Astrology is a set of systems used for attempting to better understand the past and present and for predicting the future based on the idea that there’s a relationship between the position of stars and planets in the sky and events in the life of a person. A system of astrology can be as basic as the newspaper horoscope, which categorizes all people into 1 of 12 categories. Across most of human history, astrology was widely considered a scholarly discipline. It was accepted as scientific fact in government and academia from early civilization up to at least the 17th century.
The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a psychometric assessment based on a simple questionnaire derived from the idea that there are 4 and only 4 principal psychological functions by which people experience the world. The intent is to measure and predict how individuals perceive the world and make decisions, categorizing all people into 1 of 16 categories. The Myers-Briggs is used by 89 of the Fortune 100 companies and is very popular in businesses around the world; however, it has been criticized as having methodological weaknesses, poor statistical validity, and low reliability.
The Myers–Briggs assessment is no better than astrology, and potentially much worse.
Continue reading Myers-Briggs Astrology
This morning, before I had even begun to drink coffee, I wobbled downstairs to find my wife sitting at her desktop doing some research. Next to her were a few reprints of our wedding photos she had recently made in preparation for Christmas. I glanced down and almost cringed at the half-as-old me grinning back. I was thin, too thin, like a stick. Glasses. Geek.
Many years have passed since then; nearly half my life to date. I’m still a geek, but I’m a lot older, greyer. No more glasses. Some would say I’m more distinguished. They would be wrong. My hair is thinning; my waist line isn’t. My muscles have opinions about the sort of mattress I sleep on and express these opinions well. My joints are holding out, at least so far, but I have noticed a curious inability to think as clearly and with as much focus as I did 20 years ago. I’m certainly much more wise now versus then; smarter too if you measure in terms of raw knowledge and data. I can learn things faster, being that I can leverage a history of previous similar learning experiences. But I feel (unscientifically) that I’m slowly slipping as an intellectual. Continue reading I’m Getting Old. Meh.
I happen to be a successful software developer, businessman, and entrepreneur. I’m no millionaire (yet), but by most measures I’m doing pretty well. I started my own business in November, 2007 with a single client and a single employee (me). It’s now 9 months later, and I have five people on staff and am seriously contemplating the purchase of another company that would result in a total combined staff of about 15. The whole time, the business has been profit-positive.
Is that because I’m some sort of business genius? No. (I’m above average, but my staff are all smarter than me.) What about being a guru of a software developer. Nope. (Again, above average here, but there are a lot of developers whose programming foo I envy and will never attain.) Maybe because I just got really lucky? Not a chance. (I don’t believe luck happens on its own. You make your own luck by working really hard and being thereby ready to pick up on opportunities as they arrive.)
So what is it that made me successful, not just in this latest business venture but across my career and life? There are a lot of little things: I strive for excellence in whatever I do. I’m always pushing myself to achieve more, grow more, learn more. I try to have a positive attitude (most of the time). I try to bridge knowledge and experience cross-discipline. But honestly, I think none of these things really makes a difference in the long-run because I constantly see people who have these things and more who are not as successful. Instead, what I see in every enduringly successful person is ethics. Continue reading Business Ethics