Mary Mackey (mm) Thu 7 Dec 00 14:52
Yes, I found that true about the ennegram too. It helped me forgive people.
Libbi Lepow (paris) Thu 7 Dec 00 15:48
That's a great way of putting it, Mary. I know that both David and I credit our ability to be together despite our different preferences to the understanding we've built through learning about the MBTI. I don't judge him through my filters and he doesn't judge me through his. We use someone else's ... (just joshin').
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Thu 7 Dec 00 18:39
> family situations Ah ha! I think I'm going to print out the Q quiz and assessment and take it to the family Christmas gathering. ;-)
Libbi Lepow (paris) Thu 7 Dec 00 19:08
I know I wish I had known my parents' preferences. It probably would've made adolescence a lot easier.
Kate Lacey (katelacey) Thu 7 Dec 00 20:11
Shoya, one thing I'm interested in is the different types' reactions to the whole idea of "leadership" and "power." I - green - feel an initial resistance to the whole idea. When I think of the word "leadership" I picture Patton. I really appreciate that you talk about different ways of defining or understanding leadership, and that that's part of the difference in leadership styles. Can you say a little bit about the 4 Q types different responses to the leadership/power, and how each group can understand leadership in a way that is compatible with their personality and values?
Shoya Zichy (shoya-zichy) Fri 8 Dec 00 04:41
Yes Cynthia, definitely do that. A number of families did it for Thanksgiving and said it was priceless - particularly those with many adult siblings. Although they may appear complicated at first, the concepts are really very simple. You just have to get used to shuffling them around. Meanwhile to Kate's question on power. It is a tricky issue. Many women are VERY nervous about power and influence. and the Greens do top that list. In the abstract, Power to many Greens is seen as having the clout to manipulate people. Even at its best, it has too much of an element of control. So for a Green power should be viewed as the ability to influence. Influence can be soft like Eleanor Roosevelt's was and in many ways like Oprah's is. Diane Sawyer's power is also soft. Yet all these people have a very extensive outreach, understand their power and do not misuse it. For a Red power is about getting things done. As this wonderful lawyer in my book Sheila Birnbaum said, "you walk into a room and you just know that people are going to pay attention to you and that you can get things accomplished. And that" she said with a huge grin " is a lot of fun." So here power is almost a game. To Helen Thomas it is about getting the President of the US to behave. When I asked her about some of the high points in her career, she cackled and said "when I got Mrs Carter to say about her son the president, 'sometimes when I look at my children, I wished I had remained a virgin." Now the Golds like power in the traditional sense. Power is about having human and financial resources at your disposal. And the fact that you have them, means you worked your way up the chain of command and you are entitled to have them. Deep down, however, a well developed Gold, views this power as a sacred trust to keep the machinery of human society humming as it is supposed to be. I find the Blues are the ones who most like power and are comfortable with it. To them it is subtle and forceful and a huge challenge It is a validation of their competence. It is their ability to bring about their vision and force the world to change. The saving grace in this is that they have such high standards against which they judge themselves, that they never really rest on their laurels. They always feel they should be doing better. And I say this with great affection for the Blues who make up a large percentage of my friends. I do like to needle them from to time. The important thing to remember is that there is a best and worst in each group. Each group has its own template. Remember the cats and dogs. There are warm purring cats and there are cats that stay as far away from you as possible Likewise there are well developed Greens who put their emotional intelligence to work to empathize and help others grow. And there are whiny green who take everything too personally, never deliver what they are supposed to and scatter their energies by wandering from one idea to another. There are well developed Reds who are islands of calm in midst of the greatest chaos. And there are manipulative Reds who create chaos in order to benefit from it. There are Golds who truly act as the protectors of the institution and people under their care and there are dictatorial, rigid and close minded Golds who fight every new idea. There are far reaching and visionary Blues who understand that they need to be patient and bring everyone on board with them, and there are arrogant and abusive Blues who are unbelievably stressful to work for. (I worked for one man who pinpointed one person at each meeting and screamed and heaped abuse on that individual for the entire meeting. This way he kept everyone else check. ) The key is to evaluate everyone against his or her own template. Each type matures in a different way.
Libbi Lepow (paris) Fri 8 Dec 00 08:01
This is great stuff, Shoya! As I think about the various managers I've had in my career, your "plus and minus" descriptions are incredibly accurate. Hell, as I look at myself (As Green as you can get, I think), your description is almost scary in its accuracy. Do you have any advice for working with each kind of manager/boss? Also, you shared something with me about your research for the LeadershipQ that I find fascinating (and not a little bit enviable) - that you've met, and learned from, Kathy Myers. To me, that's no unlike learning how to cook from - say Julia Child; you've been able to fine tune your learning with someone so close to the origination of the MBTI. Can you share a little about that experience, and how it helped you in your work on the LeadershipQ?
