Ian Cron on The Road Back to You, Enneagram 9 Personality Types, Better Knowing Prospect Motivations

Ian Cron on The Road Back to You, Enneagram 9 Personality Types, Better Knowing Prospect Motivations

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Brad: Thanks for joining. My name is Brad Johnson and I’m the VP of
Advisor Development and Advisors Excel. In each episode of The Elite Advisor Blueprint
podcast, it’s my goal to distill the best ideas and advice from top thought leaders
and apply it to the world of independent financial advice. In this episode, I talk with Ian Cron. He’s a bestselling author, nationally recognized
speaker, and my guess is you haven’t read across this one before, he’s both a psychotherapist
and an episcopal priest. Get ready for some serious psychology and
how to get into your prospect’s heads as we dig into Ian’s most recent book, The
Road Back to You and into an ancient personality typing system with an uncanny accuracy in
describing how human beings are wired both positively and negatively. It’s called the Enneagram and it’s scary
how accurate it is. I’m guessing like me prior to a few months
ago, you’ve never heard of it before. However its origins date back hundreds of
years and for those of you who’ve ever taken a Kolbe, a DISC profile, StrengthsFinder,
Myer-Briggs or dozens of other personality profiles I’ve seen in our industry, especially
if you happen to use them in your hiring process as many of our clients do, this may be your
favorite show to date. In fact, Ian set up the ability to do a free
assessment for all of our listeners and your staff if you’d like. So now might be a good time to hit the pause
button and go out and download Ian’s free tool which breaks down all nine personality
types from the Enneagram and also offers the link for the free assessment to see what your
number is. It took me about five minutes to take it and
figure out my number. It’s available at bradleyjohnson.com/18. Also for many of you listening on mobile,
most include show notes now, simply swipe to them and it will be linked at the top of
the notes for your convenience. Okay, so hopefully you’re coming back from
grabbing your free assessment from Ian and have a decent idea what your number is as
this conversation’s gonna dig deep on key motivations for each number and how to best
communicate and interact with them. Obviously very important stuff when you’re
sitting across from prospects or when you’re leading a team. Here’s a quick overview of what we covered
on this conversation. Very early on, Ian shares a conversation he
had with a friend who just so happens to run a hedge fund and how knowing a difficult client’s
Enneagram number helped him better know how to communicate in their meetings. It actually eventually lead to this client
moving more of their assets over to him. If you only have time to listen for just a
few minutes, it’s right at the start and definitely a story worth listening to. From there, we cover the nine Enneagram personality
types and how they can help us recognize patterns of behavior in our prospects, clients, teams,
spouses, or anyone else we may encounter. Later on, we get to why self-awareness may
be the single most important factor to your success, and how financial advisors can use
the Enneagram to better interact face to face with clients. And we wrap with how to avoid the workaholic
trap as a high-achieving financial advisor. You guys are gonna love this conversation
with Ian so I’m gonna get to the interview. One last reminder, if you haven’t already
taken a few minutes to download the Enneagram cheat sheet Ian shared, it’s available free
and you can also take his assessment to figure out your Enneagram number. It will get you a little bit better context
of this chat and it’s available at bradleyjohnson.com/18 or in most of your mobile podcast players
you can swipe to the show notes and simply click the link at the top of the post. As always, you can find everything including
links to books mentioned, people discussed, a full transcription of the show, and everything
else in our show notes as well. Thanks for listening and without further delay,
my conversation with Ian Cron. [INTERVIEW] Brad Johnson: Welcome to another episode of
the Elite Advisor Blueprint. I’m excited to have my buddy, Ian Cron on
here joining us today. Welcome, Ian. Ian Cron: Thank you. Glad to be here. Brad: So it was really cool how we got the
chance. I wish I could meet all of my friends this
way. The first time we ever met was at a Blackberry
Farm on the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. Our mutual friend, Michael Hyatt set up a
little marriage retreat. My wife and I were out there end of 2016 and
then you were the guest of honor. You walked us through a couple of days of
the Enneagram, digging in there, The Road Back to You, your most recent bestselling
book. I just thought we’d start out, just because
