Author Archives: Jason Lu

How to prepare successful documents for Faculty Application- part 2, Research Statement. 1

Introduction

The faculty application has three required documents: a research statement, a teaching statement, and a diversity statement. In this blog, I will focus on the research statement and how I prepare my research statement for a faculty application.

Overview of Research Statement

When we are applying for a faculty position in a research-based university/institution, a research statement is one of the essential documents. A research statement is composed of a new research program/ research plan, three projects/ aims as a short-term, mid-term, and long-term goal for the next five years, the plan to get research funding, and hiring a postdoctoral researcher and predoctoral researcher. Similar to other documents, the first paragraph is abstract to describe your vision for the next five years as a faculty in research. Usually, the abstract is a crucial paragraph to convince the committee to continue to read your research statement. Additionally, sometimes there is a limitation on words or pages in the research statement. Creating an extended version of the research statement as a template is better, and you could easily customize each research statement based on it.

Demonstrate Independence

After the abstract/vision paragraph, we also need to introduce our previous research experience, including pre-doctoral research and post-doctoral research. Additionally, the proposed research plan is better to work in a different field/topic from all previous research; otherwise, some people might doubt that you are an independent researcher. An excellent research proposal would combine the expertise from Ph.D. work and postdoc research to develop a new platform/ field; for instance, I did breast cancer study at Cornell University in my Ph.D. research and mRNA technology at MIT/Boston Children’s Hospital in my postdoc work. In the research plan, I could propose to apply mRNA technology as therapeutics in breast cancer treatment. In this way, I will not compete with my Ph.D. advisor and postdoc advisor, and also I could demonstrate that I am an independent principal investigator in conducting a new research program.

Research Plan

The central part of the research statement is the research plan, where we usually propose three different aims/projects for the next five years. These aims should include one short-term goal, a mid-term goal, and a long-term goal. Short term goal is the project you could accomplish in the first 1-2 years, and the mid-term goal could be done within three years. In other words, we could define the three projects by the risk and reward:

  • Short-term: low risk, low reward
  • Mid-term: medium risk, medium reward
  • Long-term: high risk, high reward

Why do we need to propose three different goals? If I propose three easy projects, then the committee might think I do not have the creativity to do novel research. If I propose to develop three new technologies or to cure a rare disease, such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the committee might comment that my proposal is tremendous but impossible to accomplish in five years. The committee wants to find a candidate who could survive and succeed in academia, so we have to propose a low-risk project to ensure we can keep publishing papers with the support of the starting package. Additionally, we need to prepare preliminary data to prove the concept in the grant proposal. A strategy is to propose a high-risk project based on the low-risk and medium-risk ones. When we are applying for grants, the published data in low/medium risk projects could be used to increase the chance of receiving the award. Last, when we propose the research plan, it is better to check the research of each faculty in the institution or department. The proposal should avoid competition with current faculty’s research and provide an edge to collaborate and help other’s research because no one wants to recruit a competitor as a colleague and everyone prefer the new hire could benefit their research. Therefore, we could propose any potential collaboration within the department/institution and also how we utilize the core facility to accomplish the projects.

Timeline for Research, Funding, and Hiring

We need to set a timeline for research progress, grant application, and hiring in the research plan. For example, we could propose that I prepare to hire one postdoc and one Ph.D. student when I start my lab in the institution. In the first year, project 1 will be finished and prepared for manuscript submission. At the same time, I will submit an NIH R21 grant application to support the rest of the projects. If I could receive any awards, I would hire more postdocs to work on projects 2 and 3. Why do I need to add a timeline to the research statement? It will demonstrate that this candidate is mature and independent to manage his/her own lab to track research progress and assure the funding and labor force to support research.

Conclusion

The research statement is essential when applying for a faculty position in a research-based institution. Here are some tips on how I prepare my research plan. I hope this blog will be helpful for those who are applying for the faculty position in the U.S., and I will write more blogs in preparation for the teaching statement and diversity statement. Please follow my blog and share this blog if you like it.

