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Finden Sie Ihren Archetyp auf der Grundlage der Treiber und psychologischen Merkmale
Triebkräfte und psychologische Merkmale der sozio-temporalen Matrix
Dringlichkeit versus Wichtigkeit
Die zeitlich komprimierte Beziehung der Dringlichkeit zu den zwischenmenschlichen Erwartungen der nahen Zukunft impliziert, dass die Wichtigkeit der Angelegenheit später nur als Funktion der Zeit abnimmt. Dies ist ein Beweis dafür, dass die vorübergehend zugewiesene Bedeutung nicht real ist.
Die Zukunft gehört allen: unseren Kindern, ihren Kindern und den Kindern der Kinder aller anderen Menschen.
Im Licht spiegelt sich immer noch der Abglanz unserer Vorfahren, das gleiche Licht, das unsere visuelle und energetische Erscheinung für immer transportieren wird. Ob Gegenwart, Zukunft oder Vergangenheit, alles existiert folglich parallel im Licht.
Hauptarten der Identifikation und Wege der Wertschöpfung
Wenn unser Bewusstsein die ganze Menschheit und eine ewige Vorstellung von Zeit so einbeziehen kann, dass sich unser identitätsbasiertes Ego nicht bedroht fühlt, sondern von einschränkenden Regeln, Vorurteilen und ungesunden Gewohnheiten befreit wird, entwickelt sich die Bewusstseinsintelligenz bereitwillig.
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Looking at the results sent to you by E-Mail, you can use the following analysis tools and compare yourself to the psychological features of the socio-temporal matrix. You may order a more detailed and personalized report, including actionable recommendations (see below).
Find your archetype based on high-level drivers and psychological features
Drivers and psychological features of the socio-temporal matrix
Urgency versus importance
The time-compressed relatedness of urgency to near-future inter-personal expectations implies that later in time the importance of the matter will fade only as a function of time. This provides proof that the temporarily assigned importance is not real.
The future belongs to all; to our children, to their children, and the children of all other people’s children.
There is still the reflection of our ancestors in the light, the same light that will transport our visual and energetic appearance forever. That’s how, whether present, future, or past, consequently, everything exists in light in parallel.
Main types of identification and ways of creating value
If our awareness can scope in all humanity and an eternal notion of time in a way that our identity-based ego does not feel threatened but rather liberated from limiting rules, prejudices and unhealthy habits, Awareness Intelligence readily and willingly will develop.
BECOME RESILIENT: How to mentally configure the three basic human needs of safety, satisfaction, and connectedness
“Resilience is a process reﬂecting positive adaptation in the face of adversity” [1, p. 1]. What adversity means to different people depends on individual, socio-cultural, and contextual circumstances.
The Big Five or five-factor personality assessment model (FFM) was found to be able to depict the concept of resiliency as a personality aspect as accurately as specific resiliency measurement tools . Personality traits described and assessed with the five-factor model  consist of five mostly independent personality trait dimensions, i.e.,
openness to experience .
A resilient personality is characterized by high scores on the FFM dimensions of extraversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and openness to experience, and low scores in neuroticism . Openness to experience seems to be particularly important; it should be seen as’ openness to cultural diversity’ too , including the ability to regulate one’s emotions  and to avoid extensive sensation seeking, which, for example, bears the risk of substance abuse . Equipped with such personal abilities, the rapid (global) changes in our times  caused by ever novel, complex, and changing socio-economical, environmental, technological, and health-related factors  can be met with higher resilience.
Other psychological concepts related to coping with adversity are the so-called ‘tolerance for ambiguity’ and ‘tolerance for uncertainty’ measures. These abilities are closely linked to mindfulness. For example, people educated in open-mindedness and who have learned to tolerate ambiguity can better persevere in their tolerance even in situations of insecurity and danger . In that context, hope as related to resilience is enabling individuals to imagine a better future and to endure the present despite the uncertainty for such an achievement . However, it’s not done with hope alone. A strong belief in and an identification with the possibility of achievement are the drivers for the work ethic that required for the realization of the hope. That way, in a first step, the promotion of hope might be a useful approach to reduce uncertainty intolerance and consequently to increase the tolerance for ambiguity for a more open-mindedness that leaves room for thoughtful and empathic decisions that lead to work towards desired and desirable outcomes.
Yes, a major outcome of resilience is empathy. It’s not threats themselves, but how people can resiliently respond to them. If there is no openness to decipher ambiguous, uncertain information, one risks to take the shortcut of, for example, stereotyping and promote black-and-white thinking that is further hindering an open mindset. A vicious spiral, indeed!
Maslow (1968) made the point that we are oriented toward either growth or safety in our everyday lives and that a growth orientation is more favorable for psychological health and well-being . When self-protection (needs) get reduced, self-awareness can arise and facilitate the appreciation of multiple possibilities in situations, which might be the stage of personal development where tolerance for ambiguity as the capacity to accept paradoxes starts to become feasible . Systems of mass conformity, authoritarianism, and nationalism/racism (as well as an emotional attachment to materialism in general) are offered as a means for safety, unfortunately at the cost of growth possibilities through autonomy, creativity, and the use of reason.
Unfortunately, “dealing with ambiguity, respectively the ability to cope with adversity (resilience) is seldom taught, but individuals striving for higher qualities tend to understand that uncertainty is the gateway to opportunity” [14, p. 30]. Therefore, societies should prepare the next generation for life, and it will be crucial how we instill hope and support our children to live constructively with uncertainties while retaining a high tolerance for ambiguity and open-mindedness as required to be truly resilient and find the solutions sought for the benefit of all .
