Episode #97 – Marc works with “Sara,” (not her real name) to pivot her career, in the third of a series of four episodes featuring “Sara.”
In Part 3 of this series, Marc covers the second feedback session with Sara for her personality assessment.
[1:11] Marc welcomes you to Episode 97 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast.
[1:23] If you’re enjoying this podcast, Marc invites you to share this podcast with like-minded souls. Please subscribe on CareerPivot.com, iTunes, Google Play and the Google Podcasts app, Podbean, Overcast, TuneIn, Spotify, or Stitcher. Share it on social media, or tell your neighbors and colleagues so Marc can help more people.
[1:49] We are rapidly approaching Episode 100 of Repurpose Your Career. Marc is thinking of producing a special episode when he decides what to do! If you have any ideas or can help Marc get unstuck, please email Marc at Podcast@CareerPivot.com.
[2:12] Last week in Episode 96, Marc discussed a variety of issues around how they pulled the plug and moved to Mexico.
[2:19] This week and next week, Marc will play Parts 3 and 4 of the series “Can Sara Repurpose Her Career?” If you have not listened to Episode 93 and 94, Marc suggests you stop here and go listen to both episodes, first. You will find the reports for these episodes at Careerpivot.com/sara.
Now on to the podcast…
[3:01] Marc welcomes Sara back to the podcast. Marc notes that Sara is very creative and very orderly — an odd combination. Sara has creative traits and also likes rules. She thinks people see her more as orderly than creative.
[4:11] Marc compares Sara with Elizabeth Rabaey from Episode 20. Marc had assigned Elizabeth to start randomly taking art classes and jewelry classes. This allowed her to try things she wouldn’t have thought of. Elizabeth is also highly creative and orderly.
[4:49] Marc suggests that Sara should consider taking classes in creative arts. Sara believes she should take creative breaks at work just as she has been taking reading breaks.
[5:51] Creatives in the business environment forget about their creativity. Marc encourages Sara to see where she can insert creativity first into her life and then into her job.
[6:25] Sara looks at the PWS (workstyles) document. It covers natural management styles, work motivation, self-development, corporate adaptability, and how Sara fits into society. There is also a section on how Sara makes decisions. Sara is a linear concrete thinker, which is not typical for an artistic person. This is probably a superpower.
[7:50] It appears that Sara is a fact-based decision maker and process-oriented, yet creative. That is unusual. Marc recalls a client who was artistic and musical but unemotional. Her superpower was the ability to get a quick decision from a group. With her creativity and interpersonal skills, she knew how to get stuff done.
[8:45] Marc recalls another interview, Camille Knight, a creative, logical thinker. She now creates Tableau dashboards, using creativity and data analysis. Sara relates to that.
[9:33] Sara’s natural management style is knowledge specialist, directive management, delegative management. Sara likes a collaborative relationship with those she manages. Sara refers to the reports from the previous session with Marc. Sara explains her preferred management behaviors.
[11:08] Sara is ranked 4/10 in Knowledge Specialist. Knowledge specialists contribute and lead by utilizing personal expertise and knowledge to find solutions. They lead by example. Marc says the vast majority of his clients are ranked much higher as knowledge specialists. They are individual contributors and are paid for what they know.
[11:50] Marc has the impression Sara is not expert in what she does but Sara says she is an expert. Sara describes how she leads different team members. In some areas, she is not the knowledge specialist so she leaves it to the team member with guidance.
[12:35] Sara is ranked 5/10 in Directive Management. Directive managers have personal, direct involvement in problem-solving, controlling, and implementing. They lead from the front in exercising authority.
[13:00] Most of Marc’s clients with high directive management have been in IT. Sara does not see her role as directing people.
[13:29] Sara is ranked 4/10 in Delegative Management. Delegative managers utilize plans and strategies, arrange resources and assist coworkers and teams in dealing with resources and implementation issues.
[13:48] Sara has never aspired to be a VP. People who are high in delegative management are very comfortable with their hands off the work. Sara’s current role does not call for much delegation and she does not aspire to such a role.
[14:32] Sara is Marc’s first client who has had equal values in each of the three management styles. This tells Marc that Sara is very adaptable in her management. Marc wants Sara to consider that this may be a selling point for her.
[15:03] Sara looks at the Corporate Styles page in the Preferred Workstyles document. The first area is Work Motivation. Sara is ranked 8/10. Work motivation describes your attitude towards work, what motivates you to work.
