There are several personality types that like to work behind the scenes, humbly avoiding the spotlight whenever possible. The Killer Whale is not one of them. Well-known for their natural drive to lead, Killer Whales, as opposed to the similarly commanding but far more authoritarian Stags, derive their power from the force of their intellect, convincing their followers, in a not-so-subtle way, that they’re the smartest person in the room, and as such, to follow another would be folly.
I started questioning gender-based assumptions a long time ago. When I was eight, I was confused at being called “bossy,” because I wanted to direct the plays that we would put on for our parents — but the boys were not.
– Emma Watson
Among all the types, Killer Whales are one of the most exceptional students, exceeded only by their Smith siblings, the Spiders. Nevertheless, when compared to a Spider, what a Killer Whale lacks in patience and intellectual fastidiousness, they more than make up for in ambition. They don’t want to be in charge, they expect it, considering their leadership role to be the inevitable result of their superior drive and vision.
Like all Smiths, Killer Whales have strong analytical skills, but they readily accept that their skills pale in comparison to the innovative Chimpanzees and theoretical Owls. What they will not capitulate on is control. In their minds, there are only two types capable of taking all the impractical, disjointed, and speculative ideas of the Chimps and Owls and transforming them into a real, meaningful product, and the Spider’s caution is more likely to lead to the spinning of wheels than the creation of a successful company. Once the necessary information has been acquired, Killer Whales act decisively, recruiting qualified allies and finding optimal roles for them. It is no surprise that a substantial number of CEOs are Killer Whales; their ability to identify and utilize a person’s unique talents is a necessity for organizational success.
The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.
– Thomas Edison
Their knack for recognizing strengths and weaknesses, while beneficial to their allies and followers, can make Killer Whales dangerous opponents. Whether it’s a head football coach devising special blitzes to take advantage of a slow-footed quarterback or a general planning troop movements based on deficiencies in the enemy ranks, Killer Whales always come prepared with a plan of attack. They specialize in coordinating multiple concurrent actions, the power of their strategy deriving not from any specific part, but from the overwhelming sum of the whole plan. These strategies are always developed over time, and it’s not unusual for a Killer Whale to possess a playbook—literal or figurative—from which they regularly work from.
Like Spiders, Killer Whales prefer to rely on plans that have a proven track record of success—usually their own success-and likewise, will be quick to abandon a strategy if it proves to be ineffective. Although unlike a Spider, whose contingencies are tailored to respond, a Killer Whale enjoys forcing the action. This is not to be confused with recklessness, as every move is done with a great deal of forethought. It’s just that Killer Whales would rather not hide in the shadows; it’s much harder to target the bullseye on their back when they’re running roughshod over you.
I would have you, right here, on this desk, until you begged for mercy… twice.
– Irene Adler, Sherlock
The forceful nature of the Killer Whale makes them just that: a force of nature. And while tremendously powerful, like any natural disaster, an intense amount of destruction can occur. To put it bluntly—they would—at their worst, Killer Whales are emotionally insensitive control freaks. However, not in the cold, indifferent way that is commonly associated with Smiths. In fact, Killer Whales might be too intense, the hunger to achieve their desired end becoming so overwhelming they begin to disregard the very allies helping them reach that goal. The same analytical prowess that enables a Killer Whale to make objective, strategic decisions, can also render them, at best, unaware to the various societal elements involved in an endeavor (social norms, prevailing protocols, personal feelings), and at worst, dismissive of them.
Understandably, this aggressive behavior, even when motivated by altruism, like Hermione Granger scolding a less than studious Harry Potter, can cause a Killer Whale to upset their friends, colleagues, and family members. Never one to be unsuccessful at anything—including relationships—Killer Whales will work to mend the bonds that have been broken. Unfortunately, this often leads to them adding more fuel to the fire, as their controlling, albeit well-intentioned pleas come off more as manipulative power plays than expressions of remorse. However, mature Killer Whales come to learn that you can’t force a person to feel anything. And for the lucky people that are wise enough—and brave enough—to see past the Killer Whale’s surface aggression, they will find no friend more loyal, no lover more affectionate, and no opinion more truthful.
The Cynical Pragmatist
No public man in these islands ever believes that the Bible means what it says: he is always convinced that it says what he means.
– George Bernard Shaw
Despite the occasional lapse into dictator mode, Killer Whales are usually capable of conferring power to others within the group. But make no mistake. This act of deference is more a reflection of their pragmatism than any sense of humility. They realize that the most effective strategy for keeping a complex machine running smoothly is making sure all its myriad parts are greased. Because of this, Killer Whales tend to be quite cynical when it comes to issues of morality—the visibility of any leadership position they might hold frequently causes mature Killer Whales to avoid controversial subjects altogether.
With a Killer Whale, their public opinion might differ from their private one, as opposed to a Spider, a fellow cynic, who regularly chooses to express no opinion at all. This mixture of cynicism and pragmatism is also what enables Killer Whales to be such astute judges of talent. By stripping away surface traits such as gender, sexuality, race, and nationality, Killer Whales can single out individuals for what really matters: the skills and knowledge they can provide to the organization.