are people who enjoy the many pleasures in life, and like to get to know people on an authentic level and quick to reconcile and discuss potential solutions. As ENTPs feel more comfortable in ambiguity, they have a tendency to feel trapped when all things are settled with absolute certainty, and they may view negotiations and contracts as an ongoing, lifelong progress that can be amended over time. In this regard, a collaborative or compromising style of negotiation over the long-term might also work the best with ENTPs, especially in regards to the US, as administrations have a tendency to change every 4 years and may be perceived as unreliable, especially if current administrations do not honour previous agreements.
ENTPs and Health
Prime Minister Johnson announced last year that he had lost at least 1 stone (14lbs or 6kg) after his Covid-related hospitalisation and has made an effort to be more conscientious about his health by adopting healthy eating habits. ENTPs could also develop a meal plan with their nutritionists in order to consume more vegetables instead of always opting for high protein foods, such as meats and cheese, which could put them at risk for cardiovascular events. Photo by Ben Cawthra, SIPA USA
ENTPs, similar to INTPs and ESTPs may also indulge in excessive food and drink under extreme stress. However, ENTPs are natural athletes and might find enjoyment in team sports. As an alternative, instead of conducting meetings in closed spaces, ENTPs might consider scheduling daily hour long group meetings in the late afternoon with their colleagues to discuss matters whilst taking walks together or playing team sports, such as football or basketball.
ENTPs may also be prone to addiction to stimulants or amphetamines, such as Adderall, however these may compound or accelerate existing cardiovascular issues, such as problems with the heart and circulation. Therefore it is important for ENTPs to refrain from consuming an excessive amount of stimulants, refrain from taking drugs such as amphetamines or similar ones in their class and might consider supplements such as CoQ10 and Vitamin K2 which have been found to have positive effects on cardiovascular health and also reverse kidney and liver damage.
The Architect, INTJ
Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Chancellor Angela Merkel stands in front of a larger-than-life image of herself. INTJs are known for their keen intelligence, versatility and being the face of calm during crisis situations. Photo by Fabrizio Bensch, Reuters
INTJs (Introvert-Intuitive-Thinker-Judger) aside from being infamous for their icy glare when expressing disapproval are also known for their intelligence, consummate objectivity and calmness during crisis situations. They are direct communicators and will let you know exactly what they think, and if you are in their inner circle, they won’t shy away from confrontation and will let you know exactly what you may be doing wrong. However, despite that their words may often be sharp, to the point and matter-of-fact without any sugar coating, INTJs often do this as an act to be helpful to those closest to them because in their philosophy, “people do not learn from flattery, they learn from their failures.”
INTJs, like ENTJs, do not like to show their emotions, as that is something they reserve as being private to them, however, this does not mean they haven’t got any. In fact, it may very well be that INTJs often have strong passions and emotions which they hide from public view. They may also be prolific writers and may have interests in many other subjects, particularly in science, medicine and education.
Queen Elizabeth II is known as a prolific writer and aside from politics and history, may have strong passions in the sectors of medicine and education.
They are also the type when they make a commitment, they stick to it until the end, whether in their personal relationships or in professional commitments, an INTJ word of honour is absolute and steadfast. However, it may be hard to get them to commit in the first place as INTJs take quite a bit of time in order to get to know someone, slow to make close friends, and level-headed when it comes to making long-term commitments and decisions. They are also not likely to flee at the first sight of trouble; rather, INTJs see obstacles and problems as potential challenges of something to conquer, and not something to fear.
These fearless attitudes are in resilient leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, who have weathered many crises with calm and aplomb. INTJs, like INTPs are also not overly concerned with outward appearances and most likely, despise status symbols or outwardly flashy shows of wealth, tend to be modest about their achievements and have a keen financial acumen.
INTJs may find natural affinity with both ENTJs and INFPs, as both the latter types tend to have similar but complementary thinking and analysis styles, but may find conflict with ENFJs who may often find the direct communication style of INTJs hurtful. INTJs, like ENTJs, do not like to express their emotions, which ENFJs may find confusing or find themselves unable to develop a close personal relationship due to the latter’s dominant way of primarily relating to people through sharing of their emotions.
INTJs and ENFJs may have conflicting communication styles. This is because ENFJs primarily like to relate to people using emotions and personal experiences whilst the INTJ likes to keep their emotions private and may distrust overly emotive people.
In this way, INTJs may share a personal anecdote or tale of hardship with the ENFJ in order to break the ice and build a personal relationship with ENFJs during negotiation situations, so as not to appear cold and unfeeling. However, one area where INTJs may have a weakness is their tendency to hold grudges. Despite not outwardly showing emotions, INTJs never forget a slight or unkind word said against them and may still remember those personal attacks for many years afterward. Hence, it is important for INTJs to understand that sometimes people make mistakes, whether or not it was intentional, and to give people the benefit of the doubt and to see from outside their own perspective in order to understand that sometimes people may be thoughtless or unkind due to their own stressful, personal situations and may be a reflection on those people, and not as intentional disrespect to the INTJ.
INTJs and Health
All in all, INTJs are rare types most often represented in the history of world leaders, due to their sensibility, pragmatic nature and ability to lead during crisis situations. However, INTJs, more than any other type may often suffer from insomnia and inability to sleep at night. They are often known as “night owls”, and coupled with their dislike of physical activity, this may compound their health issues. INTJs might prefer to read a book in their spare time or else, relax by watching a favourite programme or spend their time writing and might find exercise a boring, tedious activity. However, it is important for INTJs to spend at least half an hour a day outside close to nature, and take time to go on a walk early in the mornings in order to reset their circadian rhythm.
