Honored to be on Josh Elledge’s The Thoughtful Entrepreneur podcast. Josh is an Enneagram Type 7 so we quickly dive deep into personality type and team dynamics. Speaking of dynamics, Josh is a very dynamic Type 7. Josh solves the problem of B2B sales and has a novel approach to providing an endless stream of high-ticket qualified customers using the Go Giver approach to building strong relationships.
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#Team #Leader #Leadership #Enneagram #B2BSales #Entrepreneurship #HighTicketSales #HighTicketSales #Podcast
Josh Elledge: With us right now, it’s Matt Schlegel. Matt, you are the author of the book, Teamwork 9.0, you’re a consultant, author and speaker and you are the principal with Schlegel Consulting and you’re found on the web at evolutionaryteams.com. Matt, thank you so much for joining us.
Matt Schlegel: It’s so great to be with you here today, Josh. Thank you.
Josh Elledge: I should say that we’re about 11 minutes into our conversation by the time we finally hit record, because we started talking about the Enneagram, which is one construct that you use in your work.
I saw that and I’m like, oh, I’m a seven, my wife is a six and we started talking about that, but we’re going to get to that for sure.
Matt Schlegel: Yeah.
Josh Elledge: Please give us an overview of your work, who you work with and the impact that you have.
Matt Schlegel: Yeah. Well thank you. My background is in engineering product development and I’ve always been focused on getting my teams to be more effective. So along the way, I’m always looking for great new tools to use, to keep the team working together, keep them aligned and moving forward.
And along the way I found this really fascinating tool called the Enneagram and I started using it with my team and it was stunning how effective it was at helping the team members understand each other, resolve conflicts, understand perspectives, improve communication.
And then, I also realized that the Enneagram has numbers for the types, not colors or letters or animals. It’s numbers. Why is it numbers? And I found out that the there’s a reason why they’re numbers and the numbers are in the order in which each of those personality dynamics come into play in problem solving.
So for instance type one is the one say, “Hey, that’s not right, shouldn’t be like that, it should be like this.”
Well, what’s the first step in problem solving. It’s like, hey, there’s a problem, it shouldn’t be like that, it should be like this. And all the way around.
So I became faceted with the Enneagram in that way, developed a problem-solving methodology, used that with my teams. It was amazing with that. And then I founded my company to just do consulting in that world. And I wrote a book Teamwork 9.0, which you gratefully mentioned.
Josh Elledge: Yeah.
Matt Schlegel: And it describes how you can use the Enneagram in this novel way. So yes, it’s a fantastic personality system, but it’s also a very powerful problem-solving system that gets teams aligned around solving big, challenging problems.
Josh Elledge: Yeah. Tell me about the book and who the book is for. Teamwork 9.0, you could get it right now on Amazon. Mostly I’m curious about, what is the transformation that takes place in the reader when they consume and apply the content.
Matt Schlegel: Right. I would say, broadly speaking, the audience for the book is leaders of teams. Anybody who is leading a team will benefit from reading the book, knowing the Enneagram, applying both the personality side of it, to understanding the team dynamics at a personality level, but then understanding all the challenges the team has as they’re moving through the problem-solving process towards their goal.
Josh Elledge: Yeah. And overall, if you were to go through the structure of… I understand who it’s written for, but what would you say would be some of the high level headlines of, if you really want to succeed with teams today… I hate to ask you to do this, but boil it down. Your entire book, your life’s learning, into a couple of principles. Sorry. That’s so unfair.
Matt Schlegel: No, no. What happens to teams is that we often, as leaders, tend to hire people like ourselves, who think the same way. And when we do that, then we will create a team that is imbalanced and will have some blind spots. You may even be unaware of the blind spots, because you don’t have all the perspectives and you end up getting into these situations and we have all of these affirmisms for analysis by paralysis, right?
If you have a team that’s just mostly fives, all they’re going to do be doing is analyzing things and not moving forward. So this book helps leaders understand how teams get stuck and then helps them get unstuck and moving towards their goal. That is the bottom line is, I’m trying to make teams as effective as they can be.
Josh Elledge: Yeah. How do you work professionally then, as a consultancy? Who are you typically working with and what does engagement look like?
