1. Transformative and Transactional Leadership

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    Today’s Los Angeles Times had an op-ed piece entitled “How Obama Lost His Voice and How Can He Get It Back?” I don’t usually read this section of the paper, but a sentence caught my attention. “Abandoning the "transformational" model of his presidential campaign, Obama has tried to govern as a "transactional" leader.”   This blog is not about Obama, but about some thoughts on Leadership. I hadn’t thought about James MacGregor Burns’ concepts since my doctoral program. After all, Burns coined these terms over 30 years ago. They could be briefly summarized as transformational leadership is about changing the ‘world’ and transactional leadership is about maintaining what is. It occurred to me that there might be some relationship to type or to temperament in these terms.   Burns’ wrote his 1978 book, Leadership, as a political scientist and a historian. This book sits on my bookshelf so I opened it up. I don’t think the simple definition above does justice to his concepts so I won’t really comment on those until I reread the book.   On the surface, one might say that transactional leadership would go with the Stabilizer temperament with logistical intelligence or the Improviser temperament with...
  2. Trees, Type and Me

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    I love the header photo of this blog. For some reason, I have a thing about trees. If you've seen the Understanding Yourself and Others books you'll notice that all the cover images are of leaves and trees. I love looking at trees, especially in a natural setting. I love the textures, the different colors and the sounds when the wind blows through them. One of my workshop participants gave me a book on the healing power of trees. There does seem to be something healing about trees. When flying over Portland, Oregon and looking out the plane window, I commented to my colleague on how I loved the trees. She responded that I wasn't being very good to myself living in Southern California in a tract home with few trees. That was over 15 years ago and I still live in the same setting, but outside my window in my home office, I do have some trees to look at. So the trees in the photo are my dream of the kind of setting I'd like to live in. Maybe I will some day if my path takes me there. In the meantime, I treasure the visits I make...
  3. Getting the Most Out of the Type Code

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    The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® self-report assessment was developed by Isabel Myers to help individuals find their best-fit type. In order to develop the assessment, the J-P dichotomy was added. Now the four-letter type code that results from her work has become a standard for referring to the 16 types no matter how you arrive at determining the best-fit. Traditionally, type has been approached by explanation of the four dichotomies of Extraversion vs Introversion, Sensing vs iNtuing, Thinking vs Feeling, and Judging vs Perceiving. By exploring preferences for one or the other pole of the dichotomies most clients get some very valuable information that they can use in their personal and professional lives. A growing number of type practitioners have found it useful and powerful to understand the type code in terms of other, related models that provide different information about important aspects of the 16 personality types. They use the four temperaments or Interaction Styles or even the rich Cognitive Dynamics (aka 8 function model) to know more about their clients and to pick and choose which model to use for which objectives. So, when I see ESTP, for example, I expect to see the Improviser Temperament with a talent...
  4. Adult Development and Typological Look-Alikes

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    For many years, I scoffed at the idea of stages of adult development as being artificial and somewhat arrogant, as if one who is more developed is better than others at earlier stages. I observed development in the physical realm and these did not bother me in the same way as in the psychological/personality realm. In the Jungian typology model, there are several views of type development and I had found one of these to be very useful. The Jungian model says that we have four mental processes—Sensing, intuiting, Thinking, Feeling—and each of these processes can be used in either the outer world or the inner world. Thus the popular 4-letter personality type code derived from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® assessment stands for a pattern of these processes. We all have access to all eight (the four in either the extraverted or introverted attitude. And type development theory says one of these processes is dominant and trusted most and therefore is more developed, playing a leading role in our personalities. Another plays a supporting role (auxiliary) and is also fairly well developed by young adulthood. There is also a tertiary process, which emerges in young adulthood and an inferior process,...
  5. Best-Fit Type Self Discovery With or Without Using An Assessment such as the MBTI® instrument

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    by Susan Nash In my eighteen years of introducing individuals, teams, leaders and organizations to the rich theory of personality type, I have explored using the Interstrength Self-Discovery process both with the MBTI® assessment tool and without. Overall I have found that using the Self-Discovery process without an assessment works better for me for the following reasons: It can be too easy to use the “test and tell” approach, relying extensively on the instrument rather than linking this knowledge to Jung’s underlying principles. When time is limited, or you are working with a large group it is easy to neglect the self exploration process. When individuals try to assess their innate preferences, there can be a tendency for them to give a written “test” more credence than their individual qualitative assessment. As a trainer and coach, using the self-discovery process without a written assessment, forces me to focus on recognizing individual behaviors that might indicate the use of specific function-attitudes. I find the self-exploration process in a group to be more rich as individuals use the multiple lenses of type to review temperament, Interaction Style and function-attitudes without being limited to the “four-letter”code. Using this self-discovery process seems to overcome...