- Leaders: Gryffindor
- Challengers: Slytherin
- Visionaries: Ravenclaw
- Niche Players: Hufflepuff
Following my previous post on Sharing Trust, I was thinking about a contrast between two key Hogwarts characters - Hagrid and Snape - based on the two dimensions of Trustworthiness and Ability-to-Execute.
Hagrid is regarded as extremely trustworthy. In the very first chapter of the first Harry Potter book, Dumbledore says he would trust Hagrid with his life. Professor McGonagall agrees, but points out that Hagrid can be a little unreliable. Later in the book, he is tricked by Voldemort into revealing a key vulnerability in the security arrangements protecting the Philosopher's Stone - security experts would call this "social engineering". So he doesn't score so well on ability-to-execute.
Snape, on the other hand, is a very accomplished and creative wizard, who scores extremely high on ability-to-execute. As we progress through the series, it becomes clear that he is successfully deceiving either Dumbledore or Voldemort - or possibly both. But this of course raises serious questions about his trustworthiness.
Trustworthiness - but for whom? Dumbledore trusts both Hagrid and Snape absolutely; other characters trust them with reservations, and only because Dumbledore does. And J.K. Rowling is careful not to present Dumbledore as omniscient - he is hoodwinked on several occasions, most notably by a clever impersonation in the Goblet of Fire.
So there are two ways of trusting people. We can regard them as trustworthy but fallible. Like Hagrid, or for that matter Dumbledore himself. Or we can regard them as reliable but remain suspicious of their true motivation and allegiance. Like Snape, or for that matter Voldemort. Ultimately, this is a question of authenticity.