Relevant Blog

How to prepare successful documents for Faculty Application- part I, required documents for faculty application in the U.S.

Become a successful leader (7) – leadership style and influencing

A good leader should be capable of influencing others and inducing resonance within the group. Additionally, leadership style would be an essential factor in the power of influence. Therefore, I will introduce the different leadership styles and how we develop our influence.

7 Leadership Styles

Many successful leaders worldwide, but how do we differentiate these leaders? Among these leaders, we could summarize the leadership into seven different styles, Opportunist, Diplomat, Expert, Achiever, Individualist, Strategist, and Alchemist.

  • Opportunist always wants to win in any competition. An opportunist thinks to compete with others, so an opportunist is good in emergencies or sales.
  • Diplomats would avoid conflicts and try to compromise to fit into the group. Usually, diplomats are easy to get along with, but we cannot let them make unpopular decisions or tell unpleasant truths.
  • Experts are good at using data and excellent logic to make decisions with significant contributions to the team; however, they have weak emotional intelligence.
  • Achievers could get everything done on time and encourage others by example, but they are unwilling to try new things. Accomplishing goals is the achievers’ highest priority.
  • Individualists like to ignore rules and do what they feel is right. The strength of individualists is very creative and productive, but it is difficult for them to work in a team.
  • Strategists spend more time planning and being inclusive to be successful, so they can effectively bring in transformations. The weakness of strategists is that they cannot solve any emergent problems.
  • Alchemists can generate tremendous social changes and care most about the greater good; however, they are rare species in a group.

These are the seven leadership styles and if we are talking about the leaders in the industry world, Opportunist, Diplomat and Expert might have tough career path, and their performance would below average due to lack of accomplishment. Achievers are the people with average performance becuase they can finish the assigned tasks. To be sucessful, Individualist, Strategist and Alchemist could have a consistenet capacity to innovate and transform the team and the organization.

6 Influencing Styles

In addition, there are six influencing styles: Asserter, Expert, Politician, Preparer, Presenter, and Client-Centric. In other words, these are the tools for a good leader to implement leadership.

  • Asserters are confident in what they want, forceful, persistent, full of energy, straightforward, and resourceful.
  • Experts have strong technical/communication skill and objectivity to lead group.
  • Politicians always know who the important people are, so they spend a lot of time meeting new people with power and talking to people because of their support.
  • Preparers always do all the homework to consider any possibilities and never run into any surprises.
  • Presenters can let everyone in the audience believe that anything they present sounds great with elegant words and great arguments.
  • Client-Centrics are great listener to understand other’s problem and build up a great relationship with them. Usually client-centric cares about everyone in the audience.

Conclusion

In previous blog, I have introduced different personality with different communication style to individual or a group, and a leader would communicate with people and influence the group to lead the group to the sucess. Here, I present 7 leadership styles and 6 influencing style in this blog. A good leader would have different leadership styles and influencing styles to implement the right way to lead a group under different occasions.

Previous blog about leadership:

Become a successful leader (1): Everyday Leadership

Become a successful leader (2): Self-Awareness

Become a successful leader (3): Know who I am, and what personality I have.

Become a successful leader 4: Be an inspiring leader, The Golden Circle Theory

Become a successful leader (5)-Importance of communication (1)

Become a successful leader (5) – Importance of communication (2): intercultural communication

How to prepare successful documents for Faculty Application- part I, required documents for faculty application in the U.S. 2

In the past year, I applied for several faculty positions in the U.S., and I figured out that the academic environment was not the right place for me, so I moved to the biotech industry recently. Now I still vividly remember the whole process of faculty application; I would like to share how I prepared for the faculty application and my experience.


