How well do you know your personality at work?

When I am coaching or headhunting I use the lowe personality profiler as my expert guide. The profiler tool identifies 4 individual personality types which you find in the workplace. They are the Supporter, the Influencer, the Analyst and the Creative. Each type will have very individual characteristics which can be directly applied to the workplace and matched against job descriptions.

Some examples

The candidate’s main responsibility will be business development. The role is client facing and requires excellent communication skills. There will be a commission element which will be based on performance. This is a classic Influencer’s profile.

The candidate will need to be good with people and lead meetings of very diverse teams. The supporting administration is  critial so we need a candidate who is highly flexible and where attention to detail and accuracy is their forte. This role will suit the Supporter/Facilitator well.

The candidate will be responsible for generating complicated reports which will require researching data sources to analyse their content and context in terms of the ongoing project. The Analyst can apply for this role which will capitalise on their logical structure and analytical mindset.

The candidate will have experience of developing creative assets from conception through to artwork. They will work with production teams, designers and artists to ensure character integrity. A classic role for the Creative with the relevant product design experience.

What is new and unique about the 4 personality profiles is that they are a practical tool which can be directly used with job applications. It also gives a deeper understanding of job roles. For example, the job description may say we need excellent communication skills. This can have different interpretations. Does it mean the skill to sell/persuade, to train, conduct meetings, to give presentations? And does the skill apply to internal activities or external clients?

Understanding the 4 personality types and their behavioural profiles will enable you to understand disparate behaviours in your workplace.

You can apply the Lowe Personality Profiler to refine your job search, to communicate more effectively with your colleagues or to make sense of the current likes and dislikes in your current role

Today’s workplace is in a permanent fast forward demanding mode. Have you done it? When can I have it? replicate the endless need to keep up and perform. Technology leads and is constantly metamorphosing into new and desperate applications which need to be understood and applied.

Managing stress at work

This constant pressure can cause workplace stress and adversely affect performance and output. If not managed stress can build to an intolerable level and the job which was previously enjoyable can have a negative effect on health, family, friends and work environment.

I have demonstrated how each personality type can manage stress in the workplace. The stress parameters are different for each profile. Knowing your vulnerability or weak spots will help you to avoid build up at an early stage allowing you to take remedial action.

The personality typology is not similar to traditional psychometrics which give more generalist description.

The Lowe Profiles can be directly used in your work to inform, manage, motivate and improve performance leading ultimately to a happy go-to workplace.

To find out how you can how you can apply the lowe personality profiler you should read The Psychology of Career planning by John Lowe on amazon

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A very special birthday message to all mothers

There when you need her, always taken as read.

Appreciated? Not really. Just need clothes and then fed.

Told off many times, “Get up you’re late!”

That voice again! Is this my life’s fate?

The housework, the food never known to fast

Mum’s a Trojan for work and had to be fast.

Grew up, grew wiser now Mum knows a lot less.

Now educated, now cleverer, think I am the best.

But Mum’s birthday today makes me take stock.

Smarter than I thought, does come as a shock!

Kindly and generous, always giving, always there.

Never selfish, never judging, just there to care.

Love is a word we can be reluctant to say.

But to my mother I should shout it every blessed day!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Psychological Research on human behaviours

We must avoid ‘crowminding

Much of empirical psychological research measuring human behaviours is questionable as it starts from a biased premise. It chooses a proposition and then creates a questionnaire with an inherent suppositional focus and purpose. This tendency to be directive either sublimely or objectively means the results can only have a very qualified interpretation.

Questionnaires do not and cannot factor in allowances for personality typing, mood and a whole gambit of influencing factors. Certain personality types will answer questionnaires objectively and scientifically. Others will be influenced by the potentially personal outcome it portrays. They will choose the answer which positively reflects their personality. Other factors such as mood, gender, culture, education, experience will influence the candidate’s interpretation and decision process.

Does this mean that all empirical psychological research to determine human behaviours is meaningless and serves no practical purpose in terms of better understanding human behaviours? I am purporting that we move away from the crowdminding approach whereby we treat people en masse. Our focus must only be on the individual.