Practically spoken, to get more resilient, one needs to be ready to adapt her/his belief system. Unfortunately, our ‘stable identity’ obsessed ego causes us to not like change. Nevertheless, as long as there is a fear of loss, there will always be defense mechanisms that hamper open-mindedness, and as a result, resilience too. There is good news, though, to adopt a resilient belief system, the three basic human needs of (1) safety, (2) satisfaction, and (3) connectedness don’t need to be abandoned, while it is essential to think about their socio-temporal ‘configuration’, which I call Awareness Intelligence:
Access your spiritual source, your intuition, free from social conditioning, and as close to the source of life that has brought you here. You are part of the intelligent universe independent of your upbringing; what else could be safer.
Meet others in the here and now openly, without past judgments and future expectations. Such non-transactional and unconditional love brings the highest satisfaction.
Expand from separateness to wholeness. The future isn’t about physical survival as long as possible; it is about meaning and connecting to the whole humanity (even future generations) and our soul during a lifetime. With such a connectedness, future worries dissolve.
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 Waaktaar, T., & Torgersen, S. (2010). How resilient are resilience scales? The Big Five scales outperform resilience scales in predicting adjustment in adolescents. Scandinavian Journal Of Psychology, 51(2), 157-163.
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 Einwanger, J. (2014). Wie riskant ist Sicherheit? (German). Pädiatrie & Pädologie, 49(4), 33.
1.Inspirational leadership is a less studied, but holistic concept that centers within the presence of a whole mind that is aware of the being and doing of the self and others.
2.As an inspirational leader who gives ideas to others, investing time and effort into self-development is vital. One can only give what’s inside of him/her.
3.The human side of leadership is fundamental for an inspirational interaction between leaders and followers.
4.The most appreciated leadership aspect is the ability to inspire. The capacity to inspire does result in high employee commitment.
5.Inspirational leaders positively influence employee characteristics, such as independent thinking and pro-activeness. These qualities not only foster innovativeness and drive business performance, but also have a positive effect on followers’ happiness at work.
6.The quest for the ‘Why,’ critical thinking, purpose, passion, and caring emotional intelligence all come from within oneself. Self-awareness and autonomy is the foundation for accessing the source of inspiration. Allow your soul to be free.
7.Authenticity is the core of inspirational leadership. Authentic behavior arises when the ‘who you are’ and the ‘what you do’ are aligned. A genuine and ethical leader differentiates between the true needs of his/her inner being as compared to the many and often conflicting demands and conditions of society.
Slides from our 80% is Psychology event, December 12th, 2018 in Tokyo.
1.It is crucial to what role models children are exposed. Babies intuitively follow the eye gaze of their mothers. Little geese adopt the first seen subject after hatching as their caregiver (so-called IMPRINTING). And imprisoned children regard the prison guards as their parents to follow.
2.Followers emulate primarily other followers, not necessarily the leader. A movement is made by courageous followers who show others how to follow too. Therefore it is essential to nurture followers.
3.To form a positive social identity (as everybody seeks to), people use self-categorization. According to SOCIAL IDENTITY THEORY, this risks leading to biased social comparison in which people tend to over-favorize one’s own group’s individuals’ positive characteristics while they stereotype and discriminate out-group members having mainly negative traits.
4.PROTOTYPICAL PERCEPTIONS cause people to think that the followers of the group they identify with can be persuaded by information, while out-group followers are mis-perceived as needing to be coerced by force.
5.Individuals who follow a leader against their own moral beliefs or good judgment may do so because they socially identify with the leader and consciously choose to follow his/her MORAL COMPASS.
6.Leaders in a mutually beneficial leader-follower relationship provide public goods to their followership. In return, followers voluntarily pay their costs to the leader in the form of prestige. When leaders gain more relative power, and their high status becomes less dependent on their willingness to pay the costs of benefitting followers, the SERVICE-FOR-PRESTIGE THEORY predicts that leader-follower relations will become more based on leaders’ ability to dominate and exploit.
7.In the phenomena of RECIPROCITY, we should differentiate whether it is about our genuine desire to return favors unconditionally based on feelings of thankfulness, or whether we get trapped into “marketing tricks” that let us act upon feelings of obligation and guilt.
8.A secureATTACHMENT STYLEhelps people trusting in lasting relationships, self-confidentially seeking out and providing social support that empowers themselves and colleagues alike. Insecurely attached people may cause stronger exclusion and exploitation of others.
9.Effective followers as fostered by TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP are those who are not only actively involved, but those who are also critically thinking to influence decision-making and change. Conformist followers who are not challenging the status quo contribute less to innovation and business performance improvement.
10.DIVERSITY AND INCLUSIVENESS are vital also from a business perspective because better-connected networks enable more knowledge sharing that is favorable for innovation and improves business performance, which ultimately results in increased profitability.
11.REVERSE MENTORING allows any employees to assume, (informal) leadership roles. Reverse mentoring not only promotes bi-directional knowledge exchange, but it can help isolated older leaders to enter into more egalitarian relationships as well.
12.Utilizing CONSTRUCTIVE HUMOR may be an effective leadership strategy to win trust and commitment from followers as it bridges authority gaps and encourages the both-sided expression of positive emotions even when addressing difficult matters.
1.Whether in a formal position, at work or in private, our influence on others is more significant than we think. It may be your today’s courageous example that inspires somebody else even years later to do the right thing as well.