Matt Schlegel: Right. I will engage with my clients in a number of different ways. Some clients just want to learn the Enneagram. A leader will say, “I have this team, I want to understand my team better. I want them to understand me better. I want them to understand each other better.”
And then, I will do an Enneagram workshop with them in order to help everybody understand their perspectives. And then I’ll also overlay and share that framework of problem solving with the team. I’ll say, “Well, I’m looking at your team. You’ve got a few eights and you’ve got a few twos and you’ve got a few fives, but you’re probably challenged in this way.”
I can know how the team will be challenged based on the mix of the teams. And when I show them the problem solving process, then they’ll start to realize, oh yeah, that’s why we get stuck here, and maybe we need to one, just appreciate that and step into that role ourselves or maybe we bring in somebody to fill that role for us so that we don’t get stuck there like we always do.
So just to help the team understand those team dynamics that are going on when they’re working together.
Josh Elledge: Yeah. So there are different modalities. I’m using a big word like I know what I’m talking about. There are different ways that you can say, well, I am a… And people will list out, so Enneagram. I tend to like that over… What’s that another one that’s like E F and M?
Matt Schlegel: Myers-Briggs.
Josh Elledge: Myers-Briggs were very popular. Yeah. What is it about Enneagram that is resourceful for you in a way that maybe the other ones aren’t?
Matt Schlegel: Right. Well for me Myers-Briggs seems unnecessarily complicated. It’s a little harder for me to intuitively grasp. That was one problem I had with it.
Josh Elledge: Yeah. Me too.
Matt Schlegel: Right. And then the other problem I had with it is that it really doesn’t speak to dynamicism. I know intuitively that my behaviors change based on my stress levels, if I’m relaxed or I’m stressed, and I know these changes are happening and that Myers-Briggs doesn’t necessarily speak to that.
Whereas the Enneagram, just built into it, is all these dynamics, right? If you look at the Enneagram diagram, one it’s a circle, and then there’s all these lines in the middle. And every point on the circle, every number, is connected to two other numbers. And those are your stress and unstress lines.
So when you’re stressed, you tend to move in one direction and when you are unstressed, you tend to move in another direction. So you can see, oh, that’s why I start to behave this way when I’m stressed. For instance, for me, I’m a six. The head group, which the six is at the core of, the dominant driver to behaviors is anxiety.
Josh Elledge: Yeah.
Matt Schlegel: And six is-
Josh Elledge: Yeah. I’m married to a six and I agree.
Matt Schlegel: Six is, what we do is we tend to suppress our anxiety, but it comes up when things aren’t going the way we expect. And when they do, that anxiety starts to rise in us. And then our behaviors start to look more like the type three.
Now the type three is called the achiever. They’re really highly productive, and they’re just wanting to get stuff done. And I realize I do this. When I start to get stressed, I start making lists and I start checking stuff off. And as I’m doing that, my anxiety’s going down. After I get all that stuff done, and I’m addressing all the things that are causing me anxiety, then I can relax again.
But during that phase, I was like looking and behaving more like a three. And when I can get to that point where, ah, I’m on vacation, I’m not worried about anything. Then I can look like that nice, relaxed nine. I can get a good night’s sleep and all that.
So just those dynamics fascinated me and then understanding how each type has a unique set of dynamics is amazing power in that system that really appealed to me.
Josh Elledge: Yeah. What happens when a seven gets stressed?
Matt Schlegel: Right. Well, when the seven gets stressed, they move to type one. They can get very particular about things and start to nitpick on things and go down that path.
Josh Elledge: Interesting.
Matt Schlegel: Yes. The one is perfectionist, right?
Josh Elledge: Yeah.
Matt Schlegel: So they’re striving to get it right. But when the seven, their anxiety comes up, it’s because they’re not able to seek fun relationships.
Josh Elledge: Yes.
Matt Schlegel: And things aren’t going the way they want them to do, so they start to nitpick on things. Does that sound familiar?
Josh Elledge: Yeah. Yeah. I feel like, okay, variety and stuff, that’s all well and good when times are good, but right now, I need to get my life in order.