Due to their insomnia, INTJs might self-medicate utilising alcoholic drinks or prescription pills to help them sleep or relax. However, it is imperative that INTJs refrain from the use of benzodiazepines, GABA-agonist sleep aids such as Ambien, anti-anxiety medications or any other drugs that could have a negative effect on their memory or brain function. It has been shown that drugs that are GABA-agonists could cause problems with motor control, and are correlated to Parkinson’s disease. Despite that GABA-agonists are also paradoxically used to treat Parkinson’s, these drugs work temporarily to stop tremors, but may accelerate the condition through the inhibition of the substantia nigra in the brain, therefore leading to a collapse of dopamine neuronal cells. Therefore, it is important for INTJs to reset their circadian rhythm and instead focus on physical fitness.
INTJs may also be interested in neuroprotective supplements that support brain and motor functions such as Melatonin, Taurine, and Vitamin K2 which also have a positive effect on controlling blood sugar and may have positive effects on those INTJs who might also suffer from diabetes. Vitamin E has also been studied to modulate GABA and glutamate to prevent excitotoxicity and oxidative stress in the brain and may have a profound effect on many neuronal disorders that involve memory loss, tremors, seizures and fine motor coordination and may be the most significant supplement that can alter the course of neuronal related tremors at the onset for those INTJs who are beginning to show initial symptoms.
The Persuader, ESTP
Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel
Donald Trump, Former President of the United States
Former President Donald Trump. Underneath the tough facade, ESTPs often have a kind and generous disposition who possess a lot of empathy for people. Photo by Yuri Gripas, Reuters
On the surface, ESTPs may appear aggressive or even combative, but underneath the appearance of toughness, make no mistake, ESTPs often have a very soft centre and kind and generous disposition. They may also be secretly sentimental and be moved by beautiful words or artistic ability in which not many people may be able to witness, as they prefer to hide their vulnerabilities from others. ESTPs may also tend to be spontaneous and prefer new challenges as opposed to sitting in an office all day long. They are naturally drawn towards people, and may prefer talking to people in order to solve problems in practical ways that draw upon experience, instead of spending time in extended analysis of a situation.
Unbeknownst to the wider public, Prime Minister Netanyahu most likely sympathises with the plight of animal cruelty, and most likely a vegetarian, something which he may keep hidden in order to portray a persona of strength, which in contemporary society, meat-eating is often associated with masculinity. Underneath the surface of toughness, ESTPs often have a soft core and are moved by the struggle of others and have great empathy for people.
ESTPs may also have a tendency to go off script, and prefer speaking in a natural, conversational style instead of reading from long versions of edited speeches which may be tedious to them. They are visual and sense-oriented tangible thinkers who prefer action over abstract thinking. They are also not afraid to speak their mind, and have a type of off-colour humour, which might appeal to ENTPs, ENTJs and INTJs and share with them an unconcern about offending others, whilst INTPs and ENFJs, who are more sensitive to protocol, may often perceive these actions to be disrespectful or egoistical.
A portrait of Donald Trump by William Quigley. Mr. Trump has been a real estate mogul, television personality, author, investor in many diverse sectors, and the President of the United States. The next evolution of Donald Trump may be as a media mogul with his own network and free speech applications. ESTPs often have many interests and do not like routine and predictability.
Despite that ESTPs have a fondness for people and are innate risk takers, ESTPs must also pay careful attention to long-term strategy and would be best aligned with INTJ architects who can balance their spontaneity with careful strategy to offset their risk-taking proclivities. ESTPs, like INTJs, ENTJs and ENTPs often have an off-colour sense of humour and have a direct speaking style in which they often do not like to sugarcoat words. In the philosophy of ESTPs, it is necessary to be thick-skinned and have an ability to take criticism, and poke fun at oneself and not be easily prone to showing weakness and vulnerability. However, ESTPs are also keen negotiators and have a compromising style of interaction, in which they prefer to engage in win-win scenarios behind the scenes, and will listen to any reasonable offer, although they may show an outward perception of all-or-nothing.
Benjamin Netanyahu served a dessert made in the shape of a shoe to former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a visit to Israel. Japanese culture abhors shoes on the surface of tables and consider it as an insult. Mr. Netanyahu might’ve found this humorous, however, the Japanese Prime Minister did not seem amused. ESTPs often have an off-colour humour in which they like to “roast” their friends and opponents in playful jest. More sensitive personalities, such as INTPs and ENFJs may find these actions offensive. Photo from Instagram
Prime Minister Netanyahu faces new challenges regarding foreign relations with the US, and its neighbours, Iran, Palestine and Syria. As a prevailing ideology of multi-lateralism is taking place across Europe and Asia, and through peace treaties proctored by the Trump administration, Israel has reached normal relations with the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and is in a prime position to continue to build positive relations with its neighbours but might face difficulty in his previous goal to extend the borders of Israel into Syria and other territories. Instead, Mr. Netanyahu might achieve more influence and soft power by increasing the presence of Israeli companies into the UAE and Saudi Arabia and focus on the trade of technology, art and research by building research centres instead of building momentum for possible war with Iran and Syria, which Israeli people would not benefit from.
According to Israeli polls, the youth population of Israel would overwhelmingly like peaceful relations with Palestine and Iran, and Mr. Netanyahu could redirect his focus on potential war with Iran and instead pivot towards building collaborative platforms for sustainable living, green energy, vegan food production and art centres with his UAE and Saudi Arabian neighbours.
ESTPs and Health
ESTPs, as with INTPs and ENTPs mentioned above, may also indulge in excessive food and drink under extreme stress. They might consider investment in a treadmill in their offices and conduct telephone meetings for a half hour to an hour each day whilst walking at a leisurely pace on the treadmill or watching their favourite TV programme.
