How PhDs Can Master Their Code for Industry
Do you actually know where most of your own thoughts and values come from?
Darren Gold’s psychological model pinpoints the source of your deepest convictions as a PhD…
This week on the Cheeky Scientist Radio Show, we are joined by Darren Gold, Managing Partner of The Trium Group, where he serves as an executive coach to the CEOs of many of the world’s most influential companies. Darren joins us to share how you can figure out your own code and then optimize it to move your career forward.
We’ll also be joined by Sherri Ter Molen, PhD, Communication Associate at National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Sherri imparts critically important career tips she has picked up throughout her industry transition and how other PhDs can move into similar roles.
Skip Ahead To:
00:08:18 Show Me The Data
00:03:29 PhD Advantage
00:32:17 Darren Gold
00:56:53 Sherri Ter Molen
About Our Guests
Darren J. Gold is a managing partner of The Trium Group, where he serves as an executive coach to the CEOs of many of the world’s most influential companies. He is the author of the book Master Your Code: The Art, Wisdom, and Science of Leading an Extraordinary Life. The book has already received significant praise from the CEOs of companies like The Home Depot, Lululemon, Dropbox, StubHub, Roche, and from experts in the field of leadership and personal development like Greg McKeown, author of the NYT best seller Essentialism.
Sherri Ter Molen, PhD, is an associate in Nursing Regulation at the National Council of State Boards of Nursing in Chicago, Illinois. She earned her PhD in Communications from Wayne State University where she wrote her ethnographic dissertation on the American reception to Korean pop culture. She has also published 4 book chapters, a journal article, and a book review on Korean topics. In other words, she is not a nurse, but she is applying her PhD-level skills in this not-for-profit role.
- As human beings, we subscribe to subconscious beliefs that drive our behavior and limit our results.
- There is some alternative “code” that we can insert into our subconscious
- Waking up to your own potential starts with awareness.
- Even if a company or organization doesn’t have a role that’s open for you right now, they may soon…
How PhDs Can Master The Industry Code: A Conversation With Darren Gold
Isaiah: What is the industry code you write about in your book? Can you break it down for us?
Darren: Well, the basic premise of the book is that over the course of our lives—mostly in our formative years—we construct what I call a “computer program.” This is a metaphor for a set of subconscious, safety-based beliefs, values, and rules that automatically drive our behavior but also limit our results. And I assert that our fundamental choice as human beings derives from the simple knowledge that our entire life has been run by a program. I was almost 40 years old when I discovered that I was living a life run by a program written by a 7-year-old boy. That 7-year-old boy was writing a program that he needed to keep himself safe and protected.
The discovery that we’re driven by a juvenile subconscious is incredibly liberating. In my book, I offer some alternative “code” that we can insert into our subconscious. This code represents intentionally constructed beliefs, values, and rules designed to lead to extraordinary results. And that choice is really the essence of the book: How do you construct this code that’s really going serve you? (Instead of you being run involuntarily by your own programming.)
Isaiah: Fascinating! I’m really going to “dig in” here because this is something that I’ve always been very interested in. It’s one thing to know my beliefs are vestigial childhood constructs, but how do you rewrite them? These beliefs are so anchored in you. How do you do it in an effective way where you don’t just feel like you’re lying to yourself about those beliefs? How do you go about doing that in a way that actually sticks?
Darren: Sometimes it takes what the late leadership expert Warren Bennis called a “crucible moment”: some crisis that forces you to re-examine everything. But you don’t need that. You don’t need to have some major, life-altering event to wake you up to your potential. It starts with awareness. The late author David Foster Wallace once provided this philosophical parable: These two fish are swimming along, and an older fish swims by and says, “Hey, boys! How’s the water?” The two younger fish look at each other, and one of them asks, “What the hell is water?” This is a great metaphor for life because we’re metaphorically swimming through the waters of our culture, our conditioning, our programming, and our beliefs…
Communication Associate Career Track: A Conversation With Sherri Ter Molen, PhD
Isaiah: What was the moment in academia where you realized that you weren’t going to stay there – that you were going to do something else with your life?
Sherri: I think I was really into my dissertation by the time I realized I didn’t want to live like this anymore. I didn’t want to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I wanted time with my husband and my friends. I was tired of missing all of my friends that were coming to town—coming to Chicago where I live—and I couldn’t even see them. So I just decided I didn’t want the lifestyle anymore.
Isaiah: But when you started, did you think you were going to be a professor?
Sherri: Oh, absolutely. The whole point of going to a PhD program was to become a professor – my undergrad professors were really inspiring, and I wanted to be just like them.
Isaiah: What were some of the changes you made that led to you getting hired? Was it the resume? Was there somebody you talked to on the phone? A referral?
Sherri: In my case, it was definitely the resume. I actually applied for a position called “research associate,” and that position was going to be charged with writing literature reviews for the researchers in our division. When my HR directors sent my resume to my (now) manager, he looked at my resume and said, Hmm, not exactly what I was looking for, but I could use her in this other role.
Sherri: Before me, this job didn’t exist. They created it around me, so this is a great message for every Cheeky who is applying with various organizations: Even if they don’t have a role that’s open for you right now, they may soon. I do 3 big things here at my job. First, I work on what’s called the educational initiative. We offer online courses to nursing regulators, and we use a learning management system called Canvas. It is run like a university, so basically, I’m a university professor in a not-for-profit situation. I get to develop and teach Communications courses, and I get to be the incoming acquisitions editor for the Journal of Nursing Regulation. We have an academic/professional journal published by Elsevier, and I get to be the acquisitions editor for all the people in the world. Me – I get to do that. It’s amazing…
** for the full interviews, check out the video above
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Isaiah believes--from personal experience--that if you feel stuck somewhere in your life, it’s a clear sign that you need to make a change. Don’t sit still and wait for the world to tell you what to do. Start a new project. Build your own business. Take action. Experimentation is the best teacher.
Isaiah is an internationally recognized Fortune 500 consultant, CEO of Cheeky Scientist, and author of the straight-talk bestsellers Black Hole Focus and The Science of Intelligent Achievement.
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