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Kingdomality is a vocational placement system created in 1990 by vocational psychologist Richard Silvano. When he and his two daughters were playing with a Playmobil castle and Klicky figures, Silvano was inspired to fashion a short personality test by translating Playmobil and Klicky figures into medieval vocational characters. The purpose of the resulting Kingdomality Personal Preference Profile is to help people develop and manage their careers. The profile was introduced to the Internet in 1996 and has been visited by more than 20 million people.

Richard and Susan Silvano and the staff at their company, Career Management International, have been interviewed for newspaper articles to offer their advice on career management.[1][2][3][4][5][6] Also, some educational institutions, government agencies, and consulting companies list the Kingdomality Personal Preference Profile instrument in the same category as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Keirsey Temperament Sorter, and Strong Interest Inventory, which are the classic career-assessment tools.[7][dubious ]

In 2005 Sheldon Bowles co-wrote, along with Richard and Susan Silvano, Kingdomality: An Ingenious New Way to Triumph in Management, which has since been published in the United States and Canada, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Russia, Israel, Japan, Viet Nam and Korea.[8] Ken Blanchard wrote the foreword to Kingdomality and co-authored books with Sheldon Bowles including Raving Fans a Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service, which has been used internationally by organizations, including Uganda's National Water and Sewerage Corporation.[citation needed]

Introduction to Kingdomality[edit]

According to the Kindomality website: Many years ago there was a period of time that is often casually called "Medieval." It was a time, so the story tellers tell us, of tiny kingdoms, brave knights and ferocious dragons.[citation needed][dubious ]

Transportation and travel were both crude and difficult, usually necessitating that each kingdom be as self-sufficient and self-reliant as possible. So it was very important that within each kingdom all the major crafts and professions of the day were ably represented to insure the survival of the kingdom. In the English language we still see remnants of some occupations in the familiar surnames such as Smith (as in blacksmith), Carpenter, Miller, and Baker to name just a few.


Silvano proposed that beyond the specific title the vocation took on its own greater personality. This personality preference can give a broader understanding of the basic complementary style and types necessary to the kingdom's survival, or perhaps any organization's success. Although the specific vocation influenced the name, it was no accident that certain personality types and styles gravitated to certain occupations. The personality of these jobs suited the inclinations of the job holders, and the predecessor to modern day job descriptions was born. The successful matching of a job-holder's personality to the personality and unique requirements of the job was necessary to the kingdom's survival, or perhaps any organization's success. The successful kingdoms more than likely were able to blend the differences into a powerful and formidable entity.

Silvano believes that even though people now appear to have the freedom to explore many different career alternative there is still a medieval vocational personality within everyone. This personality, properly identified and understood, can motivate success but, if ignored, may set the stage for failure.

Twelve Kingdomality characters[edit]

The Bishop imposes their own order upon the chaos that they find. Their most valuable talent is in giving ideas a reality base and in making the unreal seem real. On the positive side, the Bishop can be imaginative, realistic and idealistically pragmatic. On the negative side, Bishops may be devious, short-sighted and rigidly impractical.

The Benevolent Ruler is the idealistic social dreamer. Their overriding goal is to solve the people problems of your world. They are social reformers who want everyone to be happy in a world that they can visualize. They're exceptionally perceptive about the woes and needs of humankind. They often have the understanding and skill to readily conceive and implement the solutions to their perceptions. On the positive side, they are creatively persuasive, charismatic and ideologically concerned. On the negative side, Benevolent Rulers may be unrealistically sentimental, scattered and impulsive, as well as deviously manipulative.

The Shepherd tends to their human flock. They understand the needs of those for whom they are responsible. Shepherds are vigilant and reliable. They realize their obligation and commitment to the well being of those entrusted to their care. They're very dependable. They engender a feeling of comfort and stability to those within their charge. On the positive side, they can be empathic, caring, understanding, practical and realistic. On the negative side, Shepherds may be manipulative, close-minded and sentimentally rigid.

The Black Knight's overriding goal is to win. They approach each task or situation as a contest to be won strategically and efficiently. Because they can control their feelings, it's not unusual for them to charm, as well as successfully delegate tasks and responsibilities to the more emotional types. They are often concerned with what's in it for them. They seldom involve themselves in activities where they can't foresee a reward for their investment or effort. On the positive side, they can be analytically empathic and logically persuasive. On the negative side, Black Knights may be unemotionally manipulative as well as arrogant, selfish and impulsive.

The Scientist subscribes completely to the scientific method. The data create the conclusion. To think about accumulating new data to prove an hypothesis could almost be considered a gross waste of time as there are so many new conclusions to be derived from the data already available. A more modern scientist in the field of criminology would be Sherlock Holmes. This professional sleuth always draws his conclusions from the available clues. On the positive side, they can be rationally imaginative and realistically perceptive. On the negative side, Scientists can be nearsighted, narrow minded and rigid in their research methods.

The Discoverer aspires to go where no one else has ever gone before. Regardless of the number of available natural problems to be solved, it's not unusual for the Discoverer to continually challenge him or herself with new situations or obstacles that they have created. They are an insatiable explorer of people, places, things and ideas. They thrive on constant change and anything new or different. On the positive side, they can be creatively rational as well as open minded and just. On the negative side, Discovers might be an impractical and indecisive procrastinators.

The Merchant always wants to be competitive, for Merchants are the deal makers. Every situation is realistically analyzed for its profit potential. A well executed deal, even one that is profitable for all participants, can be its own reward for many Merchants. On the positive side they can be logically practical, rational and realistic. On the negative side, Merchants may be rigidly dogmatic as well as unmerciful and precipitous.

The Prime Minister is the strategist who pursues the most efficient and logical path toward the realization of the goal that they perceive or visualize. They will often only associate with those people who can assist them in the implementation of their plan. Inept assistants may be immediately discarded as excess baggage. To do otherwise could be seen as inefficient and illogical. On the positive side, they can be rationally idealistic and analytically ideological. They can be bold decision makers and risk takers who can move society ahead by years instead of minutes. On the negative side, Prime Ministers may be unmerciful, impatient, arrogant, impetuous and impulsive.

The Engineer-Builder sticks with the plan and get the job done. "If it ain't broke don't fix it." is their motto. They provide structure and stability to their world. Their procedures are predictable and dependable. Their methods are proven and tested. They offer results not surprises. On the positive side, they're practical, just, realistic pragmatic and rational. On the negative side, Engineer-Builders may be dogmatic, rigid, short-sighted, unimaginative and arrogant.

The Dreamer-Minstrel can always see the "Silver Lining" to every dark and dreary cloud. Look at the bright side is their motto and understanding why everything happens for the best is their goal. They are the positive optimists of the world who provide the hope for all humankind. There is nothing so terrible that they can not find some good within it. On the positive side, they're spontaneous, charismatic, idealistic and empathic. On the negative side, Dreamer-Minstrels may be sentimental dreamers who are emotionally impractical.

The White Knight expects nothing in return for their good deeds. They're one of the true "Givers" of the world. They're the anonymous philanthropists who share their wealth, their time and their life with others. To give, is its own reward and the White Knight seeks no other. On the positive side they're merciful, sympathetic, helpful, giving and heroic. On the negative side, White Knights may be impulsively decisive, overly sentimental and misdirected.

The Doctor has emotions and feelings that are reality based. They're not misled with half formed ideas nor are they given to radical or high risk experimentation. They follow the tried and true and don't waste time thinking about things that cannot be seen, touched, heard, felt or smelled. On the positive side, they can become an exceptional expert in their particular area of the helping professions. They can deliver and maintain consistent and beneficial service to others. They do not lose sight of the reality of the situation and can usually control their own emotions. On the negative side, Doctors may sometimes have a need for sensory satisfaction which could lead to behavioral excesses.

The Kingdomality book (in keeping with the fantasy fairy tale) is written as a parable:

King Harold runs the most disorganized, unproductive kingdom in the land. Tired of not getting results, he turns to veteran management consultant, Lady Elizabeth, who guides him through the concept of Kingdomality. Following King Harold, the reader will meet 12 medieval characters. Each character will have likes and dislikes; environments where they flourish and where they falter. By the end of the journey, King Harold knows exactly how to assign tasks to each of his subjects and transform his floundering kingdom into a flourishing country.


  • Bowles, Sheldon (2005). "Kingdomality: An Ingenious New Way to Triumph in Management". New York, New York: Hyperion. ISBN 1-4013-0135-5. 

Book reviews[edit]

  • Siegfried, David. Booklist.
  • AudioFile. 2005.

List of articles that reference Kingdomality[edit]


  1. ^ "Protect Yourself if Boss has Affair with your Co-worker". The Orlando Sentinel, November 11, 1998. Diane Sears Campbell
  2. ^ Don't be merged out of a job. Las Vegas Sun, March 6, 1996. Shelley Donald Coolidge.
  3. ^ Severance pay can go up even in downsizing. Tampa Tribute, October 28, 1996.
  4. ^ Getting the boot? Ask to have it all shined up. Houston Chronicle, October 21, 1996. L.M. Sixel.
  5. ^ Experts Give Advice on Uses for Severance Pay. The Charleston Gazette, March 20, 2001. Kelly Regan.
  6. ^ Khan, Kuma. Companies take steps to ease transition traumas. Houston Business Journal March 15, 2002.
  7. ^ International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, October 2004. Volume 1 Number 10, page 58.
  8. ^ Retrieved August 29, 2009

External links[edit]