ESTPs, along with INTJs, may also have a fondness for sweets and soft drinks, which may have a negative effect on maintaining blood sugar. They may also find supplements such as Taurine and Vitamin K2 helpful in managing their blood sugar levels and to improve insulin sensitivity for those ESTPs who might suffer from diabetes.
The Defender, ENTJ
Vladimir Putin, President of Russia
Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States
ENTJs (Extrovert-Intuitive-Thinker-Judger) may have a reputation of being authoritarian, but their personalities tend to resemble Supreme Court Justices. They like to examine all sides of a situation, both subjective, anecdotal accounts and objective analyses, then make a decision based on their intuition or gut feeling. However, they often do not factor in their own emotions or moods when making a decision, as ENTJs may also tend to look outside themselves in order to come to a decision and may not trust what they perceive as their fleeting, emotional moods as reliable indicators in decision-making. Hence, ENTJs may often make decisions that are not in their personal best interest, but one in which they perceive for the greater good or the well-being of others.
This is also the reason why ENTJs might also be perceived as having a great deal of self-discipline in regards to their desires (eg, they might crave ice cream for breakfast, but repress the urge and instead drink a healthy smoothie; they might want to go home and have a drink, but instead go to the gym to release their stress etc.). This isn’t to say that ENTJs are all work and no play as they’re probably known for throwing the best parties where they make sure all their closest friends are comfortable and having fun, but for ENTJs a lot of their confidence comes from their ability of making certain others are taken care of, and that they are defending those who have entrusted them with their care.
Vladimir Putin receiving a hug from Bashar al-Assad, who has thanked him for defending Syria. President Putin may have been partially motivated to become involved in the Syrian conflict after witnessing the violent regime changes that had occurred in Libya and Iraq, in which grotesque videos emerged on the internet of the US military inflicting torture on Muammar Gaddafi. President Putin may have entered the conflict to defend his friend and ally, President al-Assad of Syria from facing a similar fate as Mr. Gaddafi. ENTJs are known for their conviction and loyalty and for defending their closest allies. Photo from The Syrian Observer
Although ENTJs may prefer structured environments, they may soon suffer from boredom or become tired of routine. During these times, it is important for ENTJs to take a break and engage in creative activities, such as painting, writing, cooking or taking up musical instruments. ENTJs also prefer to spend time with intellectual people who understand complex concepts and can teach them something new, or else give them emotional support. ENTJs, like ESTPs, may appear tough on the outside, but often have a soft core, and also possess a lot of empathy for people and animals. However, ENTJs typically only show their emotions or their vulnerabilities to their innermost circle and may find people, such as ENFJs, who are easily emotionally expressive to be manipulative and insincere. ENTJs may also be suspicious of superficial compliments despite wanting to be appreciated and acknowledged for their genuine efforts.
ENTJs also dislike the “my-way-or-the-highway” hardline, competing negotiation styles, or those people who portray an exaggerated position of strength, despite being able to play their game well, and may much more prefer collaborative, win-win situations in which they are approached from a position of rationale. In contrast to INTPs and ENTPs who might have an avoidant style of negotiation in which they like to drag out terms and conditions for an extended period of time, ENTJs prefer things to be settled quickly and decisively.
A portrait of Vladimir Putin by former President George W. Bush, who took up painting after he left office. It has been said by Washington D.C. analysts that “Putin only understands strength”, however, this perception may have been derived from Mr. George W. Bush's observations of Mr. Putin in 2007 when Russia was interested in joining NATO. The two men had initially bonded whilst taking a fishing trip together at the Bush holiday residence in Maine. However, after Mr. Putin made derogatory remarks about the beloved Bush family terrier, Barney, Russia was denied membership into NATO. Younger ENTJs may initially have a tendency to show-off and want to be the "best" and "greatest" whilst ISFPs, such as Mr. Bush value humility and kindness. However, contrary to the Washington D.C. analysis, it is more likely that President Putin is more amenable towards a collaborative negotiation style, depicting win-win situations, especially when approached from an angle of rationale. ENTJs are also known to keep their promises and not break confidences, alliances, compromises nor forgo their responsibilities.
One of the weaknesses of ENTJs is that they may have a tendency to show-off at times, which others might find intimidating or off-putting. In addition, ENTJs have a hard time expressing their innermost feelings or revealing their vulnerability to other people, even their oldest friends, who might not be aware of their personal struggles and emotional complexities. However, when in negotiation with feeler types (in particular ENFJs and INFPs) ENTJs could instead share more details about their personal lives, such as what inspired them, a personal struggle they had gone through or discuss how their families or children had an impact on them in order to build a stronger repertoire with them instead of appearing as business-as-usual.
ENTJs also may be torn between idealism and compromising their belief system in order to fit into the pragmatic needs of everyday life. However, they are the most powerful and effective when they stick to their long-term vision and not make any compromises on their integrity.
Kamala Harris has been known to waver between her own beliefs and popular opinion, in regards to such issues as fracking, eliminating private health insurance, police reform, legalising marijuana etc. which have damaged her credibility and led to low support for her initial Presidential bid in 2019. ENTJs are most effective as leaders when they do not vacillate and soldily stick to their beliefs due to their uncanny ability to change popular opinion. Image by Amanda Northrop, Vox
Vacillation in ENTJs might be perceived as a lack of conviction or insincerity amongst voters and may degrade public trust. Kamala Harris may have to challenge the dysfunctional bi-partisian politics of Washington D.C. as a means to carry out her objectives and to be perceived as a capable leader, and not one who is easily persuaded by special interests in order to gain public trust.
