Successful Financial Planners: Mentors and Masters in Equal Measure (Vol. 1) (50 Interviews)
The competencies named in Figure 3. An understanding of these neurological substrates has critical implications for how people can best learn to develop strengths in the EI range of competencies. The EI theory of performance posits that each of the four domains of EI derives from distinct neurological mechanisms that distinguish each domain from the others and all four from purely cognitive domains of ability.
In turn, at a higher level of articulation, the EI competencies nest within these four EI domains.
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This distinction between EI-based competencies and purely cognitive abilities like IQ can now be drawn more clearly than before owing to recent findings in neuroscience. From the perspective of affective neuroscience, the defining boundary in brain activity between emotional intelligence and cognitive intelligence is the distinction between capacities that are purely or largely neocortical and those that integrate neocortical and limbic circuitry.
Intellectual abilities like verbal fluency, spatial logic, and abstract reasoning-in other words, the components of IQ-are based primarily in specific areas of the neocortex. When these neocortical areas are damaged, the corresponding intellectual ability suffers. In contrast, emotional intelligence encompasses the behavioral manifestations of underlying neurological circuitry that primarily links the limbic areas for emotion, centering on the amygdala and its extended networks throughout the brain, to areas in the prefrontal cortex, the brain's executive center.
This circuitry is essential for the development of skills in each of the four main domains of emotional intelligence. Lesions in these areas produce deficits in the hallmark abilities of EI-Self-Awareness, Self-Management including Motivation , Social Awareness skills such as Empathy, and Relationship Management, just as lesions in discrete areas of the neocortex selectively impair aspects of purely cognitive abilities such as verbal fluency or spatial reasoning Damasio, , The first component of emotional intelligence is Emotional Self-Awareness, knowing what one feels.
The neural substrates of Emotional Self-Awareness have yet to be determined with precision. But Antonio Damasio , on the basis of neuropsychological studies of patients with brain lesions, proposes that the ability to sense, articulate, and reflect on one's emotional states hinges on the neural circuits that run between the prefrontal and verbal cortex, the amygdala, and the viscera. Patients with lesions that disconnect the amygdala from the prefrontal cortex, he finds, are at a loss to give words to feelings, a hallmark of the disorder alexithymia. The second component of EI, Emotional Self-Management, is the ability to regulate distressing affects like anxiety and anger and to inhibit emotional impulsivity.
In contrast, metabolic activity in the left medial prefrontal cortex is inversely related to levels of activity in the amygdala-an array of inhibitory neurons in the prefrontal area, animal studies have shown, regulate activation of the amygdala. In humans, the greater the activity level in the left medial prefrontal cortex, the more positive the person's emotional state. Thus a major locus of the ability to regulate negative affect appears to be the circuit between the amygdala and the left prefrontal cortex. This circuitry also appears instrumental in the motivational aspect of Emotional Self-Management; it may sustain the residual affect that propels us to achieve our goals.
David McClelland has defined motivation as "an affectively toned associative network arranged in a hierarchy of strength and importance in the individual," which determines what goals we seek p. Davidson proposes that the left medial prefrontal cortex is the site of "affective working memory.
In other words, Davidson proposes that the prefrontal cortex allows us to hold in mind or remind ourselves of the positive feelings that will come when we attain our goals and at the same time allows us to inhibit the negative feelings that would discourage us from continuing to strive toward those goals. Social Awareness, the third EI component, which encompasses the competency of Empathy, also involves the amygdala. Animal studies suggest a key role in recognizing emotions for circuitry running from the amygdala to the visual cortex; Brothers , reviewing both neurological findings and comparative studies with primates, cites data showing that certain neurons in the visual cortex respond only to specific emotional cues, such as a threat.
These emotion-recognition cortical neurons have strong connections to the amygdala. In a fundamental sense, the effectiveness of our relationship skills hinges on our ability to attune ourselves to or influence the emotions of another person. If we cannot control our emotional outbursts or impulses and lack Empathy, there is less chance we will be effective in our relationships.
