Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Charismatic Leader

Question: What descriptions and self-descriptions will you hear that suggest someone might be an Enneagram style Eight?
I have a huge amount of energy that rarely lags," said Chris, the CEO of her organization. "So I get exasperated when people are too cautious or whine a lot. There are some in this organization with a Goody Two Shoes mentality, and I want to push on that." Her company was doing well, so I asked Chris why she'd brought me in. "I'm tired of doing everything myself," she replied. "I don't have enough faith in others to let them take over, so I'd like for you to work with my team and help them develop more strength."

"What about you?" I challenged. "They need to see you're willing to go first."

"Just don't expect to make me into something I'm not," she countered. "I had enough of that as a kid. I set an explicit goal to treat my kids in a different way than I experienced, which was being pounded with negative feedback. My mother was like the mother in the film Ordinary People, constantly disappointed in me. I was too heavy, too loud, too aggressive."

In response to my questions about her children, Chris acknowledged that her husband's more laid-back style acted as a buffer when her parenting was a little too tough. "We have a perfect marriage," she cracked. "A man who can't say no and a woman who won't take no for an answer."

"And you see some similar patterns at work?"

"Yeah, I'm good at grabbing people and moving them toward a vision, but I sometimes jump ahead too fast and leave others behind who wanted to be involved. What really drives me nuts is when there's a hot agenda item and people are wasting time. I'm pretty tenacious, and when I get exasperated with people, I tend to say 'F--- it! I'm the CEO, why can't I throw my weight around?"



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