ENTJs and Health
ENTJs, like ENTPs, are also natural athletes and may find pleasure in both team sports or solitary sports. They may also release daily stress by exercising and using physical exertion as a way to quiet their minds. President Putin was reported to have learned to ice skate at the age of 60 and still continues to play ice hockey, in addition to many other sports such as judo, hiking, skiing, swimming and horseback riding and continues to challenge himself in physical self-improvement, defying norms for any age. ENTJs may have a tendency to appear perennially youthful and are primarily motivated by knowledge and new challenges and often possess the self-discipline to reach their goals.
Kamala Harris is known to take long walks with her husband in order to discuss ideas. She also spends a lot of time on creative pursuits such as cooking and is a patron of the arts. ENTJs often utilise exercise in order to release stress and need a creative output in order to take time off from the chaotic demands of their lives. Photo by Kamala Harris, Twitter
ENTJs, due to high levels of physical activity, might be the type more than any other, to develop a dependency on painkillers such as opiates after an injury. However, an extended dependence on opiates could lead to cardiovascular issues along with exacerbating mood swings and possible depressive episodes. Therefore, it is important for ENTJs to refrain from using opiates at all, and instead opt for alternative treatments such as acupuncture for injuries and chronic pain. ENTJs might find supplements such as CoQ10, Melatonin and Vitamin C beneficial in removing their dependence on opiates and other drugs for those ENTJs who might suffer from addictive tendencies, and also to support their cardiovascular health.
The Visionary, INFP
Emmanuel Macron, President of France
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia
INFPs (Introvert-Intuitive-Feeler-Perceiver) are forward thinkers who often have a vision to build a better future for their people. They are also witty conversationalists, and utilise their keen intuition to understand complex ideas with relative ease. INFPs are also immensely creative and may have many hidden talents. They also have a tendency to not merely abide by popular consensus, and like ENTJs, they may tend to be unconventional and not afraid to voice their opinions on many controversial matters.
Despite having many passions, INFPs, like INTJs, ENTJs and ESTPs, prefer to keep their emotions and personal struggles private. Instead, they prefer to talk about ideas and may spend many hours in discussion with their favourite intellectual sparring partners to bounce off ideas.
Emmanuel Macron (left) and Vladimir Putin (right) may have complementary skill sets that make them amenable towards the building of mutual goals. INFPs, such as Mr. Macron, may admire the ENTJ’s ability to realise their vision through discipline, strategy, dedication and execution. In addition, ENTJs, such as Mr. Putin, may admire the INFP’s creativity and ability for complex analysis and coming up with innovative and novel solutions to a problem. Photo by AP
Although INFPs may come up with innovative ideas, they may face obstacles when implementing such plans and therefore may surround themselves with people who are able to build actionable items to carry out their vision. Hence why INFPs and ENTJs may find a strong affinity with one another.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman came up with a novel solution to confront 400 members of Saudi Arabia’s elite, including Princes, tycoons and ministers for corruption in a money laundering scandal in which he “arrested” and held these members at the luxurious Ritz Carlton hotel in Riyadh until they agreed to a settlement to return the funds to the government in what was called The Purge of 2017-2019. Photo by Fayez Nureldine, AFP/ Getty Images
President Macron and Prince Mohammed bin Salman also show deep sensitivity towards the plight of women and women’s rights in addition to looking towards future energy solutions. The Crown Prince was able to reverse many religious laws that unfairly targeted women, and allowed them the ability to receive a driver’s license to be able to drive on their own without a chaperone. He was also an investor in SoftBank’s Vision Fund, in which the founder of SoftBank, Masayoshi Son alleged that he was able to procure a $45 billion investment from the Crown Prince in a 45 minute meeting.
Both President Macron and Prince Mohammed bin Salman are creative thinkers who embody design thinking. In design thinking, problems are approached in a non-linear, iterative process that seeks to understand their demographic, challenge assumptions, redefine problems and create innovative solutions to prototype and test.
President Macron has also recently invested in energy development with Russia for the first time in 2018. To further France’s recent investment in the Arctic, President Macron could use this bilateral cooperation in order to further research maglev hydroelectric energy and distribute its usage in the Siberian region. Maglev hydroelectricity is the least known in renewable energy but has the potential to produce the most power and more reliably than solar and wind power. A joint research council between Russia, Germany and France in the Arctic to develop maglev hydroelectric power could serve their joint goals in implementing a diversified energy strategy across Siberia and Europe as a means to move away from nuclear power and overdependence on fossil fuels.
Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula may be tinged with nuclear waste, destroying the ecosystem of the area. Toxic waste from proposed nuclear power plants could destroy all of Russia’s beautiful coastlines. A move towards maglev hydroelectric energy and away from nuclear energy development and deployment could prevent further damage. President Macron and Prince Mohammed bin Salman could partner with President Putin in order to abandon nuclear energy and develop and distribute maglev hydroelectric electrity to the Eurasian continent in a tri-lateral alliance. INFPs, such as Mr. Macron and Prince bin Salman, could influence ENTJs, such as Mr. Putin, with their long-term vision of a sustainable future.
INFPs may feel a natural compatibility with ENTJs as well as ENFJs as the latter types complement and support their natural tendency towards creative thinking, whilst INFPs may help ENTJs and ENFJs to seek and understand their long-term vision, away from the minutiae and chatter of everyday life by focusing on what is ultimately important. INFPs and ENTJs also tend to be unconventional types who are not easily intimidated by “mob thinking” and will often go against the grain of popular thought which makes them ideal innovation partners. INFPs are also not easily impressed by status and achievements and will seek authenticity in their relationships and may have a variety of friendships with many people of different social classes, ages and cultures.
