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The 5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers

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Are You an Extraordinary Executive?

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The 5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers
reveals the subtle yet powerful factors that determine career success.  Based on three years of extensive research, including an in-depth survey of more than 2,000 of the top executives in business, we now know the patterns of thought and action most correlated with extraordinary careers.  Will you have an extraordinary career?

About the Test
The purpose of this self-assessment quiz is to evaluate your professional knowledge and behavior in comparison to those most likely to result in an extraordinary career, and to identify the areas where there is significant potential to improve your career trajectory. If the differences in many of the answers seem subtle, that is deliberate. It is often the subtle differences in thoughts and behaviors over time that separate the ordinary career from the extraordinary.

The test has 27 multiple choice questions in two parts, and will take only a few minutes to complete.

Good luck!

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PART 1
Please indicate your response to the following statements.

I work significantly longer and harder than my peers.
     disagree neutral agree     


Early in my career, I was relentless in my pursuit of advancement, not allowing myself to move along through trial and error into different, sometimes unrelated opportunities.
     disagree neutral agree     


Although I do not consider myself a "suck up", I am keenly aware of organizational politics, and aggressively leverage my political capital to my advantage.
     disagree neutral agree     


Success requires working within defined legal and ethical boundaries, yet sometimes necessitates exploiting "gray areas."
     disagree neutral agree     


I clearly define my team's objectives and what resources are available to them.
     disagree neutral agree     


I clearly define the process by which my team can best meet its objectives.
     disagree neutral agree     


I have trouble getting the job without the experience, and getting the experience without the job.
     disagree neutral agree     


I avoid career moves others are likely to perceive as a "step backwards" in my career.
     disagree neutral agree     


When I know I am right, I am not afraid to take bold action alone, without input or buy-in from others who may be affected.
     disagree neutral agree     


I willingly delegate minor tasks to my subordinates.
     disagree neutral agree     


I am careful to maintain tight control over my most critical objectives, only rarely delegating these tasks.
     disagree neutral agree     


I have a clear understanding of what drives value in the marketplace for professional talent.
     disagree neutral agree     


I am careful not to overstep the boundary of activities within which I am clearly permitted to perform.
     disagree neutral agree     


My current job fully utilizes my professional strengths and passions.
     disagree neutral agree     

PART 2

The following statements invite you to choose between subtly different actions. If you wish to give equal weight to both parts of the statement, select the middle option.

Success is achieved by outperforming peers more than by creating positive impact.
     disagree both agree     


When analyzing a career opportunity I value the "career options" the position will create for me, more than the position's total compensation.
     disagree both agree     


I am more likely to redefine the activities attached to my role than to redefine the objectives.
     disagree both agree     


Career success is achieved by staying focused on short term goals, more than by staying focused on long term goals.
     disagree both agree     


I am more likely to build broad relationships across a wide range of environments, than focus on building/maintaining a few, very strong personal/professional relationships.
     disagree both agree     


When I have achieved my primary objectives I am more likely to work to surpass them than direct my attention to new, value-added activities.
     disagree both agree     


In my professional activities I do things I have been told I can, rather than things no one has told me I cannot.
     disagree both agree     


I seek to exceed expectations, rather than redefine them.
     disagree both agree     


My career will be shaped by hundreds of events that gradually impact its direction, rather than a handful of events that dramatically impact its direction.
     disagree both agree     


I focus more on overcoming my weaknesses than exploiting my strengths.
     disagree both agree     


I am more likely to observe first, then act boldly, rather than act boldly and make adjustments based on my observations.
     disagree both agree     


I focus more actively on achieving personal career success than helping my subordinates/peers become successful.
     disagree both agree     


I measure career success based on the actions I take, rather than the outcomes of my decisions.
     disagree both agree     


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