[15:28] People who score 7 or above seem to enjoy work for its own sake and have a tendency to work well for others, exhibiting responsible attitudes toward work rules and assigned functions. People with lower scores need to have an interest or a buy-in in their work, in order to get motivated. They need to see the value in their assigned work.
[15:52] It is important to note that good managers score low, as well as high, on work motivation.
[15:59] Marc says people with a 10/10 rank are excited to do any task they are assigned. People with a 1/10 rank always ask why, when they are assigned a task. Marc compares 10s with dogs and 1s with cats. Sara is more ‘dog’ than ‘cat.’ Marc surmises from Sara’s scores that the most important thing at work is the team around her.
[17:08] Sara hired her team. When she worked with a team she inherited, things did not go as smoothly as with the team she hired.
[18:15] Sara is ranked 10/10 in Corporate Adaptability. Corporate adaptability refers to how a person responds to and level of commitment to the organization. Someone with a 7 or above understands and is prepared to participate in corporate politics. This person is able to identify with the organization as an entity.
[18:45] Someone with a score of 3 or lower does not like or choose to participate in the politics of an organization. This person will identify with the people or an individual within the organization, rather than with the organization, itself.
[19:08] Marc discusses pride in the corporate mission. A person with high corporate adaptability feels it very important that the corporate mission aligns with their own values. Marc talks about his unhappy experience consulting with EZCorp for IBM Corporate Services.
[20:12] Sara is very mission-driven. Marc says that is very common among creatives because they are emotional. Creative people tend to believe in causes. Being very organized, like Sara is, is very unusual for a creative.
[20:58] Sara plays corporate politics to some extent when she has to. It is a fact of corporate life in America. She doesn’t like it when it “smacks of” something unethical.
[21:56] Sara ranks 9/10 in Self-Development. Self-development measures how much you prefer to learn, advance and develop. A score of 7 or above shows a strong desire to learn skills in classroom settings. A score of 3 or lower suggests a person will learn new skills best through practical hands-on experience.
[22:24] Marc substitutes ‘some structure’ for the term ‘classroom settings.’ People who score high should ask about the onboarding process at the organization. Sara will want some kind of structure in her onboarding. Marc gives a client example.
[24:39] Sara is ranked 8/10 in Social Adaptability. Social styles describe basic opinions concerning other people in general. A high-scoring individual is generally trusting of other people, as well as being open to new ideas. A low-scoring individual generally feels that trust must be earned and is most cautious in trusting others.
[25:27] Low-trust people are stressed in new situations. High-trust people get burned easily. Marc always recommends finding a method for people to earn your trust. Observe how they follow through on commitments.
[26:41] Sara is ranked 9/10 in Social Responsibility. Social responsibility describes the tolerance a person has for following social and organizational rules and procedures. A 5 and above indicates a willingness to go along with the rules and a willingness to conform to various expectations society places on us.
[27:04] A person with a score lower than 5 will sometimes question the expectations that are put on society. This individual will likely choose to do something only if it is believed to be the right thing to do.
[27:23] Marc sees two pieces to this: social rules and organizational rules. Marc makes a guess that from the organizational side, Sara is a pretty good soldier. Sara agrees she is a rule-follower. Sometimes, Sara wishes she would question the rules more.
[27:58] Sara has studied music, playing the flute, oboe, and piano. Marc notes that there are two types of musical people, those who play rock and those who play classical. There is only one way to play Mozart. The musicians who play classical music follow the rules to the letter of the law. Marc refers to a client’s case.
[30:08] Sara had to take an art class in college. Her final project, while following the rules, turned out wildly different from everyone else’s.
[31:20] Sara follows social rules but she questions them more than work rules.
[32:50] In the Workstyles document, Sara is ranked 3/10 in Public Contact and 8/10 in Detail. A person high in public contact prefers activities involving social contact, seeks solutions for people and focuses on people being central to organizational effectiveness.
[33:31] A person high in detail is concerned for the procedural and detailed aspects of work and is focused on processes as central to organizational effectiveness.
[33:42] Marc translates these rankings. Sara shouldn’t be around people all the time. She would be just as comfortable working from home some days.
[34:05] Sara is ranked 2/10 in Global and 9/10 in Linear. Global means problem solving that involves a relational and holistic process. Thinking and actions need not follow a sequential pattern. Linear means a preference for activities and tasks that follow a logical, sequential analysis and process.
[34:32] Sara likes following and setting processes. Marc tells how one of his clients, an interior designer, created one linear process to follow for all design assignments. Creatives can be linear.
