Out of the Box Coaching and
Breakthroughs with the Enneagram, Mary R. Bast, Ph.D. 
Copyright 1999. All rights reserved. Revised: August 27, 2014
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"The Charismatic Leader

"I have a huge amount of energy that rarely lags," said 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 strength."

"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 Enneagram

More Eight stories in Somebody? Nobody? The Enneagram, Mindfulness and Life's Unfolding