When You Are Too Big For Your Job

Forrest ChristianCareers, Coaching Leave a Comment

When you are a high-potential, you grow at a steeper trajectory than most people do. They advise you to do this and do that, but it doesn’t work. And it fails simply because you have grown beyond the size of the work.

Ulysses S Grant in civilian dress

Ulysses S. Grant and the Pettiness of Small Bosses

Forrest ChristianCareers, Reviews - Books 1 Comment

Military organizational experts point out that the war-fighting armies are almost always organized “requisitely” — that is, according to a natural order of hierarchical needs. But it often takes armies that aren’t continually at war to get to that state. An interesting case is that of Ulysses S. Grant. From Ulysses S. Grant:: Soldier & President, in regards to Grant’s …

(c) 2010 Ardfern (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The High Mode Problems of Hidden High Potentials

Forrest ChristianCareers, Theory 2 Comments

Let’s meander for awhile, talking about what the experience of being a hidden high potential, what Elliott Jaques called “high mode individuals”. “High mode” means someone who will be in Stratum 6 or higher at 65-70 yrs, and Higher Mode means Stratum 9 or higher, and Really-High Mode is someone at Str 11 or more. God help anyone who is …

High Mode and Learned Helplessness

Forrest ChristianCoaching Leave a Comment

As I’ve mentioned recently, I’ve been listening to Peter Block’s The Right Use of Power, an audio book (more a talk, really) that deals with issues from Stewardship and that are more fully developed in The Answer to How is Yes, which I’ve also been rereading. I’m interested in how his ideas intersect with Elliott Jaques’s theories of bureaucracy. Block …

What You Can Change & What You Can't

Forrest ChristianChange, Coaching, Reviews - Books Leave a Comment

I went to the library here in town, which has a great selection of business books, to start some reading I needed to do on Chris Argyris’s action science. A reviewer on Amazon suggested a book by Martin Seligman, Learned Optimism, as the second book in a learning series. When I looked online before I left the house, the local …

Advertisment design study for Pierce Arrow automobiles (1915). By Edward Penfield. Via Library of Congress collection.

Top 5 Job Assignments That Produce Learning

Forrest ChristianCareers, Learning 2 Comments

Not every posting is equivalent to build great managers. That’s pretty clear to even the densest of us (me). What’s not is which of the quality postings will produce better learning than others. Morgan W. McCall, in Lessons of Experience: How Successful Executives Develop on the Job (1988), cites the following as the Top 5 job assignments to produce learning: