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Monthly Archives: March 2017

                C6lsGaBUwAEYgN9.jpgA CHARGING BULL                      

                 OPEN AND DIRECT
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In our money economy there are 2 essential life sustaining disciplines:

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Personal and Financial health.

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The quality of our life and lifestyle flows from each if we are willing to pay the price.

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To assure that lifetime financial certainty underpins all our hopes and dreams we must take care of both – on time.

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The ability to execute flawlessly is the essence of high performnce.

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In a wired world the key ingredient in ‘Olympic’ Best in Class performance is the capacity for disciplined, integrative collaborative teamwork and real time communication.

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RESULTS COUNT

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In the world of commerce we are measured equally by what we bring to the genuine meaning of family.

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Family requires a characteristic I refer to as that of a ‘net giver’.

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Simple logic suggests that if among a group of individuals each member is a ‘net taker’ there simply will not be enough to go around.

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This site is a reflection of my belief in the core value of collaborative behaviour in both areas of our life.

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Family is the purest form of ‘giving’ – there is no financial premise included in its execution.

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I have enjoyed a partnership with such an individual for over 50 years.

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For a contemporary view of ‘Family’ visit:

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http://dan-zwicker.blogspot.com/2011/03/family-in-west-in-life-in-death-oedipal.html

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A personal note:

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Facebook asks “What’s on your mind?”

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Here’s what’s on my mind:

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Having been in an unequivocal support role in our extended family ‘enterprise’ for 53 years in a partnership with my gracious, very socially responsible, acutely intelligent wife who is the CEO of our Family Enterprise here are my unvarnished observations:

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It takes a rare combination of vision, focus, energy, uncompromising strength of character and purpose in valuing, creating, developing and maintaining unity in a large, diverse, extended family.

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It takes grace under pressure.

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The capacity for empathy and compassion, a very strong loving, attentive, unconditionally accepting and firm guiding hand, a talent for collaborative team building, organizing, extraordinary skill in mediating and resolving conflicts, personal self discipline and a genuine comfort in your own ‘skin’ – is simply put, a matter of being grounded.

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Success in this ‘enterprise’ is an inside job. Everything we need we have and control – located between our ears. It is not everyone’s bag. There is no mention of math, science, language, history, the social sciences, the classical professions, commerce or a myriad of other areas of higher learning in these observations.

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It is a lifelong marathon – certainly not a sprint. Above all it is about establishing a culture of ethical choice premised on the capacity to move from  vs. ‘ME’ to ‘WE’.

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In the commercial world such enterprises are described as a having a collaborative team based environment with a client centric focus.

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It’s purpose in both worlds is simple – the empowerment of those we love in our family and those for whose growth and development we are responsible as well as those whom we serve in our commercial lives.

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In the world of complex knowledge and information the relationship with those whom we seek to influence whether commercially or on a social level is most effectively achieved through genuine engagement – through values based leadership one-on-one and above all through lifetime high performance coaching and mentoring.

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I view family creation, building, growth, maintenance, retention and unity as just such a complex enterprise – hence the choice of CEO as the label I attach to this leadership role.

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In my personal observations of over 50 years I never cease to be amazed and impressed with my wife’s unwavering belief in the purpose and value of an inclusive family unit and her display of the characteristics I have described – and of many others that I have not. She has been blessed with extraordinary role models along the way.

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Effectiveness in this enterprise model is measured by the growth of others – through contributing to the greater good. Our own personal growth is simply a by – product.

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It requires a tough balanced code of lifetime behaviour – including toughness of mind and gentleness of heart, unwavering purpose, focus, intellect, spirit, character, personal judgment and a positively optimistic view of the future.

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Not unique, of course, but certainly uncommon, in my opinion, observation and experience.

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Gratefully,

Dan Zwicker.

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On the subject of family:

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Here is my point of view:

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https://beyondrisk.wordpress.com/2015/10/04/on-the-subjects-of-marriage-and-family/

C6lsGaBUwAEYgN9.jpgA CHARGING BULL

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So, what is a Professional Engineer?

WHO IS HE?

HOW SMART (INTELLIGENT) IS HE?

WHAT IS HIS CONTRIBUTION TO HIS  SOCIETY?

