Enneagram Type 8s are natural born leaders. They are confident, decisive and instinctively know what to do. After all, it’s intuitively obvious! The big challenge for Type 8 leaders is to instill confident decision making capabilities throughout the organization. Here’s how one Type 8 leader did just that!
Enneagram Type 8s are in the Intuitive Center of the Enneagram. Intuition informs Type 8 giving them a strong sense for what to do next. This sense can be so strong that Type 8 leaders will think that the course of action will be obvious to everyone. Oftentimes, it is not obvious to others which can frustrate the 8. In those instances, the 8 will be compelled to tell their staff what do for the sake of expediency. That approach works well to get things done quickly but fails to instill decision-making skills within the team.
Other Decision-Making Approaches
In Teamwork 9.0, I lay out a decision-making and problem-solving approach that respects and involves all types, those who think things through, those who base decisions on feelings, and those who use intuition. Using a systematic approach takes the best elements of all decision-making styles, allows everyone to participate, and builds team decision-making muscles.
Perhaps the best aspect of team-based decision making is the sense of commitment the team feels in creating positive results. Because the team will have been involved in the decision-making process, they will feel vested in making the outcome a success. And, while this approach may take longer than having the Type 8 leader simply tell the team what to do, in the long run a team-based approach will save the Type 8 leader’s time by not having to be involved guiding the team every step of the way–the team will become self-guided. The team feels empowered and delivers great results, and the Type 8 leader saves time.
Mess to Success
In this video, I describe how a Type 8 leader had the team solve a problem themselves. The leader set the direction in Step 1 by clearly explaining the problem and the goal. After that, the team followed the process in Teamwork 9.0 to a successful outcome with much less hands on involvement from the 8 leader.
How do Type 8s in your life lead teams? Do they allow teams to guide themselves or do they stay directly involved? Do they use a systematic approach to decision making, or is it more ad hoc? What situations have resulted in the most effective team dynamics?
You know how a random idea can just pop into your head? Well, that’s your intuition speaking to you.
Now imagine that that’s happening to you all the time.
That’s what happens to my client Tom.
So a while back I got a call from Tom and I can tell he’s frustrated and he’s grumbling that his team never made a decision for themselves. They always waited for him to tell them what to do.
Now, we know that Tom is intuitive. But the thing is, he thinks everyone else is intuitive.
And, it’s just intuitively obvious what to do.
So while Tom’s waiting for his team to make a decision, there’s no telepathic network connecting what’s in his brain to his team member’s brains.
He finally gets frustrated, tells them what to do. They do it because he’s the boss. And it gets done. And that cycle just repeats over and over and they never learned to make decision for themselves.
Well, Tom wanted to break that cycle.
When we started working on this, we identified three important factors:
- Tom needed to recognize that his style is not the same as everyone else’s style. Not everyone is operating on intuition like he is.
- We needed to give the team some problem solving and decision making tools. They had become so reliant on Tom telling them what to do that that they hadn’t built up any of those decision making muscles. So that’s when we decided to use the problem solving methodology that I outline in my book Teamwork 9.0.
- Tom did need to be involved in Step 1 which is to clearly define the problem and define the goals.
Then once we’d done that Tom backed away and let the team work through the process. Which they did. And, they came back to Tom in Step 7 in which they laid out the plan that they’d put together to solve the problem. Tom reviewed that and said, “looks great, go for it.” Which they did and successfully solved the problem.
The team was delighted because they were involved all the way through the whole process and they were committed to a successful outcome at the end.
Tom was delighted because he didn’t have to stay involved through all the steps which gave him a lot more time to tend to his other responsibilities.
And, best of all, that cycle was broken and the team could now make decisions for themselves.
Thanks so much for listening.
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And, stay tuned for next time when we discuss a leadership style I call – it’s nothing personal