obviously we’re doing a podcast here for financial advisors. Can you speak through the Enneagram and what
that is and explain it for a lot of novices because I honestly had no clue what it was
until we had a chance to meet. Ian: Well, the Enneagram is a personality
typology not dissimilar, I suppose, in terms of metrics to the Myers-Briggs or the DISC
or the Strength Finders, instruments that people are familiar with in the business world. In my opinion, what makes it particularly
useful and interesting is the Enneagram helps teams of people understand who they are at
their best and who they are when under stress and when they’re feeling great. Lots of other metrics basically view the human
personality as being somewhat static. The Enneagram takes into account that it’s
fluid. It’s situational, it’s adaptive. And so when it comes to trying to, in this
world that’s increasingly globalized, you really have to learn how to collaborate in
new ways now. And so understanding people’s personalities
help you eliminate drag coefficients. Wonderful that way. Brad: I just wish after spending a couple
of days at the retreat and it was about a day and a half of you leading a live experience
for us where you’re walking our small group through what really each of the numbers meant,
how they interacted with each other, as you said, how fluidly you can kind of move from
one to the next. I learned more about my wife that I’ve been
married to over 10 years now and in two days I felt like… I wish we would have had this at the front
end but can you share a little bit on the background where the Enneagram originated
from? And I completely agree with you. I’ve taken the Kolbe, I’ve taken StrengthsFinder,
I’ve taken DISC, I’ve never seen a test or a framework that really sums up I guess
how people interact with each other like the Enneagram does. So can you share a little bit more background
where it came from and how it came to be? Ian: I do agree with you. It’s uncannily accurate. The first time I encountered it, I was in
Grad school doing my counseling degree to become a psychotherapist and I have to say,
I remember reading and going, “Gosh I spent several years studying the human personality
and this basically is more useful tool than anything I’ve learned in the classroom.” The Enneagram’s origins are somewhat unknown;
it’s actually quite old. It was an oral tradition until the 1970’s
when people first began to publish it. And what’s happened over time, it’s true
with all our traditions, it’s been influenced by lots of other disciplines. In the case of the Enneagram, obviously modern
psychology has really developed the framework into something that’s very useful for organizations,
churches, families, marriages. It has tremendous application across a wide
array of situations that people find themselves in. Brad: Let’s take this through the lens of
financial advisors, the vast majority of my listenership here. Let’s just go to that story you shared with
me right before we started recording here, I love. And maybe this is a good lead into a quick
overview of each of the numbers and how they have individual characteristics. You were sharing that you’re having a conversation
with a hedge fund manager that oversaw a 25 billion or so of assets, so doing pretty well
for himself. Can you just share the conversation how the
Enneagram kind of came into play there? Ian: Well interestingly, this is the guy who
graduated from Yale then went to Harvard Business School. So this is a guy who had a lot of experience
in business and worked at Goldman Sachs for many years and then launched out on his own. He came through one day and he said, “I
have a client that’s really thorny and I just need to get some advice on him because
he represents a big chunk of our business. And I wanna get more.” So I’m having a meeting with him and he
is very combative, he’s aggressive, he’s confrontational and he’s just a terrifically
powerful presence and personality. This guy was sort of a patent-type. Lead me, follow me or get out of the way. He said, “What do I do?” So I say, “tell me what you’re approach
has been with this guy before.” He said, “I’m very diplomatic. He has tons of questions and he gets right
up in my face. I’m very diplomatic with him. I’ve tried to calm him down.” And I said, “Well based on what you told
me, I’m gonna bet this guy’s is an eight on the Enneagram.” There are nine basic core personality types
in the Enneagram. I think he’s an eight, which is called the
challenger. Challengers are blunt to a fault. They don’t tend to trust people until they‘ve
proven they’re trustworthy. The way that they will try to get to a place
where they trust you is they’re gonna confront you a lot. They’re gonna keep testing you, and testing
you and testing you. Because eights believe that they can get into
a fight a little bit with you; verbal skirmish that if you have a hidden agenda it will come