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HERE IS WHO AND WHAT HE IS

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EVERY MANUFACTURED PRODUCT WE ARE ACCUSTOMED TO USING HAS BEEN DESIGNED BY A PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER

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 The word engineer (from the Latin ingeniator[3]) is derived from the Latin words ingeniare (“to contrive, devise”) and ingenium (“cleverness”).[4][5]

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Professional Engineer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engineer

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 FOR EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW AND NEVER ASKED

HERE IT IS …………

Engineer
Names Engineer
Occupation type Profession
Activity sectors Applied science
Description
Competencies Mathematics and scientific knowledge, art and design, analytical and critical thinking, engineering ethics
Education required Engineering education
Related jobs Scientist, architect, project manager, inventor, astronaut

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Engineers design materials, structures, and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality, regulation, safety, and cost.[1][2]

The word engineer (from the Latin ingeniator[3]) is derived from the Latin words ingeniare (“to contrive, devise”) and ingenium (“cleverness”).[4][5]

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The foundation education of an engineer is typically a 4-year bachelor’s degree in an engineering discipline plus 4–6 years peer reviewed professional practice.

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The work of engineers forms the link between scientific discoveries and their subsequent applications to human needs and quality of life.[1]

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Definition

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In 1960, the Conference of Engineering Societies of Western Europe and the United States of America defined “professional engineer” as follows:[6]

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A professional engineer is competent by virtue of his/her fundamental education and training to apply the scientific method and outlook to the analysis and solution of engineering problems.

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He/she is able to assume personal responsibility for the development and application of engineering science and knowledge, notably in research, design, construction, manufacturing, superintending, managing and in the education of the engineer.

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In 1960, the Conference of Engineering Societies of Western Europe and the United States of America defined “professional engineer” as follows:

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A professional engineer is competent by virtue of his/her fundamental education and training to apply the scientific method and outlook to the analysis and solution of engineering problems.

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He/she is able to assume personal responsibility for the development and application of engineering science and knowledge, notably in research, design, construction, manufacturing, superintending, managing and in the education of the engineer.

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His/her work is predominantly intellectual and varied and not of a routine mental or physical character.

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It requires the exercise of original thought and judgement and the ability to supervise the technical and administrative work of others.

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His/her education will have been such as to make him/her capable of closely and continuously following progress in his/her branch of engineering science by consulting newly published works on a worldwide basis, assimilating such information and applying it independently.

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He/she is thus placed in a position to make contributions to the development of engineering science or its applications.

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His/her education and training will have been such that he/she will have acquired a broad and general appreciation of the engineering sciences as well as thorough insight into the special features of his/her own branch. In due time he/she will be able to give authoritative technical advice and to assume responsibility for the direction of important tasks in his/her branch

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Roles and expertise

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Design

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Engineers develop new technological solutions. During the engineering design process, the responsibilities of the engineer may include defining problems, conducting and narrowing research, analyzing criteria, finding and analyzing solutions, and making decisions. Much of an engineer’s time is spent on researching, locating, applying, and transferring information.[7] Indeed, research suggests engineers spend 56% of their time engaged in various information behaviours, including 14% actively searching for information.[8]

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Engineers must weigh different design choices on their merits and choose the solution that best matches the requirements. Their crucial and unique task is to identify, understand, and interpret the constraints on a design in order to produce a successful result.

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Analysis

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Engineers apply techniques of engineering analysis in testing, production, or maintenance. Analytical engineers may supervise production in factories and elsewhere, determine the causes of a process failure, and test output to maintain quality. They also estimate the time and cost required to complete projects. Supervisory engineers are responsible for major components or entire projects. Engineering analysis involves the application of scientific analytic principles and processes to reveal the properties and state of the system, device or mechanism under study. Engineering analysis proceeds by separating the engineering design into the mechanisms of operation or failure, analyzing or estimating each component of the operation or failure mechanism in isolation, and re-combining the components. They may analyze risk.[9][10][11][12]

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Many engineers use computers to produce and analyze designs, to simulate and test how a machine, structure, or system operates, to generate specifications for parts, to monitor the quality of products, and to control the efficiency of processes.