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Indeed, in an analysis of data on workplace effectiveness, Richard Boyatzis, Ruth Jacobs, and I have found that Emotional Self-Awareness is a prerequisite for effective Self-Management, which in turn predicts greater Social Skill. Managing relationships well, then, depends on a foundation of Self-Management and Empathy, each of which in turn requires Self-Awareness. This evidence that Empathy and Self-Management are foundations for social effectiveness finds support at the neurological level.
Patients with lesions in the prefrontal-amygdala circuits that undergird both Self-Management and Empathy show marked deficits in relationship skills, even though their cognitive abilities remain intact Damasio, When Damasio administered an EI measure to one such patient, he found that though the patient had an IQ of , he showed marked deficits in self-awareness and empathy Bar-On, b. Primate studies find parallel effects.
Monkeys in the wild who had this prefrontal-amygdala circuitry severed were able to perform food gathering and similar tasks to maintain themselves but lacked all sense of how to respond to other monkeys in the band, even running away from those who made friendly gestures Brothers, The data documenting the importance for outstanding performance of each of the twenty emotional intelligence competencies have been building for more than two decades. I have reviewed the data for each competence Goleman, b , as have Cherniss and Adler Moreover the data continue to build, both informally, as organizations worldwide do internal studies to identify the competencies that distinguish outstanding from average performers, and formally, as academic researchers continue to focus studies on one or another of these capabilities.
David McClelland was perhaps the first to propose the concept of competence as a basis for identifying what differentiates outstanding from average performers at work. McClelland reviewed data from more than thirty different organizations and for executive positions in many professions, from banking and managing to mining geology, sales, and health care.
He showed that a wide range of EI competencies and a narrow range of cognitive ones distinguished top performers from average ones. The one cognitive competence that distinguished as strongly was Analytic Thinking. Although each competence contributes on its own to workplace effectiveness, I believe it is less useful to consider them one by one than it is to examine them in their clusters, where one can also assess the synergies of strengths in several competencies that enable outstanding performance, as McClelland has shown.
For that reason, I review here only selected examples of data linking the EI competencies to workplace performance. Readers who seek a fuller review should consult Goleman b or the classic work of Boyatzis and Spencer and Spencer Understanding Feelings and Accurate Self-Assessment. The first of the three Self-Awareness competencies, Emotional Self-Awareness, reflects the importance of recognizing one's own feelings and how they affect one's performance. At a financial services company emotional self-awareness proved crucial in financial planners' job performance Goleman, b.
The interaction between a financial planner and a client is delicate, dealing not only with hard questions about money but also, when life insurance comes up, the even more discomforting issue of mortality; the planners' Self-Awareness apparently helped them handle their own emotional reactions better. At another level, Self-Awareness is key to realizing one's own strengths and weaknesses. Among several hundred managers from twelve different organizations, Accurate Self-Assessment was the hallmark of superior performance Boyatzis, Individuals with the Accurate Self-Assessment competence are aware of their abilities and limitations, seek out feedback and learn from their mistakes, and know where they need to improve and when to work with others who have complementary strengths.
On degree competence assessments, average performers typically overestimate their strengths, whereas star performers rarely do; if anything, the stars tended to underestimate their abilities, an indicator of high internal standards Goleman, b. The positive impact of the Self-Confidence competence on performance has been shown in a variety of studies. Among supervisors, managers, and executives, a high degree of Self-Confidence distinguishes the best from the average performers Boyatzis, Among entry-level accountants, those with the highest sense of Self-Efficacy, a form of Self-Confidence, were rated by their supervisors ten months later as having superior job performance.
The level of Self-Confidence was in fact a stronger predictor of performance than the level of skill or previous training Saks, Managing Internal States, Impulses, and Resources. The Self-Management cluster of EI abilities encompasses six competencies. Heading the list is the Emotional Self-Control competence, which manifests largely as the absence of distress and disruptive feelings. Signs of this competence include being unfazed in stressful situations or dealing with a hostile person without lashing out in return. And among managers and executives, top performers are able to balance their drive and ambition with Emotional Self-Control, harnessing their personal needs in the service of the organization's goals Boyatzis, The Trustworthiness competence translates into letting others know one's values and principles, intentions and feelings, and acting in ways that are consistent with them.