I have identified 4 distinct and very individual personality types, the influencer, the supporter, the creative and the analyst which I describe in my publication The Psychology of Career Planning and I maintain that empirical research projects must embrace this empirical methodology to capture at first hand  individuality and diversity to be meaningful. I have conducted over 25,000 interviews to date and each interaction points to how much more there is to learn in terms of the diversity of human behaviours. I feel incapable of making a prognosis which can authoritatively identify a common behavioural thread. My message then is that we must only focus on individuals. The people collective approach has no meaning. Many articles we read fall into the trap of ‘crowdminding’. The approach of viewing people as a crowd rather than making allowances for the individual factor is fallacious.

A forceful endorsement of this point is Lawrence Kohlberg, the moral psychologist and his development theory of stages. Kohlberg conducted a large research programme with the help of PhD students to identify the various educational development stages from childhood to adulthood. The Kohlberg definition of the progressive levels were highly regarded as authoritative and demarcational and he nominated them as preconventional, conventional and post-conventional.

Carol Gilligan, an eminent psychologist and ethicist, challenged Kohlberg’s research as being too dogmatic and insular. It failed to embrace intuition as a personality perspective. The questionnaires and observations were deductive in composition and unconsciously focusing on particular personality types and thus sacrificing the caring trait. In her publication, “In a Different Voice” Gilligan challenges many of Kohlberg’s assumptions in their approach to moral values.

I purport then that empirical research which focuses on the determination of human behaviours on a generalistic basis cannot look for a credible outcome as there are too many permutations and variables which cannot be qualified within the questionnaire. I have formulated these observations from my own first-hand experience.

The identification of my 4 personality types are the culmination of one-to-one meetings whereby I could empirically observe and evaluate the candidate individually and contextually in terms of age, experience, gender, culture, mood, articulation, education, work experience, performance, aspirations, reliability and achievements. These 4 types allows for self evaluation and a propensity to act in accordance with type. Individual’s action will be dependant on a myriad of circumstances at the time but I proport that their choices will be primarily influenced by their typology.

Human behaviour is too individual to be measured in crowd form and any empirical research approach must recognise and incorporate all the personality traits and experiences if it is to have a semblance of credibility.

This means that surveys and questionnaires must allow for open ended subjective commentary in their structure which may be more difficult and challenging in terms of assimilating the results in a coherent voice. The alterative though will just gather information without regard to all the disparate permutations of personality and life experiences.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The importance of Time and Timing

Are you always late or always on time

It is interesting to reflect on the significant role time and timing play in our lives. Something which we take for granted and yet it permeates and influences everything we do.

The time between meals will determine our hunger. Age will determine our lifespan. And our attitude to time can determine our personality.

When I am coaching candidates on career planning their outlook at 25 years of age, 45 or 55 years is individual. Their motivation, aspirations and outlook are vastly different.

The 55 year old is risk averse whilst the 25 year old is focused on the now. If the job excites then they will take it. The older candidate may have more financial commitments such as mortgage or car HP and therefore has less choice in terms of levels of income and travel.

Timing is very much related to property and shares. Sell a property today or in two years and the fluctuation can be in the region 5% – 25% gain or loss. Shareholding can be equally volatile and timing of purchase or disposal will dictate the expediency of a decision.

There are many maxims and judgements about the efficacy of time: do not put off until tomorrow what can be done today; you are late; you are early; they are never on time; they are always early; I missed the train. Some cultures are obsessed with timekeeping whilst others do not embrace it as a central focus. Relax, chill out are dictates which normally refer to time or its obsessional adherence.

So is there a message in all of this? If we are a philosopher, we might say it is in essence meaningless. But in a relational capacity it is very important. Dates facilitate markers and demonstrate happenings in terms of sequence and context: the timing of World War 1 in relation to WW2, for example; the dates of the Old Testament and their relationship with the New Testament.

This prompts me to think of eternity which is a no time concept. As a child the thought of eternity always concerned me as a concept. The on and on and on…with no ending did not appeal even though it was hopefully to be experienced in heavenly bliss and having a great time. I remember thinking I would ask Jesus if I might occasionally pop down to earth to be in the environment I knew well to meet with relatives and friends.

A good maxim is then to ensure that we manage time rather than time managing us. When stressed we can become obsessed with time. But it is a very subjective concept. Some people will always get up at the last minute and spend all their time rushing all the morning chores. They will arrive at work just on time or after just time. If the train was late then it is the train’s problem and they will make sure we all know the reason ‘ leaves on the line, signal problems, train broke down.  Others will get up with good time tolerance and arrive early for work. If the train was late then no problem as they had that time tolerance factor in.