Specialization and management

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Most engineers specialize in one or more engineering disciplines.[1] Numerous specialties are recognized by professional societies, and each of the major branches of engineering has numerous subdivisions. Civil engineering, for example, includes structural and transportation engineering, and materials engineering includes ceramic, metallurgical, and polymer engineering. Engineers also may specialize in one industry, such as motor vehicles, or in one type of technology, such as turbines or semiconductor materials.[1]

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Several recent studies have investigated how engineers spend their time; that is, the work tasks they perform and how their time is distributed among these. Research[8][13] suggests that there are several key themes present in engineers’ work: (1) technical work (i.e., the application of science to product development); (2) social work (i.e., interactive communication between people); (3) computer-based work; (4) information behaviours. Amongst other more detailed findings, a recent work sampling study[13] found that engineers spend 62.92% of their time engaged in technical work, 40.37% in social work, and 49.66% in computer-based work. Furthermore, there was considerable overlap between these different types of work, with engineers spending 24.96% of their time engaged in technical and social work, 37.97% in technical and non-social, 15.42% in non-technical and social, and 21.66% in non-technical and non-social.

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Engineering is also an information intensive field, with research finding that engineers spend 55.8% of their time engaged in various different information behaviours, including 14.2% actively seeking information from other people (7.8%) and information repositories such as documents and databases (6.4%).[8]

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The time engineers spend engaged in such activities is also reflected in the competencies required in engineering roles. In addition to engineers’ core technical competence, research has also demonstrated the critical nature of their personal attributes, project management skills, and cognitive abilities to success in the role.[14]

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Types of engineers

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There are many branches of engineering, each of which specializes in specific technologies and products. Typically engineers will have deep knowledge in one area and basic knowledge in related areas. For example, mechanical engineering curricula typically includes introductory courses in electrical engineering and software engineering

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When developing a product, engineers typically work in interdisciplinary teams. For example, when building robots an engineering team will typically have at least three types of engineers. A mechanical engineer would design the body and actuators. An electrical engineer would design the power systems, sensors, and control circuitry. Finally, a software engineer would develop the software that makes the robot behave properly.

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Branch Technologies Related Sciences Products
Architectural Engineering & Building engineering focuses on building and construction Architecture, architectural technology Buildings and bridges
Chemical Engineering Focuses on the manufacturing of chemicals and chemical production processes. Chemistry, Thermodynamics, Biology, Medicine Chemicals, Petroleum, Medicines, Raw Materials
Civil Engineering Focuses on the construction of large systems and structures. Statics, Fluid Mechanics, Soil Mechanics, Roads, Bridges, Dams, Buildings
Electrical Engineering Focuses on the design of electrical systems and circuitry. Electromagnetism, Logic Computers, Electronics
Industrial Engineering Focuses on the design, optimization, and operation of production, logistics, and service systems and processes. Operations Research, Engineering Statistics, Applied Probability and Stochastic Processes, Methods Engineering, Production Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Logistics Engineering, Ergonomics Quality Control Systems, Manufacturing Systems, Warehousing Systems, Supply Chains, Logistics Networks, Queueing Systems
Mechatronics Engineering Focuses on the technology and controlling all the industrial field Process Control, Automation Robotics, Controllers, CNC
Mechanical Engineering Focuses on the development and operation of Energy Systems, Transport Systems, Manufacturing Systems, Machines and Control Systems. Dynamics, Statics, Fluid Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Mechanics, Mechatronics, Manufacturing Engineering Cars, Airplanes, Machines, Power Generation, Spacecraft, Buildings, Consumer Goods, Manufacturing
Metallurgical Engineering/Materials Engineering Focuses on extraction of metals from its ores and development of new materials Material Science, Thermodynamics, Extraction of Metals, Physical Metallurgy, Mechanical Metallurgy, Nuclear Materials, Steel Technology Iron, Steel, Polymers, Ceramics, Metals
Computer Engineering Focuses on the design and development of Computer Hardware & Software Systems Computer Science, Mathematics, Electrical Engineering Microprocessors, Microcontrollers, Operating Systems, Embedded Systems
Software Engineering Focuses on the design & development of Software Systems Computer Science, Mathematics, Systems Engineering Apps, Websites, Operating Systems, Embedded Systems
Mathematical Engineering Focuses on the design & development of mathematical models Computer Science, Mathematics, Electrical Engineering,Statics Scientific Computing, Datamining, Control Theory, Optimization

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Ethics

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Engineers have obligations to the public, their clients, employers, and the profession. Many engineering societies have established codes of practice and codes of ethics to guide members and inform the public at large. Each engineering discipline and professional society maintains a code of ethics, which the members pledge to uphold. Depending on their specializations, engineers may also be governed by specific statute, whistleblowing, product liability laws, and often the principles of business ethics.[15][16][17]

