Other Interpretations

The Doom Loop has been around for a while since I created the little tool back in the late 1970s.

Since that time, others have used it and some have written articles or extensive blog posts about it. I think some of these are excellent interpretations and would like to include them for your consideration.

1) The Doom Loop System (book)

I appreciate Dr. Hollander’s completion of the book about the Doom Loop. She was introduced to the Doom Loop at a national convention of the American Psychological Association in Los Angeles by me and expressed interest. After I had obtained an agent and a publisher, I invited her to participate as a co-author because of her excellent credentials and her high level of interest.

I was disappointed with the book, however, because the publisher wrongly thought that the Doom Loop was much more than it really is. Instead of writing a short book about the Doom Loop and putting into perspective that it is constrained by its use of only two variables (preference and performance) and, as a whole, is only a rough guide at best to assist an individual in making tactical career decisions, she went along with the publisher and tried to make this simple little tool a complete “system” of career management. It is not that at all.

Nevertheless, she followed my outline in general when describing the tool and assisted in popularizing the concept through publication of the book. For that, I am grateful to her and for her efforts.

2) Executive Roundtable

The first article appears in The Executive Roundtable Blog and was written by Glain Roberts-McCabe, the Executive Roundtable founder and president. The Executive Roundtable offers a variety of coaching and mentoring-based programs designed to equip mid-career leaders with the immediate tools, strategies and insights they need to excel in the near-term, and the life-long mindsets they need to maintain momentum and continue their career success.
The article is titled, “The Career Doom Loop Revisited: Are You On a Slippery Slope?” Glain provides a quick and crisp description of the Doom Loop without fanfare or diagrams.   Excellent read.
3) SparkpilotBlog

According to the SparkpilotBlog website, the SparkpilotBlog presents “topics relevant to managers or people looking to grow their management, leadership and life skills.” An interpretation of the Doom Loop may be found in a posting entitled, “The Doom Loop System.
This article, written in December, 2010 by Gavin McMurdo, describes the Doom Loop but wrongly attributes its origin. McMurdo uses his own graphics and attempts to show different perspectives – outsiders and insiders – and offers an online assessment  to assist the reader in determining his/her own position in the matrix. To me this a creative way to approach the quantification of the Doom Loop, but I personally do not believe that it is necessary.  I applaud Mr. McMurdo, however, for attempting to expand the usefulness of the Doom Loop.

4) Performance Foundations

Ms. Janice Scanlan presents a different interpretation of the Doom Loop called “The Marketing Doom Loop” based on an exercise from Dory Hollander’s book.  Personally I don’t find this interpretation useful and to me it seems to miss the point of what the Doom Loop is all about.

5) Keenan MBA Career Resource Center

Mr. John R. Bertrand, Senior Associate Director – EMBA/GEMBA/One-Year Masters/Alumni Services & Engagement, Keenan MBA Career Resource Center at the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California published an article titled, “Darwin, The Doom Loop, Dreams, and Direction: What Does It Mean To Manage Your Career Today?” and first appeared in the Spring ’08 issue of the USC Marshall Alumni Career Newsletter.

Bertrand presents the Doom Loop tangentially and with an entirely different graphic description but with essentially the same theme.  His excellent article provides a variation of the “Doom Loop” and provides a “Success Loop” as a remedy. He does not describe the “Doom Loop” in the traditional way it was introduced, but you can quickly grasp the idea, and his creative insight of the “Success Loop” remedy is helpful.

6) Computerworld

In March, 2004, Mary Ann Wagner and Marguerete Luter wrote a short article in Computerworld titled, “Avoiding the Career Doom Loop.”

The authors describe the Doom Loop as “a term that describes the unfortunate position employees may find themselves in when they are no longer considered important to their company.” While this is not my own interpretation of the career management tool that I created, I applaud the authors for using it to help others.

*     *     *     *     *

In summary, it is encouraging that others are using the Doom Loop concept to counsel individuals on the management of their careers. Feel free to check out these interpretations and, if they increase your understanding of the concept, then that is a “good thing.”

Personally I think that the Doom Loop is very intuitive and needs no workshops, exercises or extended training time to explain. Trying to quantify your “likes” and “dislikes” or your “good ats” or “not good ats” is a waste of time. The Doom Loop is an intuitive visualization of the results of a differential equation done mentally with qualitative information and needs no further analysis.

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