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Posts Tagged ‘career’

Any Job For Any Color…But…

March 1st, 2009

At a recent seminar, a teenager shared that he wanted to become a pilot – like the movie Top Gun. Great – but there’s a big difference between a test pilot and a commercial pilot. Just like any Color can become a lawyer, but in vastly different specialties, there’s a big difference between these two types of pilots.

The purpose of a test pilot is to push the envelope until something goes wrong. Yet a commercial pilots’ main job is to worry about what could go wrong. That’s the reason they have massive checklists, fixed routines, an extensive walk-around, tons of policy manuals and time-tested, fixed procedures that are very much risk-averse. That’s a natural fit for a high Gold, and quite the opposite of an Orange test pilot whose job it is to find or create flaws and potential problems.

Yes, any Color can do any job, but if I’m boarding a flight and it’s an Orange pilot, well – let’s just say hopefully the co-pilot is high Gold… And just because someone can do a great job in their low Colors doesn’t mean it’s their passion, purpose or love. It doesn’t mean they find the job easy or a natural and comfortable fit for their personality, or that they’ll last.

As we discussed in a newsletter last year, many studies have shown that less than 20 percent of people who have a college or university degree are still in that field five years later. THAT has a lot to do with understanding their Colors BEFORE they enter college or university, before they become buried in student debt or become disillusioned and start to look for their real purpose and passion.

We’re Not That Good at Imagining

September 1st, 2007

If you enjoyed Seinfeld, there was an episode in which Jerry came to the realization that when something doesn’t work out – something else will show up, unexpectedly. No matter what, he was always Even-Steven.

Unfortunately, real life just doesn’t work like that. But what separates us from all other animal forms is our ability to consider emotional forecasting and Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert says we’re not very good at it and that very much affects our happiness, something he describes in his book Stumbling on Happiness.

One of his experiments gave people a choice of a three-year job: The first one paid $30,000 the first year, $40,000 the second year and $50,000 the third year. The other choices was one where the pay was $60,000 in the first year, $50,000 the second and $40,000 in the third. Most of the people chose the first job.

Yet the math shows the second job has a total of $30,000 more pay! Why pick the other one? Because we hate to take a pay cut. The more complex explanation, according to Gilbert, is that our minds prefer relative numbers over absolutes. So the experimental group didn’t imagine themselves three years out when they were guaranteed to be less happy with their choice when looking back.

Gilbert also argues that we mostly err in predicting our future misery or happiness. High Golds plan and worry. They look to have a plan B and plan C and often start on the premise of “what if it doesn’t work out.” Greens, by nature, are generally very skeptical and can also look to the pitfalls, what they haven’t considered or what could go off the rails when imagining some future outcome.

But for all of us, it’s also an important consideration that when we’re faced with a decision about the future either decision will be right. Most often, there isn’t a doom and gloom way and a happiness way. If it were that easy, we wouldn’t sweat so much over the decision. But rather, either decision is right. They’re just different, and lead to different experiences and outcomes, both of which can easily be positive.

Matching Talents to Tasks

July 1st, 2007

One of the greatest examples of being able to pull this off is Donald Trump. Surely, Trump is one of the highest Orange personalities anywhere. Yet it appears clear that every other person that he has had on the show, from George to (formerly) Caroline, is high Gold. And there hasn’t been a season of The Apprentice when he’s hired anyone but a high Gold!

Trump knows his strengths are promotion, quick decisions, negotiating and making the big deals. He likely also recognizes that his weakness (or certainly the least fun part of his day) is the monitoring part of the job. The supervision, details, specifics, and all those traits Golds love and are very good at, are just not something which motivates Trump, or most successful high Orange. But he trusts the judgments and decisions of those who work for him.

To paraphrase one of Trumps sayings: He wants to surround himself with managers who can get him up-to-date in two minutes or less and are accountable for their actions. And in a recent letter I received from Trump, he does admit that he’s read lots of material on Carl Jung, and is well familiar with personality types!

Understanding Colors can show very well what talents and strengths someone may have, but often it’s harder for the person him or herself to see. Often, factors ranging from control to ego, negativity or not acknowledging real talents do get in the way.

One of the best ways to keep your high Orange staff, students or clients interested in to make sure you show a sense of humor. Another easy way is to make sure something is happening hands-on, or that the high Orange is involved in whatever you’re teaching, talking about or selling.

Feeling it, touching it, living it are three great ways to keep their attention and interest. It also helps to keep things moving without getting into a lot of theory and technical stuff. They’re buying into the sizzle as much as the steak. “Is this fun, will this make me money, can I use it tomorrow, can I win at this, is this practical?” are some of the Orange filters you need to meet in order to keep them in the game, on your team, in the classroom or interested in what you’re selling.