Saturday, February 16, 2013

Continuation of Leaders in Military and Business

The next question is logically what do the other personality types provide to an organization if the xSTJ's tend to be the ones that succeed the most.  Or at least they are the ones that stay in business or the military and move up.  As the previous blog discussed (leaders-in-military-and-business-same.html) it would seem that the personality types, ISTJ and ESTJ have an advantage in business and the military that allows them to do better and move toward the higher ranks in both business and military organizations at a faster rate than other personality types.  As I stated in that post the dominant and auxiliary functions for these two types is Introverted Sensing (Si) and Extraverted Thinking (Te). 

In fact the functions in order for ISTJ and ESTJ are shown in the table to the left and are compared to my own type code INFP.  I often read about people comparing personality types strictly by way of the 4 letter code.  This is how it was introduced to me also.  While there is some validity and I imagine some people have been helped by this comparison it is just too simplistic and I do not believe it is the way the MBTI was originally meant to be used.  The MBTI was supposed to get us to Jung's theory.  When we look at the Jungian functions in their archetypal positions for both xSTJ's and compare them to my personality type of INFP you can see some striking comparisons that may be overlooked when comparing the 4 letters. As you can see I share my 4 conscious functions with the xSTJ's.  This is sometimes called complementary type codes and is  OVERLOOKED when you compare just the four letter codes, and probably why I was told during my first introduction to type (and also later in my career) that I probably will never really be able to communicate well with a majority of Army officers.

When I was a junior officer in the Army there came a time when I had to specifically decide to get out of my comfort zone and make some drastic changes in how I preferred to do things.  This was more of a survival instinct since I knew nothing of personality type at the time.  Later after becoming certified in the MBTI I looked back at some of these decisions and realized that what I had done was to bring my tertiary and inferior functions to the foreground in support of my dominant and auxiliary.  I discovered that providing a well organized, logical presentation allowed me to present things to senior officers that supported my values but talked their talk.  That is I was getting better at talking the language of Te to support my dominant Fi values.  I will admit that in my early days of getting out of my comfort zone I was not always successful.  OK I stumbled a lot. I think I spent a lot of time trying to guess at what I needed to do next.  I did not have the knowledge of type that I have now or even a hint of this theory. 

So how do others survive in this xSTJ world?  Mainly by drawing on their other functions to provide the same thing the rest of the community are looking for.  Everyone of us has all 8 functions within us and it is the ability to access our lesser trusted functions that allow everyone to go beyond their initial potential.  Learning to access this potential is called development.  We do not have to stay stagnant.  I have seen many times someone who has the functions and abilities desired in a specific industry as their dominant function.  More often than I care to remember I saw them do well as junior employees because they naturally do and say the things that get them noticed and make them successful.  As they progress they may continue to do well but struggle with changing conditions or the need to be more well rounded.  On the other hand the individual who was forced out of his or her comfort zone early in their career in order to survive, and continues to develop their secondary skills, may hold an advantage due to the ability to now bring to bear not only their lesser trusted functions which they used to keep pace with their cohorts, but their more trusted functions at times when they may be needed.  This developed flexibility could easily mean the difference between individuals selected to higher levels of responsibility.  These individuals can also provide their bosses unique insights they may not get from others especially when the boss understands the need for well rounded employees. 

So who is a better hire?  Neither or both, the hiring / promotion systems need to look at abilities and how well the employee is able to take on different and more varied responsibilities at higher levels. How do they deal with change, how do they deal with people and if they are expected to lead then how well do they take care of their people.   


Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Look at Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs using Function-Attitudes

I was watching some reruns of NCIS lately that I happen to miss and in a few episodes of TV's NCIS there was a character named Samantha Ryan, a Naval psychologist, played by Jamie Lee Curtis. At the end of one episode she called Gibbs an introverted intuitive feeler.  This is a term used by Carl Jung when talking about one of his personality types, the MBTI type code that corresponds with this Jungian type is INFJ.

His type code as function attitudes breaks down to Ni, Fe, Ti, Se, Ne, Fi, Te, Si

Ni is shown through Gibbs gut feelings.  In most of the episodes Tony or someone else refers to Gibb's gut feeling as the reason they need to continue searching.  Or they need to look for a specific person.  But it is this "sixth sense" that always works for him.   He uses this as his fall back, his hero and has learned over the years to trust in it when the facts don't always support it.  Through association his team has learned they can trust it also even when there is no evidence. 

His good parent is Fe.  Jethro does not demonstrate Fe as you might expect from someone who has it as his hero.  Instead as his good parent his concern for his team takes on a parental look.  He will do anything to protect his team and others.  He always puts others first.  His relationship with Abby is a great example of Fe.  Always bringing her supersized CAFPOWs and saying the right things to her, his simple kiss on the forehead as a thank you.  All speak to his Fe coming out in a very parent like manner.  Even his slaps on the back of the head when a member of his team does or says something stupid.  the good parent chastises but in a way that the team can learn from and even emulate when he is not there. 

As his tertiary he uses Ti.  Jethro's internal order comes out in the show as his set of rules that his team learns usually by breaking one of them.  These rules support his good parent by protecting his team.  We also see this function attitude as his eternal child when he does his famous head slap.  Kind of childish but it gets his point across.  I added the head slap to the good parent above but I think it could be used here also. 

His inferior function is Se.  Supporting his hero is his anima/animus using his senses as a marine sniper and in his building his sailboats by hand.  His senses allow him to pick up on small details that are translated by his Ni into conclusions.  These conclusions often require additional proof which is what the team spends most of the show trying to find in order to convict.  I also see the possibility that through this function he is able to access his unconscious functions.  When he works on his sailboat he allows for other thoughts, possibilities and functions that are often times considered more negative, he accesses through self-reflection and the detail work of building by hand. 

I have to wonder if the writer used Jungian psychology to originally develop Jethro Gibbs and only now gave us a hint of this or maybe modeled him after someone he knew.  Whatever the case when I heard Dr Ryan call Gibbs an introverted intuitive feeler I was able to see it instantly using Type dynamics and function attitudes.