Usually, there are three documents for faculty application, Research Statement, Teaching Statement, and Diversity Statement. The research statement is prepared to show what you plan to do when you prepare to start your own lab in the future. In other words, this is the research proposal you want to show to the department you are applying to, and the research aims should be distinguished from your previous work. Why should we propose different work? We do not want to compete with our previous mentors, and some might think that you are not an independent researcher if you cannot develop your research field. The best way to solve this is to combine your work as a Ph.D. student and postdoc to create a new research field or application. The teaching statement is to share your teaching experience and teaching philosophy. The teaching experience includes being a lecturer, holding workshops, mentoring students, and public education (scientific shows…etc.). The teaching philosophy is to demonstrate your ideas in teaching and learning, what method you plan to use in teaching, and why you think it is the best way to teach students. Usually, a lot of universities would provide guidelines for a teaching statement. Here is the website from Cornell University. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) have become a popular topic in the U.S., so in most faculty applications, we need to submit a diversity statement. What is a diversity statement? How do we prepare for it? Usually, we could include what we have done in the past to contribute to the DEI and what we plan to do to enhance the DEI in the future department/school, including in your group. These are the most important documents for the faculty application.


In sum, although I am choosing not to become a faculty, I will write more articles about how I prepared these documents for the faculty application, and I hope this series of articles will be helpful for those who plan to apply for faculty positions in the U.S.

In the last blog, I introduced how we conduct effective communication in our daily lives. Here, it is the second part of communication skills, mainly focusing on intercultural communication. Today, we live in a global village, and we might have colleagues and friends from different countries and cultures. Sometimes the difference between cultures might be challenging when working in a diverse environment.

What is culture?

The definition of culture is very broad; for example, the definition of culture from Wikipedia is that culture is an umbrella term that encompasses the social behavior, institutions, and norms found in human societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals in these groups. Culture often originated from or is attributed to a specific region or location. In my aspect, I prefer the definition as “Basic truths about identity and relationships, time and space, ways of thinking and learning, ways of working and organizing, and ways of communicating.” In other words, cultural differences would highly affect communication efficiency in a diverse environment. We need to understand cultural differences better before we initiate conversations with people from different countries/cultures to minimize misunderstanding.

Culture is like an onion, layer by layer.

Culture is like an onion composed of multiple layers. In the surface layer, we might think that food, holiday, music, language, art, and fashion are the culture; however, if we dig into the inner layer, we might find that other components represent the culture, for example, eye contact, personal space, body language, manner, friendship, gender, family role or cooperation/ competition. All these combine into one culture. The only way to understand a culture is actually to experience it. For instance, if we would like to learn about Italian culture, the best way is to live in Italy and hang out with local people.

Variables in Cultures

Cultures have several variables, such as context, information flow, time, power and equality, language…etc. These variables would allow us to communicate effectively with different cultures, so we need to learn these variables to avoid misunderstanding.

Context

Context is the additional words in the communication to express the meaning. Moreover, high context is when people would add extra words to decorate the sentence and make it complicated, and low context is when people express their meanings with straightforward sentences. For example, “I don’t like your product.” is a low-context way of communication. Still, in high context, ” You have a great product with beautiful design. However, I have a limited budget. I cannot afford your product.”. The low context sentence is simple, but the high context style requires people to read between the lines carefully. Here, I could divide the countries into three levels of context. Generally, Germany, the US, UK, and Scandinavia are in the low level of context; France, Spain, Italy, Central/South America, Greece, Russia, and India are in the middle level of context; Japan, China, Korea, Arab Countries, Africa are in the high level of context.

Information flow

Information flow is how the information is exchanged. Similar to context, some countries prefer to share information indirectly, for example, Japan, South Asia, and China. But people from Germany, Russia, and eastern Europe prefer a direct way to exchange information.

Conclusion

We live in a global village, and the diverse environment is the trend. Therefore, intercultural communication will be required to become a successful leader.

