The Lipson-Shiu Corporate Type Test

 There are a number of well-known systems for classifying people's personalities according to various measures such as introversion-extroversion, and organisations often use these schemes to categorize their staff. Unfortunately, such methods do not capture a number of the most important aspects of an individual within an organisation; any corporate employee knows that whether someone is (for example) extroverted or introverted is much less critical than (say) how important they are. The Lipson-Shiu test attempts to remedy this and other oversights by classifying along four alternative axes:

It is important to note that none of these terms should be construed as a negative value judgement. For example, a "Stupid" person should not be able to deduce that thay are less capable than an intelligent person and an "Unimportant" person shouldn't be told that their existence is irrelevant to those in charge. And certainly no-one could doubt the value of "Evil" employees to a large corporation or expect all their staff to be "Lawful"!

To assess your L-S type, the following diagnostic test has been devised. Once you have taken the test, you can score your answers and compare your results with each of the sixteen personality archetypes listed below. A word of warning: the test was compiled by ICUEs, so if you don't like the results, don't expect sympathy.

The Test


1. Which of the following phrases are you most likely to use?

    There is no "I" in team
    There is no you in my team
    Team is an anagram of meat
    How do you spell "team"?

2. What do you understand by the sentence "An 80% solution on time is better than 100% late":

    I don't have to do my 20%
    I don't have to do my 30%
    I need to aim for a 160% solution in half the time!
    You need to aim for a 160% solution in half the time!
    Nothing - I don't undertand chemistry

3. Everything I need to know I learned:

    In kindergarten
    From my company's mission statement
    By a careful study of Machiavelli
    By trial and error

4. I like to...

    Work with people
    Work on people
    Get people worked up
    Get people working
    work people over
    Have people worked over

5. The only thing necessary for evil to triumph...:

    Is for good men to do nothing
    Is for people to listen to me
    It never will, good always wins out somehow
    Sorry? Are you criticising my work?

6. When I play games I try to:

    Follow the rules
    Bend the rules
    Break the rules
    Make the rules
    Master the rules
    Understand the rules

7. My favourite Star Wars character is...

    Jar Jar
    Darth Vader

8. I need to listen to others...

    Because all viewpoints are valid
    In order to foil their petty plans
    Whenever they agree with me
    Very carefully in case they use long words
    Sorry, I was miles away. What was the question again?

9. I like to commit random acts...

    of cruelty
    of kindness
    of parliament/congress
    in general
    between 4.30 and 5.00 on the first Sunday of the month

10. Which are you most likely to say?

    I wonder what happens if I touch that contact?
    I wonder what happens if you touch that contact?
    I wonder what happens if I touch that contact again?
    I wonder what happens if you touch that contact again?
    That contact is connected to I/O port 39 on subcircuit 7A
    Don't touch that contact - it might be radioactive or something.
    Don't touch that contact or I'll have to waste time rebuilding the whole high-voltage subassembly
    If you need to contact me while I'm out of the office tomorrow, here are the 17 phone numbers you should try

11. Life is...

    a box of chocolates
    a magazine
    a bitch and then you die
    too short
    a 2D cellular automaton

 12. How much did you cheat on this test?

    I didn't - that would be wrong
    I was allowed to cheat?
    Let me check the results before answering this
    I wasn't even taking the test. I have better things to do
    You tell me, head-shrinker!

The Results


The Archetypes

ILIG (Archangel )

The ILIG is the ideal person to be in charge of anything: trustworthy, effective and devoted to the cause. Unfortunately, none have yet been found. If the test evaluated you as this you are probably an ILIE or ILUE (and covering it well) or a SCUG or SCUE (and not safe to be typing on anything electrical).

ILIE (Grand Vizier)

The I LIE has probably carved a ruthless trail to the top, but left no evidence of it. At least, if you find the bodies you're in very bad trouble. Highly adept at serving their own ends, I LIEs are not people to be on the wrong side of. Here is someone who has made the system work for them (examples: Sir Humphrey, Lex Luthor).

