Setting out on a career path is an intimately personal journey, unique for everyone and as varied as our individual stories. The Team Management Profile (TMP) embraces this diversity, recognising that as we encounter new challenges, learn new skills, and take on different roles, our work preferences may naturally evolve to adapt to these changing circumstances. This evolution reflects a responsiveness to the environment, and is a testament to professional growth and personal adaptability.
However, it's equally important to recognise that not everyone experiences such a shift. For some individuals, work preferences can remain stable throughout their career. Like a river that carves a consistent course through a landscape, enduring work traits can define a person's professional identity and provide a reliable foundation from which they can engage with the world of work.
Whether one finds their preferences fluid and changing over time, or steady and enduring, both scenarios are natural manifestations of the human experience in the workplace. The TMP serves as a valuable compass that helps individuals understand their current work preferences, whether long-held or newly developed, leading to greater self-awareness and more informed decisions about the types of roles that might bring fulfilment and success.
An interesting journey we commonly see at Team Management Systems, is the transition over the course of a career from 'technical expert' to 'leader'. Our 2023 TMP Norm Data update, rich with over 650,000 validated entries, illustrates a general trend of evolving preferences as individuals undertake greater leadership responsibilities. Join us as we explore the two possible evolutions that can accompany an individual's transition into leadership, from a base of technical expertise.
Interpersonal Dynamics: Cultivating Leadership
As a general trend, we see more introverted tendencies prevailing in the early stages of an individual's career, where the focus on building technical skills and mastering competencies is often a core focus. Moving into a leadership role frequently encourages a shift toward less introverted preferences, as engaging with teams, communicating clearly, and energising leadership from the front lines becomes of paramount importance. This is a gradual evolution that typically does not not change an introverted preference to an extroverted preference, rather, it enhances the emerging leader's professional profile with more extroverted dimensions.
Creativity: Unfolding Innovation
As one moves from executing defined tasks to charting new strategies, a pivot toward creative information-gathering often emerges. The need for strategic foresight can intensify with leadership responsibilities, which requires innovative techniques to explore and uncover insights that might not be immediately apparent. This process often requires thinking outside the box, utilising indirect sources, and drawing connections between seemingly unrelated pieces of information. Creative information-gathering is particularly useful in fields where innovation is key or where problems are complex and multifaceted, requiring new approaches to be solved effectively. Conversely, a practical approach is highly beneficial in situations where decisions need to be made quickly and efficiently, based on clear and tangible evidence. In environments where predictability, control, and concrete outcomes are valued, the leadership pathway can require an increased emphasis on a practical and systematic approach to information-gathering.
A Personal Journey Amidst General Trends
These observed trends, drawn from norm data, should not overshadow the individuality of each career path. Preferences may evolve, intensify, or stay the same. The TMP serves as a descriptive guide rather than a prescriptive roadmap, offering insights that can aid in professional development—it is the individual who charts their own course.
As you continue on your professional journey, whether you're adapting to new preferences or reinforcing those you've always held, it's important to remember that leadership encompasses a wide range of styles, strategies, and skills. The TMP acts as a reflective tool, allowing you to lead authentically and adaptively at every turn in your career.
Is it time to update your personalised Team Management Profile? Get in touch to find out how you can do this today!