As a general observation, I'd say that when typing people like Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al Saud, it's as important to take a step back and look at him from a distance, to get a broad-brush view of him, as it is to observe him closely in videos and interviews.
The broad-brush view is this: this is a guy who, having been born in a very privileged social situation
in a sort-of medieval society - you can hardly be more "privileged and
medieval" than as a senior member of the House of Saud in Saudi Arabia -
yet decided to build up his own wealth and career himself. He obviously
sees creating wealth, and showing off some of it, as big parts of his
focus and his life. He likes to see himself, and that is probably
largely true (even in his context) as a man for whom work and being
productive is core. All of that suggests F as quadra value, and so far
nobody suggested anything but Gamma or Beta for him, which I think is
There is the problem of differentiating what is 'real' and what is posturing, or cultural influence. That's always difficult,
and I can add that it is obvious that some of his answers are very
careful. For instance, in his interview, Fareed Zakaria asks the Prince
directly about his chances of succeeding to the throne. He gives a
general, technical, vague answer. But no analyst familiar with the House
of Saud, I think, would say that Prince Al-Waleed has the slightest
chance of ever becoming King. By blood he is close to the inner circle
of the dynasty but not politically. His own 'career choice' of going
into business, rather than to try to get into government, besides his
present high profile as a (relatively) westernized and urbane promoter
of moderate reform - all of that in effect isolates him politically even
more. And that's no secret; yet he gives a no-answer.
interviews show him talking at length about his own investments, his
opinions on economic trends, his views on global situations, on foreign
affairs, on oil price, and a bit on the situation of women's rights in
Saudi Arabia. He gives his views as a knowledgeable expert and he seems
at ease in that role. His delivery is friendly-dry without too much
emotional expression. Most of that he says is P in content, as most have
noted. So overall I think that the analyses pointing towards LIE are
correct, it is indeed the most obvious typing and there is nothing
really going against it.
On other Gamma types such as ESI, the problem is that apart
from his comments on "ethics" and on individuals, he hasn't really
spontaneously gone into R related subjects. But then, his own position
makes that more difficult. Of course it's not 'impossible' that he is an
ESI; but the available evidence does not suggest it over LIE.
want to comment on the possibility of EIE... What makes that unlikely,
to me, is not so much his behavior, but a look at his career. For most
of his career he was building up his wealth 'quietly', in the background
- pretty much like Warren Buffet. The Prince only became a public
figure after he had achieved a very high level of wealth. His 'claim to
fame' today is also as the main shareholder of Citicorp. Compare that
with the Beta tycoons such as Donald Trump (SLE) or Steve Jobs (EIE). For the
latter, the image, the brand, the vision, is from the beginning closely
connected to how they build up their fortune. The Prince invests well in
lots of businesses with no obvious connection to each other in order to
get even richer, and that's pretty much it.
I see more as 'confirming' a general Intuitive-Energiser type rather
than a core argument for it: if you look at all his interviews, he moves
and talks with a sort of 'nervous energy'. There is nothing calm or
solid about him. This is a high-energy man who probably can't ever
relax. This is secondary, but it fits LIE (or EIE) far more than LSI (or
To learn more about LIE, click here.
If you are confused by our use of Socionics shorthand, click here.