The Preemptive Promoter
Artisans [SPs] smoothly ensure that their ways and means fit their current agendas. Owing to their tactical brain, they are instinctively compelled to look into those artistic and aesthetic possibilities that their hunger for excitement pulls them toward, while some of them, say, one in four (Artisans likely to comprise at least 40% of the population), are instinctively proactive in interacting with others, thus "Tactical Initiators," and as such tend to become efficient promoters of schemes to exploit pleasurable possibilities of the moment. Like other Artisans, the Promoters habitually use pictorial words and steerage tools, leaving other kinds of words and tools to serve secondary, and to them, less utilitarian and less exciting outcomes.
In the case of directive interlinking, director and directee do different things, such that what the directee does complements what the director does. Preemption, whether tactical [SP], logistical [SJ], strategic [NT], or diplomatic [NF], requires what is sometimes called "preemption". Thus, to preempt another's action one must act first, get the jump on another, get ahead of another, head off the other before he or she takes a different course of action than the one intended by the director. In other words, in preempting one seeks to go "one-up," "to gain the upper hand," "to take the high ground." And of course, in productive work preemption is gauged more to enable success than to prevent failure.
Depending on the kind of brain they are born with there are four different kinds of Initiators, each able to successfully enact the role and pursue the career corresponding to their strong suit, diplomatic educating, logistical supervising, strategic mobilizing, and in this case, tactical promoting.
Because any of the Initiator roles take a good deal of energy and determination, it is difficult for Initiators to switch from the proactive to the responsive mode. So Tactical Initiators are hard put to respond positively to the initiatives of others. It is not so much that they do not wish to respond to others, it is rather that by doing so they have to give up the initiative. So it is too much to expect Initiators of any kind, and especially the Promoter, to be more responsive in those situations that demand of them their best efforts to, as it were, keep the show on the road.
Tactical Initiators tend to be directive in relationship to others, such that the role they play interlocks with that of others, hence they are like strategic, logistical, and diplomatic Initiators in this, each having a penchant for taking over the activities of others. Also, Tactical Initiators are Expeditors, like Crafters in their use of tactical expedients usually necessary for pursuing immediate outcomes.
Given their preference for Promoter jobs, are these Artisans equally skillful in performing Handcraft [ISTP], Performer [ESFP], or Composer [ISFP] jobs? The answer of course is negative, simply because the practice of these four jobs cannot be equal. The one that is practiced most ends up more highly developed than the others. What then of the twelve other jobs? The tactical brain does not lend itself to these jobs nearly as much as it does to the tactical jobs. However, since Artisans are like Rationals [NTs] in adapting their words and tools to whatever agenda they pursue, it is probable that strategic jobs will develop more than logistical or diplomatic jobs, the latter two more prone to be conforming to norms in their use of words and tools.
This is not to say that some of the jobs are beyond the ken of the Tactical Initiators, but it is to say that the farther they venture from the Tactical Initiator role the less support their brain will give them, the less they will practice, and the less proficient they will become in job performance. Still, each of the four kinds of brains has a built-in versatility in giving wide latitude in choice of jobs and the practice thereof.
All four kinds of preemption - tactical, strategic, logistical, diplomatic - are operations taken before others being to operate on their own in order to preclude such operations. These are operations in which the Promoter Initiator takes the initiative, takes the lead, takes charge, takes over, makes the first move, is, in a word, proactive. So it is not a case of divided or shared action, rather of controlled action, a case of determining what is going to happen, or what the greatest of all sociologists, Erving Goffman, called "what is going on."
Again, preemption, of whatever kind, is first action, prior action, initial action, such as to head off what others might be inclined to do if left to their own agenda. Thus Tactical Initiators, given their tactical brain, make overtures that others find hard to resist. In a sense they press others. Their overtures are tempting to prospective associates because Promoter Initiators are onto the immediate desires of others, especially their impulses, urges, yearnings, and longings - "their thing." Most of us probably have a "thing" that Tactical Initiators are more able than others to spot. Indeed, they seem to have a well oiled "thing detector."
What is it that gives them this edge? That is, what do they see that the rest of us pay little attention to? Body language. Foxes all, they watch lips and tongues, cheeks and jaws, brows and eyelids, and muscles around the eyes. Even the slightest and fleeting twitches and twists, frowns, grimaces, smiles and eye-rolls are noticed, along with groans and sighs, puffs and catches of breath, while shoulders and hands are also under surreptitious albeit constant surveillance. This is not to say that Promoter Initiators are attentive to what others say, rather that they are attentive to what others reveal by their gestures. For that matter, being highly expressive themselves, they are more likely to be inattentive to what others say.
