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The third archetypes is the Knave of Swords. Of all the ways of dealing with others, that of the knave is the most dangerous. The knave is in it for himself. He is above all an opportunist. If he can’t win, he may withdraw to focus his energies elsewhere. He may be accommodating, or compromise, or use others mercilessly, but whatever he does is always in aid of his own personal interests.
The way to identify and flush out a knave is by his inconsistency. Knaves will tell different stories to different people. Once you suspect that someone is an opportunist, you can usually catch them out by comparing notes with others.
My first company won a large contract with one of the largest banks in Australia. We were small, but had the software they needed. We were partnered with a large European technology company who were providing the hardware, even though it was cheap industry standard stuff, underpowered and overpriced. Their rep on the project was very hard on us. One day, my boss came in furious. He had found out this man was telling us one story, his own employees another, the customer another, and his superiors in Germany still another.
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