A Matter of Age and Stage

assessmentRecently, I completed a psychometric assessment to review the current state of my talent and motivation in areas vital to business success. These areas are: Thought, Influence, Adaptability and Delivery. The last time I was assessed on the same instrument three years ago, my responses and scores were significantly different. As I discussed these differences during a feedback session, it became apparent that my perspective was heavily shaped by the circumstances of my life and my practice at the time of assessment.

It is probably more apparent to me now because I am in the midst of providing feedback to a number of senior executives based on their assessment reports. Many of whom begin by saying the certain scores were aberrations. Since these are self-assessments, it becomes a question of what the person was using as a basis for their responses.

If, for example, a person received a low score on being “imaginative” in the thought cluster, we have discovered that being in an environment where new ideas are not welcome, can cause a person to be less inclined to pursue innovative approaches. I have seen many instances where an accumulation of these culture/environment “disconnects” bring about stress, anxiety and illness. Certainly, it has an adverse effect on enthusiasm for the job, willingness to make an effort and productivity; however that is defined.

At this time of social, political and economic upheaval, each of us is called to contemplate the best way to proceed based on the options available. If you among those dismissed from long-held jobs, how does age and stage affect your perception of security, your self-confidence and what you are seeking as a way forward? If you are a new employer in Barbados, such as Flow, Sony Ericson and Citizen’s Bank; what measures are you taking in your recruitment, selection and development processes to ensure the factoring of age and stage into your performance expectations?

Age and stage is a constant factor into everything we do. Conscious and unconscious choices are being made that can have long-term implications.  Self-employed persons must decide whether or not they want just enough to fill their capacity as a free-lancer or to become truly entrepreneurial and seek horizons of unlimited growth.

With the tools and information currently available about optimizing performance, and the tremendous costs associated with rancorous industrial relations; finding a “square peg in a round hole” should become increasingly rare. I am aware of attrition and redundancy strategies being applied by government and various employers to reduce cost and improve efficiency. I would caution that explicit attention must be paid to the alignment of current age and stage to the type of culture that will allow employees to flourish.

It would be interesting to see what results would emerge from similar assessments of persons in prominent leadership positions in our society. How would political aspirants treat with the knowledge that, other that their desire to get elected, the other assessed factors showed that the culture and environment of that pursuit is inconsistent with high levels of performance.

This information is part of the “big data” that forms the reality today’s society. We are obligated to know more about ourselves as we are now rather than be tied to a reminiscent, outdated version of what used to be. The choice is ours.

God bless.

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