Career development occurs along two paths:
2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back: Moving from one Stage to the next is often associated with an improved social position—but not always. Transient reductions in salary or status may be chosen in order to strengthen character and capability so that an upward social path can be resumed more confidently.
Reaching Stage-2, with its power and security, is essential for the concept of career development within an organization to have any meaning. From then onwards, it is perfectly possible to stop at any Stage you choose and be successful. Check them out here …
This spiral of growth reveals four sets of directional movements in relation to the axes as shown in the diagram. These correspond to four varieties of personal demand that appear in each Cycle of the Spiral. In every case, the move along the axis in Cycle-2 is far larger than the move in Cycle-1. The synoptic schema reveals Cycle-1 demands as more concrete, superficial and personal, while Cycle-2 demands are more intangible, impersonal and holistic.
Two transitions require an effort of self-discipline, especially for people. The move distracts attention from productivity (i.e. retreats along the X-axis), yet eases achievement.
Moving from Stage-1, Mode, to Stage-2 power-centred Mode, may come as a shock and an annoyance to naive employees. But working the system is unavoidable, and office politics must be recognized and handled.
Moving from an Stage-5 kinship-centred Mode, may also be resisted or resented, because relating properly is necessarily difficult, and it may seem irrelevant to immediate work-pressures and too time-consuming.to
The transition in Cycle-1 depends on handling people well: a relatively superficial demand. The transition in Cycle-2 depends on building deeper, trusting relationships, oriented around the firm: far more demanding.
Two transitions require a move up the Y-axis. That means giving attention to developing capability. These moves challenge everyone to improve themselves deliberately and systematically.
Moving from Stage-2 power-centred Mode to Stage-3 Mode, requires an honest search within oneself. Determining what is meaningful and worthy of devoted study may be difficult. However, the correct choice here never generates regret, even if events lead one’s career down unexpected paths.
This Cycle-1 move is unproblematic for those whose primary or secondary are located in the upper half of the TET: they should find that they master and even enjoy commitment. Power-centred individuals, by contrast, struggle to make the transition because they have a weaker desire to develop themselves, and their core-self is unstable. As a result, they are attracted by externals—what seems exciting, fashionable or well-paid at the moment. They may come to regret the choice if circumstances change. Kinship-centred individuals may also hold back from commitment if the time requirement will interfere with family duties.
Cycle-2 is rather demanding due to the distance to be moved along the Y-axis. Moving from Stage-5 kinship-centred Mode to Stage-6 Mode demands personal development that is wholly distinct from personal interest. Studying foreign and new ideas is expected because the business requires someone to incorporate new thinking. Decisions emerging from a new way of thinking must be explained and sustained against suspicion or opposition. So the prerequisite to any commitment has to involve genuine ownership of the initially alien approach.
Two transitions move out along the X-axis and so require greater focus on making a contribution to business. These moves therefore involve.
Moving from Stage-3 - Mode to Stage-4 community-centred Mode, requires putting goals of the organization before one’s own goals. It also means being responsible for achievement in situations where much control rests with others.
Moving from Stage-6 Mode to Stage-7 reality-centred Mode, involves being prepared to shoulder responsibility for synthesizing imaginatively and leading an enterprise into an unknown that others cannot see clearly and must take from you on trust.
In Cycle-1, the challenge is to unify a well-defined work group around a concrete task and produce a result cooperatively. In Cycle-2, the challenge is to unite people in the organization generally to wake up to intangible social forces and start thinking about their implications for the industry and the organization.
Finally, two transitions require a re-focus on one’s job, but make minimal demands on the self. These moves involve no change on the X-Axis and a move down the Y-axis. They occur more or less automatically and spontaneously, given a positive environment.
These moves are not Stage changes but are re-assertions of in progressively more sophisticated forms. Adopting an organizational focus once Stage-4 community-centred Mode is fully established is natural because an organization is a type of community. Similarly, once Stage-7 reality-centred Mode is reached, a focus on the enterprise and its business concept spontaneously emerges and the clarity of view, combined with a unity of purpose, means strategies to grasp opportunities can be introduced earlier and far more effectively.
Originally posted: July 2009