Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Righteous One

Question: What descriptions and self-descriptions will you hear that suggest someone might be an Enneagram style One?
"She’s done exactly what I asked her to do and she's gotten results," said Paul Turow, the CEO of Jean Thurman's company, "but on the human side of it, she can’t succeed if she doesn’t change." Paul and the President of the company, Mark Kelly, had called me in to work with Jean because her subordinates were close to mutiny. She'd been hired to repair the lack of quality standards in her division, but after a recent planning retreat with her team, one of them complained to Paul, "She basically told us everything we'd done for six years was a pile of shit!"  

Mark had his own take. "I told Jean you don't tell a couple showing off their first baby that the child is ugly!"

"She's not an ogre," Paul clarified. "She has a lot of personality that comes through and a high degree of integrity. She’s extremely intelligent, and if you get in a discussion where she doesn’t know something, within 2-3 days she’ll have learned about it. But at the same time she takes a really strong, fixed position of what’s right and wrong." 

When I asked Paul and Mark what their expectations were for my work with Jean, Mark said, "I don’t want her to roll over just to get people to like her, and I want her to continue having strong systems and high expectations for results." 

Paul nodded while Mark was speaking, then added, "There has to be more respect in the process. Right now she has a disconnect in how to bridge that gap. We've had people threatening to quit we can't afford to lose."

"I've always been the type of manager who will confront people when there are problems," Jean told me. "I know I have the reputation of being rather ruthless, but I’ve been able to turn things around in several different positions because people weren’t performing before I got there and I gave them the choice to shape up or leave."

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