Shoya Zichy (shoya-zichy) Sat 9 Dec 00 04:46
Okay here are a few tips gleaned from years of arguments with over 22 bosses. If your boss is a Gold 1. Find out what type of information he needs from you on a regular basis and in WHAT format. Usually they want regular reports, weekly, daily, whatever. Usually they want them in a certain format, emphasizing certain things and usually they want them to be consistently in the same format. Don't get creative, get them in on time and avoid factual errors. This reduces their stress level and they are a lot more pleasant to be with after that. 2. Don't charge in and say I have a brilliant new idea. Talk to a few people about it, then go in and say "many people in the division, (network, company whatever) feel that it might be worth pursuing this idea. This way, there is institutional support and they will consider it. Present the idea and get out of the way. This gives them a chance to bitch and moan and struggle with it and ultimately they will incorporate it into the agenda of the next meeting. Golds are usually fair and consistent and are great at supporting you to the higher ups. Loyalty is reciprocal. But you got to play their game. For the Blue boss, 1.you need to check in periodically to see what it is that they expect of you that week. They forget to tell you. They expect you to figure it out. Don't come to them with details, figure it out yourself. But do come in and brainstorm for their ideas. 2. Leave your sensitivities at home. They will take apart everything you do, forget to thank you and worst of all sometimes forget to give you credit. This is not personal. Make you sure you slide your name in somewhere so others know you were involved. Get yourself included in meetings and let others know of your contribution. When positive, Blues are exciting if you are future oriented. They encourage creativity, let you define your own job and usually do not pay attention to the hierarchy. They will take and encourage ideas from all levels. The Red boss 1. Come in every day with the idea that anything goes. Be ready to change projects, directions, traveling plans and strategies on a moment's notice. If this throws you, go work for somebody else. 2. Encourage them to have a very organized assistant and resist impulse to play that role. I had a Red boss once who never looked at his phone messages - and he would get at least 30 a day. Unfortunately this affected my relationship with the field as well, so I started going through them every day, prioritizing them and returning calls myself. I was never able to get out of that role and it was a huge waste of time. Red bosses are fun, have a good sense of humor, great sense of politics and are egalitarian with their staff. But you have to live with their somewhat chaotic style -- not to mention the constant loss of key documents. For the Green 1. Be aware of their sensitives and "hot" buttons. They don't like confrontation so frequently will not tell when they are displeased. You are supposed to figure it out. They also don't like to have their ideas criticized. So tread diplomatically. Greens hold grudges. 2. They may also not confront the next levels up. Therefore you will often not get the raise or resources that you need because of their unwillingness to battle others. Greens are genuinely interested in the development of their staff and the state of your psyche. This is great for another green or for anyone that has a preference for feeling (right hand column of section II). It can be irritating for other types who want the workplace to be just about business and people treated in a more impartial way. As to Kathy Myers, it is indeed a pleasure to know her. She is very committed to the Myers-Briggs model and encouraging of people doing research in different areas. Her interest areas at the moment include probing further into type development (how people develop their non preferences as they get older) and testing the model in different cultures. I talked to her about my ideas at various stages of the book development. Some she agreed with and some she didn't. I think she would have preferred if I had left in the Extraverted/Introverted dimension which I sort of buried into the 8 styles. I was looking for more simplicity and felt that the E/I dimension was the least important for Leadership. In other areas, such as spousal relations for example it is very important. But she was very helpful in looking over my material as I developed it.
