Tuesday, July 14, 2015

What's your type?

Guess what I have in common with Priscilla Presley, Dolly Parton, Mary Kay Ash, Nancy Reagan, Monica Lewinsky, Stevie Wonder, Barry Manilow, Josh Groban, Elizabeth Taylor, Eleanor Roosevelt, Pope John Paul XXIII, Paula Abdul, Danny Glover, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Martin Sheen and Arsenio Hall? We're all Type 2: The Helper...on the Enneagram Personality test. Fascinating! If you had set before me a crowd of people and asked me to cluster them by commonality, I'd likely not put them all in the same group, and I certainly wouldn't add myself to it! Here is what I now know I have in common with all of those people - we all are most interested in what we feel are the "really, really good" things in life - love, closeness, sharing, family and friendship. And according to Enneagram, people are drawn to us like bees are drawn to honey. What I personally appreciate about the language wrapped around this type is that it truly helps me better understand myself personally and professionally. Deciding to get the degree I need to have the option to assume a leadership title/position in my profession is a really big deal. I have not taken this decision lightly, and if I'm honest, it required quite a bit of prodding by others, including my current principal, to take the plunge. Even now, as I pursue the degree, I'm not confident that I will take on such a position. And in some ways, taking the Enneagram test affirms the quiet voice inside me that says I may be better suited for a leadership position in the background. Meaning, I don't know that an out front position like principal will be the best for me (not that I'm ruling it out), but that I really may be best suited for a position as a Curriculum Director or Instructional Leader. And while those are significant leadership positions, they also seem them as more "behind the scenes", and not solely responsible for an entire building or group, rather the support to the person who is - in short, the helper. How fitting, since I am in fact a Type 2: The Helper. If I review the list of names of famous individuals who are also Type 2, I quickly see many incredible leaders who left a profound legacy, and they became as such not by being in the background. And so, I also realize that I might be surprised by what my role will be and what kind of legacy I will leave. What I know now is that leadership is a part of my story, it is a part of me, and I am willing to put myself out there so that I may live fully into my purpose.

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