"I have a huge amount of energy that rarely
Chris, the CEO of her organization.
"So I get exasperated with people who are too cautious or who whine a lot. There are
some people in this organization with a Goody Two Shoes mentality, and I want to push on
that." Chris had had a very successful career, and her company was
doing well, so I asked her 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
"What about you?" I challenged. "They need to see
you're willing to go first. I hope you don't find that too threatening."
"There's very little fear in me," she countered. "But don't expect
to make me into something I'm not. I had enough of that as a kid!"
Mentally applauding, I encouraged her to say more. "I
set an explicit goal to treat my kids in a different way than I experienced, which was
being pounded with negative feedback and trying to make me something I was not. My mother
was like the mother in Ordinary People, constantly disappointed in me
– I was too heavy,
too loud, too aggressive."
In response to my questions about her
relationship with her children, Chris acknowledged that her husband's more laid-back style had
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," I reflected.
"Yeah, I'm good at
grabbing people and moving them toward a vision," she said,
"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 sometimes I can be obsessed with
control. 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?'"
Chris' complete story in
Out of the Box: Coaching with the
More Eight stories in
Nobody? The Enneagram, Mindfulness and Life's Unfolding