INFPs and Health
INFPs, as their INTP counterparts, may also be more likely to suffer from alcoholism. Therefore, it is to their benefit to refrain from consumption of hard liquors and instead opt for refreshing drinks such as champagne or organic wines. INFPs may also be the type who occasionally likes to experiment with psychoactive drugs. However, they must be careful in not utilising these on a regular basis as an overuse of these recreational drugs may lead to depressive episodes. Instead, INFPs should take time to enjoy the smaller pleasures in life and develop a regular cardiovascular fitness schedule and take up activities such as crossfit or jogging whilst listening to their favourite music.
As with INTPs, INFPs may also find supplements such as Vitamin C and Vitamin B-complex beneficial, as those are the nutrients most depleted in those INFPs who may suffer from alcoholism or regularly consume alcohol. They should also be mindful to drink clean spring water with a slice of lemon in order to stay hydrated during the day.
The Mentor, ENFJ
Joe Biden, President of the United States
Josh Hawley, Senator of the United States
Best friends. Former President Obama surprised Mr. Biden, who was then Vice-President, with a Medal of Freedom in 2017. ENFJs, such as Mr. Biden offer enduring emotional support to their friends, making them beloved to those closest to them. Photo by AP
ENFJs (Extravert-Intuitive-Feeler-Judger) feel most at ease when they are needed for their help and expertise. ENFJs may also often be the people who will answer late night phone calls from their best friends if they happen to want to discuss personal matters to give them emotional support. They may relate to people through expression of their emotions and value personal relationships over business matters, which they might find tedious to discuss. However, this is in direct contrast to ENTJs, ESTPs, INTJs and INFPs who prefer to keep their emotions private and only reveal their emotions to a trusted circle of people. In that regard, ENFJs may appear to be emotionally manipulative to ENTJs, and to ENFJs, their ENTJ counterparts may appear to be cold and calculating.
President Joe Biden has once said of President Vladimir Putin that when he looked into the latter’s eyes, he had no soul. This could possibly be because ENFJs and ENTJs have a different way of relating to the world. ENFJs tend to understand people through the sharing of emotions, whilst ENTJs prefer to keep their emotions and their personal struggles private. Photo by Kevin Lamarque, Reuters
Despite having strengths in building personal relationships, one of the weaknesses of ENFJs is that because they tend to want to be well-liked, they are prone to over promise without delivering. President Biden would like to be known as the “Uniter” who has healed the United States from the rifts of deep division, however, words alone cannot unite a nation without the follow-through of action.
Currently, half of Americans, over 17 million people believe that President Biden may be an illegitimate President who has become President of the US through voter fraud. President Biden faces immense public discord as many parts of cities, including Washington DC, have become a military police state with the National Guard roaming around near-empty streets. In addition, President Biden also faces bi-partisian politics in Congress and must rise above the petty bickering in order to unite members of Congress.
However, the ensuing situation in Congress gives President Biden an opportunity to showcase his role as “the Uniter” of people. By not supporting the current efforts of Senator Chuck Schumer to impeach former President Trump, and by denouncing bi-partisan politics, he would most likely win favour with Trump voters and potentially win them over to his side with his skills in persuasive empathy.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi often cater to the politics of bi-partisian infighting and stagnation, and their actions have been viewed by many analysts as leading the US further into division. Despite that former President Trump has no chance of being convicted and impeached in the Senate, Mr. Schumer and Mrs. Pelosi continue to waste taxpayer money during the Great Lockdown in order to carry on this charade to further fuel the seeds of division. President Biden has an opportunity to rise above petty bipartisan fighting and winning over his detractors by extending an olive branch to his political rivals and critics.
Extending an olive branch to his political rivals would likely increase President Biden’s popularity amongst the American public, including potentially winning over the voters who may view him as an illegitimate President.
In addition, President Biden could develop bi-partisan committees and appoint those members, such as Senator Josh Hawley and Representative Majorie Taylor Greene, who have been the most critical of him, to head committees such as technology reform and voter integrity in order to build unity in Congress, along with giving confidence to the public, especially amongst President Trump’s defenders, in order to develop an unifying strategy to change public perception of him as an illegitimate President.
Senator Josh Hawley (pictured) and Representative Majorie Taylor Green have a high popularity rating amongst Trump voters. Mr. Hawley is one of the rising stars in the Republican Party. Mr. Hawley (also ENFJ) may also resemble the idealistic, young Mr. Biden when he first became a US Senator at age 29. President Biden can form bi-partisian advisory committees with these young members of Congress, and potentially win over Trump voters who may view him as an illegitimate President, which will most likely raise his popularity and secure his standing as a President who has risen above the petty bi-partisanship that has crippled American politics, to become a uniter of both parties. Photo by Carolina Hildago, St. Louis Public Radio
ENFJs must also be cautious in not making decisions when they are in extended emotional states, such as making snap decisions when sad or angry. One of their strengths is the ENFJ’s ability to easily understand group dynamics, human emotion and fallibility, however under situations of stress, or when they feel personally attacked, they could also become blind to their emotions and make decisions they later regret. Hence, it is important for ENFJs to take time to allow their emotions time for reflection before making decisions that may have deeper, long-term consequences.
What is at imminently at risk is of the United States entering another era of McCarthyism, in which censorship, blacklisting and cancel culture could further fuel the seeds of division. Many states such as Texas are considering secession from the US, which portrays a deeply divided America that is at a critical juncture to internally rupture. President Biden could utilise his charismatic skills in building personal relationships in order to unify Congress and also potentially win over 17 million+ voters who did not vote for him through his magnanimous actions.