2.To be a leader means to be a continuous learner, and learners are readers.
3.While leadership theories as a relatively young science are becoming ‘smarter,’ there is also ancient and timeless leadership wisdom based on ‘kindness.’
4.Against persistent myths: Leaders are not born, they are made.
5.Do not let you blend by the ‘halo effect’ to conclude that people being good or powerful in one area might be consequently amazing in other areas too.
6.Adapt your leadership style according to the situation and development phase of the people needing direction, coaching, support, or delegation.
7.While transactional leaders make today better by rewarding good performance, transformational leaders are focused on making tomorrow better too.
8.For personal charisma, develop your emotional and social intelligence. As a visionary leader, learn how to visualize an attractive and ideal future that inspires others to follow their heart.
9.A majority of employees is disengaged. Increased participation is required to move beyond consumer behavior. Only with emotional and economic co-ownership will people assume more responsibility/accountability.
10.The administration of existing businesses often leaves little room for leadership that involves the creation of new meaning and change. Differentiate a position-based management career requiring short-term profitability goals versus a self-guided leadership desire to make a difference beyond market considerations in the long-term. You always can be a leader!
11.Always re-evaluate your beliefs in symbols and rules, don’t assume, don’t judge, and listen to people for who they truly are. That’s how you can empower yourself and others to become more free, understanding, and creative.
1.Know that the brain has different chemical processes for addictive pleasure experiences (neurotransmitter is dopamine) versus more long-term, empathic, and self-sufficient happiness-related behavior (neurotransmitter is serotonin).
2.Reducedistractions, especially to avoid over-dependence (addiction) to technology and social networks that interrupt your attention and learning.
3.Increase for how long you are able to stay offline and/or exclusively focused for better learning results.
4.Train your brain through exercising, diet, sleep, and alternative learning strategies.
5.Recognize how your consciousness requires the joint operation of brain, body, and the world. Brain activities may be necessary, but not sufficient preconditions for human behavior.
6.Experiment with stretching your sense of time and thinking of cyclical time. The soul/spirit wants to expand. As the earth is not a plate where you can fall off the edges, time may not be a simple line with birth and life ‘abysses.’
7.Do not fear the future. The brain takes even distantly thought threats for real and causes already now suffering, anxiety, and depression.
8.Do not fear loss. If we are only our physical brain, we don’t need to fear any regrets or pain after death. If there is something more permanent than our brain, death isn’t an existential threat to fear either.
9.Useintuition, imagination, and intention to ‘real-life check’ what really counts in everything you learn: Is it meaningful, unlimited, and purposeful? If not, it’s not worth it.
10.Read to activate your brain, increase the working memory’s capacity, and expand attention span.
Although ‘meaning’ isn’t reducible to a state-like single factor , the meaning of a concept (i.e., work) is related to how an individual does experience the significance of a situation that causes related inferential intentions to behave in a certain way . While for many people the primary meaning of work lies in the earning of money for making a living, work provides also for values such as achievement, honor, and social relationships that determine how central the purpose of work is as compared to other life aspects like leisure, family, and community .
Economist and psychologist approach to work
The economist approach to work assumes a transactional exchange of time and effort for money. Non-financial job values have gotten limited attention by economists when examining work motivation and productivity. However, like for example, academics who have highest job security without the need to outperform, and who study beyond working hours without monetary incentives, are motivated by pure contribution to a subject, intellectual stimulation, and the satisfaction from a deliberate exchange of knowledge. Similarly, entrepreneurs enjoy the freedom of autonomous decision-making regardless of ‘pain’ put into it in the form of time and effort. Top talents have been found to prefer to work for social organizations rather than just for the best paying one .
Albeit the financialized political economy  ignores many aspects of work, such as its creative and interpersonal (social) value , the examples show that through psychological satisfaction, work can be a source of meaning beyond merely earning an income .
Cultural features of work meaning
Work creates culture, culture creates work
Culture as a guiding set of material, mental, and spiritual values that are based on a group’s experiences over time, creates meaning on how to behave and work  and, at the same time, its meaning itself is produced by work. Consequently, work should be considered a meaning-making construct of and within culture respectively as the producer and product of people’s mindset simultaneously . A culture, therefore, can be only as rich and meaningful as the work that produces it is itself.
In most Western cultures, there is today a less clear boundary between school and work life. In Japanese society though, there exists still a distinct point in time (usually beginning of April every year) that is marking the end of one’s student identity through entering the working world on full-time basis, which means to becoming a ‘shakaijin,’ i.e., a person of society/workforce . Companies use recruitment practices and regular personal assessment throughout an adult’s work life to socialize . Age-based reward and promotion systems also support this ongoing socialization process . More recently, the traditional path to adulthood and ‘companyism’ has become more diverse, and the increasing number of part-time workers and contractors is shaping a changing understanding of the transition to adulthood and work life, one that takes place rather through action than through the acquisition of the ‘shakaijin’ status .
Masculine breadwinner identity
Company respectively work-led socialization reinforces gender roles. The breadwinning role is a priority in masculine identity. After the earthquake in 2011, men’s concern in Fukushima was less related to health than to the loss of their economic situation . As in Japanese patriarchal culture, the father role is still primarily related to company job-related work, childcare duties are culturally assigned to solely to the female role (i.e., mother or grandmother), which provides a widespread potential for work-family conflicts. Shared family and work-related commitments, however, begin to be seen as essential to improve self-worthiness and a sense of meaningfulness in life . Men who don’t exhibit a regular full-time job are more likely to marry late. Also, males with non-standard jobs have the lowest chance of getting children, an effect that is prevalent in Japan, but not in the US, for example .
