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Creative or Engineer?

Updated on February 13, 2010
N Seventeen
N Seventeen

One thing I discovered late in life was that folk tend to fall into one of two categories, which I term creatives or engineers.

The basic difference is in how they approach life.

A good example would be in the instance where they both had identical bombs to defuse.... the engineer would study the schematic of the bombs design, draw a diagram outlining the wiring circuitry and overall layout, re-examine the schematic and make sure that they were confident they had identified the correct wiring to cut, and..... IF there was sufficent time left on the clock, defuse the bomb.

The creative would look at the bomb, wire cutters in hand and go...."hmmmmm....red or blue?"

Now if you laughed at that, you are probably a creative, if you are 'tutting' you probably qualify for an engineer.

Like many things in Gods creation, God designed fail-safes by putting the control and information in two separate containers.


We see this in marriage as women are loaded with emotive control systems, whereas men are loaded with logic systems.

Individually they are both prone to errors of judgement, when correctly configured together they form a valuable and efficient unit, capable of great things.

Sub section that into creative's and engineers and you have a further complication.

Put two engineers together and you have a perfect household where everything has it's place and is most definitely in it.

Put two creatives together and they will probably have a good chance of finding whatever they need by deducting where they last used it and looking in the pile nearest to that.

But the real bind is that even when correctly configured.... logic with emotion and one creative to the others engineer, it causes grief for both of them, even if the engineer has it worse, because the creative is too busy thinking about something else to worry about why the engineer is fuming in the corner because..... well, who knows, engineers fume, all creatives know that!

Obviously, mismatched can produce the same strict order, or complete chaos, if two creatives or two engineers get married.

Steve Jobs....Creative
Steve Jobs....Creative
Bill Gates....Engineer
Bill Gates....Engineer

Now imagine it in business, where in the 'boring' industries that make all the 'boring' things that make life worth living, the top echelons are normally occupied by engineers.

The creatives are kept in a separate department somewhere, locked away in marketing and design with a lesser chance of corrupting the productive folk who work all day, without a single stray thought interrupting their capacity to produce.....whatever they are working at....with ruthless efficiency.

The creatives meanwhile are brainstorming about how to run a programme to guarantee that they had a better chance of scooping the lottery and never needing to work again in their lives, not that they do anyway, for to a creative thinking up a new bright idea that will enable the world to be different and somehow more amenable, is not actually difficult.

Making that idea come to reality though, needs an engineer.

I have always shared my ideas, and frequently had people say, don't tell people, they will steal the idea, and a few have, and my reply has always remained the same, even when someone has capitalised on my concepts.

I have a thousand ideas a day, if they need to steal one, so be it, for it's the only idea they will ever have.


Engineers are the best to run companies, but normally it's a creative that starts one.

Creatives can have the idea and the enthusiasm and desire to drive a concept from the back of a fag packet in the pub, to the launch of the whatever and the basking in the success, but please don't ask them or expect them to actually make the whotsit, or arrange a distribution chain, or balance the books, for that you need an engineer.

Creative accountants are rather an oxymoron, because if they are creative enough for the average business, then they are probably not good accountants, and vice versa.

But the worse combination to have is one that is relatively balanced, that rare soul who is more or less 50/50 split between creative and engineer.

I'm thinking politicians, creative enough to get ideas off the ground, and worse still engineer enough to force them through to ruination.

So accept the fact that we need both and we need both to work together and realise that it actually only works that way.

Who do you think you are'

Are you a Creative or an Engineer?

See results

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    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      8 years ago from Arizona

      Brother John,

      I'll be praying for you. Keep me in the loop!

      Much Love and Peace, Dusty

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      8 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Dusty, You have no idea how much I'd love to just be able to sit on your porch with a bottle of JD or J&B and chat for a long while.

      The last three days by blood pressure has been high end, 204/120.... too high end for my taste, and my normal herbal remedies are/have not lowered it, as they normally have done. Today I dropped into the local health center and they dropped me some pills to drop the levels, which has helped, Monday I'll be seeing a doctor, first time in many years!

      So the concept of chilling out for a while in isolation really looks good!

