Hardwired: Taking the Road to Delphi and Uncovering Your Talents
Innovative Management Development (IMD), P.C
This is a book for people who want to start looking at their careers in a new way by understanding their hard-wired strengths- in a new way. In it, Dr. Thomas N. Tavantzis offers a unique way to think deeply about your own natural aptitudes – and how they influence career and role choices. Apollo’s Oracle at Delphi is said to have borne the inscription “Know Thyself.”
This maxim has worked its way through Socrates and Plato to the great modern thinkers in the organizational and career development field. Peter Drucker, our modern business Oracle, has restated the heart of this description as “Know Your Strengths.” Drucker and many other pioneers, e.g., Marcus Buckingham, in the field think it’s better to develop what we’re good at rather than try to “remedy” or “cure” our weaknesses. This is not as easy as it sounds. Most people don’t know their strengths as well as they think they do. There is growing evidence that much of what we’re good at is hardwired into us at birth and matures at adolescence, and that working against this reality can only produce frustration in our personal and professional lives. People’s innate intelligence and basic abilities stabilize early in life. True, one can learn new skills or increase one’s vocabulary. But it is far easier to develop natural strengths and innate social and emotional influences – what we now call “emotional intelligence.” This applies whether you’re a middle manager trying to find your best role in a company, a 30-year-old contemplating a career change, or a high school senior picking a prospective college or major.
So how do we find what we’re really good at? The pitfall of many self-administered testing instruments is that they’re based on asking us this question directly instead of temporarily putting those judgements aside. Dr. Tavantzis uses the Highlands Ability Battery, a three-hour online test – which doesn’t have to be completed at one sitting – that combines with professional interpretation to measure our real abilities and skills. What are your strongest problem-solving methods? Do you work more through logic or through intuition? How do you best take in and pass along information? How far into the future are you comfortable projecting? What work environment suits you best? Do you work better alone or in teams? Do you generate many ideas or concentrate on a few? How important have family members and peers been in the career choices you’ve made so far? How can your hobbies sometimes explain your real talents better than your career choices so far? If you’re an executive, how do you build a team that blends with your skills and those of them team members?
The answers to many of these will likely surprise you! For example, the number of ideas you generate has little to do with their quality. And how quickly you solve a problem may have little to do with the quality of the solution. Whatever answers you receive may provide the tools necessary to articulate to others how you can contribute and be most productive – and be the most personally satisfied. The book is built on case studies of people at different career stages and how the used the Battery and follow up consultations to reveal their true strengths and develop a personal vision of how to turn them into a survival kit for today’s ever-changing economy. Hopefully you will see yourself in some of these people. An action guide to thinking about career plans, leadership style, and how to work with others to support your natural strengths, “Hardwired” provides the tools you need to begin changing your life today. Whether you’re looking for a new job or simply to perform better in your current one, its focus is to bring you into conscious awareness of your strengths and how you can best use them. This way you can find and follow your own personal Road to Delphi.