ENFJs and Health
ENFJs, more than any other type, may have the highest susceptibility towards substance abuse addiction. As they relate to people mainly through their externalised emotions, they may enjoy the temporary highs of drugs that affect the pleasure centres of the brain, such as opiates and cocaine. It is important for ENFJs to keep up a regular exercise cycle and refrain from taking benzodiazepines, anti-anxiety meds and GABA-agonist sleep aids such as Ambien which may have a negative effect on their memory as the continued usage of these drugs have a high correlation to dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease and other neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s. Instead, ENFJs might want to consider neuroprotective supplements such as Taurine, Vitamin K2 and Melatonin.
By Sierra Choi
Disclaimer: This article is not intended as medical advice and for educational purposes only. This article also represents the opinions of the author; is speculative in nature and may not necessarily be indicative of the individuals mentioned, nor necessarily reflect the opinions of the organisations the author works with.
Russia has had a colourful history, in which in the last 100 years, it has cycled through imperialism, communism, and now, state capitalism. At each precipice, it was overtaken by revolution and often, violent regime changes. From the assassination of the Romanovs, to the fall of the Iron Curtain, Russia is again, at the centre of a new movement. Vladimir Putin has been in power for the last two decades and has steered his motherland from the destabilisation, disorientation and economic disaster that was representative of the 1990s to the Russia it is today. However, now as the onset of the Great Lockdown continues, President Putin faces new challenges.
The Threat of Ethno-Nationalism in Russia
During times of economic uncertainty, a resurgence in ethno-nationalism could bring social instability to the Russian population. Recently, Alexei Navalny has risen in popularity through his criticisms of the Russian government. Although mainstream media has claimed that comparisons between Alexei Navalny and Adolf Hitler had been an attempted smear campaign by the Russian government, an examination of his personal blog, videos and correspondence with his former colleagues show that these accusations may not entirely be without merit.
Alexei Navalny has risen to popularity with his anti-corruption crusade, but the darker side of his politics reveal a man whose ethno-nationalism may destabilise social harmony.
Georgian people engaging in a traditional feast. Georgia is known for their rich culture and ancient wine-making traditions. Photo by Georgia Journal. Alexei Navalny has called Georgians "rats" and expressed fervent desire to bomb Georgia with missiles. Mr. Navalny has also compared Muslims to "cockroaches" and has said they needed to be "exterminated from Russia" in his online blog and videos.
Despite that Mr. Navalny serves as an advantageous asset for the US and the UK against the current Russian government in which President Putin has taken an adversarial role in the Syrian Crisis (in which the US and the UK have vested oil and energy interests), propping up an opposition leader who has riled up the Russian public with a distinct ethno-nationalistic rhetoric may prove to be more unfavourable in the long term.
Vladimir Putin (right) with Syrian President Bashar Assad (left). The Biden Administration’s platform agenda for racial equality and plurality seems to be at paradoxical odds with their support of the ethno-nationalistic politics of Alexei Navalny. However, Mr. Navalny appears to play an advantageous role in the Biden Administration’s interests in control of Syrian oil and energy resources and as a gateway to Iran by bringing social instability to Russia during a time in which Vladimir Putin is staunchly aligned with defending the Syrian President Assad from US and UK interests. Photo by Alexey Druzhinyn, European Pressphoto Agency.
Past US govts propped up leaders such as Saddam Hussein, who was also initially shown to have strong ethno-nationalistic tendencies, only to be later engaged in wars that brought on violent regime changes that have damaged US and UK credibility in foreign policy. The US was also responsible for bringing instability to Iran by overthrowing their democratic government and instead, replaced it with an extremist religious govt led by the Shah in the 1950s. The current Biden Administration must be attentive not to make the same mistake in Russia as it did in Iraq and Iran. Mr. Navalny may potentially become another Hussein (if not a possible future charismatic Hitler) in the making for US and UK governments as his strong ethno-nationalistic viewpoints may prove to be a future hinderance for NATO and our Saudi Arabian and UAE allies.
Although Alexei Navalny has made valid and important criticisms of the oligarchial structure of the current Russian government, his rising popularity may align with Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in the 1930s, whose criticism of the corruption within the central banking system utilised similar ethno-nationalistic rhetoric which found popular support that led to the second World War. Alexei Navalny has similarly riled up the Russian population with ethno-nationalistic fervor and has attended and organised protests and marches that included the slogan: "Russia for Russians, Europe for the Whites". Photo by Grigory Dukor, Reuters and wikipedia commons.
In comparison, President Putin has held a more meditated and pragmatic approach in embracing pluralism in his nation, to allow for the migration of different people, in addition to the philosophy of tolerance in regards to various religions and ethnic people, Mr. Navalny appears to hold the direct opposite perspective (“Russia for the Russians, Europe for the Whites”), despite his rising popularity in his anti-corruption agenda against the Kremlin.
President Putin has also shown in the past of his willingness to join NATO and building closer ties with the EU. Under a potential Navalny government, the US and UK could develop more adversarial relationships with Russia under a potential regime that promises to “expel migrants and strengthen and possibly expand” Russia’s borders.
How Brexit Serves as a New Opportunity for Russia
With Brexit underway, the European Union is now facing a new kind of crisis, with many rumours circulating of its dissolution. Chancellor Angela Merkel is faced with a dual problem: of securing the EU for future generations, whilst dealing with the US-Russia adversarial relationship in regards to control of energy resources in which Germany has become a reluctant mediator. The exit of the UK from the EU has left a gaping hole in fiscal policy, with only Germany left to prop up the rest of the EU whilst euroscepticism is on the rise in nations such as France and Italy, where rising politicians such as Marine Le Pen and Matteo Salvini are advocating for exit from the EU. Chancellor Merkel is stepping down at a particularly precarious time in the EU, and although it is not yet known who will become her successor, Russia could potentially fill in the void in leadership to secure the future of the EU.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin. Mrs. Merkel is stepping down from leadership at a precarious time for the EU when euroscepticism is on the rise in nations such as Italy and France. Russia's entry in the EU may solve many of EU's pressing problems and secure its future.