out, that you’ll show your cards. They also won’t respect you unless they
know that you can stand your ground with them. So I said, “When you go on those meetings,
obviously keeping in mind, you wanna be respectful. And when this guy powers up on you, you need
to meet him with every bit as much power as he throws in you. If you do, he’ll relax. He’ll realize, “Okay, I got another big
dog on the porch, I’m not the only big dog here. I’m not the only big dog anymore.” And then he’ll be ready to do business with
you. Sure enough, that’s what happened. Brad: What’s interesting about that in our
small group out at Blackberry, the two eights I remember in the group were both CEOs, that
hard charger, leader type of personality. It’s funny because you were saying that
they were nodding their heads and I remember in the group that’s kind of their personality
type. Ian: Usually their wives are elbowing them
from the sides too while this is all going on. Eights and threes tend to be very aligned
with the American stereotype or the American image of what a great leader or CEO is in
the company. Jack Welch, for example is an eight and his
nickname was Neutron Jack. Can you imagine? But he also brought GE’s bottom line up
to its all-time high, I think at that time. So it was effective but he wasn’t necessarily
a great relationship builder either. You’re healthy in your number, every number
is great. That you’re unhealthy not self-aware, you
could go through your work world banging guard after guard rail being very self-defeating
on your behaviors. Brad: So obviously I got a little more experience
here than, I would guess the vast majority of listeners. One thing we’re gonna make sure we put on
the show notes is, I believe on your website iancron.com you have an assessment. Very quick, I think 40 or maybe 50 questions
where very quickly you can get your number, what your number is. Ian: Well you get into the neighborhood, like
any self-report assessment, Myers-Briggs, Kolbe and anything else like that, it all
depends a little bit on the self-awareness of the person taking it. I strongly recommend that people who have
an interest in the Enneagram actually read about it. But the assessment is a good vestibule into
the house. Brad: So we’ll put that in the show notes
and I have read your book, The Road Back to You, I’ve read it on the flight out to Blackberry. I highly suggest that those that take the
assessment dig in because the book will expand on what those numbers actually mean. For the listeners here, whatever order makes
sense; just kind of go around the wheel and give us a real quick overview of what each
of those numbers look like? Ian: Let’s do this. Let’s start with two, three, and four and
then we’ll work our way around because there are triads inside the Enneagram that might
be helpful to people. Two, three’s and four’s are all in what’s
called the Feeling of Heart triad. These people have the most image conscious
numbers on the Enneagram. Twos are called the Helpers, they have a need
to be needed. These are the people who are the most interpersonal
of all people; warm, compassionate, supportive. They are always available to be of service
to other people. When they’re healthy, they’re altruistic
in their giving. When they’re unhealthy, there’s always
a string attached. And the string is, I’ll help you if we kind
of make this quid pro quo arrangement that you’ll help me when I need it without my
even needing to ask. Threes are called the Performer or the Achiever
and I bet you have a lot of these folks in your audience right now. These are folks who are high-achieving people
often times found in upper management corporations. They’re great in sales, tremendous sales
people. The Achiever has a real need to succeed. They tend to believe that people are valued
for what they do more than for who they are inside. And that can really drive or motivate their
behavior in some really significant ways. For example, threes will often adapt an image
in order to suit or fit the crowd. Now, that come in really handy when you’re
doing sales but eventually you can get lost in your own performance and lose any sight
of who you actually are as a human being. You actually begin to believe you are the
image that you are projecting at any given moment. Threes are people who are fixated on accomplishing
goals; they like specific goals, very clear goals and they like to get them completed
in as quick and efficient a manner as is possible. Unfortunately, if they’re unhealthy and
not very self-aware, what they’ll do is they’ll cut corners or take shortcuts in order to
accomplish those goals which can really sacrifice the quality of their work. But whenever they’re healthy, they’re
really focused, not on just their own success and flaunting their own success, which they
can do when they’re not in a good space, they focus on other people becoming successes. When that happens, they’re inspiring leaders
