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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.


Base Your Career Decisions On Your Deepest Yearnings

Your Core Career Decision: Pursue Your Innate Preferences



We call this psytech tool 'The Career Polaris.'

Because your career is a direction, not a job. It's not a one-time decision. To realize your true potential, first know your own personality orientation - your guiding star. Follow it.

This psytech tool enables you to identify your guiding star - your own Polaris - by which you can reliably navigate.

KNOW YOUR JUNGIAN ORIENTATION. Jung's theory of psychological type is one of the most comprehensive theories developed to explain human personality. In 1923 Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) theorized that what appears to be random variation in human behavior is actually quite orderly, logical, and consistent, and is the result of a few basic differences in mental functioning and attitude. These observable differences affect what people perceive, as well as how they draw conclusions about those perceptions.

Jung categorized and explained individual differences in terms of function and attitude. Four basic mental functions (processes) each represent a characteristic way of approaching experience and are considered to be the essence of Jung's personality theory. Each of the four functions - sensing, intuition, thinking, and feeling - involve an individual's orientation toward self and the environment through the use of perception and judgment . Jung believed that in order for individuals to function well they must have a way to perceive a stimulus (i.e., perception through sensing or intuition) and to make an adequate response to that perception, i.e., making a decision or judgment through thinking or feeling.

To know yourself, you must gather this information about yourself. But remember that Jung's Theory of Personality is but a tool to help you think. It is not definitive. Do not treat its results as infallible - as is frequently done.

YOUR THREE-DIMENSIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS. Jung's proposition is that human consciousness has three dimensions: the perception (i.e. knowing) dimension,  the judgment (i.e. choosing) dimension and the attitude (grasping reality) dimension.

Along each dimension there are two orientations, two poles, two functions, two preferences. Jung distinguishes individual preferences for acquiring and using information along these three dimensions: Sensing or Intuition, Thinking or Feeling, Extroversion or Introversion. It is Jung's view that we are born with a tendency towards dominance of one or the other preference along each of these three dimensions.

YOUR PERCEPTION (knowing) DIMENSION. Perception refers to the ways in which you become aware of things, people, events, or ideas in the environment and is divided into two categories - sensing or intuition. You have an inherent inclination either to use sensing or intuition when you are taking in information.

Sensing describes a preference to focus on concrete aspects of a situation by using one or more of your five senses. If you have a preference for sensing:

Intuition describes the focus of attention on abstract ideas arising from possibilities, meanings, and relationships (i.e., hunches) associated with a concrete situation. If you have a preference for intuition:

We are all 'some of both' sensing and intuition. From the above, which is your dominant way of taking in information? Confirm your orientation with your family and friends.

YOUR JUDGMENT (choosing) DIMENSION. Judgment describes the way you reach a conclusion about what you have perceived and includes decision making, evaluation, and selection of an appropriate response to a stimulus. You have an innate preference either for thinking (analyzing) or for feeling (valuing) when you are reaching a conclusion.

Thinking (analyzing) is a function which links ideas together through logical connections and leads to an impersonal finding. It has nothing to do with intelligence. Thinking decision-makers are not necessarily 'brighter thinkers.' If you are a thinking decision-maker:

Feeling (valuing), on the other hand, describes a rational act of evaluation using subjective values and relative merits of the issues. If you are a feeling decision-maker:

OVERTAKE® strongly emphasizes: Many extraordinarily successful entrepreneurs have exceptional empathy, a highly developed sense of judging people, of their abilities and potential, of the importance of relationships. In our experience this innate, rare talent is a defining characteristic of many leaders of higher performance organizations.

They are the gifted few. You may already be so gifted - naturally.

But, if not, mastery of these Waldroop and Butler techniques enables you too to now understand far more clearly how people actually operate.

We are all 'some of both' thinking and feeling. From the above, which is your dominant way of reaching a conclusion?

Neither of these styles of making a judgment is inherently more valuable than the other. But Jung makes two major points about your thinking and feeling functions - about your use of one over the other:

Your strong bias toward using one over the other helps you in most routine aspects of your life. But you develop a blind spot about the needs and longings of your deepest being by not using your other judgment function. To realize your full potential you must consider that realm of your self that you access by both the feeling and the thinking aspects of your judgment consciousness. You must be both objective and subjective in your big decisions - in your life-changers. Not only should your big decisions be logical, they should feel right. For you.

YOUR ATTITUDE (grasping reality) DIMENSION  determines how you experience your immediate reality. The two attitude types, extroversion and introversion, describe how you prefer to engage with your environment and use the four basic mental functions - sensing or intuition, thinking or feeling. Extroversion and introversion are seen as complementary orientations toward life. Both orientations are essential approaches to grasping reality - neither is inherently better than the other.

Extroversion defines the actions of individuals who prefer an orientation to the outer world of people, places, and things - who are connected to their immediate real environment of people and the ongoing circumstances of their surroundings. If you are extroverted:

Introversion describes a preferred orientation toward the inner world of thoughts, concepts, and ideas. For introverts, reality exists in the subjective experience of existence. If you are introverted:

We all have some aspects of both extroversion and introversion. From the above, which is your dominant way of engaging with your environment? Confirm your primary attitude orientation with your family and friends.

KNOW OWN YOUR WORK MODE. To analyze your work mode you use two only of Jung's three dimensions, the perception dimension and the attitude dimension. There are four possible combinations of these dominant orientations: extroverted sensing, extroverted intuition, introverted intuition, and introverted sensing. These are the four work modes. Know which is yours.

Individuals in each work mode approach - and even define - their work in predictable ways. When you know a person's work mode you know how s/he approaches a business situation and the project tasks that will most appeal to her or him - a scarce and valuable insight.

Go to Chapter 13 to read more about these four work modes.

Your primary orientations will influence to a considerable degree the type of work that YOU find most valuable and 'real.' Consequently your career satisfaction results from career choices you make that meet then the following criteria:

  1. You find occupation(s) whose tasks require you to use your preferred styles of perception and judgment in the attitudes you prefer, so that your tasks have intrinsic interest and satisfaction for you;
  2. High standards constantly challenge you to develop your powers, so that you continue to grow in excellence within your own psychological type - within your own Jungian orientation;
  3. You are also required to "go against your grain" from time to time, so that you develop those complementary aspects of your personality that you have not yet perfected.

In our view it is primarily your responsibility to know your own work mode and to seek out work that suits you; to know your own talents - things that you'd do even if you weren't getting paid for it. Is there a way you can do those things? Where your talents lay is where you'll realize your true potential to the greatest extent possible.

You cannot expect any potential employer on the basis of your resume and one or two interviews to know you better than you should know yourself.

However it is in your employer's best interests - if not her or his responsibility - to know the work mode that each job requires and to recruit, allocate and promote accordingly. In that way your employer not only maximizes return on payroll investment but also creates significant competitive advantage through higher performance people whose innate proclivities match the work they do.

Workers come in four modes. To enable them to maximize their productivity they should come to work that is correspondingly categorized. For maximum success manage to match the work mode with the work.

Very few workforces are so designed and built.

The opportunity is clear.

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