Introduction to the The Enneagram as a Leadership Tool

The Enneagram is a fascinating tool of nine orientations that enables us to gain insight into the depths of our true potential. It seeks to provide insight into how we fund our foundation of assumptions so they work for us or they don't! (In some ways it provides a generic Owner's Manual to Life! That little book we all hoped came with us to provide insightful directions on how to employ us and treat us with care.)

Leadership development requires fluency at this level. Margaret Jackson, the Chairperson of the QANTAS board of directors put it this way, "Know your self, appreciate others, be bold and be brave." This tool enables you to do the first two at a depth rarely available in psychological profiling. From this foundation, with the wisdom of appreciation, the other two become natural behavior.

The Enneagram has been based in oral tradition until recently and so its origins are obscure. Some claim there is evidence its use in Babylonian times, others are currently in the courts squabbling over their rights to its use.

Some use it as a personality tool I prefer it as a road map, a generic blue print for your 'model' of assumptions that can be used to direct intentional and purposeful growth. It enables the discarding of assumptions that are past their use-by-date, maybe formulated in childhood, and the growth of wiser concepts.

Its application:
The Enneagram orientation of an individual is determined in part objectively, through being aware of their assumptions, and partly subjectively, by finding the motive for their actions.

As such it fits perfectly into the newest assumptions of quantum physics that by measuring an event we influence it (there is a subjective component to every observation). Our language has lagged behind these forward concepts and we still prefer objectivity presuming it is more truthful. However, the information provided by the interview and the practicality of working with others has always been the definitive test for compatibility rather than the pre-selection psychological tools.

Questionnaires to determine our Enneagram orientation, which are readily available on the web, are not very accurate. Not because of the skill of the questionnaire compiler but due to the inability of ourselves to appreciate our unconscious motive objectively and compare it to others. How many thoughts have you ever had about this area of your life?

In working with the Enneagram for 15 years I have yet to fault it, despite rigorous testing. A skilled practitioner can provide information to identify an individual's orientation or, alternatively those who know us well.

The most telling insights into our orientation are those based in the person's conflict behavior. Because we assume our conflict is well clothed we do it with abandon - to others we are the Emperor with no clothes and they often perceive our actions with great clarity. Consult a skilled practitioner or ask loved ones, colleagues or friends to help you identify your orientation.

Leadership Development:
Much of the literature informs us that we can create ourselves to be leaders, we do not need to born so. However, there is little in the literature to direct us to the fertile ground for us to develop our leadership skills and abilities.

The Enneagram shows us our pot holes (limitations) and our mountains (talents). Our job as leaders is to develop conscious competence with both! The Enneagram shows us where these are so we can begin the work of our lives.

This article may be reproduced in printed or web format, provided the resource box below is included.

Rosemary Johnston is a professional corporate and personal coach. Working with executives from some of Australia's largest and most successful companies for over 15 years.

Rosemary's new book, "How To Develop Your Leadership Style and Skills to Take Charge of Your Career and Life" is now available to download at her web site. Read about how you can share some of the success Rosemary has had coaching leaders in Australian blue chip companies.

In The News:

The Leadership Paradox
Huffington Post
The same might be said for leadership. There are more than fifty thousand titles available and hundreds more being published almost every month. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent annually on countless workshops and courses to train leaders.

and more »


Boehner defends his US House leadership amid conservative unrest
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Fresh from an embarrassing rebuke at the hands of conservatives in his own party, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner played down any risk to his continuing leadership on Sunday, saying disagreements with ...
How John Boehner Is Setting Up a Crucial Week for His LeadershipNational Journal
House Speaker Boehner dismisses rumors of party revolt over his leadershipRaw Story

all 370 news articles »

Sydney Morning Herald

Liberal leadership: Anti-Abbott campaign 'dying' as dissidents told to 'pull ...
Sydney Morning Herald
The party elder said the polls were "conclusive proof" voters also wanted Mr Abbott to remain in the job and said he had not detected any change in the party room to suggest an alternative leader like Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has the ...
Momentum for prime minister change 'dying', says ministerThe Guardian
Tony Abbott leadership campaign 'dying'The Australian
Boost in the polls weakens leadership talksSky News Australia
The Conversation AU -ABC Online -Yahoo!7 News
all 95 news articles »

Leadership Class Adirondack raises more than $50000 raised for Amanda's ...
Glens Falls Post-Star
GLENS FALLS — Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Class Adirondack set a “big, audacious goal” of raising $25,000 for Amanda's House, $1,000 for each year the leadership training program has operated, said Cindy Sherwood, vice ...

and more » (blog)

You Have to Be Fast to Be Seen as a Great Leader (blog)
We recently analyzed 360 feedback evaluations on more than 50,000 leaders to assess the impact of speed on their colleagues' impression of each executive's overall leadership effectiveness. For this purpose, we created a “speed index” that measured ...