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Some graduates of engineering programs in North America may be recognized by the Iron Ring or Engineer’s Ring, a ring made of iron or stainless steel that is worn on the little finger of the dominant hand. This tradition began in 1925 in Canada with The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer, where the ring serves as a symbol and reminder of the engineer’s obligations to the engineering profession. In 1972, the practice was adopted by several colleges in the United States including members of the Order of the Engineer

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Education

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Most engineering programs involve a concentration of study in an engineering specialty, along with courses in both mathematics and the physical and life sciences. Many programs also include courses in general engineering and applied accounting. A design course, often accompanied by a computer or laboratory class or both, is part of the curriculum of most programs. Often, general courses not directly related to engineering, such as those in the social sciences or humanities, also are required.

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Accreditation is the process by which engineering programs are evaluated by an external body to determine if applicable standards are met. The Washington Accord serves as an international accreditation agreement for academic engineering degrees, recognizing the substantial equivalency in the standards set by many major national engineering bodies. In the United States, post-secondary degree programs in engineering are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

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Regulation

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In many countries, engineering tasks such as the design of bridges, electric power plants, industrial equipment, machine design and chemical plants, must be approved by a licensed professional engineer. Most commonly titled Professional Engineer is a license to practice and is indicated with the use of post-nominal letters; PE or P.Eng. These are common in North America, as is European Engineer (EUR ING) in Europe. The practice of engineering in the UK is not a regulated profession but the control of the titles of Chartered Engineer (CEng) and Incorporated Engineer (IEng) is regulated. These titles are protected by law and are subject to strict requirements defined by the Engineering Council UK. The title CEng is in use in much of the Commonwealth.

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Many skilled / semi-skilled trades and engineering technicians in the UK call themselves engineers. A growing movement in the UK is to legally protect the title ‘Engineer’ so that only professional engineers can use it; a petition[18] was started to further this cause.

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In the United States, licensure is generally attainable through combination of education, pre-examination (Fundamentals of Engineering exam), examination (Professional Engineering Exam),[19] and engineering experience (typically in the area of 5+ years). Each state tests and licenses Professional Engineers. Currently most states do not license by specific engineering discipline, but rather provide generalized licensure, and trust engineers to use professional judgement regarding their individual competencies; this is the favoured approach of the professional societies. Despite this, however, at least one of the examinations required by most states is actually focused on a particular discipline; candidates for licensure typically choose the category of examination which comes closest to their respective expertise.

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In Canada, the profession in each province is governed by its own engineering association. For instance, in the Province of British Columbia an engineering graduate with four or more years of post graduate experience in an engineering-related field and passing exams in ethics and law will need to be registered by the Association for Professional Engineers and Geoscientists (APEGBC)[20] in order to become a Professional Engineer and be granted the professional designation of P.Eng allowing one to practice engineering.

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In Continental Europe, Latin America, Turkey and elsewhere the title is limited by law to people with an engineering degree and the use of the title by others is illegal. In Italy, the title is limited to people who both hold an engineering degree and have passed a professional qualification examination (Esame di Stato). In Portugal, professional engineer titles and accredited engineering degrees are regulated and certified by the Ordem dos Engenheiros. In the Czech Republic, the title “engineer” (Ing.) is given to people with a (masters) degree in chemistry, technology or economics for historical and traditional reasons. In Greece, the academic title of “Diploma Engineer” is awarded after completion of the five-year engineering study course and the title of “Certified Engineer” is awarded after completion of the four-year course of engineering studies at a Technological Educational Institute (TEI).

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Perception

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Differences among countries]

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The perception and definition of engineer varies across countries and continents. British school children in the 1950s were brought up with stirring tales of “the Victorian Engineers”, chief amongst whom were the Brunels, the Stephensons, Telford and their contemporaries. In the UK, “engineering” was more recently perceived as an industry sector consisting of employers and employees loosely termed “engineers” who included the semi-skilled trades. However, the 21st-century view, especially amongst the more educated members of society, is to reserve the term Engineer to describe a university-educated practitioner of ingenuity represented by the Chartered (or Incorporated) Engineer. However, a large proportion of the UK public still sees Engineers as semi skilled tradespeople with a high school education.

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In the US and Canada, engineering is a regulated profession whose practice and practitioners are licensed and governed by law.

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A 2002 study by the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers revealed that engineers are the third most respected professionals behind doctors and pharmacists.[21]

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In the Indian subcontinent, Russia, Middle East, Africa, and China, engineering is one of the most sought after undergraduate courses, inviting thousands of applicants to show their ability in highly competitive entrance examinations.