Given the importance of work as a provider of status, identity, and meaning, it is understandable that Japanese commit with a lot of grit to it . Over time, Japan’s values align more closely with global trends insofar as there is a great emphasis on the economic function of work as well . Will that be enough meaning to engage the next generations of employees as well? Research is showing that lack of meaning at work is reducing work volition and work-related well-being significantly .
Economy of dignity and respect
A further question is how much a collectivist society may be able to reduce the dependency on others and society overall because over-dependency on the meaning of work risks to hamper dignity. The individual capacity to understand and position oneself as a fully recognized societal participant is vital to the notion of dignity as sourced from within. It is to hope that companies and society, not only in Japan, help to create dignity by de-stigmatizing of traditional personhood markers such as employment type and gender roles . It’s maybe such a shift from status-focus to an action-focus orientation that also explains the changing meaning of ‘sonkei’ (Japanese for respect). Formal respect (e.g., towards age-based status) is increasingly recognized as a moral duty rather than an emotion built on genuine love and admiration .
Benefits from meaningful work
The benefit of employees perceiving their work as meaningful come as experiences of greater happiness, job satisfaction, team spirit, and commitment (; ), thus reducing turnover rates and long-term sickness absences. This is because of the positive emotional bondage to the workplace that is an end in itself; a characteristic also called intrinsic motivation . A greater sense of meaning in one’s work can be protective of burnout . Eudaimonia is a term describing the sort of well-being that comes from living an engaging, meaningful, and fulfilling life . Such a spirit at the workplace can be fostered by letting employees feel they contribute to something more significant in connection to a common connection and purpose .
Performance and physical health
Work meaning is also closely linked to better outcomes, such as increased income, quality of work, and job satisfaction . Finally, a sense of purpose and sense of socially embedded growth in and from work (i.e., eudaimonic, meaning-based well-being versus hedonic, pleasure-based job-satisfaction ) was found to be associated with positive health outcomes, for example, by the means of supporting one’s physical resistance against adversities like inflammation or viral infection . The Japanese type of stress-death, the so-called ‘karoushi’ (death from overwork) cannot be seen as a physiological phenomenon only. Rather death is caused by a vicious cycle of depressive feelings, and states of helplessness and unescapable despair combined with overwork .
Fostering meaning at work
A culture of mentorship and nostalgia
For a long time, job satisfaction research has been focused on an organizational perspective without sufficiently considering the role of the job on family, the standard of living, personal development, and on a worker’s larger worldview . It is crucial to understand better situational contexts in which meaning ensues. Researchers found that the highest levels of meaning arise during spiritual practices and work hours, especially when performing social job components such as talking to people. As a general pattern, meaning occurs most during states of increased awareness . An organizational listening climate may facilitate such an awareness , and acting as a self-reflective mentor might be a useful avenue of experiencing meaning at work . Indeed, studies among nursing practices from different countries (e.g., Canada, India, Ireland, Japan, and Korea) confirm that leaders and a culture of mentorship are important for fostering meaning of work for both mentors and the mentees . Also, the induction of nostalgia (i.e., remembering sentimental events from the past) can be used to meet employees longing for wistful affection to the past and may increase an employee’s perception of the meaningfulness of his/her organizational life and therefore the attachment to it .
The need for humanizing the economy
The hope that unfulfilling, unsatisfying, and even health and life-threatening mental stress at work will improve may be overshadowed by the continuing centrality of profit margins and efficiency in corporations. Neo-liberal development in Japan has shaken the traditions of secure long-term employment and a state responsible for citizens welfare. While the need for meaning at the workplace implies rather a humanization of the economy and society, capitalist marketization of everything is continuing. Corporate managers continue to exploit deregulated labor and capital and maintain insecurity and growing competition among workers. . While rhetoric is sometimes trying to convince otherwise, understandably in the light of how grim the reality reveals, capitalism’s ultimate sense is about capital rather than humanity. In case of conflict, business goals come before anything else. Regardless of how meaningful employees perceive their job, no CEO is considered unsuccessful when driving profits within legal constraints and without caring especially about humanistically meaningful jobs. It’s, therefore, as an example, a non-surprising and common observation that such managers only after their retirement turn to a more dedicated anthropological role of contributing to society.
Meaning determines moral and ethical intentions and behavior
It seems that people need to find answers from within because the treadmill of the pursuit of consumption, pleasure, and economic success from work won’t fulfill the potential of greater meaning at work in many cases, regardless of how comfortable or tough the circumstances. It is each and everyone’s responsibility to fill the void of meaning through their sacred awareness, philosophy, and artful approach to put it into practice. And it is critical that we help others to do so too. The meaning of work should be considered simultaneously from an individual, organizational, and societal perspective, considering its psychological function for everyone. Meaning is the basis on which intentions ensue and according actions follow . Consequently, claiming peaceful fulfillment in one’s work is an essential part of and prerequisite for moral and ethical behavior towards oneself and others alike.