      There but for the grace of God went I, for apart from my geographical location I was ideal cannon fodder for Nam, had I been American or Oz, thankfully we missed that arena.

      I hope you can rest easily now, and see that even in what happened to you there, God had His hand on you.

      I love you brother, now I'm going to rest up a while.

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      8 years ago from Arizona

      John, those 213 trips were dust off flights by military term. In short they were emergency extractions of troops under fire or wounded being removed and flown to medical facilities. Helicopters were slow moving bullet magnets in a hot zone where a fire fight was in progress and we were loosing. We had Cobra helicopter escorts that would lay down cover fire as we hit the ground loaded and tried to get out of there with out being shot down. The 213 were just the bad ones as we made many flights for insertion instead of hot extraction. The what they did to me part is a long psychiatric question, but all said and done, after many years of sleepless nights and screaming in my sleep, I only talk now I'm told, but have taken medication for PTSD for 30 years. I don't recommend anyone to do this job, but as long as we fight with men we will require the job of picking up the pieces, literally some times, and all for what? It seemed like a good idea at the time. It could very well lead one to live in isolation.

    • Disappearinghead profile image

      Disappearinghead 

      8 years ago from Wales, UK

      I wish I was creative. So many times I've watched Dragon's Den or the like and known that never in a million years would I have come up with that idea. Nope, I'm a 100% beef engineer and that's probably why I'll never make a million, but always end up working for someone else. I'm so sad, I planned my wedding in MS Project!!

      Good hub John. It got me dreaming of being something else....again.

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      8 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Agreed, in part...yes ideas are easier than action, but we need both sides of the equation to make it work, for engineers are rarely creatives and vice versa.

      In my time I have started many businesses, but I'm just not good at running them once they are off the ground. Simply put I get bored and listless when things are going OK.

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 

      8 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      It is easy for someone to create in their mind a solution for any particular situation. It takes a special person to take that vision and actually make something concrete from it.

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      8 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Dusty, I will ask you with deep respect to tell the world, especially those too young to know, what your 213 trips in emmental were about and what they did to you.

      You really should tell our youth what things like Nam were about, and you were there.... how else will they know if the guys that were there do not write it down.

      Just a thought...

      John

      BTW yes the ant will land just fine, but he has a far greater chance of being stepped upon, imagine the irony, drops 100 storeys, lands just fine, then crushed by my size nines...

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      8 years ago from Arizona

      Now that is funny John, it made me laugh out loud. You are right on a serious note, a wire has to be cut in that situation so when in doubt let God take the wheel, as he will keep you as long as he has a plan for you. How else can one climb out of a helicopter that looks like Swiss cheese 213 times with out any serious wounds? There just exists too many ways that the engineers in life have designed ways for people to get killed. If you drop an ant off the tallest skyscraper in town he's gonna be OK every time, but drop a human off the 3rd floor and they'll be dead 99% of the time. The works of the great creator are puzzling, scientists will explain it away, but I put all my eggs in God's basket and pay scientist little mind.

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      8 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      If you have the 'ganas' to cut the wire, you are always right. OK you have a 50/50 chance of being dead as well, but you were still right, for you did not value your life.

      If you spend your life trying to stay alive, you miss all the better bits!

      But that's just my opinion!

      John

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      8 years ago from Arizona

      Hi John, I'm hanging my hat on a 50/50 nail. I may be stronger in one suite than the other but Being a lone ranger I have to wear both hats and then there is the patience thing, where I turn it over to God to see me through. Like Sanctus I could probably recognize and cut the wire and the only way to tell you how I came to that conclusion is two fold, #1 I was right and am not blown up and #2 to study why I did it and how I recognized it and write it down.

    • Sanctus Vesania profile image

      Sanctus Vesania 

      8 years ago

      You know, I might just be one of those creative/engineer hybrid us, but I accredit myself as being more of a creative type. Well, I am INTP which is also known as 'the architect'.

      I'm the type of person who would look at bomb, and know which wire to cut, but I could never explain to you how I came to that conclusion (unless you asked me to write my answer, then maybe.)

      Another good hub as usual, John.

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