who bring out the best in other people in their teams. Fours, I doubt you have very many of these. Fours tend to gravitate toward the arts and
they’re highly creative people. They have a need to be unique and kind of
special, to stand out; they love to be perceived as being unique. Fours are sometimes called the Tragic Romantics,
they believe that they need to be really special in order to compensate for what they perceive
to be a hidden flaw or something that they’re missing that other people have which they
really would like to get but they don’t even really know how to name it. But out of that can pour some amazing literature,
music and art. Without Fours in the world you wouldn’t have
people like Meryl Streep or Ingmar Bergman or some of these great artists that we spend
a lot of our time listening to or watching. So those are the three in the Heart triad,
they’re very based around their feelings, take the world into their feelings. Five, six, and sevens are in the Head or the
Thinking triad. Fives are called the Investigators. Think about people like for example, Bill
Gates would probably a five leader. Fives love to understand; they really need
to understand and know things. They are hoarders of information and knowledge. Fives are the people that could spend a whole
day reading a book or trolling the internet. They fall down the wormhole of the internet
and spend days researching topics for hours upon hours. They’re usually very, very smart in a particular
niche area of their own. Brad: I’ve got to jump in here because I’m
gonna assume an engineer mindset would fit to a Five. Ian: Yes. Highly analytical and very private, awkward
in social situations, need a lot of solitude and too much social interaction with other
people just really drains them. Brad: So let’s dig in here because it’s
kind of like an inside joke in financial services where it’s like, I got the engineer that
came in and he pulled out his seven page long printout of a spreadsheet, he’d analyze
every single product in our industry and he wanted to know contract line number 42. So you gave the example earlier how you would
meet an eight in an appointment. We wanna help everyone, how would you deal
with somebody that’s a five that really wants to dig deep on all the information if
you were dealing with them face to face? Ian: Again, what determines your type is not
traits or characteristics, it’s the underlying motivation that drives it. In my experience for example it’s true that
engineers, highly analytically-minded people often are fives. But the person you just described could easily
be a one, the perfectionist. It could be a six who’s a risk-management
person who’s always imagining worst case scenarios and so they wanna know everything
so in the event that something wrong happens they’ll know what to do. But if they were a five, in the perfect setting,
it would be the guy who’s designing the software that’s from the black box, that’s
making your investments, if you’re doing that kind of trading for example. Coders would most likely be five, they’re
introverts. They would like to put as many buffers between
you and them as possible so that they don’t drain all their energy on social interactions. Now if you’re gonna approach a five. I think be careful with five is they’re
very private and they don’t like intrusive questions. They really kind of feel the whole world is
a little intrusive. And they are very minimalistic in their lifestyles;
they require or they feel independent and self-sufficient, self-contained. Don’t be offended when a five leaves your
office party early; it’s not personal, it’s just that the external stimulus, the noise,
the crowd, the whole thing is overwhelming to them. And they just are losing their inner resources
to maintain connection with other people. In most settings they’d rather just disappear
or just be invisible. Let’s move on to sixes though. Sixes are called the Loyalist. They’re wonderful human beings, but as the
truth all these numbers in this triad, five, six, seven, these are fear-based people. We think that there are more Sixes in the
world than any other type, that’s speculative. But based on what know from conferences and
others, data and research, we think that’s the case. Sixes are worst case scenario planners. They’re the devil’s advocate in all your
meetings. Let’s say you put up a plan, and do you
know what your number is, by the way? Brad: I’m a seven. My wife is a six. Ian: Well that’s a good balance. Brad: I think I know where you’re going
here. Ian: It’s a good balance but this happens
in business or in marriage. So the seven comes rolling in the door with
all these optimism and all these plans and a whiteboard is heaven to a seven. Give him a marker and a whiteboard, they just
can’t stop and they just believe everything is possible. Everything. And the six is the eternal pessimist when
they’re unhealthy particularly. They are worst case scenario planners. They always are imagining and planning for