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Summary. In the light of uncertain future threatening outcomes, present ambiguous information often is interpreted more negatively than it would be the case in a safe context. Black-and-white thinking is hindering positive deciphering of ambiguous information. People educated in open-mindedness and who have learned to tolerate ambiguity can better persevere in their tolerance even in situations of danger. Individuals’ dependencies on hierarchical power can cause closed mental systems that are increasingly unable to tolerate differences, ambiguities, and uncertainties. The promotion of hope might be a useful approach to reduce uncertainty intolerance that leaves more room for thoughtful and empathic decisions. It will be crucial how we instill hope and support our children to live constructively with uncertainties while retaining a high tolerance for ambiguity and open-mindedness as required to find the solutions sought for the benefit of all. What are your learnings from uncertain/ambiguous situations and how did you learn to develop a tolerance for it?
The difference between ‘uncertainty’ and ‘ambiguity’
Intolerance of Uncertainty and Intolerance of Ambiguity often have been confused. Although IU and IA are overlapping concepts, they can be differentiated as follows: Intolerance of uncertainty refers future negative events that cause worries, and intolerance for ambiguity refers to adverse stimuli in the present . Also, intolerance of uncertainty is built on the fact that information on outcomes of a situation is missing while intolerance for ambiguity is characterized by ambivalent or conflicting information available on the situation .
The effect of intolerance for uncertainty on tolerance for ambiguity
As per the discussion around the article https://mathias-sager.com/2018/06/12/tolerance-for-ambiguity-as-a-gateway-to-leadership-opportunity/ it became clear to me that tolerance for ambiguity respectively Intolerance for Ambiguity might be dependent a lot on context too. Thanks to all the involved for triggering that further research. While having assumed general business situations in times of relative peace in democratic countries in the last article, individual’s behavior in highly stressful (e.g., military) conditions in threatening environments needs to be looked at specifically, including both the concepts of uncertainty and ambiguity. I hope this article can contribute to that discussion.
Tolerance for ambiguity of an individual can be reduced in the context of threat through uncertainty, and especially when there is increased intolerance of uncertainty. In other words, in the light of uncertain future threatening outcomes, present ambiguous information is interpreted more negatively than it would be the case in a safe context . Besides, not only the threat itself but the possibly stronger propagation of stereotyping (e.g., of enemies) might promote black-and-white thinking that is hindering an open mindset as required to positively decipher ambiguous information. People educated in open-mindedness and who have learned to tolerate ambiguity can better persevere in their tolerance even in situations of danger .
We generally have a choice between concern and cruelty. But as the example above showed, sometimes not-so-obvious factors influence our predispositions for one of the options because intolerance for an ambiguous situation, induced by threats of uncertainty, may trigger reactions of self-defense based on uncontrolled prejudices. Interviewing perpetrators in the Rwanda genocide revealed that individuals’ dependencies on hierarchical power caused closed mental systems unable to tolerate differences, ambiguities, and uncertainties .
Hope and resilience to endure uncertainty
In our times of continued pervasiveness of populations living in environments of war and disasters, resilience is a further important concept. Hope as related to resilience is enabling individuals to imagine a better future and to endure the present despite the uncertainty for such an achievement . That way, the promotion of hope might be a useful approach to reduce uncertainty intolerance and consequently to increase the tolerance for ambiguity for a more open mindedness that leaves room for thoughtful and empathic decisions.
Growth versus safety orientation
Maslow (1968) made the point that we are oriented toward either growth or safety in our everyday lives and that a growth orientation is more favorable for psychological health and well-being . When self-protection (needs) get reduced, self-awareness can arise and facilitate the appreciation of multiple possibilities in situations, which might be the stage of personal development where tolerance for ambiguity as the capacity to accept paradoxes starts to become feasible . Systems of mass conformity, authoritarianism, and nationalism/racism are offered as a means for safety, unfortunately at the cost of growth possibilities through autonomy, creativity, and the use of reason though. After World War II this became evident and powerful movements toward an open mind of tolerance of ambiguity emerged that could cater to both safety and growth needs . It is a function of societies to prepare the next generation for life, and it will be crucial how we instill hope and support our children to live constructively with uncertainties while retaining a high tolerance for ambiguity and open-mindedness as required to find the solutions sought for the benefit of all .
What are your learnings from uncertain/ambiguous situations and how did you learn to develop a tolerance for it?
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Today’s professionals need to succeed in technology-rich environments . Information age organizations are characterized by rapid change and uncertainty . Progressing globalization poses challenges through ambiguities that are caused by ever novel, complex, and changing socio-economical, environmental, technological, and workforce factors . The ability to tolerate ambiguity, therefore, is increasingly vital for successful leaders and employees alike .
“The tolerance for ambiguity (or intolerance for ambiguity) construct relates to a person’s disposition or tendency in addressing uncertain situations” [4, p.1]. The concept is also described in organizational behavior as “a coping mechanism for dealing with organizational change” .
Tolerance for ambiguity as a performance driver
Tolerance for ambiguity was found to support organizational performance drivers, such as :
Receptive for cross-cultural work and collaboration
Flexibility and adaptability
Tolerance for failure
Creativity and innovation
Entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial performance, and
A firm’s financial and market performance
Importance for (global) leadership
“Dealing with ambiguity is seldom taught, but higher-performing leaders tend to understand that uncertainty can be the gateway to opportunity” (6, p. 30).
Indeed, tolerance (or intolerance) for ambiguity influences one’s behavior and consequently leadership and decision-making style . Studies have found that expatriates high on tolerance for ambiguity adjust and perform better in global work workplaces and cross-cultural environments .
Practicing tolerance for ambiguity
Leadership learning and development should adapt to the rapidly evolving business world, for example, by providing innovative learning strategies such as simulations . Potential for improvement and learning progress related to tolerance for ambiguity can be measured with according psychometric assessments and accordingly monitored as a key leadership ability .
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Self-efficacy, job effectiveness, and higher achievement
Less risk of burnout
Generally increased happiness
Increase leadership adaptability
Rapidly changing leadership challenges
Leadership education has undergone a substantial shift. Life and working world seem to have become more complex with competing urgencies and over-dynamic developments of issues that challenge the required qualities of the next generation of leaders. Leaders today need to be able to find ever-new solutions and adaptations to challenging situations. This can be traced back, for example, to the growing world population and increased growth expectations in all areas of life and economy that cause growth issues in the following six areas :
Natural resource management
Energy production and consumption
Climate change, and
Organizations keep aspiring to increase profits, acting ethically, and promoting community and environmental sustainability. How will it be possible to optimize all these aspects while not doing it at the cost of others ? One answer is that it requires leaders who believe they can respond to these challenges in their own capacity, a concept that is coined as “locus of control.”
Definition of internal vs. external locus of control
Locus of control is about a person’s confidence that he or she can control events in their lives. Individuals with an internal locus of control have a strong sense of self-responsibility and that they have the power to change their lives. Externally-controlled individuals believe that they are not in control of their lives and it is instead chance, opportunities, and other individuals and events (i.e., the circumstances) that determine their destiny .
According to research, adverse consequences from an external locus of control are heightened levels of intolerance and anxiety, and finally higher burnout rates .
Internal locus of control, on the other hand, is associated with individuals gathering more information , which improves their decision-making process, effectiveness, and achievement. That internally-controlled individuals benefit from increased self-efficacy is in line with these results. For example, it was found that teams with individuals of relatively high internal locus of control are able of higher performance in a self-reliant way respectively without a leader . Last but not least, people with an internal locus of control generally enjoy more happiness .
Adaptation of leadership style
Locus of control is one aspect of personality. Leaders with an internal locus of control can adapt their leadership style as required to achieve the leadership objectives effectively and efficiently .
What’s your locus of control?
LEt’s find out more about ourselves. You can find a couple of free online assessments related to locus of control. The following example structures the result along different dimensions of life, such as achievement, career, relationships, and health. Comparing different tests, you will see soon that it becomes quite clear how to distinguish between internal and external locus of control.
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Self-improvement can be intimidating, and personal interactions with other, like in a mentoring relationship might be extraordinarily valuable . In today’s fast-changing world the potential for mentoring, especially if creatively employed, might be an increasingly useful type of relationship . Yet relatively few employees got into a company mentoring program . Traditional mentoring generally takes place between a senior and a junior person in a similar career field , a relationship that is hierarchical and one-directional in the sense that the mentor in its expert position carries the power while the newcomer mentee is deemed to receive learning .
Reverse mentoring for diversity and organizational success
Reverse mentoring, on the other side, can be defined as “pair[ing] younger, junior employees as mentors with older, senior colleagues as mentees to share knowledge” (, p. 569). Jack Welch in 1999 made this approach popular when using it in GE . It is the first time that four or five generation with distinct values work in the same workplaces and have to manage related generational tensions (; ). Reverse (respectively reciprocal) mentoring may be promising transfer processes to support global expatriate female managers as they were found to receive less monitoring than male and domestic colleagues . Cross-racial reverse mentoring is another example of engaging diversity to increase organizational success .
Benefits for the employees
Reverse mentoring was found to benefit older adults with reduced social isolation, improved self-efficacy, and increased technological understanding, and younger colleagues can progress their teaching and communication skills . Intriguingly, by collaboratively fostering the understanding of each generations qualities, inter-generational intelligence can be built . Vitality, enthusiasm, and creativity are predominantly represented by the younger, lower levels of organizations; not surprising when remembering the evidence that toddlers, in general, are creative, compared to the only 2% of 44-year-olds . Reverse mentoring is promising in generating new ideas , which is vital in valuing the human capital and use it for innovation and competitiveness as required for learning organizations . Lane (2018) speculates that this effect might be the more pronounced, the bigger and the more global a firm is .
HR supported implementation for improved employee retention
In a study in the field of academic medicine, it was found that half of the recipients of unsatisfactory mentoring did genuinely consider quit the firm, while positive mentoring experiences reduced this number to 14% . In another study reverse mentoring predicted increased affective commitment potentially decreasing turnover rates among millennial employees . While informal settings may take pressure away from younger persons mentoring their superiors , more formal mentoring provides for clear objectives and plans how to achieve them . It is essential that older leaders get the courage  to open up, demonstrate humility, and enter into egalitarian relationships . Ideally, such openness and the diversification of the workforce  through reverse mentoring is systematically supported by HR too .
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Psychologists in the past have conceptualized talent as an IQ-like cognitive ability , and practice focused on the view of human achievements to be limited by innate characteristics . Human cognitive processing is indeed universally depending on sensory abilities, often biased and unaware of its own mechanisms, and limited to a relatively bounded range of working memory capacity . However, these innate factors are not directly encoding skills, but the development of human expertise rather relies on whether or not and how experience and training are happening .
Ericsson, Prietula, and Cokely (2007)  describe “deliberate practice” , which is the direction of efforts towards learning something that can’t be done well yet as compared to an already familiar task. Deliberate thinking develops the concentration and accepting consideration of even painful feedback (people tend to over-estimate their skills and performance) to practice new things that are, therefore, more challenging to approach . Learning outside of one’s comfort zone has been found favorable for reaping the benefits from brain plasticity allowing for ongoing cognitive health even in older age .
The development of cognitive abilities needs practice because it is, for example, relying on stored contextual information for improved anticipation and decision-making . The so-called psychological support skills are more domain-general, can respectively have to be learned too though, improve motivation, attention, and anxiety, and comprise of mental abilities such as imagery, self-talk, relaxation skills, goals setting, and organizing . Also, spatial abilities have been found supportive of developing expertise in science, technology, and engineering education .
Self-efficacy and motivation
Performance achievement requires self-confidence in one’s ability to learn. For any learning, it is vital to develop this life-skill of self-efficacy . Self-efficacy helps develop a stronger sense of hope and purpose of life . The attribution of failure to controllable factors (such as one’s development of abilities) causes individuals to think more positively, being more motivated and perseverant, and perform more successfully . While available to all, proactive personalities might access self-efficacy more easily though . The so-called Deep Layer Learning Motivation (i.e., the interest in internal motivation, as opposed to external motivators) is positively related to learning performance and self-efficacy . All this taken together, the possibility of creating an upward spiral for developing human capital exists through the mutually reinforcing effects of positive self-belief, intrinsic motivation, and successful learning achievement.
Creating a supportive environment
How a student, including the gifted , perceives the supportiveness of his/her learning environment, e.g., colleagues, family, and teachers, influences the motivation for self-directed engagement . This demonstrates the importance of a practice-friendly design of learning environments . The Triarchic Model of Grit has been evaluated a valid and reliable tool for measuring talent development self-efﬁcacy and has recently added the dimension of ‘adaptability to situations’ to the already established dimensions of ‘perseverance of effort’ and ‘consistency of interests’ . This could be especially useful to assess a conception of talent (respectively ability) that is seen as a more multi-dimensional function of person-environment interactions ensuring that educational policies and programs are consequently designed and promoted as opportunities for all .
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1. The role of job analysis in Global Talent Management
2. Japanese tendencies and the focus on people vs. positions
3. Towards systematic talent identification
1. The role of job analysis in Global Talent Management
The identification of talent is a central aspect of Global Talent Management (GTM) practices in multinational enterprises (MNE’s) . Job analysis respectively competency analysis constitutes a required input for talent identification . However, traditional job analysis that has represented a fundamental necessity for many HR activities seems to have become increasingly outdated . Indeed, the number of current articles about job analysis is decreasing, while, in contrast, related fields such as competency modeling and work analysis describing more broadly and evolving organizational roles are trending . The relative popularity of competency models may be explained by its alignment with organizational strategy and related performance goals .
The diminishing relevance of the use of job analysis results such as job descriptions, may come from the shift towards recruitment strategies that are led not by vacancies but rather by onboarding talents to be able to fill strategic roles when they arise. Therefore, rather than looking at existing job tasks, companies strategically may look, especially concerning their leadership competency profiles, for visionary talents who are well connected, cross-culturally skilled, and whose values match well with the firm culture .
Another essential consideration in evaluating the utility of job analysis in Talent Management is the level of detail that is elaborated to describe job requirements. While more holistic approaches result in more generic and abstract information convince through their cost-efficiency, the gathering of more detailed data is supporting the judgment process of what specifics contribute to the overall ratings of importance . Researchers argue that the psychometric quality of competency models decline when judgments are based on broad job descriptions .
2. Japanese tendencies and the focus on people vs. positions
Japanese talent acquisition practices are strongly shaped by domestic approaches , which the interview results of this study also confirm. The identification of skills, abilities, knowledge and other characteristics (KSAOs) informs talents identification. Although methods such as, e.g., job analysis  focusing on jobs as a starting point for Talent Management are a promoted view , Japanese (multinational) companies tend to work the other way around, i.e., starting with people and then figuring out where to go with the workforce.
The concept of lifetime employment is still alive in Japan. When keeping people is an overarching goal of an organization, job descriptions, and missing job descriptions respectively would limit maneuvering room. Line managers’ expectation rather than job requirement and talent assessment documentation is determining who’s considered to be a talent suitable for what position. This relational focus on work, however, is an important aspect of complex job roles in general and everywhere . However, a tendency towards influencing employee behavior subjectively from manager’s perspective versus a more objective reliance on job descriptions  was identified a specific feature of Japanese talent management.
While modern talent approaches may shift from input to a more output-oriented view , past achievements (e.g., education and type of university), as well as seniority, are decisive for the employee payments and promotions . On the other side, HR positions often get occupied by staff who is rotated, even against their will. The interview repeatedly pointed to the need for more education to address the lack of HR and talent management capabilities as measured against good global practices and evidenced anecdotic by especially young talents who seem to expect more consideration for their career aspirations. As for job analysis, inexperience, in contrast to carelessness, would not necessarily have to result in low quality judgments though .
3. Towards systematic talent identification
Job analysis can uncover needs for improvement in work environments  and have positive effects on talent management, such as objective and talent-focusing development. Improper job descriptions leaving employees unclear about their duties and competencies can also lead to legal issues . As, for example, Hitachi demonstrated, the implementation of systematic talent identification and evaluation can improve multinational operations . Albeit talent selection by fixed job characteristics might have become an insufficient method , the usage of some work profiles to create good matches between individuals and jobs would be advantageous for staff and organizations alike . A better (psychological) understanding of strategic jobs from an organization’s HR perspective would for sure help underline the importance of talent management  in achieving the increasingly complex and global organizational goals.