Konsigliari Kafka of the Cosa Nozzo (kafclown) Sat 9 Dec 00 06:41
I went back and re-read all of the categories, and I think I'm purple! (red AND blue) Which were my school colors! This is really fascinating stuff... Naturally, people don't always fit in these boxes that we make for them. Are there other shades of color that fit in between? Is there a categorizable difference in actions you should take between a red-blue and a blue-red ? (Or, to use somebody else's shades-- Green-gold and gold-green?) And why did you pick those colors? To me it's kind of interesting that red and blue are primary colors and green and gold are secondary. (well gold's not truly a secondary color, but what the heck)
Shoya Zichy (shoya-zichy) Sat 9 Dec 00 08:14
The reds and blues can look very similar on the surface, particularly the Blue Innovators which is the flexible subcategory of the Blues. Reds and Blue Innovators are both fast moving, multi tasked, have a short attention span on a single project. Both have a great sense of humor, are restless, somewhat messy and very flexible and adaptable. They are both opportunistic and always ready to push the envelope to the edge - in other words, high risk takers in life, relationships and investments. Inside however they are different. The Blue Innovators are abstract thinkers who like to roam the world of the future and ideas -- they don't observe details. They don't need facts. They concentrate on patterns and relationships. They like to read futuristic books, like Future Shock and the work of futurist Faith Popcorn. They are almost psychic in their ability to predict new trends. They use abstract vocabulary and complicated sentence structures --- clause after clause after clause, all grammatically correct but long. They read a lot. They love sitting in classes and often have advanced degrees. The Reds are the students of life. They don't like going to school. School is abstract. They have a down to earth pragmatic intelligence. They plunge into the world and figure it out by experience. They are highly observant of details. They have a strong sense of smell and taste. They can tell you every spice in a meal. They will remember the components of that meal for a long time afterward. They have the great wine cellars. They like reading biographies and history. They like sports. They often like dangerous sports, like race car driving. They like glitzy cars. They like action movies. They like to impress people. The like to do things on the spur of the moment rather than sitting around and talking (Blues love to talk and debate issues). They trust only what they have experienced. Reds have no time for models. Their language is straightforward with lots of action verbs. Their sentences are short and to the point. Now you can be between the two, but usually you are more to one side than the other. Does this make any sense? As to the colors, I chose them because the groups responded well to them. Red is the color of action Green is the color of growth, new plants etc. Greens love to develop themselves and others Blue is a cool reasoned color Gold because the golds hated being called yellow .
Konsigliari Kafka of the Cosa Nozzo (kafclown) Sat 9 Dec 00 10:01
It makes lots of sense! I'd say that I'm more blue than red, but I have definitely got a dash of that stuff going on. Dark purple, maybe? (Luminescent, probably, which gives me a little bit of gold in there.)
Libbi Lepow (paris) Sat 9 Dec 00 11:09
Shoya, that's about the best description of the Blue and Red temperaments I've ever read.
Shoya Zichy (shoya-zichy) Sat 9 Dec 00 11:51
Thanks Libbi. I have them in my family so I get to observe them at close range.
Libbi Lepow (paris) Sat 9 Dec 00 12:40
<heh> Well, I always seem to choose Blue men for partners, so there's ongoing learning for me in what you write!
Libbi Lepow (paris) Sat 9 Dec 00 16:11
One of the dilemmas that a lot of people encounter in organizations is that they have to deal with a lot of different people in management positions in order to do their jobs. I remember one situation where I knew that one senior manager was a Blue Strategist and was pretty sure that her counterpart was a Gold Trustee. Preparing presentations when we had to meet with them together was a challenge, to say the least. What we ended up doing was go in with the Blue, conceptual, big picture stuff but have 15, detailed slides in reserve for all the questions the Gold manager inevitably wanted. Lots of work, but it was the right way to go.
Shoya Zichy (shoya-zichy) Sun 10 Dec 00 04:43
That sounds about the way to go. One way I get around that is to say up front I have included much more detail about the product and its history in the handouts. Usually the Blue Stragist will eyeball them and you can see that Gold itching to get into them. So you can assume that he/she will do so right after the session. As you point out it is better to target to the more senior person.
Libbi Lepow (paris) Sun 10 Dec 00 09:00
Shoya, can you tell us a little about some of your "favorite" people in the book? Or, better yet, start earlier than that. How did you choose the women you interviewed. Had you observed their behavior prior to soliciting the interview? Which was the "best" interview? The most comfortable? The least comfortable? The silliest? The most difficult?