My American aunt would arrive at the airport 7 hours ahead of her flight. I was never sure of her motivation or how she wielded away the spare 5 hours.

Time, friend or foe is central to and permeates all our lives. Manage it and it offers contentment. Ignore it and it can cause grief.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Expectation can improve or damage your health

It is extraordinary how expectation is such a fundamental part of our DNA. How we manage it can affect our mood, our happiness and our stress levels.

When our expectations are balanced and realistic then the outcome of events will positively influence our quality of life at work or at recreation.

When our expectations are exaggerated and unrealistic then the inevitable outcome is disappointment and stress. Stress compounds negativity and worry and we become trapped in this spiral of expecting the worst. Potentially positive outcomes are recalibrated into ‘yes, but what if?’ scenarios. Colleagues and friends are classified as being too optimistic and not fully aware of the risks of events or situations.

The more stressed you become the more distorted your expectations. Stress promotes insularism and reclusiveness at a time when you need the help of others to keep your balance. This can be an albatross as you anticipate harmful outcomes though they are most unlikely to occur. Your judgement is out of balance and coping with simple tasks is a real challenge. You ignore texts, emails and phone calls in the hope that they will go away and leave me alone

To rectify this negativity it is important you perform a mental log out.

Stand back from life. Get into a zone-free thinking space and review your anticipation mode. This will encourage a more balanced perspective. Reflect on your worries within their contextual environment. Will it happen? Is it real or just perceived? Is it important? Can I discuss it with a colleague? Can I really influence the outcome? What are the good things I should look forward to? Talk to positive, happy friends and slowly your anticipations will meet your real expectations.

The standing back, mentally logging out or stepping off the continuous treadmill or whatever we want to call it will always have a beneficial effect. You will enjoy life with a more contented outlook. It is rather like your friends and colleagues who will write long lists of the things they must do. It does not mean that things get done. In fact the lists may get longer but the action itself of listing can be very reassuring and affirmative psychologically.

Learn to recognise the signs when you start to worry about insignificant issues and engage less with colleagues and friends. And most importantly know you can manage your stress rather than it controlling you. Revisit your expectations and rebalance them Read my article ‘How to manage stress at work ‘https://johnjosephlowe.com/2014/01/29/stress/ This is insightful as it takes a more relational approach which is always personality dependent. Recognising your personality type and your vulnerabilities will help you put expectations in the realistic box and promote the occurrence of predicted outcomes.

John Lowe

Posted in Articles and Essays, Personality @ Work | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Can I apply my MBA to being a successful Entrepreneur?

 

A good starting point might be to define what do we mean by Entrepreneur

I would define an entrepreneur as someone who manages a business or enterprise where they have part or whole personal financial responsibility for its success or failure.  I believe that the personal financial risk is the key element to true entrepreneurship.

I have interviewed many entrepreneurs who have been very successful and many who have been very unsuccessful and whom I have coached to mitigate their losses and close the business.

From the experience I have captured the key elements that are the strongest determinants for ensuring financial success.  So, let’s assume that each one here this afternoon has decided to go it alone and set up a business.  You have had enough of this corporate stuff where you have to carry out tasks which are pointless, deal with colleagues with a lazy attitude and agree to a boss’s self-indulgent, self-opinionated speeches which are normally just an ego boost

As MBA executives we know that our preparation and approach must primarily be commercially sound and justified, not just an emotive reaction to exit the large corporate political arena but a positive move which matches and meets sound criteria.

One thing you can be certain about in today’s global environment is change.  The business profile from its infancy to three years’ trading will be almost recognisable and how you adapt to and manage that endemic fluidity will be critical to the success of the business

I would define an entrepreneur as someone who manages a business or enterprise and who takes part or whole personal financial liability for its success or failure. I believe that the personal financial risk is the key element to true entrepreneurship. If the business makes an amazing profit, you are a financial star and if the business fails, you may owe a large debt.

I have interviewed many entrepreneurs who have been very successful and many who have been very unsuccessful. From this experience, I have captured the key elements that are most important for ensuring financial success.

