Leadership excellence is one the greatest challenges facing companies across the globe. In fact, most top leaders leave their positions within three years or less under duress. In today’s challenging and changing workplace leaders are often faced with a plethora of varied problems requiring multiple intrapersonal and interpersonal skills. From intergenerational teams to global expansion, business leaders must develop skills they didn’t necessarily learn while getting their MBA. Often called the soft skills of the workplace, they are turning out to be the difficult yet pertinent skills needed to become an outstanding leader.
Daniel Goleman’s article, The Focused Leader, in the most recent issue of Harvard Business Review points out that,
“A focused leader is not the person concentrating on the three most important priorities of the year, or the most brilliant systems thinker, or the one most in tune with the corporate culture. Focused leaders ..are in touch with their inner feelings, they can control their impulses, they are aware of how others see them, they understand what others need from them..”
He recommends developing 3 intuitive skills, ‘..focusing on yourself, focusing on others, and focusing on the wider world’ to develop the leadership skills needed in today’s global marketplace.
An ancient tool called the enneagram is proving to be a powerful way to help leaders learn and grow in development of these interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. Because the Enneagram is cross-cultural and highly accurate, it can be effectively used in the global business environment to help with communication, conflict resolution, feedback, strategy and self-mastery. In fact, Apricot believes the Enneagram is the most practical and effective tool for today’s workplace as it provides a philosophical and psychological framework that is broken down into nine simple yet distinct and fundamentally different personality types.
Enneagram describes three fundamentally different types of human intelligence (Instinctual, Emotional & Cognitive) each of which is based on an explicit perceptual filter, or way of understanding the world. This filter determines what individuals pay attention to and how they direct their energy.
Each of these three intelligences harbor inherent beliefs about what is needed in life for survival and satisfaction and is manifested in a particular focus of attention and subsequent personality type – your patterns of thinking, feeling and acting.
By isolating your type of intelligence and determining your Enneagram ‘personality type’, you can begin to uncover and understand more about what is driving your behavior and how your personality impacts on your daily life, including family, work and intimate relationships.
We at Apricot favor using the Enneagram approach as it teaches a simple and effective way to allow people to discuss habitual responses (personality) accurately without blame or malice. The Enneagram, while challenging, helps to foster understanding and empathy by assisting us to understand other people as they are to themselves, rather than as we see them.
Best of all, this is a tool that encourages a great deal of self-development, enabling greater personal strides at a faster pace.
For today’s business leader the enneagram can prove to be a crucial tool, because, in the words of Goleman,
“.. a failure to focus inward leaves you rudderless, a failure to focus on others renders you clueless, and a failure to focus outward may leave you blindsided.”
Certified in the use of the Enneagram in the Business setting, Apricot can train and enhance your team and their leadership skills for the 21st Century.