This webpage looks much better in a modern browser that supports web standards, such as Internet Explorer 5.5 or later. But you can read it in any browser or Internet device.

by James Waldroop Ph.D.
and Timothy Butler Ph.D.

Directors of MBA Career Development at the Harvard Business School. Twenty years relevant experience. Business Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Executive Coaches to many Fortune 500 companies, helping individuals work to their highest level of potential.

What is this book about?

It's about how you and your colleagues can be far more effective at work. How? By avoiding or fixing twelve failure behaviors that can do serious damage to careers - yours and other's - and to your business or organization.

The leading theme of this book is this:
Why do good people fail or fall short of their potential? Because they exhibit one or more of twelve career-fatal failure behaviors of which they are usually unaware. Waldroop and Butler claim, based on over twenty years of research as business psychologists, that the reasons why people fail in their jobs are the same everywhere. Yet, once you identify these detrimental behaviors, you can break the patterns that limit career advancement. And they give you the tools to do that.

Finally, you must fix these potentially ruinous behaviors before you can promote them, else you demote them - or fire them, or move on to another job - or be fired. The status quo is not a viable option.

In a highly valuable appendix, Waldroop and Butler show you how to use Carl Jung's Theory of Personality to make better core career decisions yourself.

OVERTAKE® says: If you want maximum success in your business, in your career, you must first recognize - in yourself and in others - these toxic twelve behaviors, those dozen doozies that destroy careers and businesses.

Then, use Waldroop's and Butler's practical psychology of being effective at work to learn their successful techniques for behavior modification. From their in-depth knowledge of psychological technology ('psytech') they give us five invaluable psytech tools with which to do that. We call these


The People Reader - see other people's perspectives

The Status Resolver - end power v authority problems

The Power User - use power or lose it; don't abuse it

The Ego Maker - develop your own positive, confident ego

The Career Polaris - your own career guiding star

Make absolutely sure you find out here how to use these five psytech tools well and put them in your professional toolset. They will give you lifelong advantage.

Top of Page

Executive Summary


Success is situation-specific.
What you need to do depends on your job, your company, your industry. What you can do depends on your genes, your interests, your abilities, your environment, your values, your beliefs, your location and the current economy - boom or bust. Consequently advice on how to succeed is often very general or else is contradictory. Such advice is of little help to you. Not so with failure!

Failure is NOT situation-specific.
Across all industries, and at all job levels - from the lowest to the highest, over and over again, people fail in the same ways and for the same reasons. Because of one or more of these twelve behavior deficits. Furthermore, they are usually unaware that they are deficient! Unconsciously, they are incompetent!

Waldroop's and Butler's advice here is explicit: If you want maximum success, first avoid these 12 specific failure outcomes:

  1. Never Feeling Good Enough  - acrophobia or fear of career progress; you are afraid of promotion
  2. Seeing the World in Black and White  - the meritocrat - the idealist - not seeing the relevance of loyalty, self-interest or personality
  3. Doing Too Much, Pushing Too Hard  - the hero, you have an Achilles' heel from overdoing it
  4. Avoiding Conflict at Any Cost  - the peacekeeper - you avoid even healthy conflict such as that required to overcome misconceptions
  5. Running Roughshod over the Opposition  - the bulldozer, a male role similar to an offensive lineman in football
  6. Rebel Looking for a Cause  - the rebel - you want attention more than results
  7. Always Swinging for the Fence - the would-be home run hitter, you strike out most of the time
  8. When Fear is in the Driver's Seat - the pessimistic worrier, a naysayer out of fear, your default setting is 'No'
  9. Emotionally Tone Deaf  - like Spock from Star Trek, you have low emotional intelligence
  10. When No Job Is Good Enough  - the coulda-been - you move on because you feel inadequate, but don't want to face up to that
  11. Lacking a Sense of Boundaries  - you talk out of school - you can't shut up
  12. Losing the Path  - alienated, you have lost your vision of what you want from a career

They then discuss the four developmental causes, the four psychological origins of these 12 behavioral deficits:

  1. Not Coming To Terms With People - not seeing the perspectives of others
  2. Not Coming To Terms With Authority - permission to act
  3. Not Coming To Terms With Power - the capacity to act
  4. Not Coming To Terms With Your Self - having a self perceived inadequacy - a negative self-image

When you understand the four causes of the twelve behavioral outcomes Waldroop and Butler show you how to change - to fix - these failure behaviors using effective techniques for behavior modification that will enable you to break through and achieve the success you deserve. They provide a list of failure-behavior symptoms, signs and tips which make it easier to recognize the 'toxic twelve.' And they advise you on how to proactively take care of your career.

When you know why people do the things they do, how they operate, you can get along with them, manage them, work with them as peers. With maximum success.

OVERTAKE® says: You are paid not merely for what you know, but more particularly for what you do with what you know. So apply this knowledge effectively and persistently.

Top of Page

Part 1: Introduction

James Waldroop Ph.D. and Timothy Butler Ph.D. are trained as Ph.D. psychologists. Their expertise in formal psychological assessment enables them to understand better than most 'what makes people tick.' In this book 'Maximum Success' they give us useful insights into the practical psychology of being effective at work.

In working with thousands of professionals they have found twelve behavior patterns that hinder people's success - and four underlying psychological causes for these twelve outcomes. They have usually been called upon to help three kinds of employees: the high maintenance '95% excellent, but 5% disaster' guy, the person who is succeeding but could be a lot more successful and the person being groomed for a high-level job but who needs that something extra. Their objective in all cases - and in this book - is to make people more effective.

To be more effective their clients have needed to change their behaviors to eliminate one or more of those behavior deficits - the twelve outcomes - that were holding them back. They've successfully done that by using the effective techniques for behavior modification they show to us in this book.

Theirs are the techniques that can fix career breakdowns; the tools with which you can change the twelve patterns of career failure.

The essence of their techniques is to recognize your weakness - not deny it - and by so doing to confront and correct it. To change the twelve outcomes, know the four causes.

For more about Waldrop and Butler,

Top of Page

Read More About How You Can Achieve