Your Inner Team
A leader’s credibility stands on three legs: Knowing, Doing, and Being. Yet the power of our “state of being” as a leader or what I call “showing up” is often conveniently overlooked because it asks the leader to be vulnerable and to grow as a human being.
Vulnerable is a word that many leaders abhor. To a leader, it can sound weak and unsafe. Let’s unpack this misunderstood word. What does it look like when leaders “show’s up” as vulnerable?
- We are willing to say, “I don’t know”
- We invite others to challenge our ideas and plans
- We are willing to be influenced
- We engage and involve appropriately
- We ask for help
- We admit that things we’ve said and done could have been said and done differently
- We listen and learn rather than need to be the one with all of the answers
- We look inside–we can see that we have unproductive behaviors and are willing to learn new ways — to make changes
This is power. Power lies in vulnerability. Yet to be an effective leader requires that we access this power in order to be able to influence others to take action toward an uncertain future, or to rally and focus the team amidst crisis.
And so, taking our leadership effectiveness to the next level – from good to great – entails becoming more fully who we are. The nature of our personality structures as humans, however, tends to get in the way of our best, highest, most powerful self.
Our personality structure consists of many parts that we invented unconsciously as we grew up, in reaction to our environment and upbringing. And we are predisposed to a particular array of coping strategies and based on our Enneagram Type in large part.
As in any team, these individual member parts of us are well intended, but each has its own agenda, beliefs, stories, and fears. Each believes it knows what is best for the team, and will do all it can to control the outcome to that end.
Who is to lead the team, then?
Every person has at his or her core Self, sometimes referred to as higher, essential, or True Self that is different from the parts. It is whole and contains all the parts. It is indestructible and always available. It is not defined by the things we own or the roles we fulfill.
The Self is the place from which we can observe, experience, and interact with the parts, others, and the world.
This Self is the source of leadership to manage the often-unruly inner team of reactive parts. And when you lead from Self, it inspires and gives permission to others to connect with their deeper wisdom as well.
How do we access Self and build relationships with and learn to lead our inner team? I have found the Enneagram blended with Internal Family Systems to be a very effective and insightful approach.
What is Internal Family Systems (IFS)?
Drew Dougherty of Leadership DNA and I will be co-leading the next Insight to Action workshop July 18 on IFS and the Enneagram. Here’s what Drew had to say:
“Parts work”, or Internal Family Systems (IFS), makes available a path to leadership of your inner team that mirrors the path to effectively leading any team. It lies in forging a relationship with the team members, based on respect, acceptance, and dialog (not judgment, or forcing). Read more about what what Drew has to say here.
And you? How do you work with your inner team or your client’s inner team?