I have developed and refined this experience and apply it when I am coaching entrepreneurs in managing their businesses. Change is always present. Markets change, people change, their outlook and their personal circumstances change. Government policies change and societal values change. Whether you view change as ‘riding the storm’ or reacting to a challenge will depend on your personality. Whether you go for risky expansion or safe consolidation will depend on your personality. Whether you find people or situations more difficult to manage will depend on your personality. Here, I am highlighting a factor that is most often omitted when we review the important issues of entrepreneurship – you.

I thought that an entrepreneur had to be good at all activities. After all, they have the ultimate responsibility for accounting, marketing, selling, designing and managing.

This is a good analogy as you will find out why, if you are an expert accountant, selling will not be your forte and, if you are an amazing designer, then you may have to delegate the marketing function.

Still want to be a successful entrepreneur? This is how you do it

There are five key elements to success:

  • Your market.
  • Your motivation.
  • Your personality.
  • Your preparation.

5   Your Leadership

Today’s work climate

The present working environment, whether it is a commercially focused corporation or a not-for-profit organisation, is demanding and has a short-term cycle. It will be influenced by the short-term trading culture that is so prevalent in today’s market.

Influencers such as global markets, off-shoring, employee mobility, technology growth, interest rates, booms, recessions, credit crunches, wars and global warming collectively and interactively create an ongoing and dynamic change in world economies.

A significant new development in today’s commercial environment is the fact that work or the task takes priority over the people factor.

Your motivation is a transient characteristic and can change with your circumstances. I know entrepreneurs who were very successful, became financially self-sufficient, retired early and now relish their freedom. These entrepreneurs could not wait to spend more time playing golf, sailing, cooking and generally socialising without the daily commercial pressures. I know entrepreneurs who are equally successful, but cannot contemplate retirement. They view it as a void in their life and have no substitutable meaningful activity.

Make more money

Be my own boss

Lifestyle change

New challenge

Own achievement

Unique market opportunity

Work/life balanc

Imagine you are funding a new start-up and you are seeking an entrepreneur to take total responsibility for the new venture. You draw up a job description listing the soft and technical skills required, and then describe the duties and responsibilities.

The job description should differentiate and demarcate between those skills that are critical for the successful conduct of the role and those that are not absolutely necessary but advantageous.

The critical soft skills outlined in your job description may include one or more from this sample lexicon:

Interpersonal and general communication skills, analytical, creative, organised, determined, resilient, commercial, adaptable, ambitious, energetic, work well under pressure, able to multitask, industrious.

Now list the technical skills for the job description. It is important in terms of competence that the entrepreneur matches the dominant technical skill. If the business is an accountancy service, they must be an accountant. If it is an IT service, they must be expert in that skill. If it is a design business, they will need to have experience in the chosen sector. They can bring in peripheral skills through contractors and freelancers.

So far, we have looked at the market choice from a general perspective. By describing its dynamic and then by benchmarking our skills against the entrepreneur’s role, we can see how well our competencies match the job profile.

Motivation is our next stage to review. What are your goals or objectives for being an entrepreneur? It can be a positive or negative choice. Positive might be: ‘I would love the freedom.’ Negative might be: ‘I am frustrated with constantly having to carry out other people’s bad decisions. I know I can do better. I am now prepared to take that responsibility working for myself.’

Let’s see what motivates you…

There is no such thing as the optimum motivation. If you think that your motivation is compliant with your market, personality, preparation and management, then there is a strong chance that it is robust and resilient enough to carry you through the tough periods.

Your motivation is a transient characteristic and can change with your circumstances. I know entrepreneurs who were very successful, became financially self-sufficient, retired early and now relish their freedom. These entrepreneurs could not wait to spend more time playing golf,sailing, cooking and generally socialising without the daily commercial pressures. I know entrepreneurs who are equally successful, but cannot contemplate retirement. They view it as a void in their life and have no substitutable meaningful activity.

Make more money

Be my own boss

Lifestyle change

New challenge

Own achievement

Unique market opportunity

Work/life balance

These are all credible individual reasons for making the ‘big leap’.

Motivation will be very personality dependent, and you will be able to test your motivation against your personality type in the next section.

Motivation will have both a rational and emotive component. This process of reviewing the five components listed earlier on page XX will ensure that there is a marriage of the two – that you have sensibly chosen a known market, developed a sound efficacious business plan and adopted a management style that capitalises on your particular personality strengths. If you can ‘tick all these boxes’, you will be excitedly motivated.

The next section is probably the most exciting and revelatory and its goal is not ‘can I?’ but ‘how do I become a really successful entrepreneur through the identification and application of my particular personality strengths?

