Friday, April 29, 2016

The Innovator

Question: What descriptions and self-descriptions will you hear that suggest someone might be an Enneagram style Four?
Leaders with style Four can be vital to the health of an organization because they're not bound by tradition and often view things from a new slant. They can keep an organization from slowly dying out of untested and outdated assumptions. Looking in from the outside has an advantage -- they're rarely guilty of groupitis, the subtle virus that keeps groups from looking at their own process.

A style Four executive, now Director of Sales for a manufacturing company, had an earlier career as a photographer. "I photographed things no one else could see," he said. "A segment of the side of a building, a part of the body, a view of a tree that shows a pattern but isn't identifiable in the usual way."

Another expressed intense dissatisfaction with his role in an organization that was traditional and unoriginal. When asked where he'd prefer to work, he answered without hesitation: "Ben and Jerry's!" It was no surprise that he picked an unorthodox organization whose founders expressed their values through the organization and the people they hired.

When I coached Nick, he was being groomed to take over the top human resources (HR) job for an international company. "I think I'm creative, open, and expressive," he said. "Some people ask me into a conversation just because they know I'll come at it from a totally different angle."

Nick's boss said, "He drives the people crazy who develop policy, but I consider that a compliment."


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