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I’ve Done the Calculations: I’m Not the Average of My Friends

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn, renowned businessman and inspirational speaker.
Recent events had me thinking about Jim Rohn’s remark. One event was my brother’s promotion to a Director-ish position overseeing the organization’s information systems group. Meanwhile, I’m fielding many questions about what my Next Great Move and what my fellow Body Boss co-founders are up to. They, too, are heading up software engineering of their respective companies. Add to these events, my interest in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) was rekindled by online forums – I wrote this last week.

I started considering the success of those around me, and how they motivate me to do and be greater. Also, what about their personalities are affecting me? Considering Jim’s law of averages comment, I asked those closest to me to complete MBTI assessments.

I’m an ESTJ (Extrovert-Sensing-Thinking-Judging) personality type – I wonder if I’d be the average of those around me?

I assigned binary values to each letter for each position (E = 0 and I = 1; S = 0 and N = 1; etc.). Then, I took the average of the values rounding to the nearest integer.

Of the five people closest to me:
  • Two are INTP
  • One ENTP
  • One ESFP
  • One ESFJ
According to Jim’s law of averages, I would be an ENTP. Kinda, not really close to what I tested as.

If I expanded to 10 of my closer (not necessarily “closEST”):
  • Three ESFP
  • Two INTP
  • Two ESFJ
  • One INTJ
  • One ENTP
  • One ENFP
Using these 10, my average would be ENFP – more different than the earlier.

My conclusion: The law of averages doesn’t quite hold for me right now. However, my circles are fluid – meaning people enter and exit inner and outer circles constantly.

Also, based on who I am and how I work, I know I like to complement others. That is, I surround myself with people who are different than me to challenge my perceptions, show me different ways to work, improve communication, etc.

Interesting and fun exercise all the same.

If you’ve taken the MBTI, in the assessment and write-up, what surprises made sense as you thought about them? How do you think you and your circles complement or reflect each other’s collective MBTI types?

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