Felix and Oscar: The Core Values Odd Couple
- Steve Williamson, Dir. Product Development, eRep, Inc.
- Monday, October 9, 2017
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Felix and Oscar. These two names pack serious imagery of the difference between an uptight neat-freak and an easy-going laid-back personality. We can analyze their personalities today and produce a textbook case study of what it means to be a Banker or Merchant.
Felix wants everything to be just so. Oscar prefers to say, "So, what?"
One is precise and fastidious and the other is easygoing and slovenly. Could these characters be more disimilar? Probably not. In fact, they were created by playwright Neil Simon to be as contrary as possible, to the point of being caricatures of their opposite stereotypes.
Simon wrote The Odd Couple long before the Core Values Index was created, but we can analyze Felix and Oscar's personalities today and produce a textbook case study of what it means to be a Banker or Merchant.
At first glance, it would seem that the overwhelming differences between the two main characters imply a strong competitiveness. They are at cross-purposes and cross-methods in everything they do. On further viewing, however, the audience gets the sense that neither Felix nor Oscar are right or wrong, they are simply trying to live together the best they can under the metaphorical roof of their differing perspectives and priorities.
Perspectives and priorities are the key words here.
They both bring something of value to the relationship table. It takes a while, but Oscar comes to appreciate the order and predictability that Felix's Banker energy brings to their home, while Felix sometimes relies on Oscar's courage and openness to help solve problems his fastidious personality makes nearly impossible. Oscar berates Felix countless times, but is also quick to come to Felix's aid when his friend is confronted by others.
Felix exemplifies the precision and perfection that Banker's are known for. He has very specific views about how things are to be done. Going with the flow when things change without warning makes his brain twitch with nervous discomfort. He seeks order and predictability.
Oscar, on the other hand, is a stereotypical Merchant. He is easygoing and takes things as they come. In fact, Oscar would rather things not be orderly and consistent. What's the fun in that?
Despite the fact that Oscar is constantly frustrated by Felix's ordered lifestyle, he is very loyal and places value, albeit unconsciously, on their friendship. Their relationship matters, and that is a hallmark trait of Merchants.
Estimated CVI Profile, Felix: Banker/Innovator
Estimated CVI Profile, Oscar: Merchant/Builder
Go to eRep.com/core-values-index/ to learn more about the CVI or to take the Core Values Index assessment.
Innovator/Banker - Dir. Product Development, eRep, Inc.
Steve has a career in information technology, software development, and project management spanning three decades. He is the author of a series of fantasy novels called The Taesian Chronicles (ruckerworks.com), and when he isn't writing he is an aspiring multi-instrumentalist and composer, a virtual pilot in a home-built flight simulator, and a cyclist.
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