Shoya Zichy (shoya-zichy) Sun 10 Dec 00 13:07
Let me take that question in several parts. It is a long one and I will do some of it tonight and the rest tomorrow AM. Well the most difficult was Helen Thomas, the crusty 79 year old White House correspondent. She HATED being interviewed. We sat knee to knee in in tiny cubicle right down from the oval office in the White House and she could not figure out why she was doing this except that a member of the Lebanese community had asked her to do it. The Reds as you will remember do not believe in models. They are usually not terribly interested in psychology either. They trust their instincts and just like to get on with life. We we were in the middle of the war in Kosovo and spending time with me with not high on her priority list. You must also remember that this woman had made mincemeat of 8 Presidents and she was not about to cut me any slack. So she made short shrift of every question I asked. It was like watching a cat play with a mouse. Ouch!. The material however translated into a very good writeup. It almost wrote itself, and captured her and her style very well. In fact even she liked it. Now the easiest were all those in my color group - the Greens. Diane Sawyer, Jolene Sykes, President of Fortune magazine and Alexandra Lebenthal, President of the Wall Street firm Lebenthal and Co and other Greens were a joy for me. It was like having lunch with a friend. We had the same sense of humor. I understood their motivation and was in perfect agreement with all of their decisions. These were however, more difficult to writeup because I wanted to make sure that other groups would understand them as clearly as I did. So I spent a lot more time and really tried to fill in as much detail as possible. The most challenging were those in politics. I knew what a risk they were taking in talking to me and how I indebted I was to the people who had made the introductions and asked that they consider the interview. This is tricky territory, given the fact that all of these women are planning to run again and all are considered potential candidates for the presidency of the U.S. Also they are tightly scheduled and I was given very little time - usually about 30 minutes with each. That is much too little for this kind of in-depth analysis. When I interviewed Gov Christie Whitman, I had just walked a mile and half in 95 degree whether because there were no cabs at the train station in Trenton. I hopped from one foot to the other as some labor leader ahead of me refused to end his meeting and cut into my time. She was the image of perfection - a Chanel suit, hair in place, perfect pearls. She took one look at me and started laughing (gives you a clue as to the state I was in). Well that cut the ice. We actually had a very good time. Although I had to read three biographies on her because her press secretary refused to let her take the quiz. I decided she was a Red realist based on her life and childhood antics, then sent the writeup to her staff for validation. So we backed into that one. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (Gold Trustee) was the soul of measured focus. They were waiting for her on the Senate floor, but she stuck to course and gave me the time I needed. She was clear, organized and perfectly in charge. Perfectly dressed and mannered, she was a wonderful example of the Trustee sense of appropriateness. The most moving was Countess Albina, a cousin of Princess Caroline of Monaco. What a life! Here we have the fabulously wealth socialite who danced her way through every capital. Then tragedy struck. Her 24 year old son died in a freak accident. She shut herself up for a year. Then emerged went to Sotheby's and auctioned off $50 million of her mother's jewelry to start a foundation in his name. Since then she does nothing else but work with aids orphans in AFrica. She was open, candid, very interested in the model (Blue Innovator) and the interview turned into a back and forth banter that was quite amusing Another moving one was Linda Chavez Thomson - a sharecropper's child who started picking cotton when she was nine. Now she is EX VP of the AFL-CIO and the first woman to head the group (membership 13 million and we are not talking of genteel types either). You have to be in awe of someone who started with so little and accomplished so much. You don't even understand how she had to self confidence to keep going. As a Gold Conservator she was down to earth, matter of fact and howlingly funny. A 5 1" "pushy broad" as she kept calling herself. My challenge was to capture their unique personalities, motivation and type all at once. Well I need to run out for very full evening, but I will continue tomorrow.
Libbi Lepow (paris) Sun 10 Dec 00 15:21
I love this!
Shoya Zichy (shoya-zichy) Mon 11 Dec 00 05:12
okay continuing here. The silliest was not the interview (because all of them were deadly serious) was trying to finalize the interview with Laura Ziskin who was then President of Fox 2000 and is now back to running her own Hollywood production company (produced Pretty Girl, As Good as it Gets). as a Green Advocate was very interested in this material and the first person to agree to the interview in January. She cancelled the next 7 appointments because other things came up (a note of warning to all of you who have chosen the right column of Section III of the Quiz - this can be irritating to people) Finally we were in the first week of December and I was finishing the book which was due mid January. So I called her assistant who is a very focused person and said, I don't have any more time. She said, okay here is what we do. Here is her private phone number, the phone is next to her bed, she gets up at 9 AM on Saturday, by 9:15 she will have had a cup of coffee and she will be ready to talk. I will not tell her you will be calling. She will just have to do it cold. And that is exactly how we got that interview finished. love this story because it demonstrates one of the things that I found all these people had in common. They have loyal staff, they hire people with different talents and personalities and they honor those. And that helps them in moments when they are prone to screw up. Another interesting moment involved the interview with Ibolya David who is the Minister of Justice of Hungary. I included here because I am of Hungarian background and thought it would nice to give the country a little publicity. I went to Hungary. She does not speak English. My Hungarian is very poor so we decided to conduct the interview in French which we both