The Enneagram in the Military

Although the military sector is just beginning to use the Enneagram, it is a fertile place to develop Emotional Intelligence with the Enneagram. While the military culture can be thought of as traditional, it can also be quite innovative, a result of the demands on them to develop excellent leaders who can set vision and direction but also create strong, team-based units. Because military personnel, particularly at the leadership level, change jobs on a regular basis, they must be up-and-running in their new roles within a short time period; otherwise, the consequences for their units and their countries can have far-reaching results. In addition, many military leaders, upon leaving the military, join the private or public sectors in leadership positions. Thus, leadership development for the armed services provides value beyond the military itself.

As an example, in 2008, the German military added a five-day, two-part training module on leadership development to the MBA for Officers, a course designed to prepare German military officers for transferring their skills from a military to a civilian setting. Although the officers had been exposed to other personality models during their training, the Enneagram was selected as the model on which to base this training with a focus on helping the officers to understand themselves better and how their personality influences their leadership style, and to provide ways to improve their emotional and social intelligence skill set. The result? These officers say that they wish they had been exposed to the Enneagram much earlier in their careers.

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CJ Fitzsimons was a young research mathematician in Ireland in the 1980s when he first noticed how interpersonal challenges could derail a project among even the brightest minds. That's when he decided to make developing leadership skills his own personal research project and his professional focus. Today, he continues to refine his Leadership Sculptor approach (based on the Enneagram, Psychodrama, Performance Coaching, and Tai Chi), while also providing in-depth coaching and conducting workshops internationally. He is co-editor and co-author of International Project Management - Working Together Interculturally (dtv, in German).

He believes that everyone has leadership qualities and his passion is helping people to let these qualities emerge. The Italian sculptor Michaelangelo put it so well: "In every block of marble, I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it."

CJ's role is to help people sculpt their own leadership through helping them recognize the contours of their leadership profile and equipping them with the tools necessary to allow it to emerge.