In this next section I have described the four dominant personality types and what that means to you as an entrepreneur.

We looked first at the commercial market generally. Is it in recession or trading buoyantly? You will have identified a product or service you would like to promote. You will have asked the questions: ‘Why do I want to set up my own business?’ and ‘What is my best choice of product or service?’ You will have reviewed your personality and will feel confident that you have a better understanding of how, using your dominant traits, to be a successful entrepreneur.

Now you need to write it down in the form of a business plan.

My choice is always to use simple terminology or, practising what I preach, replace complex terminology with simple terms. For ‘global’ substitute ‘worldwide’; for ‘strategy’, substitute‘plan’. This way you will more readily identify with your plan as being a help and a guide in the conduct of your business. The overuse of terms such as ‘global strategy’ creates a plan that sounds impersonal and too formal.

Your business plan will include

Your market

product or service

sales forecast

overheads

first year profit

salary

timescales.

You will find many templates for business plans on bank internet sites, though I would advise that you compose your own. The generic templates can be too elongated and you may feel that many of the sections are not relevant to your circumstances.

The construction of your business plan will be dependent on your personality type in terms of how much detail you include and how realistic, pessimistic or optimistic it is in composition.

The case and advice you take at this point to ensure that your business plan is robust, transparent and professional, will later repay itself in dividends when you know your plan is working and you are meeting your goals.

In summary

The Influencer must pay close attention to detail and curtail their natural optimism with realism.

The Supporter should refrain from referring to too many third parties or taking advice that can be contradictory and cause confliction. Make it your plan – you can always change it. All business plans must be flexible and allow for change.

The Creative will construct a detailed and commercially focused business plan. Creativity as a product or service is difficult to define and ring fence and, therefore, their approach will need to be more client reactive rather than product or service specific.

The Analyst is good at detail and adopts a realistic approach and should ensure that they also build in the flexible element.

On my own or in partnership?

Do I go it alone or do I partner with a colleague whom I have known for a long time and with whom I have had many conversations when we enthusiastically discussed setting up business together? We are a good team. We share the same values and know each other well. We are realistic about our strengths and weaknesses. We could grow the business faster and being in partnership we would share the risk. It would be good for holidays and it would alleviate the endemic worry of own business – what if I am sick or injured and need time off

Supporters and Influencers will be inclined towards partnerships. They will enjoy the companionship and support and will feel more confident on this journey into unknown commercial territory.

The caveat, though, is that partnerships have a high incidence of failure and most often the cause is not poor sales results but disagreement as to the future direction of the company. A common scenario is where the company makes a significant profit and one partner considers it critical to reinvest the capital to accelerate growth, whilst the other partner may wish to cash-in profits in dividends so that they can buy that sailing yacht or new car, or join that expensive golf club they have always promised themselves and which has been outside their financial reach.

Previous familiarity does not help here, as the association was within a different environment and did not reflect the tensions you find within the business arena. Shareholding distribution is also important when you are partnering a business. 50/50 means equal authority in decision making. 75/25 means one party has a majority shareholding and, in effect, has the ‘final say’.

However, if the minority shareholder disagreed fundamentally with an important decision, it is difficult to imagine how that will not disrupt a meaningful working relationship. If you are the majority shareholder and you mentally decide that your colleague should leave the business, the severance compensation may be too onerous for the business to survive. Business disagreements, like divorces, are not always amicable and can involve irrational demands.

I have been elaborate in terms of discussing the pitfalls of partnerships and deliberately so. I have seen too many businesses set up with too much emotive content whereby the ‘what if?’ scenarios were not seriously discussed.

The golden rule is: go it alone, if you can. If you must go into partnership, concentrate on the ‘what ifs?’ as real possibilities rather than rare events.

The fifth and final element in the next section looks at how you should manage your business on a day-to-day basis. Reviewing your personality management style will help you to adopt the most effective approach, and reviewing the other styles will help you to empathise more sensitively with other personalities when you are in a meeting or a negotiation.

Finally,…

You are now highly motivated. You know your market and yourself. Your business plan looks great and you can’t wait to practise that management style.

