Timothy Butler

Senior Fellow
Director of Career Development Programs, MBA Program Administration

Timothy Butler is a Senior Fellow and Director of Career Development Programs. His research interests focus on career decision making generally and the relationship between personality structure and work satisfaction in particular. He has published technical papers on career assessment psychometrics and small group dynamics in academic journals and numerous practitioner oriented articles in periodicals such as Fortune, Fast Company and the Harvard Business Review. His books include Discovering Your Career in Business (Addison-Wesley, 1997), The Twelve Bad Habits That Hold Good People Back (Doubleday, 2002), and Getting Unstuck: How Dead Ends Become New Paths (Harvard Business School Press, 2007).

Tim Butler's research on the relationship between personality structure and business career satisfaction led to the development of three psychometric instruments, The Business Career Interest Inventory, The Management and Professional Rewards Profile and the Management and Professional Abilities Profile. These three inventories have been presented with interactive interpretive tools as an integrated Internet-based business career self-assessment program known as CareerLeader, which is used for business career assessment and development by over 300 business schools and corporations around the world.

Dr. Butler has taught for executive education programs and lectured at business schools throughout North America, Europe, and Asia and has consulted to senior managers from organizations ranging from small technology start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations. His consulting work has been most extensive in the Investment Management industry.

Books

Journal Articles

  1. Hiring an Entrepreneurial Leader: What to Look For

    Timothy Butler

    Aspiring to be innovative and agile, companies of all shapes and sizes want to recruit entrepreneurial managers. But most firms lack a scientific way to separate the true entrepreneurs from other candidates. To address that problem, Butler compared the psychological testing results of over 4,000 successful entrepreneurs and of approximately 1,800 business leaders who described themselves as general managers but not as entrepreneurs. His analysis uncovered three factors that differentiate entrepreneurs: thriving in uncertainty, a passion for ownership, and unique skill at persuasion. In this article Butler dives deep into the skills, mindset, and traits of entrepreneurs, explaining what the stereotypes about them often miss. For instance, they aren’t always more creative or in love with risk, but they are deeply inquisitive, open to new experiences, and comfortable with the unpredictable. He also offers evidence-based, practical advice for interviews and résumé screening that hiring managers can use to identify entrepreneurial leaders.

    Keywords: Selection and Staffing; Leadership Style; Attitudes;

    Citation:

    Butler, Timothy. "Hiring an Entrepreneurial Leader: What to Look For." Harvard Business Review 95, no. 2 (March–April 2017): 85–93. View Details
  2. Professional Psychologists as Group Treatment Providers: Utilization, Training, and Trends

    Timothy Butler and Adelaide Fuhriman

    Keywords: Health; Groups and Teams; Training; Trends;

    Citation:

    Butler, Timothy, and Adelaide Fuhriman. "Professional Psychologists as Group Treatment Providers: Utilization, Training, and Trends." Professional Psychology: Research and Practice 17, no. 3 (June 1986). View Details

Book Chapters

  1. Is a Career in Finance (and which one?) Right for You?

    James Waldroop and Timothy Butler

    Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Personal Development and Career; Finance; Financial Services Industry; Banking Industry;

    Citation:

    Waldroop, James, and Timothy Butler. "Is a Career in Finance (and which one?) Right for You?" In The Harvard Business School Guide to Careers in Finance, edited by Anil Pandey and Omotayo T. Okusanya. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2000. View Details
  2. Is Management Consulting the Right Career—For You?

    James Waldroop and Timothy Butler

    Keywords: Personal Development and Career; Decision Making; Management Systems; Consulting Industry;

    Citation:

    Waldroop, James, and Timothy Butler. "Is Management Consulting the Right Career—For You?" In The Harvard Business School Guide to Careers in Management Consulting, edited by Jason Dehni. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2000. View Details

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. What We Carry: Success, Failure, and Happiness in Family Systems

    Timothy Butler

    The purpose of this exercise is to enable participants to identify essential career and life themes. The core task of the exercise is to extract themes, images, metaphors and "dynamic tensions" from a list of exciting careers that have been selected from a larger career list.

    Keywords: Family and Family Relationships; Success; Failure; Happiness;

    Citation:

    Butler, Timothy. "What We Carry: Success, Failure, and Happiness in Family Systems." Harvard Business School Exercise 812-026, December 2011. View Details