ILUG (Mensch)

The I LUG is that rarest of underlings: the one whom you can trust to understand what you're telling them and then rely on to get the job done. In any organisation, these are the people who actually do the work. (example: Florence Nightingale)

ILUE (Gremlin)

Keep a close eye on these guys. They will follow instructions to the letter and use all their power and ingenuity to go against the spirit of what was intended. When you feel the sharp pain in your back, that is almost certainly the ILUE (example: Draco Malfoy)

ICIG (Entrepeneur)

A bubbling energetic type often with boundless energy and a short attention span. Has a pattern of getting enthused about a project, starting it up and leaving the rest to others (example: Maria von Trapp)

ICIE (Torturer)

A sadistic type who, rather than building an evil empire (though that may be a fringe benefit), devotes their time and considerable talents to making the world as unpleasant as possible. Often found in charge of human resources or very very large software companies.

ICUG (Inventor)

The ICUG is given to solitude and shoe staring. He or she loves little puzzles and is often a good source of off-the-wall, innovative ideas. Best left to their own devices with only occasional steering (example: Leonardo da Vinci)

ICUE (Mad Scientist/Hacker)

Displaying many of the same traits as the ICUG, the I CUE combines these with a dangerously antisocial streak. May employ someone called Igor and mutter things like "Small minded fools! I'll show them all!" (example: Victor Frankenstein)

SLIG (Figurehead)

Particularly skilled at those aspects of life that do not involve thought, SLIGs tend to be popular. As overseers, they tend to adopt a hands-off approach (it obviates the need to understand things). They like things best when everyone is quietly and happily toeing the party line. Examples are common in the third and later generations of wealthy dynasties, especially among royalty.

SLIE (Pointy head)

Although clueless, SLIEs should not be thought of as harmless. They have an inflexible mindset, which they devote to making mindless drones of their subordinates by e.g. forcing them to attend management training courses of dubious utility and gruelling tedium.  They are not difficult to outsmart, but can be very hard to remove (Example: Nute Gunray)

SLUG (Board Monitor)

Worthy but dull. The SLUGs of this world can be relied on to follow orders unquestioningly. These individuals are highly prized for low-skill tasks like middle management, and make excellent drones (Example: Forrest Gump).

SLUE (Traffic Warden)

SLUEs are individuals with a grudge against society. Frustrated by their perceived lack of worth, they compensate by using petty rules and regulations to obstruct the lives of others. They lack the imagination to operate outside of these boundaries and so are dangerous only on their own turf (Example: Basil Fawlty).

SCIG (Celebrity)

The best possible boss for people who don't like having a boss. The SCIG is a benign incompetent and the only challenge is to stop them from coming to harm by walking into walls, etc. Not big on plans or ideas, SCIGs generally leave people to their own devices (Example: Jerry Lewis)

SCIE (Natural Distaster)

The exact form of the problems that arise from the SCIE are hard to predict, since even the SCIE doesn't know. The SCIE is able to generate random acts of cruelty without effort or intention. Just stay out of their way and try to find shelter (Example: Cthulhu)

SCUG (Apologiser)

The SCUG is a cruel joke on the part of nature. He or she wanders from distaster to disaster with only the best of intentions, but with none of the facilities required to fulfil them. Can be found by following the sounds of the words "Oops" and "Sorry" (Examples: Jar Jar Binks, Frank Spencer)

SCUE (Jinx)

In Murphy's law terms, the SCUE is the thing that can and will go wrong. The most useless of underlings, the SCUE is the last person you want on your team. They cannot follow or understand instructions; they can find the best way to sabotage your efforts with the precision of an idiot savant. There is a good case for shooting thme on sight, but it is usually better to pay them to work for your competition. (Example: Toad).

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This page last modified 2nd April 2005