Yes, you can be an entrepreneur.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Writing a dissertation

A dissertation is not a long essay
It is not a thesis which necessitates research and generally leads to a PhD. Dissertations for a Bachelor’s or Master’s qualification can  incorporate physical or literary research but on a less comprehensive scale to a PhD.My description
of a dissertation is where “you nominate a topic with a strong propensity for
discussion and debate and which you take on an intellectual journey”.

Debate and discuss not just describe and analyse
The key words are debate and discussion eg  “Will leaving the EU benefit the UK
economically”? This topic offers great scope for balanced debate. For example we can discuss the scope to develop new global markets incorporating elements of speculative risk against the established trade and debate  its potential legacy of success. You will nominate advantages and disadvantages and their subsequent implications and outcomes.
The student writing a dissertation must develop a new mindset. You must defer
from a judgemental mentality. You must challenge yourself to debate issues and
incorporate new insights. Avoid the right/wrong perspective.
But why complicate issues? Can we not take a topic and decide on a logical
conclusion such as “Leaving the EU will put the UK economy at risk”. This approach which is conclusive and definitive in its composition does not give much scope for balanced debate as you would only cherry pick factors which endorse your premise.

Choose a topic which offers a platform for
debate and opportunities to be expansive and elaborative.
The tutor is looking for creative argument. They want to be informed and to
assess the validity of points made and their interactions they are looking for
clarity and force of argument. Relevancy and intellectual rationale are factors which must permeate your dissertation. Avoid truism and repetition.

Be creative
Imagine you are marking dissertations. You will be more engaged and captivated
by discussion or argument which may challenge convention and present a
persuasive and innovative perspective on your topic.
Today’s workplace is technology-driven and short-termist. Change is endemic
and this means that students must develop a highly flexible adaptable attitude.
Throughout your working career you will constantly meet the new where
answers will not be found in manuals. The challenge at work may be a first for
applications, for methodologies and for implementation.
An intellectually challenging dissertation can prepare you for these exciting
work related scenarios where you must think “outside the box” to successfully
capture and implement a successful solution.
Formatting and Organising your Dissertation
I have attended many lectures on this topical subject and have chosen a structure
which worked for me. When you have chosen your title (which should ask a
question) you will find yourself gathering information from many sources which
you consider highly relevant. When you decide to start the project you will
struggle to compile an Introduction which incorporates your intentions
regarding your material content and methodology. Where do I start will be the
issue. Your research material may not be coherent though it all appears relevant.
I would recommend that you leave the Introduction [ Chapter 1 ] until later when you have written Chapters 2 and 3. Firstly if you are going to embark on a journey of
intellectual debate you need two perspectives to discuss. Therefore start by
treating each subject or perspective separately.
There are two sides [Premises ] to every debate
My earlier example of “Will leaving the EU benefit the UK economically?” though
brief is quite a meaty title. You can plan it like this: treat the EU and the UK
economy initially as 2 separate parts [premises ].
Premise a) EU economy – describe its current function, its composition,
philosophy and modus operandi.
Premise b) UK economy- describe its current performance, its main influences, its
markets, its strength and vulnerabilities.
Now compare the two premises [Chapter 4 ] in the context of your title and demonstrate where they compliment each other and circumstances where they conflict. You must retain the focus of your title which refers to economic factors only. Social or cultural benefits for example are outside the remit of your dissertation.
This is a very important section as it is the core intellectual debating chamber.
You must not introduce any new references at this stage. Remember your tone
and style is one of discussion and debate rather than judgemental. You are not
looking for a right or wrong or a clever answer. Your comments will always be
contextual and demonstrate your ability and propensity for good debate.
The final section of your dissertation is the conclusion [ Chapter 5 ] which, just to confuse you, can be inconclusive. This is where you may add your own overarching feedback in terms of the intellectual journey you have just made. It may state: “From my
initial research I believed that leaving the EU would be economically highly
disadvantageous for the UK but having explored alternative options, I was
surprised that ……”
How Long?
A Masters dissertation is usually between 10 – 15,000 words. The Faculty or
Tutor will give you a guide and some will specify minimum and maximum limits.
A single spaced page normally contains about 3,000 characters or 500 words.
Summary
A dissertation should be academically challenging. It should develop your
intellectual skills whereby when confronted with a project at work with which
you are unfamiliar, you can confidentially research, interrogate and assess the
main issues and apply the similar skills to those you used for your dissertation.
The dissertation structure trains you to approach issues with a balanced
perspective. In the work environment you will consciously or unconsciously be
making balanced decisions. Corporate directors and business leaders must
frequently perform mini dissertations. Board meetings follow the format of the
introduction of the facts, the debate and discussion of the subject per the agenda
and the recommendations per the gathering of individual votes. And these discussions and debates will determine the corporate strategy and ultimately the future success or failure of the organisation.

