The Enneagram and Leadership
Effective leadership depends on self awareness and self management. This requires a willingness to look inside oneself, to listen to feedback, and to respond to the needs of each situation. As a leader, both your strengths and personal limitations have a huge impact on your staff and colleagues.
Knowing your Enneagram style allows you to become more centered and develop your personal presence. You will learn more about your own reactivity, and what do to about it. You will also understand other people's reactivity and how you can best respond.
The problem of success: leaders often fall into the trap of continuing to do what has worked in the past. They have achieved results with their strong vision, talents and abilities, yet these are no guarantee of continued success, or increased success, in a changing workplace environment. The Enneagram offers a path of continual learning and growth to access your full potential.
The Enneagram makes possible an accurate assessment of your leadership strengths and challenges, and provides a developmental plan for better decision-making, successful relationships, and getting results.
It also teaches the quality of "Embodied Presence," bringing attention to the inside to deepen awareness and knowing from the heart and body, as well as the mind.
"Today's business and world leaders are faced with unprecedented complexities and rates of change in markets and social conditions. This places extreme pressure on leaders to develop all aspects of themselves to the highest degree possible…. their cognitive, emotional, inter-personal, and ethical capacities, as well as their fundamental sense of self…. Only those who develop to this level…. will be successfully equipped to manage a profitable, sustainable growth business or effective organization." Ken Wilber.
"Personal mastery is the discipline of continually clarifying and deepening our personal vision, of focusing our energies, of developing patience, and of seeing reality objectively." Peter Senge.
What the Enneagram provides for leaders:
1) A description of your mental model, the way you see the world, and specific ways to work with your pattern of attention and reduce blind spots.
2) A profile of your inter-personal style, common issues in relationship, and how to increase your ability to work successfully with others.
3) Insight into the concerns and issues of other personality types and how to bring forth their best contribution.
4) The ability to draw on all three centers of intelligence - mind, heart, and body.
5) A way to access the quality known as "embodied presence" which reduces stress and reactivity, and increases personal authenticity and effective action.
"Leaders at all levels in business recognize that success comes from focusing the talents of others toward shared goals. Organizations are discovering that their competitive edge comes not from rugged individualism, but from creating effective workgroups or teams and maximizing each employee's contribution. Ultimately, the effectiveness of any group or organization depends upon the skill and ability of its members or staff.
" Leaders must create environments where employees are encouraged to learn, make intelligent decisions, and take action. More responsibility is placed directly in the hands of individuals and the team unit. Leadership serves as a gate keeper for these types of changes and encourages continuing development. ....... Today's workplace requires staff capable of learning new ways of thinking and behaving, responsive and flexible to work with change, and who can envision and apply creativity to solutions.......
"The basis for new ways of thinking and behaving comes from our ability to challenge our assumptions and mindsets and our ability to make new, more successful choices. The Enneagram teaches us how our personal needs and perceptual distortions can interfere with creating successful relationships. A study of the Enneagram helps us to reduce miscommunication with others, evolve our own potential, and use our power of perception to make more intelligent decisions. It also enables us to tap greater resources in others." from the workplace handbook: "Transformational Leadership," Forster & O'Hanrahan.
On Mental Models, from "The Fifth Discipline," Peter Senge.
"One thing all managers know is that many of the best ideas never get put into practice. Brilliant strategies fail to get translated into action....... this "slip 'twixt cup and lip" stems not from weak intentions, wavering will, or even non-systemic understanding, but from mental models. More specifically, new insights fail to get put into practice because they conflict with deeply held internal images of how the world works, images that limit us to familiar ways of thinking and acting. That is why the discipline of managing mental models - surfacing, testing, and improving our internal pictures of how the world works - promises to be a major breakthrough for building learning organizations."
Leadership Development for Type Three - The Performer
You are able to chart a clear direction, communicate with conviction, and move quickly to results. You have an outstanding capacity for focusing and harnessing your energy to the task at hand. Your approach is generally confident, assertive, and rational. You are highly adaptable, good at decision-making and time management, and excel at achieving organizational goals.
Remember to pay attention to relationships as well as task. It's important to consider other people's needs and feelings in order to maximize teamwork and productivity. Remember also to take care of yourself - chronic overexertion can lead to burnout or impaired performance. Pay attention to quality as well as quantity.
Suggestions for Professional Development:
• Be willing to waive short-term results or profits in favor of long-term progress. It's important to look at how you define success and to try to develop the big picture.
• Because of your goal orientation, it's important to step back periodically re-examine the goals, review priorities, and understand the larger context.
• Don't over-rely on enthusiasm and clarity as a primary leadership strategy. When initiating change, obtain support and orient toward people's current experience before trying to lead them to desired results. Consider what it takes to get other people on board with a project.
• Your tendency to move quickly and talk fast may distance others and lose their involvement. Slow down when necessary for effective interpersonal communication.
• Your enthusiastic and urgent style of communicating may cause others to feel unrecognized or deficient and may lead to their increased resistance. Recognize that other people move at a different pace when thinking, planning, and acting, and have other interpersonal needs in addition to achievement.
• Maintain the go-forward vision while allowing for problems, active resistance, and setbacks. These are all part of the process and may in fact contribute to the final result. With this in mind, try to develop your depth of awareness in assessing situations.
• Pay attention to and work with developmental issues and group dynamics that occur when leading a group toward a common goal. Learn to work with the resistance and understand what the resistance is saying. Be careful how you communicate your impatience or frustration.
• Watch out for making sudden shifts from personal to impersonal that may distance people and result in their avoiding or withdrawing from you. If you step out of your formal role with people, notice when and how you step back into it. Acknowledging or signaling these shifts will help people adjust.
• Acknowledge the feelings and progress of yourself and others. Take time to celebrate achievement.
From "Transformational Leadership," an Enneagram workplace handbook by Susan Forster & Peter O'Hanrahan.