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In Egypt, the educational system makes engineering the second-most-respected profession in the country (after medicine); engineering colleges at Egyptian universities require extremely high marks on the General Certificate of Secondary Education (Arabic: الثانوية العامة‎‎ al-Thānawiyyah al-`Āmmah)—on the order of 97 or 98%—and are thus considered (along with the colleges of medicine, natural science, and pharmacy) to be among the “pinnacle colleges” (كليات القمة kullīyāt al-qimmah).

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In the Philippines and Filipino communities overseas, engineers who are either Filipino or not, especially those who also profess other jobs at the same time, are addressed and introduced as Engineer, rather than Sir/Madam in speech or Mr./Mrs./Ms. (G./Gng./Bb. in Filipino) before surnames. That word is used either in itself or before the given name or surname.

French “Ingénieur” title

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It is sometimes told by urban legends that in France, the “Ingénieur” title refers only to membership of the French executive elite and has no relation to technological skills. This is false, engineer is the title of someone who succeeded in engineers schools. There are many different kind of engineer schools in France like in other countries. Some engineer schools are more famous than others. Examples of French famous engineer schools are Polytechnique, Supelec, Institut national des sciences appliquées, Institut Mines-Télécom, Ecole nationale supérieure d’arts et métiers, École Centrale Paris. Polytechnique and ENSAM have their roots in the French revolution and some of their alumni become famous either as scientists (Henri Poincaré), CEO of international companies (Bernard Arnault) or as politicians (Valéry Giscard d’Estaing).

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Polytechnique is even different of other engineer schools as education lasts 6 years instead of 5, with the last year being of specialization in one specific technique. It is also a military school. Most schools of higher education that were created during the French revolution have a special status in French people mind. They helped to make the transition from a mostly agricultural country of late 18th century to the industrial state that France was in the 19th century. A great part of 19th century France’s richness was created by engineers coming from Polytechnique or Ecole des mines. This was also the case after the WWII, when France had to be rebuilt.

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Before the “réforme René Haby” in the 70’s, it was very difficult to become a French engineer (hence the term “faire les Grandes Écoles” in language of older people), nowadays after the Haby reform and a string of further reforms Modernization plans of French universities it is much more common to access those schools and the French elite comes more from École nationale d’administration for managers or politicians and École normale supérieure for scientists. Engineers are less highlighted in current French economy as industry provides less than a quarter of the GDP.

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Corporate culture

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OPTICS

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In companies and other organizations, there is sometimes a tendency to undervalue people with advanced technological and scientific skills compared to celebrities, fashion practitioners, entertainers and managers.

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In his book The Mythical Man-Month,[22] Fred Brooks Jr says that managers think of senior people as “too valuable” for technical tasks, and that management jobs carry higher prestige.

He tells how some laboratories, such as Bell Labs, abolish all job titles to overcome this problem: a professional employee is a “member of the technical staff.”

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IBM maintain a dual ladder of advancement; the corresponding managerial and engineering or scientific rungs are equivalent. Brooks recommends that structures need to be changed; the boss must give a great deal of attention to keeping his managers and his technical people as interchangeable as their talents

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C6lsGaBUwAEYgN9.jpgA CHARGING BULL

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When the paycheques stop is when the anxiety hits:

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Don’t let the fear of spending ruin your retirement

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For your entire working life you could count on the money coming in every couple of weeks. When things were tight, you watched for the exact minute that paycheque was in your bank account. When things weren’t so tight, you still had the comfort of that new amount pushing your bank account back up.

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But … when it stops … life will be different. You will have to be more careful with your spending. You might have to actually draw down on capital. Time to tighten your belts!

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In my years as a Wealth Advisor and Planner, I have found that this fear seems to hit a large percentage of retirees, whether they are wealthy or not. It just seems to be par for the course, at least for those who don’t have a sizable pension kicking in as soon as they retire.

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As my Grandmother used to say, a little bit of fear can be a good thing. What isn’t a good thing is when people with plenty of wealth live a lower standard of living than they could, and help others less than they would like, because of fear instead of facts.

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Here are the facts for a typical client of ours: 65 year old couple; investment assets of $1.2 million; paid off house worth $1.2 million; combined government pensions of $35,000 a year, indexed; annual spending of $80,000; and employment income now $0.