Writing a dissertation is not an isolated event but from my experience as an executive coach it is an excellent opportunity to practice and replicate the challenges of today’s board leaders.

                                                          Chapter 1   Tittle and Introduction

Chapter 2 Premise A                                                                                       Chapter 3 Premise B

                                                  Chapter 4     Compare Premise A with B

 

                                                        Chapter 5      Conclusive commentary

 

Posted in Articles and Essays, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Driving style. Is it my personality or The Highway code

Read this and you will think again about your own driving habits and better understand when you notice some strange antics of others drivers. Could this  be a future dimension to the highway code!

 

Drivers do not normally factor in their personality when they think of their attitude to driving. They most often refer to driving in the third party, “Too many hog the middle lane,” “Too many go fast pointers”, “People just use the outside lane as a race track.”

But I purport that experience and skill are not the only factors which will determine your driving ability. I am a Head Hunter and Career Coach and from my research and experience of interviewing over 25,000 candidates have discovered 4 distinct personality types: The Influencer, Supporter, Analyst and Creative.

See if you can identify your type?

The Influencer is very aware of social status. If they can afford it they will buy a prestigious badge with all the ‘pigs and whistles’. They are showy and competitive and will rarely be seen on the inside lane keeping pace with the trucks. Tanking it in the outside lane and flashing the slowcoach in front is more their style. “Make way I’m coming through in my 3 litre, top of the range!” is their driving persona. Changing lane and constantly undertaking in queues is synonymous with their impatient personality. Mistakes are never their fault and they frequently use their lights and horn to chastise the other road ‘idiots’.

The Supporter is a people person, sensitive and caring. If driving alone they will enjoy using their hands-free mobile for social chat rather than business catch up. They are not speeders and will hold back to let drivers join their queue rather than the Influencer who will be sniffing closely at the bumper in front to give the message there is no room here or ‘this is not your turn’.

Supporters are moody drivers and if the social chat is the sudden conduit of bad or exciting news they will become distracted and their driving style will change. They will make a slow response at traffic lights and the news will be their dominant preoccupation not the driving conditions. They may be driving something a bit ” long in the tooth ” which they will have closely bonded with and given it a name like Susie. They are not bothered about all the dents and see them as adding character to dear Susie.

Supporters have a positive listening style and are receptive to learning from instructors. They are compliant with good road manners and have no truck with variable speed limits.

The Analyst is a conformist in terms of road signs. They are pragmatic and though they may not agree with the 40 mph sign on the traffic-free for miles dual carriageway they will philosophically comply. They will not react emotionally to the Influence’s flashing lights but will continue to overtake on the outside at their safe speed, pulling in when there is a sufficient gap to let ‘that lunatic’ through and ignoring their rude hand signals!

The Analyst is not into small talk and if they are using the hands-free it will be only in response to an important business call. They may call their wife or partner just to inform them as to their ETA but any conversational development such as ” whats for supper ” or “how are the children?” or “did you have a nice day” is more the domain of the Supporter.

The Creative is also a non-people person. Similar to the Analyst their thinking construct has predominantly an analytical or deductive focus. The Creative will buy the satnav which looks smart in terms of design as well as functionality. They may be driving a small, quirky, around town job which has a rather ostentatious shape and colour.

The Creative is not ego-driven and will drive in accordance with the rules of the road keeping up with the traffic flow. They are patient and not influenced by status. Similar to the Supporter they will establish a personal bond with their car and though it might be getting on for 15 years old they are happy to hang on to it as they feel safe in it and “it has never let me down”.  Unlike the Analyst who may change their car for a newer version as their scientific knowledge tells them that the’ big end’ or something else big is about to go.

The Influencer would not be ” seen dead ” in such an old crock and afford it or not they will grab one of those extravagant financial deals whereby you pay very little upfront and the future will look after itself.

The Creative will find the light flashing and horn blowing strange as they are driving roughly in compliance with the highway code which they learned years ago and wonder what is the row about!.