[35:14] Sara is ranked 3/10 Conceptual and 8/10 Concrete. A person ranked high in conceptual utilizes abstract information, experience, intuition, and knowledge to find fresh and imaginative solutions. A person ranked high in concrete uses analysis and facts to solve problems.
[35:40] Sara likes to use the facts.
[35:48] Marc brings up Combinations of Problem Solving. Individuals scoring high on both concrete and linear are practical and action-oriented. Their credo is “Give us the facts and get out of the way.”
[36:15] These individuals see the use of logic and hard analysis as valuable and necessary. On the other hand, they are impatient with the planning process and often question its value. They are at their best when the problem to be fixed can be readily analyzed and contains an element of urgency.
[36:35] Objective and pragmatic, these individuals are not drawn to problems just because they are problems. The problems need to have practical results if solved.
[36:46] This resonates with Sara, especially about problems that can be readily analyzed and contain an element of urgency. Sara needs to have a purpose to the problem-solving.
[37:10] Marc gives Sara an assignment to look at three problems she has solved in her personal life and three problems she solved in her work life, write them up, and ask herself how she approached and solved them. Marc guarantees Sara will see a pattern. Marc wants Sara to be able to explain the pattern she finds.
[38:12] Marc tells Sara the more she understands how she thinks, the more she will see how differently others think. Global conceptual thinkers come at problems by seeing the big picture and peeling it back in a nonlinear fashion to come to the ‘obvious’ solution.
[38:49] Linear concrete thinkers and global conceptual thinkers can be quite complementary, but more likely will “kill” one another. They are polar opposites. It helps to understand your own process in relation to how others think. This will help Sara understand her employees.
[40:09] Marc goes over the Birkman map with Sara. The blue asterisks mark the things that give Sara energy when she does them. Sara’s blue asterisks show that she might like to innovate or create, plan how to do things, consider the future, create new approaches, and look at things theoretically. Sara agrees.
[41:02] The yellow diamonds indicate how Sara self-describes. Sara’s yellow diamonds show that she is probably careful, focused, low-key, team-minded, and detached. Sara agrees.
[41:21] The yellow circles indicate how Sara wants to be treated. Sara’s yellow circles show that she is most comfortable when people around her tell her the rules but invite her input and don’t interrupt her unnecessarily.
[41:44] She also responds well to people who give her time alone or with one or two others, don’t overschedule her, and show they appreciate her. This resonates with Sara.
[41:57] The yellow squares indicate Sara’s primary stress behaviors. Sara’s yellow squares show that when Sara is stressed she is quietly resistant and impractical. She may also become unsociable, critical, indecisive, and protective. Sara agrees.
[42:31] Marc gives Sara the assignment to cut out this section and put it somewhere she will see it frequently. Marc wants Sara to be able to start spotting her primary stress behaviors. If she can spot them early, she can do something about them.
[43:25] In the next session, Marc will lead Sara through her Birkman Stress Report that will show her top 30 needs, divided into three sections. With each, there will be eight things she can do to stay out of stress. Marc gives an example from his own stress report. Marc wants to help Sara not to go into stress by doing behaviors good for her.
[44:53] Marc describes the homework he will send her. First to turn her usual behaviors into ‘Sara talk,’ and later, into a narrative. This will give Sara a way to quickly tell people about herself based on who she is, not what she does at work.
[45:33] The second assignment will be to look at three problems she solved in her personal life and three problems she solved at work. The third assignment will be the career reflection worksheet to tell about her best boss ever, a team she adored, and when she felt the most valued, and explain why. What was the right level of activity?
[46:21] Marc wants Sara to think of when things were really good, so she can frame up what she wants for work conditions. Sara wants an orderly, cooperative team, that plays by the rules and plays well together. She likes when people take a risk for the good of the team.
[48:34] Marc hopes you can hear the insights Sara is gaining, and how to apply them.
[49:42] Check back next week, when Marc will present Part 4 of “Can Sara Repurpose Her Career?” and complete the series.
[49:48] Please send in your ideas for special topics for Episode 100 of Repurpose Your Career at Podcast@CareerPivot.com.
Mentioned in This Episode:
CareerPivot.com/Episode-93 Sara Part 1
CareerPivot.com/Episode-94 Sara Part 2
CareerPivot.com/Episode-20 Elizabeth Rabaey
CareerPivot.com/Episode-64 Camille Knight
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