Relevant Blogs

Become a successful leader (5)-Importance of communication (1)

Become a successful leader 4: Be an inspiring leader, The Golden Circle Theory

Become a successful leader (3): Know who I am, and what personality I have.

Become a successful leader (2): Self-Awareness

Become a successful leader (1): Everyday Leadership

In my previous blogs in leadership development, I intrdocued “Become a successful leader (1): Everyday Leadership“, “Become a successful leader (2): Self-Awareness“, “Become a successful leader (3): Know who I am, and what personality I have.“, “Become a successful leader 4: Be an inspiring leader, The Golden Circle Theory“. Here, I would like to discuss another key component, “communication” in leadership development.

Communication is an art of understanding

Communication is an art where we need to keep creating understanding to deliver the right message between the talker and the listener. The communication process includes encoding our thought/ideas into words and behaviors and decoding this information into meaning. Misunderstanding occurs when the listener decodes the words and behaviors into a different meaning. To avoid the misunderstanding, we need to know 7C’s (correctcompleteclearconsistentcredibleconcerned/connectedculture) and 1 V (Volume). Moreover, what we do not say in the conversation and how we say it is very important to achieve effective communication.

Information transmission

Communication is a process of information transmission. Talker/Writer express ideas and thoughts in words or behavior, which encodes the message by one brain. The audiences decode the message to collect the information; however, each audience’s brain might translate it into different information. Also, in the human mind, emotions usually come faster than thoughts. Therefore, if you are in the mood, do not say anything or reply to any email because your emotion might highly affect your communication. In other words, we should always communicate with others in an adult-to-adult way.

Curse of knowledge

Cognitive bias usually occurs when an individual in a group unknowingly assumes that the others have the background to understand the message. For example, when we learn something new, such as cancer biology, we start to talk with professional words. Even if we are talking to other people without a biological background, we forget to explain the information or switch to simple terms to transfer the information. This is what we call the curse of knowledge. Therefore, we should always assume that we are not talking to experts if we do not know the audience.

Unconscious Communication

Sometimes there is a hidden message in our verbal or non-verbal expression. For example, intonation is a way to express the hidden meaning within a sentence. If someone said that “I didn’t say you broke my equipment,” we could try to stress a different word in the sentence to see if there is any difference.

  • I didn’t say you broke my equipment
  • I didn’t say you broke my equipment
  • I didn’t say you broke my equipment
  • I didn’t say you broke my equipment
  • I didn’t say you broke my equipment
  • I didn’t say you broke my equipment
  • I didn’t say you broke my equipment

Another example is body language. It is an interesting topic that sometimes we might unconsciously express our emotions through body language. If you found out that someone stands with folded arms when talking, you could assume this person disagrees with what you said.

Communication is based on trust

To have an effective communication, trust is an important factor to connect individuals in a group. There are 5 elements to build up trust: consistency, openess, loyalty, competence, and integrity.

  • Consistency: How often do you change your mind?
  • Openness: Do you share information about yourself or do you just expect others to do so?
  • Loyalty: Do you support people only when everything is great or also when they are struggling?
  • Competence: Do you know what you are talking about?
  • Integrity : Are your actions matching your words ? 

Communication Strategy for a good leader

A good communication strategy for a leader is to include both positive and negative aspects in your message and be specific and concise. An excellent example is that both U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and Massachusetts governor Edward Everett gave a speech after the Gettysburg battle in 1863 (Civil War). Everett’s speech was 2 hours long, and Lincoln’s was 2 minutes. However, everyone only remembers what Lincoln said in the address. Therefore, good communication should be short and specific.

If you are interested in Lincoln’s speech, it is the links for the speech and transcript.

Conclusion

Communication is very important not only for leadership but also for everyone in daily life. In the next blog, I will introduce how we communicate with people from different cultures and how we lead an effective meeting.

As a member of Professor Robert (Bob) Langer’s group, it is my pleasure to write a blog to introduce Bob and the journey to join the most creative group at MIT. If you want to know more about our research, please find my previous blog, “What engineers can do in the biomedical field?