We might sum up the individual and dominant idiosyncrasies of the 4 Personality Types as:

Influencer:  car – big and flashy

style – I’m coming through!  Flash flash.

hands-free – I’m talking about me and you should listen.

Supporter:  car – long in the tooth. I’ll call it Susie.

style – patient, unselfish, goes with the flow.   Will only speed  due to                                      external influence – meeting/bad news etc

hands-free – Did you have a good day? Any gossip?

Analyst:      car – functional, within budget, not too old

style – per the rules and traffic conditions, not a speeder

hands-free – only when I have to

Creative:             car -personal, not for public preference. May keep it for a long time

style – per the rules. Will adjust speed if running late etc

hands-free – business and pleasure but no small talk

So next time you are been driven you can do a bit of personality spotting to past the time

Posted in Articles and Essays, Personality @ Work | Tagged | Leave a comment

The marriage promise

This poetic narrative endeavours to capture the core sentiment of that special day when a couple promise to share together all of life’s joys and challenges.

    

 

A day of joy, great friends to meet.

A day to remember, great occasion, great feast.

But there’s more than that, more purpose, more soul.

It celebrates a commitment and that’s its real goal.

It’s lifelong.  It’s real.  It’s founded on love.

That’s the anchor.  That’s the promise.  Nothing else above.

Through sickness, through health I’ll always be there.

My life’s now yours and now ours to share.

Never just a day, but a future to live.

Never just a moment, but a lifetime to give.

For better, for worse that’s the promise we’ve made.

With God’s help and our pledge our love will pervade.

 

Posted in Poems | Tagged | Leave a comment

Will Brexit create a mentality of insularism within the UK community

 

 

We have experienced a high-profile drumroll for the return on the blue passport. ‘at last we can now have our sovereignty back’ was the emotive reaction.

On the commercial side we shall be trading on different platforms. We shall focus more on the WTO as our dominant vehicle but cannot shut the door on the EU nor will they wish to eliminate us from one of their strongest market outlets. We shall also establish individual deals directly with international customers.

So you could conclude that the blue passport will potentially create insularism but the widening of the commercial markets will encourage more openness.

Money talks

I believe that money will eventually play the dominant role and dictate the ultimate pace and outcome of the negotiations. We had a £3 billion trade deficit to Germany last month and it is not commercially realistic that the EU will create trade barriers which will adversely affect the current trading platform particularly as Germany is such an affluent and influential member

Global markets need global players. Our fast-forward- technology- led commercial dynamism need flexible, nimble players. The winners will be opportunistic and innovative. If this reality becomes apparent to the UK community, they will perceive the EU as more of a self-indulgent albatross which is out of pace with global markets.

It is not do or die

The media does not help as it reports the negotiations on a blow by blow basis exaggerating every tittle tattle as some significant policy statement when it is no more than some politician boosting their home votes.  Our media are experts at exaggeration and drama seeking. Debate does not enter the fray. Substitute balance for distortion and evocative sound bites.

It is fascinating how the Brexit or Wrexit is constantly being portrayed as a, right or wrong, a win or lose, a recovery or a disaster rather than being synonymous with a successful company which is negotiating the pathway and journey to achieve new market opportunities.

Reality check

WE will not sever our ties with our existing trading partners rather, being on a world stage, will develop new links which may better suit our modus operandi. Less insular and more of a reaching out mentality.

The EU and the UK are on a journey of discovery. Serious negotiations have not yet taken place and when there are issues which adversely affect an individual country then the European Council will come into play. Heads of governments have their political career to promote or protect and they have the clout to be obstructive. And this is a very different dynamic to the day to day negotiations. Ultimately the Country Heads of the European Councils will determine the outcome. The UK will continue to seek new markets and the EU will learn from the negotiations to be more adaptive and less self-seeking.

The staying in or leaving the EU has so far developed into an argumentative, opinionated accusatory scenario which creates entrenched views

At the end of the day… 

Will Brexit create a mentality of insularism? The obvious answer would be to say that the journey will involve a new exploratory mentality but as none of us really know the destination we must say we do not know. We do know that the media generally must look for topical soundbites creating entrenched views and it is likely that this type of information presentation will promote and provoke insularism and deter a platform of balanced debate.

Lets hope then that the journey will promote an awareness for the need of toleration and openness and the realisation that all successful negotiations are based on compromises from all parties.

Posted in Articles and Essays, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment