Even as a small child, Terry’s parents knew that she was destined to be in charge. In many ways, Terry had been an easy child to raise. Hard working and determined, Terry had done well in school and sailed through her undergraduate and graduate degrees in business. She was always eager to participate in school activities, and held class officer positions during three years of high school. She loved team sports and played on a traveling soccer team until college and on an adult team during and since college. Terry was straightforward and direct, and had a strong sense of purpose about her goals and aspirations.
Terry wasn’t perfect. Her parents remember what a bossy little girl she could be at times. She never hesitated telling anyone in the family (and later her friends) how they could do things better. Her mother was always too disorganized for Terry’s pleasure, and her father was too sentimental in her eyes. She reminded them often of these failings and repeatedly tried to get them to change. As she got older, she simply took control of her activities and things, keeping herself scheduled and organized in spite of her mother’s failings. Much to her dismay, she even had to remind her mother of dental check-ups, which her mother often forgot about. Thank goodness her father was good at organization and getting things done. He often saved the day. Unfortunately, it seemed to Terry that her father resisted criticizing her mother, simply to be nice. Terry always thought that getting problems fixed was more important than being nice.
This attitude of course affected her friendships with others from day one. She loved to plan ahead for things she might do with her friends, and then push hard to make it happen. She also didn’t hesitate to say what she thought about most anything. Her parents worried that she was too blunt and from time to time lost friends because of it. In truth, Terry got along better with the boys than the girls. She found that some of her friends were a mystery to her. On the one hand, they seemed too easily hurt by what others said, and yet as she grew, these same girls were the first to gossip about each other. It never made sense to her and it made her a bit wary.
Terry went on to complete a graduate degree in business after college. Soon after completing graduate school, Terry was hired by a large financial organization. She quickly applied to a management-training program and was immediately accepted. Terry never looked back. She worked hard to develop her understanding of the business and its applications. Terry took every opportunity to learn the details and practice procedures and techniques. On every team project, her take-charge nature eventually emerged. The program manager was very impressed with her work and her leadership abilities; however, he was concerned with her blunt style and very assertive nature. Other team members had made complaints that she was abrasive and headstrong. He felt that she had great potential as a manager within the organization, but strongly advised Terry to soften her approach with others. Terry was surprised at this criticism, since her teams had always completed their projects before deadlines and with superior results often due to her persistent pushing. Her manager agreed that her abilities and leadership were extremely effective, but still insisted that she work harder at becoming--as he saw it--more “people friendly.”
Terry did, of course, work harder at softening her approach when working with other employees, though in her heart of hearts, she did not fully embrace this effort. On the one hand, Terry felt that it was more important to focus on the work and produce the best quality than to worry about pleasing others. Wasn’t that the reason they were here to begin with? And on the other hand, she suspected that had she been a male, she would be treated differently. In fact, her blunt and forceful style might be perceived as tough-minded and strong if she were a man, at times problematic but more acceptable. It was difficult at times for Terry not to be resentful of what she viewed as a double standard. However, Terry was a team player and she had her eye on the ball. She never allowed herself to wallow in self-pity, for she was practical as well as pragmatic. She wanted to achieve a corporate management position, and feeling sorry for herself and building a chip on her shoulder would not help her to achieve her goals.
After ten years of hard work, Terry achieved her goal. She was given the position as a manager, overseeing the corporate real estate finance division. Terry was well respected by her firm, though not always a favorite with employees. She was demanding and took a strong hands-on approach in overseeing the work of her staff. In truth, many employees would say that they had a great deal of confidence in her ability to get the job done. In addition, they appreciated and relied on her deep knowledge of the business. Some might even say that they liked her direct style, since they always knew what she was thinking (though half of her staff secretly wished she was nicer and less abrasive).
Terry wasn’t particularly keen on using creative or different techniques. It was her experience that following well-established procedures was the best way to ensure consistent and successful outcomes and reduce the risk of failure. This was at times frustrating to staff members who suggested new methods or procedures. Terry did not hesitate to remind her staff of the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” It was a much better use of their time and talent to focus on getting the job done using the standards and procedures that were already a demonstrated success. Ultimately, Terry was an extremely successful manager, but more respected than loved.
In Terry’s case, she seems to have chosen her career path well. She is highly competent and effective in the role she has chosen and the firm that she works for. Most likely, it would not distress her profoundly to know that she is “more respected than loved.” We don’t touch on her personal life here, but it is likely that close relationships will only work well if she either chooses someone with highly compatible values or goes to work to develop her less preferred Feeling side to some degree.
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