Promoters are so engaging with others that they may seem unusually empathic. But they have little interest in empathy. Rather, as noted, they are uncannily adept at reading people's faces and observing their body language, alert to the tiniest nonverbal cues that give away the other's agenda. They keep their eyes on their audience, ever on the lookout for signs of assent or dissent, and with nerves of steel and ice in their veins they will use this information to achieve the end they pursue - which is to sell the customer, or as they sometimes say "cool the mark." Winning people over with this kind of brinkmanship might seem exhausting to others, but those who play this role skillfully are exhilirated by working close to the edge. Indeed, a theme of seeking excitement through taking risks runs throughout their lives.
How does tactically proactive communication differ from tactically competitive, responsive, and cooperative communication? In the main Promoters are leading in the sense of being seductive, which is to use words that get someone to go along with their proactive agenda. By the way, the word 'seductive' belongs to a rather impressive family of words having to do with leading, each having the same root 'duc' as in such words as 'abduct', 'conduct', 'induce', 'introduce', 'produce', and 'reduce'.
As noted, Promoters are directive rather than inquisitive, which means Promoters do not hesitate to tell others what to do. A seemingly necessary consequence of being directive is that Promoters tend to be rather uninformative. They can even be deliberately disinformative on occasion, facile as they usually are in doubletalk, a way of talking that is equivocal, ambiguous, obscure, and even evasive, such as to lack in clarity, explicitness, and definitiveness. After all, information and directives do not mix very well. If Promoters attach more than a little information to their directives they risk undermining the force of their directives.
Besides being uninformative, and occasionally disinformative, Promoters are disinclined to accept direction from others. Though they may not openly resist directives, they are unusually clever in avoiding or evading them. Proposing that someone do something ostensibly to his or her own benefit requires tactical directing, with well developed tactical spontaneity in telling others what to do. Any discomfort or lack of spontaneity in suggesting what another is to do will show, and will limit effectiveness in playing the Initiator role.
Tactical Initiators are in a way like other initiators - logistical, strategic, diplomatic - each kind playing an interlinking role, thus engaging in operations that complement those of the Initiator. In this case the Promoter is entrepreneurial, trying to get others to join in some project, scheme, or enterprise, the joiner complementing the operations of the entrepreneur. Compared to other Artisans, Promoter Initiators are peerless in beguiling and inveigling others, but compared to other Initiators, the Promoters are well matched, the others, like the Tactical Initiators, peerless in their own strategic, diplomatic, and logistical action.
Inveigling from a fixed position differs from, and is often less successful than, inveigling from a flexible position. This is because flexibility lies in the Promoter's use of "expedients," handy things that at the moment might convince another to go along with the expedient-user's agenda. In charming another, one person is playing a role that compliments that of the other. Thus, if one can persuade another to buy something by commenting on the advantages to the other; if one is proposing, say a change in a colleague's method, his colleague adopts the proposed method; if he proposes that the other join him in a venture, his prospective partner joins him; in those cases their roles are interlocked, each doing something different, but complementary to what the other is doing. The relationship is transitive, one doing something to another, not with another.
In playing the proactive role these Tactical Initiators can be hard-nosed, willing to say or do whatever it takes to advance their agenda, and it is this utilitarianism that allows them to be such talented troubleshooters. Concerned more with what works than with conventions, traditions, or customs, they can keep their cool in crises and operate freely, since they do not stand on ceremony, do not worry about justifying their actions, and are fully aware of all expedients that can be put to immediate use. Thus they are invaluable as hired-gun executives who can pull troubled departments, or even companies, out of the red quickly, and with style.
Thus, too, they make the very best negotiators, willing to put anything and everything on the table, which gives them an edge over opponents who might hold some asset or procedure as sacred and non-negotiable.