If the combined investment assets and house grow at a rate of 4 per cent after tax, then the growth will be $96,000 a year. When added to $35,000 of government pension income, even if we tax that pension income at 20 per cent, it becomes $124,000 a year of after tax growth. After $80,000 of spending, the growth in net worth is $44,000 a year. Basically, their net worth is growing every year.

They have no significant financial worries. In fact, they are on pace to leave an estate of at least $3.5 million (in future dollars) if they both live another 20 years. This is effectively money that they never spent in their lifetime.

Now let’s better understand the fear so that we can overcome it.

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Many near retirees underestimate the amount of Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS) income they will receive

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especially if they are a couple. Once this is clarified, it helps minimize the fear that all $80,000 of spending doesn’t have to come from savings. If both members of a couple have worked and paid into CPP for many years, they will likely qualify for the maximum. If they both qualify for maximum CPP and OAS, it is now combined over $40,000 a year.

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Many ignore their home value as a source of retirement income — especially if they aren’t planning on selling any time soon. While it is true that in many cases, the real estate equity is ‘trapped’ inside the house until it is sold, there are two reasons why it needs to be factored in to retirement spending. The first is that even in retirement, it wouldn’t be hard to get a line of credit on the house and use that for cash flow if one really wanted to do so. The second is that at some point later in retirement, it is quite likely that the house will be sold and added to savings. Just because it isn’t sitting in your investment account at the beginning of retirement, doesn’t mean that the real estate equity isn’t just as valuable as cash over the course of an entire retirement.

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Fear of health expenses – I believe that this is largely a spillover from U.S. media, but there tends to be an oversized fear that health-care expenses will be very large, and as a result, a significant amount must be set aside or long-term care insurance should be purchased.

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The reality is that most drugs are covered by the government. Large percentages of health-care costs are covered by the government. Among those that do eventually live in a retirement residence, even if the monthly costs are high, at that stage most of your other costs are very low, and you are no longer covering the costs of maintaining a house or condo. While there can be high costs for extra caregivers, often these extra costs don’t last more than a year or two. While there can be high costs for a small number of drugs, most Canadians won’t have those costs. It is possible that you can face high health care related expenses in retirement, but the vast majority of Canadians will not.

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Many have a false belief that expenses will go up every year. Most of us are used to seeing expenses grow every year with inflation. When you are in retirement, this annual growth in expenses tends to eventually even out and start to decline. The main reason relates to health. If you are in good health and both retired at 68, you will likely be quite active, eat out often, go out often and possibly do some expensive travel. If you are 82, even if you are in OK health, you tend not to do the same level of major travel, you tend to stay home or closer to home, and your annual costs are often much less than they were 14 years earlier.

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lg2

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Insurers under the microscope

By Megan Harman | March 2017

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Life insurers must begin reporting extensive information about the sales of their products and the financial advisors and firms who sell them. This new regulatory initiative aims to help insurance regulators ensure that clients are being treated fairly.

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The exercise is forcing insurers to compile vast amounts of data – some of which hadn’t been collected previously – within a short period of time. The deadline to file the data with regulators is May 1.

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Depending on what regulators learn from the information collected, the initiative could result in new rules or stronger oversight for insurance advisors.

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In early February, the Toronto-based Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators (CCIR) introduced a new form, the Annual Statement on Market Conduct, which insurance carriers now are required to complete annually. The form collects in formation about the procedures each carrier has in place relating to the fair treatment of consumers, such as disclosure practices and advisor auditing.

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The new form also asks for detailed data on the business conducted during the previous calendar year, including: the number of policies issued and premiums written; the number of policy lapses and cancellations; the distribution firms the carrier works with and the volume of business done with each firm; the amount of commissions paid; the number of claims received and the top reasons for denied claims; and details about each customer complaint received.

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The goal is to harmonize the collection of market-conduct data among CCIR members (which include the provincial insurance regulators across the country), and help regulators better understand market practices, according to Patrick Déry, the CCIR’s chairman.

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“The data on market conduct that will be collected will assist CCIR members in being more proactive in areas such as identification of trends and emerging risks,” Déry states in an email to Investment Executive. “Regulators will use this information to provide further insight and context when identifying supervisory priorities or developing supervisory plans, which will, in turn, result in increased consumer protection.”

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The exercise means insurance advisors and managing general agencies could find their sales practices under greater scrutiny.

