Thursday, June 11, 2009

Are you a judger or a perceiver?

Two mythical heroes die hard in our culture; the gifted amateur and the born leader. The gifted amateur makes brilliant business decisions with little or no preparation, and his organization does wonderfully well as a result. The born leader succeeds by acting independently of his environment or his followers. Both of these myths help us forget that half of being smart is knowing what you’re dumb at. In the current world, you only need to hesitate in order to fail. Today’s experts are those who can see or find out how things relate to each other, not just the people with the most facts. These experts have value because they can show others what’s significant. Their expertise is less about having content and more about knowing how to help people look.

Constant change carries with it a stiff penalty; constant struggle and uncertainty.
The American Declaration of Independence says, “All experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” Swiss pychiatrist Carl Jung wrote that people’s personalities could be described as judgers or perceivers. Judgers take life seriously, are well organized, punctual, and decisive people who like time to plan their work and then work the plan. Perceivers, on the other hand, are more flexible, freewheeling and spontaneous, enjoy the unexpected, and take change in their stride. According to The Center for Application of Psychological Types in Gainesville, Florida, 60% of Americans are judgers. So most Americans are not naturally proactive change seekers or easy adaptors.

People need anchors to hold on to that provide a means for self-definition during periods of turbulence. In the Gnostic gospels, the Gospel of Thomas says, “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” A preoccupation with problem solving and decision making overdevelops the analytical abilities and leaves the ability to dream and take risks underdeveloped.

Many of our present behaviors and attitudes are ingrained in us by biological and cultural predisposition. The choices we make are influenced by these forces, and only by understanding them can we liberate ourselves and consciously drive our own evolution. So, have no fear of change as such but, on the other hand, don’t embrace it merely for its own sake either. And at all costs, avoid the temptation to combat complexity with complexity.

1 comment:

elerichards said...

I love this post! Great points made, nice quotes from the Declaration and Thomas, a couple of my favorite writings.