Fashion painting of models. 52nd Street New York, N.Y., ca. 1948. William P. Gottlieb. Public domain.

Is Under-Pricing Your Art Causing You To Be An Underachieving Artist?

E. Forrest Christian Careers, Coaching, Underachievers 2 Comments

Let’s take a look at art. Because part of the artist’s dilemma is how to price a particular piece. And this is related to our questions about underachievers. I’ve been coaching Paula, a Chicago-based artist who is a high potential. (If you’re know the numbers, she coded as 4L at 32.) She’s an amazing individual, someone who had Pres. George …

4x4 vehicle stuck in a mud hole, with a man attaching a winch. (c) Kris Butler. Via

When Being An Underachiever Is Really Just Being Stuck

E. Forrest Christian Careers, Coaching, Underachievers Leave a Comment

Do you feel like you’re underachieving because you are just stuck where you are and can’t get out? Byron (not his real name) feels like this. He was doing well for a long time. A graduate of one of the top HR schools in the U.S. He had been the compensation manager for a shoe company with operations in several …

Are You An Adult Underachiever or Is That Someone Else's Label?

E. Forrest Christian Careers, Coaching, Underachievers Leave a Comment

We’re taking a detour on our answer to last week’s question on Adult Underachievers to address something that has popped up in emailed responses. It’s a great question because it gets to the real heart of the matter. It may address a problem that was never raised when we talked about Maye Rain’s belief that she was an underachiever, even …

Young worker at the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad 40th street shops, 1942.

Thoughts on underemployed high-moders (Adult Underachievers)

E. Forrest Christian Careers, Coaching, Underachievers Leave a Comment

Some random thoughts I’ve had over the past couple of years, collected. Randomly. About what I call underemployed or underutilized high-mode individuals. Others call them “ex- gifted child” or “adult underachiever” or “irritating screw ups”. If you don’t know what “mode” means, here’s a quick explanation. Elliott Jaques and Wilfred Brown discovered that people’s ability to handle complexity was tied …

Drinking with the Lads (and John)

Are You Really An Adult Underachiever?

E. Forrest Christian Coaching, Underachievers 7 Comments

Too many good people think they are “adult underachievers” but aren’t. What they really are is folks who have chosen a different lifepath than the one that is accepted as the best way to live in our society. (I’m in America, but probably still true in Australia and the UK. It’s less true in Europe. If you’re somewhere else, you’ll …

Space Shuttle Atlantis is seen as it launches from pad 39A on Friday, July 8, 2011, at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Growth Trajectories of Underachievers (or “Hidden High Potentials”)

E. Forrest Christian Coaching, Underachievers 1 Comment

Hidden High Potentials (2HiPo’s) and other “underachievers” can learn a great deal from work done on extremely high IQ children. Although Elliott Jaques & Katherine Cason describe these things in a more systematical way in Human Capability, these Gifted Children researchers provide a much needed human face. Stephanie S. Tolan, an “advocate for extremely bright children”, talks about the growth …

Spiral Dynamics profile

E. Forrest Christian Coaching Leave a Comment

As part of the GO Society Conference in Toronto, we attendees were asked to complete a survey by Online PeopleScan. I have no idea what the results mean, but thought that some of you might find it interesting to see. It’s a PDF because I wasn’t thinking. IT professional and all. Culture Scan results

Le Guin, high moders and systems thinking

E. Forrest Christian Coaching, Reviews - Books, Theory Leave a Comment

I don’t think that Elliott Jaques was right about high moders’ distribution in society. They certainly seem much more prevalent than his published numbers. If I know a handful of mode 7s and 8s, then they can’t be all that rare: I don’t get around that much. I think the issue comes in where they work. High moders are prevalent in IT because the field is so poorly managed. High capacity people can continue to work as technical experts, even though they don’t get paid well. It’s odd how many times I’ve seen a Str4 or 5 person working for a Str2 manager.

High-Moders and Hierachies

E. Forrest Christian Careers, Coaching, Organizations, Theory 2 Comments

Although I’ve been called away these past few weeks with a family emergency, I’ve been thinking about the points that Christine Baker of Requisite Development raises in her recent comments on “Writing a Level-3 CV” on the careers of high-moders. She points out that options today are greater for them than in the past: There is another point to make …