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“[The new documentation] will either give the regulators comfort that the current system is working to a large extent or will identify gaps or areas that need to be strengthened,” says Susan Allemang, head of regulatory and policy affairs at the Independent Financial Brokers of Canada in Mississauga, Ont. “If [the data] show that there are areas that pose higher risks, then I would expect that the regulators would take action – they’ll take steps to address those deficiencies.”

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Advisor compensation is one area that could come under the regulatory microscope. The questionnaire asks whether insurers, when determining commissions and incentives, take into consideration factors such as policy lapses, number of complaints and the amount of contact an advisor has had with clients after the sale of a policy.

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The focus on incentives is not surprising, Allemang says, because the potential conflicts of interest stemming from industry incentive programs is an issue that has been identified in the past and addressed by the industry itself.

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“There’s a general movement in the insurance industry to re-evaluate all of these programs and consider them in light of the focus on the fair treatment of customers,” she says.

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Completing the annual statements will be no easy task. Although insurers already report some of the information requested for the new statements – such as customer complaint information – other data have not been collected previously, says Craig Anderson, assistant vice president and senior counsel at the Toronto-based Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc. (CLHIA).

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“There is information being sought here that wasn’t necessarily being tracked by all of our member companies,” he says. “Member companies will have to begin changing their systems so that they can collect and report on that data.”

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Adding to the challenge is the tight May 1 deadline for submitting the first statements.

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“That’s not a ton of time, particularly when you’re going through something for the first time,” says Erica Hiemstra, assistant vice president, distribution, at CLHIA.

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Not all insurers are required to complete the statement initially, however. Only certain insurers, including those that make up the top 80% of the market, will be required to complete the statements in the first year. In future, however, according to Déry, all insurers will be required to participate in the initiative.

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Those insurers that fail to comply could face enforcement action, including administrative monetary penalties, from CCIR members.

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Déry acknowledges that the initiative is likely to be daunting for insurers, especially at the beginning: “The CCIR anticipates that the lack of familiarity with the annual statement may lead to apprehension among some insurers. In addition, we understand that some insurers may not be currently collecting the data being sought by the annual statement.”

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The regulators expect insurers to begin collecting and tracking the requested data if they do not already do so, according to Déry. In instances in which the data is unavailable in the initial year of completing the statement, insurers must provide a plan explaining how the data will be made available in the future.

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The new statements are part of an effort to help regulators bring their supervision of market conduct into alignment with international best practices and standards. CLHIA supports that goal, according to Hiemstra.

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“It’s a proactive regulatory initiative,” she says. “As far as our members are concerned, we believe insurance companies have practices in place … [that] support fair customer outcomes. And, that’s the goal here.”

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The exercise of completing the annual statement, in itself, could lead to stronger measures related to the fair treatment of customers by prompting insurers to consider the processes and practices they have in place, says Eric Wachtel, national chief compliance officer at IDC Worldsource Insurance Network Inc. in Mississauga, Ont.

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“For some companies, it may cause them to decide to enhance what they’re currently doing,” Wachtel says. “Generally, I think [the new initiative] is a good thing.”

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The fact that the initiative harmonizes collection of data across the industry is positive, Anderson says; “It’s beneficial to the industry that the information is coming in in one manner, one form, in a harmonized manner rather than getting slightly different variations from different regulators across the country.”

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© 2017 Investment Executive. All rights reserved.

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CHARGING BULL

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charging_Bull

https://beyondrisk.wordpress.com/2017/03/10/charging-bull/

No – It’s not about credit card abuse

Simply about Wall Street’s role

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IS CANADA ON THE BRINK OF A FINANCIAL CRISIS?

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.Ever since the U.S. financial crisis in the late 2000s, there have been questions about whether there might be a Canadian version coming down the pipe. The fact that it hasn’t happened has been taken by some as proof that Canada’s financial system is a better machine than its U.S. counterpart, and by others as a combination of luck and low interest rates.

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This week the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) pegged Canada as one of a small group of countries vulnerable to a crisis. The BIS, a sort of global bank for central banks, based its verdict on a combination of credit levels, housing prices, and the potential for higher interest rates.

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The BIS said Canada’s credit-to-GDP gap – a measure of private sector debt levels – is at 17.4 percent, trailing only China in the study, and well above the BIS threshold of 10 percent.

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“In the past, two thirds of banking crises were preceded by credit-to-GDP gaps breaching this threshold during the three years before the event,” the report says.

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The bank noted that the level has been rising for Canada since September 2016.