The Journey to Langer Lab

I could vividly remember the first time I arrived in the U.S. in 2012, and the next day was the Cornell Biomedical Engineering annual retreat, where Bob was the keynote speaker. However, for an international student who had just entered the US, I did not know who he was and why so many people/faculties stood around him. After the retreat, I learned about him through a google search.

Educational training of Bob

Bob is a pioneer in biomedical engineering, and he is the first engineer who worked in a hospital to do biomedical research. In his educational training, he received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at Cornell University and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Unlike his classmates, Bob did not go into the petroleum industry after graduation from MIT. Still, he chose to do his postdoctoral training in Dr. Judah Folkman’s lab at Boston Children’s Hospital to develop anti-VEGF drugs for cancer treatment.

Bob Langer, Edison of Medicine

Bob is called Edison of Medicine; also, he is one of 12 Institute Professors at MIT, which is the highest honor that can be awarded to a faculty member.  Bob has written more than 1,500 articles, and he is the most cited engineer in history (h-index 299 with over 363,000 citations according to Google Scholar).  He also has over 1,400 issued and pending patents worldwide.  Additionally, his patents have been licensed or sublicensed to over 400  pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology, and medical device companies. More importantly, Bob is a co-founder of many companies, including Moderna, which developed great COVID-19 to help humans build immune protection from coronavirus during the pandemic. From 1999 to 2002, Bob served as Chairman of the FDA’s Science Board (its highest advisory board). Last, Bob received numerous awards, including both the United States National Medal of Science and the United States National Medal of Technology and Innovation (he is one of 3 living individuals to have received both these honors), the Charles Stark Draper Prize (often called the Engineering Nobel Prize), Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, Albany Medical Center Prize, Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, Kyoto Prize, Wolf Prize for Chemistry, Millennium Technology Prize, Priestley Medal (highest award of the American Chemical Society), Gairdner Prize, Hoover Medal, Dreyfus Prize in Chemical Sciences, and the BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Biomedicine. He holds 36 honorary doctorates and has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Academy of Inventors. That is why people called him the Edison of Medicine.

The Cornell alumni event in Boston where I first talk to Bob.

Cornell alumni event in Boston

In December 2017, I attended an alumni event in Boston where Bob was the host, and it was my first time to have an in-person interaction with Bob because it was a small event with 20-30 people. After the event, I connected with Bob. I received a lot of help from him, including the recommendation letter for my green card application, sharing his experience when I did not know what I decided to do after graduation, and advice for my career development. Now I am working in Langer/Anderson lab at MIT. It is a wonderful experience in this creative environment and being part of Langerites.

Langer Syndrome

It is a common genetic disorder (particularly in Langerites) caused by the overexpression of the genes for wanting to be like Bob. 😂 The symptoms are “carrying multiple mobile devices”, “tendency to respond to emails in <5 mins”, “High frequency of saying, “That’s gonna be big”,”Super”, “fantastic”,…”, “High craving for chocolate and diet coke”. I believe if you found someone has any symptoms above, he/she is highly possible one of the Langerites.

Bob’s advice

Bob always gives us simple, true, and powerful advice. Here, I would like to share with everyone: “Believe in yourself. If you love this work, pursue it. Be persistent. Don’t give up!”

Conclusion

This is my mentor, role model, Bob Langer, and my journey to Langer lab at MIT. I hope one day we could have seen/done further by standing on the shoulder of the giant, Professor Robert Langer.

On 4/25/2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Aministration (FDA) approved that the treatment of Veklury (remdesivir) is expanded to pediatric patients who are at least 28 days old, 3 kilograms are tested positive with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 and high risk to progress to severe condition.

Current drugs for COVID-19

In U.S., two types of anti-viral drug to effectively treat COVID-19 are Pfizer (Paxlovid) and Merck (Molnupiravir), However, they cannot be used in children due to its ability to block growth of cartilage and bone. Please find the detail in previous blog, Antiviral pills for COVID-19.