To be successful in beguiling others the Promoter must, above all else, be charming. He or she must push, gently, but firmly, when and if the prospective customer is at all reluctant to buy into the scheme, else the other won't go along with the scheme. To charm someone takes charisma, and it is charisma that cools the mark such that he or she will join the Promoter's enterprise. Charming requires more development of tactical efficiency than strategic, diplomatic, or logistical efficiency - these taking a back seat during the interchanges involved. Their tactical efficiency enables the Promoters to easily take a "one up" position in relation to prospective associates. In this sense Promoters in pursuit of inveigling others are would-be "entrepreneurs". One-ups-man-ship, note, is not gotten by coercing but by tempting; not by commanding but by alluring; not by demanding but by coaxing; not by forcing but by enticing. Promoters are wont to win others by pulling rather than by pushing, and in this manner get others to join them in enterprise. In a word, Promoters are seductive.
Life, it must be added, is never dull around these charming Initiators. Witty, clever, amusing, they live with a theatrical flourish which makes even the most routine events seem exciting. Not that they waste much time on routine events. Promoters have a knack for knowing where the action is. They usually have tickets to the hot show or big game (or can get them when others can't), and they usually know the best restaurants, where the headwaiters are likely to call them by name. Somehow being a Promoter gives them a hearty appetite for the finer things of life, exotic food, vintage wine, expensive cars, and flamboyant clothes. And they are smooth in social circles, knowing many people by name, and knowing how to say flattering things to most everyone they meet. None are as sophisticated as they, none as suave, urbane, and polished - and none as masterly in handling their companions.
After all, being a Promoter is to be artistic, just as being a Crafter [ISTP], Performer [ESFP], and Composer [ISFP]. But this artistry is different. Promoters are able to use words the way painters use the brush, or violinists the bow, their talk a seamless interweaving of slang, argot, and cant beguiling as it is hypnotic. Rest assured that these Tactical Initiators can be very artistic in their charming pursuits, and remember that this particular art can, and occasionally does, end up in the possession of what is aptly named the "con artist," a person adept in getting others to feel confident in their sincerity. But I hasten to add that Promoters are not the only ones that can arouse confidence in themselves on the part of others. It's just that others, whatever their temperament, cannot be as artful in their agenda as they.
Tactical Initiators are expressive, just as are strategic, logistical, and diplomatic Initiators, even if they must interrupt others. Thus they speak before others do in order to head others in the direction they want and to head others away from a direction that does not serve their agenda. In this sense they are expressive, tending to declare many things in rapid order, and proposing a plethora of attractive options. This is done so rapidly that the recipient of what they propose has no time to reflect on what is said or consider any relevant pros or cons. In a sense the recipient of this cascade of words, unless another expressive Initiator, is deposed to the attentive side of the exchange, and, in the one-down position, is non-expressive.
Ever confident, often charming, suave, urbane, and at times even glib, these clever Promoters carry on amusing repartee with friends and colleagues, the laughter surrounding them as they recount from their endless supply of quips and anecdotes, clothed in the latest unorthodoxy. At the same time, these silky smooth Initiators are usually something of a mystery to others. While they live in the moment and lend excitement - and unpredictability - to all their relationships, they rarely let anyone get really close to them. They have a low tolerance for anxiety and are apt to leave relationships that are filled with tension. They understand well the maxim, "who travels fastest, travels alone," although they are not likely to be lonely for long, since their adventurousness tends to make them highly attractive to many, especially the provident Guardians, that is, Suppliers and Protectors. Whatever their shortcomings, Promoters are indispensable when tactical preemption is called for, either in perilous circumstances or at opportune moments.
In playing the Tactical Initiator role, quite apart from their views on politics or economics, certain Artisans have been America's most charismatic Presidents, including Andrew Jackson, James Garfield, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and John Kennedy. There are other well-known Tactical Initiators who, though less than charming, were extremely proactive in their tactics. For example, George Philip Sheridan and General "JEB" Stuart of the Civil War, and General George Patton and Admiral "Bull" Halsey of World War II, were quite notorious Tactical Initiators. Halsey was in charge of the enormous Third Fleet at the battle of the Leyte Gulf in the Philippines, while Patton was in charge of the incredibly mobile and powerful Third Army that swept through France and Germany in the wake of the Normandy landing. Then there were those noisy Promoters in psychiatric medicine, the most famous being Sigmund Freud, trailed far behind (both in time and in notoriety) by Eric Beme, Fritz Perls, and George Bach. In psychology the two most famed Promoters were John Watson and Frederick Skinner, selling Pavlovian reflexology as "behaviorism," and, with smooth and clever talk, conning three generations of naive young psychologists into believing that such nonsense made sense. What are we to do with them? What are we to do without them? Only time will tell.
from Brains and Careers, by Dr. David Keirsey