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It also raised a red flag with Canada’s real estate market, noting a property price gap – a measure of prices deviations from long-term trends – of 11.6, among the highest of the surveyed countries.

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It didn’t find major fault with Canada’s debt service ratio at 3.6, but said Canada was particularly vulnerable to a rise in interest rates. If rates rose by 2.5 percentage point, that ratio — a key measure of how much income is needed to service debt – would rise to 7.9 percent. While a 2.5 percentage point rate hike is not expected, economists do expect rates to eventually begin to rise from their current rock-bottom levels.

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The BIS is hardly the first entity to point out worrying signs in Canada’s debt levels and home prices.

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The Bank of Canada has been warning about the rise in consumer debt levels for years, and it its 2016 year-end financial review, the BoC highlighted consumer indebtedness and out-of-whack real estate prices as key vulnerabilities for Canadian households.

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And a quick look at the rapid rise of housing prices in Toronto and Vancouver suggests that some sort of pullback is inevitable.

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“There is some concern that household credit has risen relatively fast compared to person disposable income,” says Earl Sweet, head of economic risk at BMO Capital Markets.

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But few see the same conditions in Canada as there were in the U.S. before its financial crisis, which was stoked by widespread bad lending practices on the part of banks and weak regulation. On the contrary, Canadian lenders are well capitalized and uninsured mortgages have relatively low loan to valuation.

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“We don’t want to downplay the fact that households are exposed to a lot of debt, and if there was a rapid increasing interest rates, some families would be facing difficulties,” says Sweet. “(But) we don’t think there’s meaningful chance of a financial crisis in Canada right now.”

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Sweet also called into question how the BIS calculated corporate debt in the study, suggesting that it may have double-counted some debt for Canadian companies with subsidiaries.

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“What I think they’ve got there just isn’t representative at all of what the Canadian private non financial corporate situation really is,” he says.

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Sweet says the issues of debt and housing are certainly cause for concern in Canada, because they leave the country vulnerable to an external shock to the economy, such as a credit crisis in China, or a breakup of the euro. In that situation, the Canadian debt levels would make the result of that external shock more severe. But he doesn’t see a Canada-specific crisis in the offing.

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“I’m not saying we can’t have a housing price correction over the next couple of years, because prices have gone up quite a lot in certain markets,” he says. “But we’re not looking at the type of implosion that occurred in the United States.”

 

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The Real Reason Women Work | Psychology Today

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https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-family/201205/the-real-reason-women-work

 

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WHY WOMEN WORK

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The women’s explanations of financial need connect to a broader popular discussion that connects women’s paid labor to their families’ financial needs, i.e. women work because their families need the money. … As women’s income goes up, so, too, does their labor market participation.May 3, 2012

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The Real Reason Women Work | Psychology Today

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https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-family/…/the-real-reason-women-work

 

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Food for Thought

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Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

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ENTJs are natural-born leaders. People with this personality type embody the gifts of charisma and confidence, and project authority in a way that draws crowds together behind a common goal. But unlike their Feeling (F) counterpart, ENTJs are characterized by an often ruthless level of rationality, using their drive, determination and sharp minds to achieve whatever end they’ve set for themselves.

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Perhaps it is best that they make up only three percent of the population, lest they overwhelm the more timid and sensitive personality types that make up much of the rest of the world – but we have ENTJs to thank for many of the businesses and institutions we take for granted every day.

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Have a look for yourself

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https://www.16personalities.com/personality-types

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01 03 2017

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ENTJ Personality – Conclusion

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ENTJs’ intelligence, strong will and logical reasoning skills are a force to be reckoned with. Be it a minor obstacle or a seemingly impossible task, ENTJs will find a way – or make one. This fearsome determination and intellect allow ENTJs to overcome many challenges.

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Yet ENTJs can be easily tripped up in areas where careful and rational thinking is more of a liability than an asset. Whether it is finding (or keeping) a partner, connecting with other people, reaching dazzling heights on the career ladder or forcing themselves to relax, ENTJs need to put in a conscious effort to develop their weaker traits and additional skills.

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What you have read is an introduction into the complex concept that is the ENTJ personality type. 

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How ENTJs think and what they need to reach their full potential is understood – many of the challenges they have faced and will face in the future have been overcome by other ENTJs.

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Be willing and able to go beyond the obvious, to imagine and follow your own path instead of just going with the flow.

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Worth thinking about

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