and more »

Wildrose leadership candidates focus on Alberta's finances
The sole leadership candidate so far elected to the Alberta Legislature, Barnes said he would find a way to address the financial problems without raising taxes. Instead, he argued, the government could find more money by being more efficient. He took ...
Wildrose leadership hopefuls signal taxes, trust as issues for expected
Wildrose leadership candidate Osinchuk backs GSAsEdmonton Journal
Brian Jean enters Wildrose leadership raceCalgary Herald
Calgary Sun -Marketwired (press release) -Fort McMurray Today
all 60 news articles »

The Australian

Ministers Rally Behind Abbott as Leadership Talk Lingers
Tony Abbott, Australia's prime minister and leader of the Liberal Party, center, walks with Julie Bishop, Australia's foreign minister and deputy leader of the Liberal Party, right, and other party members to a leadership vote at Parliament House in ...
Abbott faces leadership spill again, but Turnbull wants to waitThe Australian
Tony Abbott rubbishes leadership spill speculationSydney Morning Herald
MP: Leadership speculation is bulls**
Sky News Australia -The Guardian
all 625 news articles »


Presidents Bush and Clinton unite to train new leaders
The three are members of the first class of Presidential Leadership Scholars, an unprecedented program co-sponsored by the presidential libraries of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Lyndon Johnson. Over the next six months, the group ...

and more »

The Guardian

Scott Walker: remark on Islamists and protesters was 'about leadership'
The Guardian
“The leadership we provided under extremely difficult circumstances, arguably the most difficult of any governor in the country, maybe in recent times. To me, I apply that to say, if I were to run and if I were to win and be commander-in-chief, I ...
Scott Walker: I wasn't comparing terrorists and Wisconsin protestersThe San Luis Obispo Tribune

all 1,204 news articles »

Transparency in leadership selections key to credibility of Port of Portland ...
The most obvious connection is leadership. Many of the Port's executives came from the governor's office. The leadership pipeline has raised a few eyebrows in the past, but it has become particularly obvious in the wake of recent difficulties. It ...

Google News

A Blueprint for Leadership - How to Be a Better Leader

If you were to build a house, you would begin... Read More

A Good Leader Knows The Teams Colours

Leadership can be a very challenging task. As leaders we... Read More

Be the Samurai Sword

Relationships are constantly facing crisis. Everywhere we look people are... Read More

The Metamorphosis of the Successful Executive . . . Overcoming Professional Stagnation

You're a bright, successful business executive making good money and... Read More

Leadership Skills and Ability

What is true Leadership.Is leadership something we are born with... Read More

The Qualities of Skillful Leadership

If you want to be a leader who attracts quality... Read More

Dont be Afraid to Lead!

In most aspects of human activity, the pendulum of fashion... Read More

Beyond Authority: Debunking the Top 3 Leadership Myths

Have you noticed that across the business world people are... Read More

The Leadership Strategy: An Unmined Comstock Lode of Results

During the Second World War, Winston Churchill had a framed... Read More

Two Leadership Traps: How To Avoid Them and How To Get Out Of Them (Part 2)

Here's how to get out of, or avoid, the "I... Read More

The Defining Moment: The Straw That Stirs The Drink Of Motivational Leadership (Part Two)

In Part One, I described the importance of establishing deep,... Read More

Benefits of Leadership Skill Training

DESCRIPTION CMOE's Leadership Skill Training addresses a wide range of... Read More

Boy Scouts of America and Leadership Coaching

The Center for Management and Organization Effectiveness talks with Dennis... Read More

Leadership Prep

So you want to be a leader? Or you want... Read More

Reveal the Leader Within

A Leader is not a certain type of person or... Read More

Four Obstacles to Exceptional Leadership--Part 1

"Most of our obstacles would melt away if, instead of... Read More

Three Growth Guidelines from Stephen Covey

I have been looking for answers to what it takes... Read More

Leadership Activity: How Leadership Agenda, Strategy, and Behaviors Shape Your Success!

"Forward, as occasion offers. Never look round to see whether... Read More

Leadership Skills Training Empowers Problem-solving and Visioning

Leadership skills training programs empower you to influence, persuade or... Read More

Abe Lincoln: An Extraordinary Leader

Perhaps noted as one of the greatest United States presidents... Read More

A Call to Men to Live a Strenuous Life!

Any man would be justly proud to claim even a... Read More

10 Smart Ways Leaders Can Bring Out the Best in Others

You are a leader. Everyone is a leader. It doesn't... Read More

Premature Articulation

Ask anyone about what makes a good leader and they... Read More

The Three Factors of Leadership Motivation

Leaders do nothing more important than get results. But you... Read More

Is Your Life Ready For Groundhog Day?

In the hit comedic movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray's character,... Read More