Who can use Veklury (remdesivir)?

Before 4/25/2022, Veklury (remdesivir) could only use to treat adult patient and pediatric patients who are at least 12 years old and at least 40 kilograms with COVID-19. After 4/25/2022, the application of Veklury (remdesivir) is expanded to pediatric patients who are at least 28 days old and 3 kilograms to receive treatment because there is not vaccine for those children to prevent hospitalized and death from COVID-19 and also no effective drug to treat COVID-19 in these children.

Potential Side Effects

Possible side effects of using Veklury include increased levels of liver enzymes, which may be a sign of liver injury; and allergic reactions, which may include changes in blood pressure and heart rate, low blood oxygen level, fever, shortness of breath, wheezing, swelling (e.g., lips, around eyes, under the skin), rash, nausea, sweating or shivering.

Veklury (remdesivir) cannot replace vaccine

Although FDA approved the usage of Veklury (remdesivir) in children, this drug could not prevent any infection, hospitalization or death. Once FDA approve the COVID vaccine from Moderna or Pfizer/BNT in children, please bring your kids to receive the vaccine to protect your kids and family from COVID-19.

Conclusion

This is a great news for parents whose kids are less than 12 years old because there is no vaccine and drugs to protect younger kids from COVID-19. The most important thing for these parents is to maintain social distance, wash your hands, and be fully vaccinated until your kids could obtain protection from FDA approved vaccine.

Rapid COVID test would be the key to end the pandemic?

Omicron, BA.2 subvariant, is it the last variant in the pandemic?

COVID-19 and the variants

Antiviral pills for COVID-19

Become a successful leader 4: Be an inspiring leader, The Golden Circle Theory

I have explained everyday leadership, self-awareness, and personality in previous blogs. Being an inspiring leader is essential in leading a team/group to become successful. Additionally, an inspiring leader should be passionate, confident, decisive, emotionally intelligent, and strategic. For example, Winston Churchill brought the U.K. to the victory of World War II; Martin Luther King Jr. inspired the American people with him “I Have A Dream” speech to contribute to the American civil rights. This article will introduce the golden circle theory proposed by Simon Sinek. A new thinking logic could help us to learn inspired leadership.

The Golden Circle Theory

The Golden Circle Theory

The Golden Circle Theory provides an exciting way to think about a brand and business and inspire your audiences/consumers/team members. Usually, when a team leader tells his/her team members, the first thing is the task we need to do. Second, the leader talks about how we make it, and the last is why we need to do it. However, if we reverse this thinking logically, first, we explain why we want to do this. Will this be more inspiring? Taking cell therapy for type I diabetes patients as an example, a group leader first tells a story to describe the daily lives of type I diabetes patients receiving multiple shots of insulin every day. It is challenging because no one likes to get shots. To save the patients from insulin injection, we need to “cure” diabetes, not just “treat” it. Last, we would develop a new therapeutic to transplant the pancreatic cells in the patient’s body to replace the damaged pancreas and regulate the blood glucose level. This is an example to show what an inspiring leader does.

Another example-Apple

Apple sold computers initially, but why did Apple become a huge company with various products, including the iPhone, iPod, iPad, MacBook…etc. Instead of promoting the products, Apple first explains its core value in designing a beautiful product that everyone can easily use it. That’s the reason why Apple start the business. Then Apple tells consumers how they do it and what they can provide in the Apple event. After the event, people worldwide crazily buy every product from Apple.

How does Golden Circle Theory work?