Brexit may potentially become a renewed opportunity for Russia to join the EU and take a joint leadership role in shaping Europe’s future policies.
Russia's entry in the European Union would serve the following advantages:
The European Union was initially launched as a way to hinder the nationalistic tendencies that led to the first two World Wars, the kind of ethno-nationalism that became standard features of fascist regimes such as Mussolini’s Italy, Stalin’s Russia and Hitler’s Germany; however, the EU is facing a new crisis of its possible dissolution, and a forging of new relations with Russia may prove to be a strengthening move.
Under the leadership of Vladimir Putin, the Russian Federation has evolved into a new kind of global power after the fall of the Iron Curtain, however it is currently under extended duress from both US sanctions and the economic slowdown from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Russia spans across 11 time zones and is a gateway between Europe and China. Image by Alexander Kislov and Natalya Nosova.
Russia’s entry in the European Union could potentially serve as a new gateway for European and Asian relations, in addition to opening up a geography that spans across 11 time zones, to develop multinational solutions in energy, research and infrastructure projects.
How Vladimir Putin Can Win Over His Detractors
Despite his strong ethno-nationalistic rhetoric, Alexei Navalny’s popular criticism of the Kremlin comes at an opportune time, in regards to its oligarchical structure in which privatisation of national companies in the 1990s have created a distinct class hierarchy in which the Russian people have found no remedy.
After the fall of the Iron Curtain, in the chaotic aftermath when Russia was transformed under neoliberalism, it opened its economy to a predatory form of international capitalism, a system that has created the large gaps in wealth inequality amongst the Russian population. This type of predatory capitalism was under examination during the recent World Economic Forum virtual meeting in which the alternative, “stakeholder capitalism” became a topic for world leaders.
Stakeholder capitalism is a system in which corporations are oriented to serve the interests of all their stakeholders. Among the key stakeholders are customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders and local communities. Under this system, a company's purpose is to create long-term value and not to maximize profits and enhance shareholder value at the cost of other stakeholder groups, namely employees, the quality of life in the population and the environment.
Point 1: Russia’s Integration of Stakeholder Capitalism
A transition from the predatory type of international capitalism, which often has been synonymous with the negative aspects of “globalisation” towards the conscientious values of stakeholder capitalism seems necessary in the next stage of evolution in Russia as a formidable global power under President Putin.
Although globalisation has opened the world economy, its negative effects depend upon a predatory type of capitalism in which vast wealth inequalities have led to sweat shops, slave labour, child labour, low wages and the pillaging and wreckage of local communities and the environment, all for the motive of maximising profit and shareholder value. The alternative, "stakeholder capitalism" which was the primary topic at the World Economic Forum 2021 discusses a reshaping of capitalism to hold companies accountable to community values, the well-being of its employees, the population and the environment. See also B-corporations.
During his special address to the World Economic Forum Davos Agenda 2021, President Putin made the following points that challenge the global economy 1) income gap within the population 2) rising costs of education and other services 3) rising social tensions due to unemployment as well as 4) his criticisms of stimulus and quantitative easing which only causes inflation 5) social unrest and systemic socio-economic problems which causes public discontent causing division 6) how tech monopolies control people and competes with the state 7) use of military force, sanctions and other methods to limit an economy.
However, many of President Putin’s challenges could be rectified by the conversion to stakeholder capitalism in the Russian economy, in conjunction with other European nations, such as France and Germany to enact the same policies. This will make the Russian Federation more amenable to European trade policies, along with directly addressing many of the protests that are currently taking place in Russia.
People protesting in Belarus. President Lukashenko has made it his policy to jail dissidents and opposition voices, whilst ignoring the demands of the public. He may soon be deposed as his continued policy in jailing dissidents have led to widespread nationwide protests. President Putin must be careful not to make the same mistake, and show leniency towards dissidents and protestors as a trust in democracy and free speech is what gives the public confidence in their government. Photo by Jan Graczynsku/Shutterstock
In the past, perceived authoritarian regimes have made the mistake of suppressing opposition voices through censorship and by jailing them. This is currently playing out in Belarus with President Lukashenko potentially nearing the end of his term with a possible regime change. This is something President Putin must be cautious of, as any action against opposition voices will only serve to further fuel the opposition.
Alexei Navalny’s video on President Dimitri Medvedev launched protests in 2017, just as his new video on Putin’s Palace launched similar protests in 2020. President Putin denied private ownership of the Black Sea Palace, and it was reported in 2013 by wikileaks to have been owned by a Russian oligarch, Alexander Ponomarenko who had said he bought it from Nikolai Shamalov and two of his partners for $350 million. Another Russian billionaire, Arkady Rotenberg came out recently and has said he bought the palace two years ago.
Instead of the oppression and jailing of Mr. Navalny under any pretext which gives more ammunition to popular media, President Putin can redirect public energy and attention on the launch of new initiatives, in addition to the integration of stakeholder capitalism in the Russian economy. The public dissent over the current Russian government is focused on the imbalance of wealth in which oligarchs and government officials have been perceived to have benefited, leaving the population bereft of a middle class standard of living.