Trustworthy individuals are forthright about their own mistakes and confront others about their lapses. A deficit in this ability operates as a career derailer Goleman, b. The signs of the Conscientiousness competence include being careful, self-disciplined, and scrupulous in attending to responsibilities. Conscientiousness distinguishes the model organizational citizens, the people who keep things running as they should. Among sales representatives for a large U.
If there is any single competence our present times call for, it is Adaptability. They are open to new information and can let go of old assumptions and so adapt how they operate. Emotional resilience allows an individual to remain comfortable with the anxiety that often accompanies uncertainty and to think "out of the box," displaying on-the-job creativity and applying new ideas to achieve results. Conversely, people who are uncomfortable with risk and change become naysayers who can undermine innovative ideas or be slow to respond to a shift in the marketplace.
Businesses with less formal and more ambiguous, autonomous, and flexible roles for employees open flows of information, and multidisciplinary team-oriented structures experience greater innovation Amabile, David McClelland's landmark work The Achieving Society established Achievement Orientation as the competence that drives the success of entrepreneurs. In its most general sense, this competence, which I call Achievement Drive, refers to an optimistic striving to continually improve performance. Studies that compare star performers in executive ranks to average ones find that stars display classic achievement-oriented behaviors-they take more calculated risks, they support enterprising innovations and set challenging goals for their employees, and so forth.
Spencer and Spencer found that the need to achieve is the competence that most strongly sets apart superior and average executives. Optimism is a key ingredient of achievement because it can determine one's reaction to unfavorable events or circumstances; those with high achievement are proactive and persistent, have an optimistic attitude toward setbacks, and operate from hope of success. Studies have shown that optimism can contribute significantly to sales gains, among other accomplishments Schulman, Those with the Initiative competence act before being forced to do so by external events.
This often means taking anticipatory action to avoid problems before they happen or taking advantage of opportunities before they are visible to anyone else. Individuals who lack Initiative are reactive rather than proactive, lacking the farsightedness that can make the critical difference between a wise decision and a poor one. Initiative is key to outstanding performance in industries that rely on sales, such as real estate, and to the development of personal relationships with clients, as is critical in such businesses as financial services or consulting Crant, ; Rosier, The Social Awareness cluster manifests in three competencies.
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The Empathy competence gives people an astute awareness of others' emotions, concerns, and needs. The empathic individual can read emotional currents, picking up on nonverbal cues such as tone of voice or facial expression. Empathy requires Self-Awareness; our understanding of others' feelings and concerns flows from awareness of our own feelings. This sensitivity to others is critical for superior job performance whenever the focus is on interactions with people.
In an increasingly diverse workforce, the Empathy competence allows us to read people accurately and avoid resorting to the stereotyping that can lead to performance deficits by creating anxiety in the stereotyped individuals Steele, It also means taking a long-term perspective, sometimes trading off immediate gains in order to preserve customer relationships.
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A study of an office supply and equipment vendor indicated that the most successful members of the sales team were able to combine taking the customer's viewpoint and showing appropriate assertiveness in order to steer the customer toward a choice that satisfied both the customer's and the vendor's needs McBane, Organizational Awareness, the ability to read the currents of emotions and political realities in groups, is a competence vital to the behind-the-scenes networking and coalition building that allows individuals to wield influence, no matter what their professional role.
Insight into group social hierarchies requires Social Awareness on an organizational level, not just an interpersonal one. Outstanding performers in most organizations share this ability; among managers and executive generally, this emotional competence distinguishes star performers. Their ability to read situations objectively, without the distorting lens of their own biases and assumptions, allows them to respond effectively Boyatzis, The Relationship Management set of competencies includes essential Social Skills.
Developing Others involves sensing people's developmental needs and bolstering their abilities-a talent not just of excellent coaches and mentors, but also outstanding leaders. Competence in developing others is a hallmark of superior managers; among sales managers, for example, it typifies those at the top of the field Spencer and Spencer, Although this ability is crucial for those managing front-line work, it has also emerged as a vital skill for effective leadership at high levels Goleman, b. We practice the essence of the Influence competence when we handle and manage emotions effectively in other people and are persuasive.