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Summary. Talent can be framed as either something that people possess (object approach) or something that people are (subject approach). Human capital may come from the historical meaning of a ‘talent’ in Latin and Greek of measuring the weight of a significant amount of gold or silver. Talent in the form of intrinsic learning motivation only realizes when sufficient encouragement and support exists. Inclusiveness is a feature of strength-based TM and related to egalitarian investments into the potential of all employees. Also, to foster the empowerment of all, a more holistic definition of talent that is complementary to ability measures and functions as a complex interactive process between innate and developed abilities, interests and motivations should be advised.
Object and subject approach to talent
There is a lack of a general definition of talent in the world of work , a term that seems to describe a phenomenon understood differently by academia and management consulting . Although a lot of talent management (TM) research bases on anecdotes, literature review reveals some insight into how the meaning of talent emerged over time and what the difficulties in a clear conceptualization and operationalization are . Gallardo-Gallard et al. (2013) contributed significantly to the clarification of the approaches to talent by framing talent as either something that people possess (object approach) or something that people are (subject approach).
Human capital (literally)
Historically, a talent in Latin and Greek was a measure of weight for a significant amount of gold and silver. This background might explain why the earlier approach to TM assumes an object approach  in which talent is popularized as an innate characteristic that one possesses or not . It may also explain why ‘human capital’ is used synonymously with ‘talent’ .
Talent as a learning capacity determined by context
Unlike the fixed influence of genes on body size , elite achievement is rather the result of differences in experiences, training , (elite) education, and networks . Nowadays, economic and social innovation needs drive the demand for talents. While talent itself may still be considered a non-learnable capacity , excellence and mastery can be achieved quite independently from such a notion of talent given the availability of suitable learning strategies and accessible knowledge . Similarly, talent in the form of intrinsic learning motivation only realizes when sufficient encouragement and support exists . This is consistent with the AMO (ability-motivation-opportunity) framework that stresses the importance of opportunities .
Inclusive subject approach to talent
Talent seen as people rather than attributes  comprises the inclusive subject approach, which includes all personnel of an organization in its scope and values different employee groups as contributors to the company . Inclusiveness is a feature of strength-based TM and related to egalitarian investments into the potential of all employees. Critics of the inclusive subject approach refer to the increasing overlap of TM with strategic human resource management (SHRM). TM tends to be defined as more exclusive than SHRM by targeting top talents, and it legitimates the concentration of rewards to so-called A players through their high potential . However, subjective appraisals favoring certain individual performances over the interests of customers and shareholders have presented another challenge to this approach of TM .
A more holistic definition of talent
Talent differs according to the field of application and the combination of cognitive resources. The traditional IQ measure does not say a lot about talent, why more complex profiles blending analytical, practical, and creative talent are suggested . While academia focuses on theoretical descriptors of talent, the broader society is interested in the practical function of talent . A definition of talent complementary to ability measures as a complex interactive process between innate and developed abilities, interests and motivations would provide for a more holistic concept of talent that meets different needs and allows the empowerment all .
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Men have made millions of laws to punish crimes, and they have not established even one to reward virtue; Virtue being a product not of the command of law, but of our own free will, society has no right whatsoever over it. Virtue on no account enters into the social contract; and if it remains without reward, society commits an injustice similar to that of one who defrauds another of his labor.
Moments of instability bear the opportunity for change, and leadership determines whether it be a breakdown or breakthrough . Many institutional environments experience turning points through “critical actors” rather than through “critical masses” . To gain acceptance for change, leaders use different types of power, e.g., coercion, punishment, reward, legitimation, and expert information ; . In contrast, to incentivize change through fear, dissatisfaction, or guilt , reward power is to offer a positive motivation in case of compliance, e.g., an increase in salary, a career promotion, or other privileges . In the study of coach-athlete relationships, rewards and not punitive methods have shown positive effects on the athletes’ behaviors .
Dragonetti, an old Neapolitan economist, more than 250 years ago stated that “Men have made millions of laws to punish crimes, and they have not established even one to reward virtue ” . Indeed, a system more based on incentives, e.g., in the form of intrinsic societal awards, would foster more cooperation with economic and civic benefits . This may be required today more than ever. Longitudinal research found that as a result of modernization and westernization, mothers in San Vicente, Mexico, developed more self-promoting behavior at the cost of a more giving and rewarding (e.g., including encouraging failures) attitude only forty years ago .
Monetary compensation, social status, or ideological values all may provide for reward . Equating satisfaction with perception minus expectation, unexpected rewards can impact individuals’ satisfaction disproportionately and therefore, motivate change . Contingent rewards have proven to be an effective change leadership tool. However, it was also found that rewards need to be specified according to the situation respectively to the field of interest . Strategic alignment of changes and related rewards is essential to create clear psychological contracts that define well what contributions to company performance the employees owe their employer and what they can hope for in return . Of course, it is foolish to incentivize something and expect something else in return .
Because not all change is of equal ease to everybody, change efforts rather than change expertise/effectiveness should be rewarded . Not only reward size, but also the sequence and frequency of incentivizing are influencing the future expectancy of further rewards in social-change theories . Age may also be a factor for reward-sensitivity, as, for example, adolescents with typically lower inhibitory control capability attribute more value to reward . In conclusion, the focus on rewarding desired behavior rather than punishing unwanted conduct might have several advantages, such as creating positive feelings, increasing acceptance of positive change, and enabling higher likability of the influencing change agents .
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