Most leaders or organizations like to do from “What” to “Why” (outside-in), but an inspired leader/ organization thinks oppositely from “Why” to “What.” To understand how it works, first, we know that human beings always try to find out the meaning; therefore, people do not buy what you have done but why you do it. Another explanation is that the human brain is the organ that makes decisions. In our brain, the outer layer, the neocortex, is responsible for rational, analytical thinking and language, and the inner sections, the limbic brain, are responsible for emotional, feeling, and decision-making. So, decision-making is not from language but the feeling or emotions. In other words, it is our nature to decide by our gut feeling.

TED Talk by Simon Sinek

If you are interested in this, you could also watch the TED talk video by Simon Sinek. He proposed this theory and explained how it works.

Conclusion

In sum, an inspired leader/ business would move audiences with a touching story. We could learn the inspired leadership by the golden circle theory to think from “Why,” “How,” to “What” in the business. I hope everyone can learn and practice the golden circle theory and become a good leader to lead your team/ company to success.

Become a successful leader (3): Know who I am, and what personality I have.

In the last article, I introduced what self-awareness is and why it is so important for leadership development. To better understand ourselves, except for the reflection and asking others how they see us, we could also take a personality test. The most popular personality test is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) which consists of 16 personality types. Here I will use the MBTI personality test to explain how we use it to know who we are and what personality we have.

Free MBTI personality test

The official MBTI test is a paid test, however, there is a free version through a platform, called 16 Personalities. You could take a free test and get the result to know what type of personality you are.

Why do I need to know my personality?

Our behavior is decided by our personality traits, and the behavioral outcomes would highly impact our relationships with others. There 6 different types of relationships in our lives:

  • The container: people who make you feel safe and secure
  • The twin: people who have similarities with you
  • The adversary: people who usually oppose and confront you
  • The mirror: people who provide reflection to you
  • The mystic friend: people who know you in a mysterious way without speaking to you
  • The conscious partner: people who company with you and share the life experience with each other

We all need these 6 types of relationships to help us for personal growth and transformation at certain time points in our lives. Therefore, we have to learn our personalities and manage our relationships.

4 key elements in the MBTI personality test

In the MBTI personality test, we use 4 elements to characterize us from these personality aspects: mind, energy, nature, and tactics. In each aspect, we could divide into 2 different personality types.

  • Mind: where you focus attention; extraversion (E) or introversion (I)
  • Energy: the way you take in information; sensing (S) or intuition (N)
  • Nature: how you make decisions; thinking (T) or Feeling (F)
  • Tactics: how you deal with the world; judging (J) or perceiving (P)

To better understand the personality type, here is the definition for each type:

  • E, Exroverts: Enjoy hanging out with people, easy to get energized by people, enjoy a variety of tasks, a quick pace, and are good at multitasking
  • I, Introverts: Enjoy working alone or in a small group, prefer to work at a deliverate pace, also like to focus on one taks at a time
  • T, Thinkers:Good at using logical analysis, objectively weigh pros and cons, and value honesty, consistency, and fairness to make decision
  • F, Feelers: Tend to be sensitive and cooperative, and decide based on their onw personal values and how others will be affected by their actions
  • S, Sensors: Realistic, like to focus on the facts and details, apply coomon sense and past experience to come up with practical solutions to problems
  • N, Intuitives: Prefer to focus on possibilities and the big picture, easily see patterns, value innovation, and seek creative solutions to problems
  • J, Judgers: Tend to be organized and prepared, like to make and stick to plans, and are comfortable following most rules
  • P, Perceivers: Prefer to keep their options open, like to be able to act spontaneously, and like to be flexible with making plans

16 personalities

According to the 4 elements and 8 types, we could divide people into 16 personalities. First, we use goals, interests, and activities (Energy&Nature) to define 4 roles, Analysts (_NT_), Diplomats (_NF_), Sentinels (_S_J), and Explorers (_S_P). In each role, 4 personality types are defined by the preferred way to achieve goals (Mind&Tactics).

Once you find out which type of personality you have, there are resources on the 16 personalities website to introduce the personality including strengths, weaknesses, relationships, friendships, parenthood, career path, workplace habit…etc. From this information, we could better understand ourselves and train and grow to compensate for our weaknesses.