The most effective people sense others' reactions and fine-tune their own responses to move interaction in the best direction. Star performers with this competence draw on a wider range of persuasion strategies than others do, including impression management, dramatic arguments or actions, and appeals to reason.
At the same time, the Influence competence requires them to be genuine and put collective goals before their self-interests; otherwise what would manifest as effective persuasion becomes manipulation. Creating an atmosphere of openness with clear lines of communication is a key factor in organizational success.
People who exhibit the Communication competence are effective in the give-and-take of emotional information, deal with difficult issues straightforwardly, listen well and welcome sharing information fully, and foster open communication and stay receptive to bad news as well as good. This competence builds on both managing one's own emotions and empathy; a healthy dialogue depends on being attuned to others' emotional states and controlling the impulse to respond in ways that might sour the emotional climate. Data on managers and executives show that the better people can execute this competence, the more others prefer to deal with them J.
Walter Clarke Associates, cited in Goleman, b. A talent of those skilled in the Conflict Management competence is spotting trouble as it is brewing and taking steps to calm those involved. Here the arts of listening and empathizing are crucial to the skills of handling difficult people and situations with diplomacy, encouraging debate and open discussion, and orchestrating win-win situations. Effective Conflict Management and negotiation are important to long-term, symbiotic business relationships, such as those between manufacturers and retailers.
In a survey of retail buyers in department store chains, effectiveness at win-win negotiating was an accurate barometer of the health of the manufacturer-retailer relationship Ganesan, Those adept at the Visionary Leadership competence draw on a range of personal skills to inspire others to work together toward common goals. They are able to articulate and arouse enthusiasm for a shared vision and mission, to step forward as needed, to guide the performance of others while holding them accountable, and to lead by example.
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Outstanding leaders integrate emotional realities into what they see and so instill strategy with meaning and resonance. Emotions are contagious, particularly when exhibited by those at the top, and extremely successful leaders display a high level of positive energy that spreads throughout the organization. And the emotional tone set by a leader tends to ripple outward with remarkable power Bachman, The acceleration of transitions as we enter the new century has made the Change Catalyst competence highly valued-leaders must be able to recognize the need for change, remove barriers, challenge the status quo, and enlist others in pursuit of new initiatives.
An effective change leader also articulates a compelling vision of the new organizational goals. A leader's competence at catalyzing change brings greater efforts and better performance from subordinates, making their work more effective House, The Building Bonds competence epitomizes stars in fields like engineering, computer science, biotechnology, and other knowledge work fields in which networking is crucial for success; these stars tend to choose people with a particular expertise or resource to be part of their networks Kelley, But as research output becomes ever more available to the public-at-large, the context for judging what makes a successful scientist has also shifted.
The functions of scientist as public servant, as interdisciplinary problem solver, as advocate, and as innovator outside the lab are emerging and growing in importance. If a scientist gives a TED talk, posts experiments on YouTube, becomes an open access publisher, or testifies in Congress, they are doing something that is arguably as important as pushing the boundaries of knowledge: They are breaking down the hallowed halls of science. This iconoclasm is bringing eyeballs, clicks, and ultimately dollars to science.
As older faculty gripe about how they used to sleep in lab, some younger professors are venturing outside the lab—traveling, reading fiction! This latter kind of scientist—someone who is passionate about and dedicated to their job, but realizes there is a world beyond the bench—surely resonates better with a public who, in the end, funds and hopes to benefit from the blind leaps into the great unknown that we call science. Nowadays success in science is measured by the number of publications in the high-impact journals, but a successful scientist is not necessarily the most cited one.
The man or woman making even one contribution to the understanding of a disease mechanism, inventing a new methodological approach, or designing a paradigm breaking solution to a scientific problem can be considered as a successful scientist. Keeping in mind that none of us is as smart as all of us, a successful scientist has the gift for gathering people together in the quest for new knowledge. Open-minded and capable of putting aside his ego, a successful scientist does not allow the success to take over his person.