Point 2: The Modernisation of Russia as an Epicentre of Research
Russia has a population of 144 million people, however, 35 million people are without indoor toilets and a sewage system and 57 million Russians do not have running water. Although some other Eastern European nations also do not have nationalised sewage system and running water, this is simply unfathomable for a nation such as Russia, who is seen as a rising global power.
57 million Russians do not have running water in their homes, and 35 million Russians do not have indoor toilets. Photo by Nikolay Titov, Global Look Press. Investment into modernising Russian infrastructure must become part of its philosophy of stakeholder capitalism and not profit driven in order to reap the long-term return on securing Russia's position as a global power.
The journalist Dmitry Travin notes that with the stifling of the opposition, “ordinary Russians have no one to tell them how miserable their lives are becoming”. Imagine coming home from a long day at work, only to have to defecate outside in the cold, then not being able to take a hot shower. It is no wonder that many Russian people have taken to the streets to protest the wealth inequality present in Russia. If it was not instigated by Mr. Navalny, another person like him would soon rise to take the helm. A solution or initiative in which a national plan to modernise water and sewage systems all throughout Russia would not only serve to invest in Russia’s growing infrastructure as an epicenter of technological and scientific research, it would also cement President Putin’s popularity among his dissenters.
Russian companies and oligarchs could unite to form a foundation in order to solve Russia’s water and sewage problem that affects 57 million people. In addition, development of its national sewage and water system might possibly help to lift sanctions on Russia's top oligarchs, as well as attracting top talent from around the world.
Point 3: The Advancement of Women in Russian Society
Another criticism highlighted by Mr. Navalny’s video satirically portrays President Putin giving financial advantages to his friends and family, namely women with no seeming qualifications suddenly attaining positions of influence (eg, an alleged girlfriend of President Putin’s, a housecleaner suddenly attaining majority shares in a company or another attaining board positions etc). However, the exploitation of women in Russia and the lack of opportunities for women to advance in positions of power is one that needs to be brought into sharp focus. Although, President Putin has been rather elusive and entirely private about his personal life, this attack on him, whether true or not, could present an opportunity to launch a nationwide initiative to advance women’s career routes by retraining them to work in different sectors along with opportunities for mentorship.
Women often face an increasingly harsh climb in the corporate world, along with lack of opportunities present in career advancement in male dominated industries. As more of Russia’s youth population turns towards inclusion into criminal gangs, young girls and women are at high risk for exploitation. Hence, President Putin has a clear opportunity in steering focus away from Mr. Navalny’s satirical treatment of his romantic liaisons and underlying degrading commentary of women in working class conditions, and instead redirect focus on building a more inclusive Russia that highlights and encourages the achievements of women.
Vladimir Putin congratulates women on Women's Day, 2011. Photo by Alexsey Druginyn, wikipedia commons. President Putin can utilise attacks on his romantic relationships in order to launch initiatives for the advancement of women, to counter against the discrimination of women in male dominated industries, to educate women in investment and mentorship, and a fund to help them launch businesses.
Point 4: Adoption of a British-style Education
It is well known that the 1% in Russia often send their children to become educated in the UK. However, this type of education is not available for the average Russian citizen. The development of a British-style education within Russia would allow its youth to develop into conscientious, international citizens, expanding Russia’s soft power and influence. In the days of the Russian Empire, when St. Petersburg was the centre of art and culture, people from all around the world came to Russia to share their insights in art, philosophy, literature and science. Similarly, Peter the Great who was considered a revolutionary leader who grew Russia into a global power, wanted the Russian population to be an educated population, and not one that blindly held onto the tenets of war and merely followed orders. His reforms in education ultimately led to Russia becoming a European centre of art and culture in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The Bronze Horseman, a statue of Peter the Great in St. Petersburg. Peter the Great introduced a western style of education into Russia, in order to educate his people away from militiarism. President Putin can introduce a British style of education, in order to transform Russia's youth into a civil society that nurtures and produces future thought leaders.
A restructuring of Russian education towards the Socratic education style of asking questions and questioning assumptions and installing critical thinking and integration of both East Asian philosophies and European liberalism would lead to a more balanced education in Russia, and fulfill President Putin’s ideal of a civilised society, instead of “training” students to be proficient in military technology and patriotism, which might ironically, have the opposite effect and also lead towards the youth population becoming susceptible towards ethno-nationalism, as what is currently transpiring under Alexei Navalny.
Russia needs a society brimming with love for the country, a civil society that would be such, not only in name, but in status, that would do its job, not for money, but put its soul into efforts to right the wrongs. -Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin practicing martial arts, a favourite pastime. Photo by the Kremlin.
In Japanese philosophy, Aikido is a type of martial arts that uses ‘ki’ energy in redirecting opposing energy. A proponent can negate or redirect an opposing power using an attack as an opportunity. President Putin can readily avoid the mistakes made by his neighbour and ally, Alexander Lukashenko and instead show leniency towards his harshest critics, and redirect public focus on initiatives that benefit the Russian population.
All in all, over the span of his 20+ year career in politics, Vladimir Putin has become a recognisable, iconic figure on the global stage. Western critics have reviled him and painted him as an authoritarian figure whilst he has won the respect of all his political adversaries through his pragmatic, thoughtful and measured leadership style. He has been the subject of satire, caricatured in popular culture, featured in numerous documentaries, and has been the focus of widespread speculation and allegations despite being rather secretive about his personal life. Regardless of being a figure of immense controversy, it is clear that he has led Russia out from the instability of post-Communism towards the rising global power it is today. Now, Russia is at a particular juncture in which embracing stakeholder capitalism and moving away from the predatory form of globalisation could launch it as an Eurasian epicenter into the next era. Whether one loves him or hates him, it is clear that the world is fascinated with Vladimir Putin.
By Sierra Choi