Now, Nice, Wise or Safe

Steve Williamson, VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.
Monday, June 24, 2024
Now, Nice, Wise or Safe

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Even though there are over 8 billion people in the world, you can distill their personalities down to the presence of four characteristics: now, nice, wise and safe. How much of those four do you have?

The signs of the zodiac attempts to assign the personality of every member of the human species into one of twelve neat categories. There are over 8 billion people on this planet. How can this be?

If you were born in New Jersey on April 4, 1978 and met someone born in Mongolia on that exact same day, would you have the same personalities? A lot of people think so, but this strains the limits of credibility.

In essence, it's not possible to sort and classify the breadth and depth of human personality into tidy and clearly defined categories.

There are ways to identify personality traits that can exist to differing degrees within individuals, however. For example, how many people do you know that are highly creative? Maybe you've known some folks who are analytical or are highly motivated, always getting things done?

Instead of saying you "are" or "are not" a particular personality type, what if we describe human personality in terms of "how much" or "how little" of each type you have within you?

Psychometric Assessments

It is a common assumption that psychometric assessments group people into broad categories. This assumption comes about because some of the most infamous assessments actually make that claim (MBTI comes to mind). Unfortunately, assessments like these and their ilk are about as useful as muffler bearings and turn signal fluid.

As stated, it's not possible to combine someone's innate and unchanging personality with their life experience and precisely and unequivocally categorize them with a neat and simple label.

"Yeah, but this one's different."

Enter the Core Values Index. This psychometric assessment is a relative newcomer to the personality scene and it takes an entirely different — and far more realistic — approach.

The CVI is based around four broad personality categories called core value energies. These core value energies represent characteristics of personality that an individual can have within their innate and unchanging nature to various degrees.

The four core value energies are called Builder, Merchant, Innovator and Banker. Each person has a particular ratio of these core value energies that make up their personality. Some have more Builder, a bit less Merchant and Innovator, and hardly any Banker. Some people are more well-rounded, with their personality comprising nearly equal amounts of all for core value energies.

When you complete the CVI and read your report, you'll see how much of each of the four core value energies exists within your personality. These are represented by a set of scores from 0-36. A score of 0 for a core value energy means you have none of it within your personality (which is very rare). A score of 36 means you have the maximum of that core value energy (also very rare).

CVI Score Graph

The sum of your four core value energy scores will always equal exactly 72. This means when one core value energy is strongly represented within your personality, one or more of the other core value energies will be correspondingly lower. (If you have equal amounts of all four core value energies within your personality, your scores would be 18-18-18-18.)

Even though there are only four core value energies within the Core Values Index psychometric assessment, there are millions of possible score combinations. Combine that with someone's life experiences and you get a truly unique individual.

If everyone is unique, how can a psychometric assessment like the CVI be useful at describing or even categorizing human behavior? Isn't that the implied point of most personality assessments?

Think of your own personality. For each of the following four words, to what degree do you think each reflects who you are:

  • Now
  • Nice
  • Wise
  • Safe

You're a complex person and there are a lot of facets and nuances to your personality. There is likely a blend of each of those descriptors within you, some present in stronger amounts while others are weaker.

The CVI works in much the same way. You likely have different amounts of Builder (now), Merchant (nice), Innovator (wise), and Banker (safe) within your personality. You find out how much when you complete the Core Values Index assessment and view your scores.

Unlike the other (and often uselessly inaccurate and inconsistent) personality assessments on the market, you are not a Builder or a Merchant or an Innovator or a Banker. Instead, you possess different amounts of each within you. Some higher, some lower.

[This author's scores are 27-Innovator, 17-Banker, 15-Builder, and 13-Merchant.]

The higher the score, the more that core value energy — a descriptor of different personality characteristics — exists within the particular mix that makes you you.

Now, Nice, Wise or Safe

How much Builder energy is in your personality? The Builder core value energy describes how much "now" you prefer. It represents the desire to get things done and to lead from the front, confident and faithful that you'll always know what to do in a pinch.

How much Merchant energy is in your personality? The Merchant core value energy describes how much "nice" you exhibit. Those with a lot of Merchant energy in their personality are the social glue that gathers people together in groups and gets them all pulling together toward common goals. They motivate others with their creativity and enthusiasm, always seeking to be the source of social love in the room.

How much Innovator energy is in your personality? The Innovator core value energy describes how much "wise" you exhibit in the things you do. It represents your desire to solve problems and find answers to life's mysteries. Your altruistic compassion gives you the motivation to help others.

How much Banker energy is in your personality? The Banker core value energy describes how much "safe" you exhibit in your activities. You seek to gather, collate and analyze data and knowledge and then provide it to those you feel justly deserve to receive it. Doing all of this in a safe manner, with a keen eye for identifying risk, is the hallmark contribution in everything you do.

Core Values Index™ and CVI™ are trademarks of Taylor Protocols, Inc.

Go to to learn more about the CVI or to take the Core Values Index assessment.

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Steve Williamson

Steve Williamson

Innovator/Banker - VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.

Steve has a career in project management, software development and technical team leadership spanning three decades. He is the author of a series of fantasy novels called The Taesian Chronicles (, and when he isn't writing, he enjoys cycling, old-school table-top role-playing games, and buzzing around the virtual skies in his home-built flight simulator.

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