A sustainable success in science is built after many failures and this kind of success is the most appreciated one. What remains unchanged across the generational gap in the definition of a "successful scientist" is the support of the scientific community and recognition in one's research field. In that way the Nobel Prize is unequivocally the coronation of a successful scientist. For our mentor's generation publishing regularly in high-impact journals is associated with success because it ensures credits for research.
After all, success in science is also a matter of luck, but luck comes to the ready minds. I would define a successful scientist as one who is able to capably and consistently explain the natural world. I say capably because a successful scientist needs to communicate their results and discoveries in a way that is understandable to their peers. I say consistently because the successful scientist must publish frequently to be considered relevant. I think what has changed from my mentors generation is the use of hard metrics, such as the H-index or total grant support, to measure success.
The use of these metrics is somewhat unfortunate because some of the most interesting science is given little value with these indices.
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Publishing a book or conveying your research to the general public doesn't earn you as much credit as it once did. Because grant support is essential to success, we are sometimes forced into pursuits that might not be our main interests. Despite these limitations, it is certainly a wonderful time to be a scientist. Modern communication networks allow us to be a part of the scientific discourse 24 hours a day and to easily find collaborators and other resources.
Instead of having to wait months for the next annual society meeting to learn about the cutting edge of research and to meet with collaborators, scientists today have their entire field at their fingertips. A successful scientist has made novel and important contributions to scientific progress through the translation of science to practical application.
He has acquired vast knowledge, profound understanding, clear perspective, competent skills, and has passion for excellence in conducting independent scientific work of the highest quality. Furthermore, he has established his reputation in both national and international scientific communities.
He also has a significant number of papers published in peer-reviewed journals. Additionally, he has received external grants provided by top agencies, prestigious institutions, and foundations to support his projects, through his diligent business planning, strong communication skills, and proficiency in market research, which ultimately paves the way for patent legislation.
A successful scientist also has extensive collaborations with leading industries, professional organizations, and reputable academic institutions. He actively imparts his expertise among young and seasoned scientists in addressing emerging issues in his field. He inspires and leads the younger generation to make a difference in science. Finally, he has developed profound philosophy, integrity, and values over and above his knowledge and skills.
The concept of a successful scientist has changed through the evolution of multidisciplinary study groups to conduct research using cutting edge technologies, high-throughput, and state-of-the-art equipment. In addition, the successful scientist must now foster a stronger partnership among other researchers, including engineers and entrepreneurs in order to facilitate advancement and address emerging issues in his field.
Clearly, a successful scientist nowadays has evolved also into a business manager, an administrator, or even an ambassador to maintain international linkages. Baclig Research and Biotechnology Division, St. I entered the biological sciences impassioned by outdoor immersion and inspired by pioneering naturalists like William Bartram, Charles Darwin, and E. I envisioned wilderness exploration to embody the world of research biology, but a quite different reality quickly confronted me.
My academic adviser professed to me during my first weeks of undergraduate study: But 4 years later, when being handed my degree from that same adviser, I understood what I had heard. The successful scientist of today is not an elusive explorer. The successful scientist of today is a social networker and an entrepreneur. Eccentric scientists that remain isolated in experimental labs or secluded in remote wilderness are doomed to fail. In the present age of science the socialites will prevail.
For the scientist today, the smartphone supersedes the compass. The pressed business suit replaces torn field clothes as the quotidian dress. Data collection no longer dominates the research process. The strong emphasis is now placed on innovative data analysis.
I've learned to embrace urbanity and sociality, if for nothing else, out of necessity. After all, social connections create opportunity. And though great science still thrives on curiosity, we must market ideas effectively if our insights are to gain notoriety. A successful scientist requires balance and patience, something often overlooked by people in all fields. Balance comes into play when considering the rest of a scientist's life outside their lab or field area of study.
It is critical to one's ability to focus and concentrate that they spend some of their time focusing on something other than their work. Whether it be family, sports, or other hobbies, a successful scientist will find something that allows them to decompress and become refreshed.
I believe this will allow for more success in the field of science because negative factors like stress and fatigue will play less of a role. Patience is also a crucial trait for a successful scientist; experiments do not always go as planned, but the ability to go with the flow and not force the issue will most likely lead to better results. Leaving one aspect of an experiment that is causing frustration and going to work on another component shows patience and could help a scientist make a break through when the stalled section is revisited.
