Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Map vs. GPS

Ok, I realize that the stereotypical man doesn’t like to ask for directions, but I know quite a few who are great with maps (especially refolding them). But now with the advent of the GPS (global positioning system), the stereotypical man is finally off the hook. If he owns one, he doesn't have to read a map or stop and ask for directions. What a terrific invention!!!
Alright, I hope you guys out there know that I'm only joking with you. But the GPS is truly a terrific invention. I was thinking... what if we could create GPS-like systems for the rest of our life.
Wouldn't it be great to have a GPS for our
  • relationships?
  • careers?
  • spiritual lives?
  • business development?
  • finances?
  • raising children?
Have you tried self-help courses or books or seminars to help you with any of the above? I have. They often provide terrific MAPS to get you to their 'promised land.' I have tried so many of them and they have great tips and techniques that have proven useful over my career. However, they forget to put the little "YOU ARE HERE" mark on their map and I usually end up wondering around trying to find the right road that will get me to the next road on the map. Do you ever feel like that?
Then in 2005, I found the GPS of self-help and personal development. (I know you may be thinking that I'm off my rocker, but bear with me on this and I'll share my story.)

My Story
In 2004, my company had the senior management team attend a leadership seminar. Before we attended we had to take this weird assessment (which turned out to be the Hartman Value Profile-HVP). I am always skeptical of these assessments because I can manipulate them to say what I think my bosses want them to say.
But this one was very different, I just couldn't figure out "the catch". I mean, it asked me to rank items according to their value and the items were wacky. Here's a partial list:
  • a uniform
  • "With this ring, I thee wed."
  • a short circuit
  • Blow up an airliner in flight
  • Burn a heretic at the stake
  • a devoted scientist
I mean, the instructions were clear, but for some reason - because I wanted to 'figure it out' - I had a hard time with this. Finally, I gave in and just ranked them without trying to think of manipulating the assessment.
Now the rest of the seminar was a little 'out there'... literally. One of the speakers talked about the 6th dimension and extraterrestrials. But the assessment process stuck with me.
I started to research the HVP and found that it was based in the science of axiology that I discussed in my last blog entry. Science!! Now that is practical stuff that I can really delve into. (Yes, I have been called a geek before, so you won't be the first.)
I then found a company called 6 Advisors on the internet and they melded axiology with my favorite self-help book, The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino. It seemed to be a match made in heaven for me on the surface. Then, I took their HVP and received their interpretation of it. I was amazed that the assessment was able to measure HOW I THINK. I mean, really... some of the thoughts that I have, I consciously don't act upon. You probably have these kinds of thoughts too. This profile was able to know about those thoughts... the very core of my beliefs, emotions, choices, behaviors and actions.
Finally, a tool that could figure out where I was starting from... "YOU ARE HERE."

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