My partner and I teach Leadership Development. We work with leaders and leadership teams helping them communicate more authentically and effectively. We also help shift the culture of an organization from one of fear and scarcity to one of openness, awareness and evolution. Big ideas, I know. Lofty aspirations. We use the model of the Enneagram to lead people to a greater awareness of who they are beneath the masks of their personality. We help them discover their essential gifts that they alone bring to the organization and the people around them.
We do this over a period of time where people gain a deeper understanding of what it means to truly be present with themselves and one another. That takes time, patience and practice. It also requires a very heavy dose of acceptance, self compassion and a willingness to shift what they hold onto as true about themselves.
It’s a hard sell. How would you feel if we came into your space and said, there’s a very good chance you are not who you think you are? You might want to throw us out on the street. Most likely you wouldn’t want to commit to a significant amount of time and money to ‘un-learn’ what you think you know in order to ‘possibly’ learn something important and new. We can’t guarantee you will learn something profound that will shift how you live at work and through the rest of your life. We can’t promise you will grow. We can’t promise anything because it’s completely up to you to allow yourself to be moved from where you are to where you could be in your thinking, feeling and knowing life.
We see people change, sometimes dramatically, when they allow themselves to become less of who they think they should be and more of who they really are. That’s a very important point. Becoming less of who you think you should be and more of who you really are is the work. We don’t work with becoming more or better or bigger, etc. We work with becoming less. We ask you to let go of who you think you should be to become who you are meant to be. That requires a sometimes difficult, and always rewarding process letting go of what you already ‘know’ and opening your self to something new and unfamiliar. For most it’s uncomfortable in the beginning. Going into the unknown and unfamiliar is hard for people to do. That is essentially what we have to sell. A guided tour through the uncertainty of you to discover who you can become.
Consider for a moment what it would be like for you if you had the permission to drop your shoulds and be who and how you want to be? Do you think there is any truth to the idea that you may not be who you think you are or who you are trying to be?
I wrote a blog entitled ’15 Steps To Nowhere’ because I was tired of seeing the multitude of headlines about 3 steps to this and 5 ways to that and 6 practices to become, whatever. It seemed crazy making to me and it still does. The truth is there aren’t any steps you can take to get closer to your self. There aren’t any things you can do to be more of who you really are. There’s nothing you can do because there is no doing. The real you can only be found at home in your self. Where you need to go is in. What you need to do is listen to the voice that is dying to be heard inside of you. That voice is you. All that other noise on the outside is only garbage.
You know who and what you are.
You are the expert about what your being needs to flourish and thrive.
No amount of steps that someone else can give you will get you there. You are already there. You only have to listen to that still, quiet voice within you directing you to what is best and right for you.
That is what our work helps you do. That is where the true work of the Enneagram leads. It leads us all home, to our self where we are the expert. No amount of steps are required, only a willingness to come into contact with the crushing and exhilarating reality of you. The real you. The real deal.
I write from what I have learned from my sister Cindy, a very wise woman in simple form. She had Down Syndrome and was labeled ‘retarded’ and yet she was the purest, most honest leader I have ever known. That is why I am compelled to share what I share with you. We so often overlook the wisdom from the simplest beings who speak the softest and end up making life much more complicated and painful than it needs to be.
For a moment imagine what it would be like for you to listen to the simplest beings and the softest sounds. Imagine seeing your life from the perspective of an innocent creature who has nothing in them but love and acceptance and wonder. Imagine a world where we cared more for those that are ‘weaker’ and more ‘vulnerable’ than our selves than by those that have more power, authority and the loudest voices? What kind of world do you think you would create by listening to the softest souls and the gentlest sounds? What would happen if you turned your eyes and ears to those that share the least?
And what would you feel like if someone did that for you?
Just the thought makes me melt with tenderness.