I think my adviser's generation would agree with patience, but not with balance. It seems that scientists belonging to the old school tend to hold onto the belief "all or nothing" when it comes to dedicating time and energy to their work. That used to be the only thing that really mattered. Today it is more complex.
The pressure is higher. As before, you need to be curious, find interesting and relevant research questions, obtain funding, execute the project, and report results and conclusions to the research community. But nowadays it is increasingly important to both reach a larger and in some aspects a different audience and gain attention for your results and conclusions. A peer-reviewed paper and a couple of conference presentations are simply not enough.
More and more peer-reviewed papers are published every year and at the same time the publishing landscape is changing rapidly with all online publication possibilities. This will result in changes in how we reach our audiences and probably also the audience itself. For the future, I think it will be even more important to attract attention for your results and conclusions but also for yourself as you are increasingly becoming a trademark. You need to think about what you represent, both in real life and online.
To stay on top of the game you also need to attract the best students and the best co-workers and for that you need to have a real interest for leadership and people's personal development. In the future, leadership and strong communication skills will be increasingly important; you need to be able to get the work done and the message across in a new and fast changing media landscape. A successful scientist is one who loves science, works for the prosperous future of mankind, and makes the world learn his invented principles.
In my opinion, the generation above us thinks a successful scientist invents gadgets and principles of science, but in our generation we are a step ahead. We think the scientist whose discovery grabs the everyday life of a common man is a successful one. My definition of a successful scientist is one who preaches quality over quantity, is involved in collaborative projects where he or she can provide knowledge to different fields as well as work with others to progress their personal field of interest, and can analyze data in novel ways such that they are able to gain new insight not seen with typical methods.
Previous generations did not have the luxury of being able to collect as many subjects and sheer volume of data that we can today. My generation has never faced the issue of too little hard drive space or simple processing steps that required days of work. While this is great for scientists of today, it has also created a problem: We are now bombarded with data, but are we more knowledgeable today than previous generations? Previously, scientists may have had to make the decisions a priori on what data to collect because of laborious collections that are now much simpler.
A successful scientist in must demonstrate restraint—just because we can collect this data still does not mean that we have an easier job analyzing and providing meaningful conclusions. This will require the successful scientist to have great insight into their field and how to analyze these variables in order to pick out "the diamonds in the rough" that will lead to the next big discovery.
Science is truly analogous to philosophy. It stems from the love and pursuit of wisdom by intellectual means and moral self-discipline in which humans rationally investigate the truths of society through research. It ends as a form of art when science becomes a product of human creativity and effort that can be utilized to comprehend life, especially the mechanisms by which debilitating health outcomes occur.
Thus, being a successful scientist involves more than the exchange of ideas and theories to foster the betterment of mankind with the hope of ameliorating diseases and disorders. It also centers on the essence of innovation and finding answers to questions that were once considered unfathomable or impossible.
This definition of a successful scientist remains unaltered between my mentor's generation and my own generation. Nevertheless, in my generation, the definition of a successful scientist also entails an individual who is a mentor for those that aspire to pursue careers in research and is a good teacher. As a teacher, a successful scientist provides the educational tools for students to determine their lifelong aspirations and to fulfill their destinies of becoming research professionals.
He or she is one that enables students to become agents of change in the field of scientific research and the writers of their own life stories as aspiring scientists. In other words, he or she uses a philosophy of teaching that promotes inspiration in young scientists and is centered on transformative learning.
Science searches for the logically explainable simplicity from the apparently complex and diversified expression of nature. A successful scientist is one who can provide his insight to explore that and creates a time-tested impact on the society.
I think that the above definition is true for all time. But now success of a scientist is measured in terms of projects, funds, papers, etc. Science is now becoming more technical with increasing input of sophisticated instrumentations. Therefore, funding is now a major concern for the scientists to acquire those sophistications. More papers are needed for fetching funds. Therefore, it becomes a cyclical process where number of papers, impact factors, number of funds, amount of grants, number of collaborative networks, number of patents, etc. So, scientific success is now a numbers game.