Matt Schlegel: Right.
Josh Elledge: Or, oh, heaven forbid, there would maybe be a situation in business or with a team. I like to break things down to their simplest elements and like, let’s address the emotions, let’s address this. And it does, it feels… I feel organized, I feel like I’m being responsible. Let’s lay out all the cards out on the table.
Matt Schlegel: Yeah.
Josh Elledge: But yes, this is the standard for this, this is the way it should be and so forth.
Matt Schlegel: You used such a good word there is, putting things in order, because that is a very one activity, putting things in order. Organizing their shelves, organizing the dishes in the rack. Everything needs to be in order.
Josh Elledge: Interesting.
Matt Schlegel: That’s a great word.
Josh Elledge: I just chalked it up to the monk in me that occasionally comes out.
Matt Schlegel: Yes.
Josh Elledge: Like my toothpaste, for example, does need to be rolled a certain way. Yeah. Okay. This is really applicable for our teams. How do we use this?
For example, if I know my director of operations, she’s a one. She’s the perfectionist, she is absolutely the order in all things and she is perfect for her role.
Matt Schlegel: Yes.
Josh Elledge: If anything gets by her, it’s very infrequent and I could tell she’s really disappointed if something does get past her.
Matt Schlegel: Right. When I was looking for an editor for my book, I wanted to hire a one.
Josh Elledge: Yeah.
Matt Schlegel: I started just interviewing editors and talking to them about the book. And until I came across an editor that says, oh, I love the Enneagram. I’m a type one. I’m like, yes, because you’re exactly right.
Here’s the other thing, Josh, and I talk about this in the book, on work teams. What people come together to form effective work teams?
And there’re groups of three. In Enneagram [inaudible 00:14:28] we call them triads, but groups of three that do come together and one of the groups is the one, the seven and the four. That one-seven combination is really powerful and it’s a very complimentary combination.
Josh Elledge: Yeah. Okay. So someone’s listening to our conversation and they’re like, this is great. Are you working long term with people? Do you work on a workshop basis? How does that usually look?
Matt Schlegel: Right. There’re two different models. One, I mentioned just do the workshop, but the other is, and this is what I love to do as well is, work with a team that has a big challenge and help that team work through the challenge. In other words, take them through that nine-step Enneagram problem solving process and get the team to solve the big challenge.
I describe it like, when you need to work on the system, rather than just in the system. I tend to work with say a cross-functional team of leaders. For instance, if you are wanting to improve your product development process, or you want to reduce product returns, or you want to come up with creative ways to solve a supply chain issue, or how to bring people back into the office. It’s something big that you as an organization need to do, but it’s not your main business necessarily, right?
It’s not what you do every day. You need to stand back and look big picture and get your team aligned to come together, to solve the problem and develop a new way of working together, that’s more effective than you’re doing now.
So then I take a team of cross-functional leaders. I like somebody from operations, from engineering, from finance, from IT, one of everybody, a leader in that group, and get them to work together and collaborate on what their ideal way of working together would be like, once that big challenge was solved and get them to visualize that.
And then get them to work together, come up with creative ideas and then implement those ideas to solve the problem. And I can do that with a team, just stepping them through the process. And it’s such fascinating work to see teams come together around solving problems that they often don’t even think they can solve.
Josh Elledge: Yeah. Your website, evolutionaryteams.com. Someone goes there, what should they click on? What do they do?
Matt Schlegel: Yeah. You can send me an email, give me a call. If you have a question and you want to learn more, you can always contact me. I have a blog where I talk about a lot of these concepts. Definitely reach out to me if there’s something on your mind that you want to explore.
Also, if you’re just interested in the Enneagram, I do have a complimentary Enneagram assessment on the website. So feel free to take that and use that to start to explore your Enneagram type.
Josh Elledge: Yeah. Terrific. Awesome. All right. Matt Schlegel, your book, I want to promote that. I just had it on the other page. Oh, Teamwork 9.0, that’s on Amazon. And of course your website, evolutionaryteams.com. Matt Schlegel, thank you so much for joining us.
Matt Schlegel: Thank you, Josh. It’s been great speaking with you.