speak. However, because I needed the quotes in English we had a translator who translated into English. Actually we had two translators present, because we wanted to ensure the total accuracy of the statements. Ibolya is an elegant tall blond, late 40s who is the head of the party, the only woman in the cabinet and is rewriting the Hungarian constitution. Now that is a historic role. Because of the sensitivity of her position I sent her write-up back to the staff to proof. She could not read it because it was in English. The staff did not translate it and there were some ex communists officials lurking around the parliament who did not like my opening paragraph that talked about the building where the interview was conducted that is now housing the offices of the cabinet. The building was formerly the place where they tortured political prisoners. So they told me the material was incorrect and I was not allowed to print it. I had all the material on tape, in English, refined by two translators and I figured nuts to this group and went ahead and included it in the book. Now the tricky part is that her department includes all the police in Hungary and I had to go back in September of this year for a family reunion. I really did not know if I was going to be picked up at the airport and disappear into some dungeon. The veneer of democracy in these countries is still very thin. Fortunately they decided to take another tactic perhaps because I was scheduled for a book signing and a number of print and TV interviews during my visit. The staff sent me a note congratulating on the family reunion - no mention of the book, refused to let me meet with her to present the book. To this day, I still don't know if she every laid eyes on it. I know she does not know about any of this. But it is a story that is perhaps even more interesting than her story. Now to your question. How did I choose these people? I wanted first of all a balance of all the 8 personality styles. So I had to get information about these people ahead of time and then hold my breath that they would turn out to be what I expected. I had a couple of surprises, like Helen Thomas who, I had pegged as a Blue Innovator. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend I thought would be a Green Mentor because on TV and interviews she speaks that script. That however is the script of her chief of staff (he is a green). She is definitely a Blue Innovator. A couple of others were also different, but fortunately by the time the reshuffle was complete, I had sufficient samples of each. Secondly I wanted to cover different fields, business, politics, entertainment and social activism. I wanted people from different backgrounds -- tenements, mansions and everything in between. I wanted people who had different motivations. Peggy Rockefeller is driven by different factors than Lorna Wendt, the very proper housewife who took her high profile divorce public and started the Center for Marital Equality. Both of these are very different from Jean Hamilton, CEO of Prudential who brings in revenues that exceed $8 billion every year. And yet they all speak the language and share the core motivators of their personality type. That is awesome to me and a true tribute to both the Myers Briggs family and Carl Jung himself. Theory that resonates is one thing, but this type of real life validation is another. It shows how deep the model is.
Libbi Lepow (paris) Mon 11 Dec 00 08:57
Absolutely. I'm curious as to whether your work with these women sparked an ongoing interest on their part in your model, or the MBTI. Have you been in touch with/heard from any of them since your original interviews?
Shoya Zichy (shoya-zichy) Mon 11 Dec 00 09:08
I have been in touch with a number of them who were rather intrigued. In fact we did a panel for the Financial Women's Association in NY last month, asked one from each color group to speak then had the audience of some 250 people take the quiz and follow the discussion along. The panelists played right into it and even cracked a few jokes on the idiosyncracies of their type. . As for the rest, I think they are still going through the book. This is not a lunchtime read so I suspect, it takes a while for people to absorb it.
Linda Castellani (castle) Mon 11 Dec 00 18:27
I just want to say that I am loving this, too. Very fascinating. Shoya, I know that there are four colors, but I'm wondering how many types there are: innovators, mentors, etc. Does each color have the same type breakdown, or are there different types for each color?
Shoya Zichy (shoya-zichy) Tue 12 Dec 00 02:45
Thanks Linda. I zeroes in on 8 styles which are the last three preferences of your MBTI i.e. STJ, SFJ, etc. If you remember,in taking the quiz, you skipped one of the sections to get to the four color groups which are the four temperament groups. If you go back and fill in the section you skipped, you will back into the 8 groups. So that creates two Greens. The Mentors NFJs who are focused and structured and the Advocates NFPs. who are open ended and adaptable. Two Blues, the focused Strategists (NTJ) and the adaptable Innovators NTP The Reds, the objective and cool headed Tacticians (STP)and the more people oriented Realists (SFP) The Golds, the objective and more cool headed Trustees (STJ)and the people oriented Conservators (SFJ). I originally tried to stay with the four temperaments in order to simplify matters as much as possible. But soon found that third dimension is important for purposes of leadership. While the two of each color group share many of the same core motivations, they look very different and seem to prefer different work environments. After that there is an extravert and introvert of each. That gets yo back to the 16 types.
Linda Castellani (castle) Tue 12 Dec 00 14:57
Whew!! Thanks. Lib just reported back to me on the results of my latest MBTI. I used to be an ENTP and now she says I am an INTJ. It's been about seven years since we last did this. So I am changing or have changed. How do you account for this? Do people change often, or most often stay true to type? Do they ever change back? And, she says, according to your book, that would make me a Blue, not a Green as I turned out to be when I took the quiz, although you may recall me saying that I was very attracted to the Blue scenarios in some cases, and to the Green in others (but never Red or Gold). Is this typical of the kinds of change you might see over time? That Blues might shift to Greens and Reds to Golds but never Blue or Green to Red or Gold?
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