However, at the end of the process still quality persists and the best judge of it is time. A successful scientist cultivates in him or herself and others the timeless characteristics of integrity, curiosity, vision, humanity, diligence, and genius. In my mentor's generation, data generation and communication were slower due to limitations of technology. E-mail, Internet, and videoconferencing were not readily available, so scientific meetings were crucial in the exchange and generation of ideas.
To be successful in that environment, one had to be a true citizen-collaborator of the scientific community, especially not afraid of sharing and starting discussions of new and unpublished results. Unfortunately, technological advances, together with increases in the number of researchers and a difficult economy, have led to increased competition for research funds, and more and more researchers are reluctant to present unpublished results at conferences.
Garnering a research grant and publishing quickly could qualify one as a successful scientist today. The ever-rising number of scientific journals and modes of publishing, coupled with the peer-review system, has even more power than yesterday to shape our definition of good science and successful scientists. Success in the eyes of scientists and the public depends on the quality of a scientist's publications and discoveries and the human stories underlying his or her achievements that thereafter come to light. Today, more scientists are seen forming academia-business partnerships and commercializing their discoveries.
Bringing discoveries closer to people's daily lives and answering patients faster are new forms of success becoming more commonly possible. We must balance these inherited and new "colors" and provide our palette to the next generation. Mertens, senior scholar in information systems, most professors are decathletes. There is more to being a successful scientist than publishing papers. Most full, tenured professors are responsible for teaching, guiding students, finance, communicating with the press, or leading their institution.
The job description is complex, but most professors seem happy with their jobs. I think that this is because they choose some disciplines which they love and are successful in. I neither think that the job description and the definition of success have changed, nor that they will change. When my generation is tenured, most of us will compete in the decathlon, just like our mentors did, and we will be evaluated in different roles. What appears to have changed is our education.
Now that we are almost entirely judged on basis of published papers, most of us receive little or no professional training in leadership, finance, public relations, or even teaching. Let me ask who is the most successful scientist in your field, in your generation, according to publications?
Now, who is the best teacher in your field, in your country, or in the world? Who of your peers is capable of leading his institution through the next decade? I find the first question easy to answer, but the latter two are much harder. It seems like we are learning to sprint. Is that enough to become a successful decathlete? I really hope it is, but I am skeptical.
I think a "successful scientist" is like a "child": Put one "child" with another "child," and they will start asking questions. They may agree with each other or convince one another by a fair play or sound reason, but their ability to convince other "children" is very important for them to remain in "the club. With changing era their toys may change, but "children" remain "children. There are good changes and not so good ones. At the same time, with increasing competition, "children" have become less social and more secretive than before.
But these are more of fluid generational attributes—like toys—they are important and inseparable parts of a "child's" identity, but not the defining ones. Steve Jobs, arguably the most successful salesman ever, famously self-identified as an artist. This transfiguration from tech boss to a tech visionary was the key to his success.
Scientists, who are conditioned to think of themselves as a unique enclave of normal society, must achieve this boundary—blurring sense of self-identity in order to be considered successful. Great contributions to our knowledge of our Universe, our Earth, and ourselves will come from people with unique perspectives. Furthermore, in order to call appropriate attention to these forthcoming discoveries, the people who made them will have to be iconoclasts like Jobs.
They will need to be artists. This is nothing new. Early molecular biologists knew their exploding discipline would change the world, and they talked about it endlessly. But let's not forget; we only tolerated Jobs because his gadgets worked. A successful scientist used to focus primarily on conducting excellent research in the past.
Expertise in the discipline can be gained through in-depth research and smart design of experiments. As the scientist gained authority on his area of expertise, funding for future research will be supported. Passion drove the creation of new knowledge with a relentless pursuit of scientific truth and discovery. With time, more requirements are needed to define success in a scientific career. The ability to conduct outstanding research work has become an entry requisite to the field of research rather than a definition for scientific success.
Today, a successful scientist is perhaps one who is also able to garner strong support for his research ideas and attract substantial funding to sustain the cutting-edge research executed in the lab. With monetary involvement, there is a constant need to publicize the research results. It also becomes inevitable that social networking has gained significant relevance to how research can be conducted today.
