Gov. Martin Henry Glynn with his secretary, Frank Tierney ca. 1913, By Bain News Service via Library of Congress

The Power of Mentoring (And Why You Didn’t Get It)

E. Forrest Christian Careers, Change, Motivation, Overachievers, Underachievers 4 Comments

[updated 2013 August 29] Did you ever think that the reason why you didn’t get a mentor was that it was almost impossible to mentor you? A good mentoring relationship requires you to share a growth trajectory in how you handle complexity. Most people’s capacity for handling complex work issues increases over time along predictable paths once in their 20s. …

Gray cyborgs at DragonCon in Atlanta. (c) E. Forrest Christian

Role-Playing Games as a Metaphor for Your Work History

E. Forrest Christian Careers, Underachievers Leave a Comment

I spent months of my life working on this, bringing to full realization the many and varied lands, peoples and beasts of JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth! And I did not — not — do this so that five minutes into the game some players could, and I quote, “Open an evil can of hobbit butt-whup on those Rivendell pretty boys.” …

Lighthouse at night, (c) 2009 Martin Belam. Via flickr. (CC BY SA 2.0)

Get or Keep that Job You’re Over-Qualified For

E. Forrest Christian Careers, Underachievers 2 Comments

Let’s take another gander at how a hidden high potential can either get or stay in a that low-level job. It’s counter to prevailing advice you get, so you may want to pay attention. Before I start, I have to emphasize that I’m only talking about Hidden High Potentials (HHPs) and not Normal People. Normals give HHPs advice which is …

Bored souvenir seller in Moscow. Photo by Adam Jones adamjones.freeservers.com

That Boring Job Really Could Be the Death of You

E. Forrest Christian Careers, Reviews - Articles 1 Comment

Research published last month in the International Journal of Epidemiology shows a link between being bored at work and dying early. Back in the late 1980s, 7,500 civil servants in London — aged 35 to 55 — were polled about their jobs. Thirty years later, Annie Britton and Martin Shipley of University College London went looking to see what happened …

Domestic goat smile, Crimea, 2009. By George Chernilevsky. Public Domain

Warn of Problems, Then Become the Scapegoat

E. Forrest Christian Careers, Change Leave a Comment

Hidden high potentials (2HiPo’s) have a significantly higher risk of being scapegoated by teams than do normal people. People with too much going on are irritating and usually seen as a threat, which is why 2HiPo’s also adopt some strange behaviors that serve to obfuscate their high level of capability. There’s not much that I can see you can do …

Japanese snow print. Library of Congress

An Ancient Story About the Value of Hidden High Potentials

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

This is a followup to my earlier post (“Transitions Are Like Being Lost In The Pacific“) on high potentials and the number of transitions they go through in life, and how that increases their risk for massive failures. Here’s a story about a high potential who screwed up and failed completely.

Ah, yes. We come to your typical remark from a pragmatist CEO of a mid-sized firm. Although this cigar-chomping associate is a caricature in walking flesh, the opinion is shared by others. Lots of others. I can go into the psycho-sociological explanation for these opinions but instead, let me tell you a story from another land (I live in the U.S.) that I first heard years ago. It shows why I believe in hidden high potentials (HHPs), and although the story is somewhat dated, it shows what happens to HHPs even today.

Once upon a time, in a land far away, there were two types of people living in the same country. One dominated the economic, social and political life. It’s fair to say that they ran everything. The other type of people were a different ethnicity. Like many minorities before and since, during hard times they found themselves getting the shaft from the ruling ethnic group. But they persevered. Let’s call the ruling ethnic group “Greens” and the oppressed minority, “Blues”.

Now the Greens ran a country that was the envy of the entire world. All the nations acknowledged their power. Indeed, the land of the Greens was mighty and all their neighbors feared their great might and learning. This great wealth and learning did not trickle down to the Blues, however,

One of these Blues, a young man we can call “Fred” — old names from far away are hard to pronounce, don’t you think? — who by a stroke of good fortune found himself adopted by a rich and powerful Green family. His face and color was not quite as blue as other Blues, and he could successfully pass as a bluish Green.

Smedberg: Illustration from "Boy who was never afraid"

Reduce Career Risk By Moving Closer To Danger

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

There’s a reason why I talk about so many different ways of looking at your career, things like Levels of Work, the 7 Languages of Achievement, domains of work, and even personality differences. It’s all about helping you stop making career decisions that have almost no chance of working. For you. Because, you see, what’s risky for most people is …

Secret Rules of Career Success seminar series

E. Forrest Christian Careers, Events Leave a Comment

For the past few weeks I’ve been telling you that I am developing a new program to help Hidden High Potentials discover who they are and find fulfilling work and lives. I’m proud to announce the first part of that program, The Secret Rules for Career Success. Because you are reading Requisite Writings right now, I want to give you …