Conclusion

From my personal aspect, I think that finding out who we are, and what personality I have is a fun thing because it provides some clues that I never thought of. Taking me as an example, the test result is Commander (ENTJ-A), and I checked the information about this type. I learned that my weaknesses might be stubborn, intolerant, poor handling of emotions, cold and ruthless, but I could start to work on these to develop my own leadership. What is your test result? Please share with me. I am interested in seeing other personality types.

Become a successful leader (2): Self-Awareness

In last article, I introduced what everyday leadership is. Self-awareness is the first task in leadership development. We should learn how to lead ourselves to a successful career before we could lead people. This article I will share the concept of self-awareness, and people who want to start the leadership development to practice self-swareness and in advance to aware of others. Once you get more understanding in yourself, you would know how to make a right decision in a crisis.

What is Leadership?

Before you continue to read the blog, you could write down what makes a good leader. Here I will list some characteristics I think a good leader should have:

  • Charisma
  • Competence
  • Passion
  • Vision
  • Listening
  • Responsibility
  • Problem solving
  • Positive attitude
  • Communication
  • Self-discipline
  • Relationship

Also, another question is what not makes a leader:

A manager does not mean a leader; having power is not leadership; Charisma also does not mean leadership. In fact, different cultures have their own definition in leadership, for example, the leadership in the U.S. is to adapt different cultures and becomes a cultural melange.

What is a good leader?

A good leader is like a pilot of an airplane; he/she knows to find a way to reach the destination. Therefore, an effective leader should have a high degree of eomotional intelligence in addition to IQ and technical skills. Moreover, there are 5 components in emotional intelligence:

  • self-awareness: know my and other’s emotion, strength, weakness, values and goals.
  • self-regulation: know to control or redirect disruptive emotions and impulses
  • social skill: manage relatioships in a group
  • motivation: encourage others to achieve for the work/ goal
  • empathy: consider others’ feelings when he/she is making decision

What is self-awareness?

The definitoin of self-awareness is to understand myself in emotion, strength, weakness, value and goals. The way to achieve self-awareness is to use reflection and feedback to gain insight into our strength and find out the need of our personal development. Sometimes it is a tough part in leadership development because we are always afriad of finding our the hidden part of us, and we might miss our chance for personal growth. Additionally, if we want to protect ourselves from problems, it might create more problems and consume all the energy. So, when we face struggles and become upset, it might be a great time to discover anything about ourselves but it is not consistent with what we think we are.

How do we achieve self-awareness?

We could achive self-awareness by following ways:

  • introspection/reflection/meditation
  • resonances
  • identify crucible moments
  • ask others how they see us
  • take a personality test

Frist, we could ask ourselves, “who am I?”, “what are my strengths?”, “How do I perform?”, “Am I a good listener?”, “How do I learn?”, “What are my values?”, “Where do I belong?”, “What should I contribute?”. Meditation might be a way to allow you to think all the questions above, and we could meditate by using resonances which ampligy the signal by the synchronous vibration of a neighboring object. For example, we might be in good mood when we see a beutiful picture or listen to the music we like. This is the right time to do meditation. In addition, when there is any crisis, we should put ourselves in other people’s shoes to oberve ourselves. Or we could think about any crisis in the past, and if we could go back to that time, do we still solve the problem in the same way? These are the methods how we achieve self-awareness by oursleves. Self-awareness is could also be achieved by the help from others. For example, we could ask the people surrounding us for the feedback and how they see us. Or we could do a personality test to better understand ourselves. I will discuss the personality in my next blog.

Conclusion

Self-awareness is a great miletone in the leadership development and sometimes it is difficult for us to find out anything bad in ourselves. But trust me, it might be hard in the beginning of leadership developement, and if we keep working on self-awareness, it could lead us not only in sucessful career but also to a good leader.

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