As such, the successful scientist today also needs to possess superior public relations skills and have the know-how to market research ideas. As more scientists are trained each year, research has also grown competitive. In places where manpower graduate students is abundant, success is defined by having the latest technology available to generate high-impact publications. Passion is often lacking and commonly replaced by the pressure to outperform.
Consequently, besides having brilliant multi-tasking capabilities, a successful scientist should encourage passion for research in future generations as well. Successful explorers are those who move deepest into uncharted territory. Yet if the first scientists were E. Experimental consortia such as the genomes project, our eyes, ears, and hands, now distribute colossal amounts of data freely and quickly over the Internet. Cross-disciplinarians like Gamow, the physicist known to biochemists in the s for conceiving of a flawed genetic code, have found their place at the other end of synapses, using bioinformatics and systems modeling to integrate raw data in the formation of new hypotheses.
Collaborators; interdisciplinary teams; groups with flat, open structures; and ultimately whole international communities with pooled resources are flourishing. Ultimately this is a triumph for science. Together we push the boundaries of discovery farther than our predecessors could imagine.
A successful scientist is devoted to furthering the world's understanding of nature. This definition is timeless, and is at the core of what it means to practice science. The business of science, however, has almost surely changed compared to when my mentors were early in their careers. Tenured faculty positions have become increasingly scarce, and the amount of time devoted to acquiring grants has skyrocketed.
Addressing meaningful questions demands great tenacity from a scientist, and these obstacles are unlikely to dissuade or hinder the most successful scientists in my generation from making deep discoveries. A successful scientist finds the truth where no one else sees it; she finds reward in serving future society and most of the time does not find reward in her present.
Science is becoming closer to arts and the society is starting to give more credit to science than ever before, not only to improve everyday life but also to ensure safety and survival e. Science today, compared to that of the previous generation, has blurred boundaries between disciplines and is more interdisciplinary in nature than ever. With diminishing financial resources scarce public funds and increasing global challenges—from climate change and natural disasters to famine and health problems—science has become more impact-driven as well.
This push toward more social impact is likely to drive more and more technology transfer, giving rise to more startups. More scientists getting involved in startups might in turn earn them more resources for their research, completing a "value cycle" that might be able to strengthen the academia-industry and academia-society linkage to unprecedented levels. With the tremendous growth of social networking through the internet, there is a growing demand of a better understanding of science by an increasingly tech-savvy public, which means science has also become increasingly democratic and transparent.
All these emerging global trends of cross-disciplinary research, scarcity of resources, demand for impact and transparency, and the rise of social media did not exist before. The next generation of scientists will have to integrate at least some, if not all, of these trends into their scientific endeavors. This means the impact factor will no longer be the lead performance indicator and measure of success. I think experiences and achievements outside the lab like the number of patents and startups, non-conventional fundraising skills, involvement in politics and policy-making and public engagement through social media and scientific writing will also determine the success of a scientist.
To define the successful scientist, it is necessary to study the doctrine of research in its most primitive form practiced by our predecessors. Unlike many of our mentors who consider research as a challenging fun hobby, the lab as a playground, and instruments as toys to study their curiosity, we view it as a battlefield. The modern scientist is constantly at war for credit, fame, and recognition and has forgotten a fundamental principle of being a scientist.
As a young scientist, that is how I imagined and wanted research to be. I performed flawless assays, maintained immaculate notebooks, and followed protocols to perfection. My intention for publication and fame was so strong that became increasingly frustrated when I received neither. Simply put, I had forgotten how to enjoy the research process and the beauty of scientific discovery amidst my drive for recognition.
Like my 56 year old mentor, I have learned that a successful scientist is one that can set his own selfish ambitions aside and work solely for the pursuit of scientific understanding with joy. I'm now able to find gratification in my daily work, collaborate with colleagues, and encourage unity in the scientific community.
I can now genuinely appreciate a published paper that does not have "Hua Feng Kuan" on the list of authors. All academics at the University of Greatness Dear academics, In order to inspire you to greatness, we the Management have simplified our performance management system to a single metric. This metric is a weighted average similar to that used to grade students.
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