the worst possible disaster. They’re scanning the horizon, they tend
to catastrophize. They really wrestle with decision-making,
they don’t trust their own inner compass when they’re not doing well. So they will go out and when faced with a
decision and just ask advice from everybody. Do you think this is the right decision? They will ask the guy at the post office,
they’ll ask their mother, they’ll ask everybody. But I’ll tell you, in a corporate setting
especially if you’re an entrepreneurial mode or starting a new project, you don’t
want to initially bring them in on the first couple of dream team meetings; but you definitely
want them in the room around the third or fourth one. Because otherwise, guys like you will go charging
forward without someone raising their hand and going, “This is a good idea but I don’t
know if we have the cash reserves to make it happen.” And everyone in the room will go… “ahh”
They’ll just deflate. But when you’re on the border of saying,
“Okay, green light, let’s go.” You do need someone in the room who’s gonna
ask hard questions about the viability what it is that you’re about to do. So they have great value. And that’s true for every number. Can you see how important it would be? I think of the time it saves and the interpersonal
friction that you can avoid if you know this to be true about people. It’s just so helpful. Brad: It was amazing just two days and now
we’re going back to the indecision. My wife’s a 6 and it would really annoy
me at times but now I know the reasoning behind why these questions are happening. Ian: It’s not because she doesn’t trust
you; that’s not the case. She just in many ways wants you to know that
you have the big picture in mind and what she’s supposed to do should something go
wrong. Brad: And now, thanks to you she calls me
out every time I say, “Well the good news is…” Ian: Yeah right because sevens are called
the Enthusiasts. My sons are sevens, I love them when they’re
healthy and in a good space they’re dynamite, they’re deep, wonderful. I would say about my son that every day is
a snow day even in the summer. Every day, he just gets up just believing
the best is around the corner. Sixes manage fear with pessimism. Sevens manage their fear with optimism. It’s sort of a compensatory attitude toward
life, toward dealing with their own anxiety. Sevens have a need to avoid uncomfortable
or unpleasant emotions. Boredom, stuck or routine are the death of
a Seven. So if you got a Seven working for you, the
last thing you wanna do is put them in a management position most of the time unless they’re
very healthy. Or unless they have a great chief of minister
or officer around or someone else that people could report to because they’re dreamers
and they’re great at the startup end of the project. Sevens are great at reframing so for example
if something goes wrong, a Seven, rather than dealing with guilt or shame or blame, or any
other uncomfortable emotion in the moment, will reframe it as a positive, in a heartbeat. This is a silly example, I suppose. But let’s say, think about a bad deal and
suddenly they just lost 5 million dollars. The moment they say it, the moment they admit
it, first of words out of their mouth will be, “But I learned a lot. Isn’t that great? This is gonna be great for the firm because
it’s gonna get us back to the days when we were really struggling. Remember those days?” And suddenly you’re like, “How did you
just make that into a good thing?” But again,you’re dynamite around because they
bring so much energy to teams and so much positive spirit. I just did a corporate consultation, maybe
a year ago for a company that had a Seven in Senior Management. And he is a real problem. Because he’d been in the job too long and
it had become routine to him and he was just ready for the next adventure. Sevens are always ready for the next adventure. They’re always thinking of the future, always
planning the new escapade, the new exciting thing that’s coming up and there was nothing
on his radar that indicated there was anything like that in the future. So it just really helped to move him where
their company go, “Okay, we need to move this person into a new position overseeing
a brand new launch of a new product.” And suddenly the guy lit up like a light bulb. So that’s that fear triad. Do you have questions about those? Brad: Yeah quick question. I think I remember this from our retreat. Mostly, did you say sales would be a lot of
threes and a lot of sevens or am I making that up? Ian: Threes, sevens and eights are great in
sales. They’re all aggressive numbers. Aggressive not necessarily the negative sense. It just means they move out towards people
very easily. They walk in a room with a lot of confidence. Threes in particular, they know how to play
the part. A three can walk into a bar and sell life
insurance, roll up his sleeves, sit at the bar and start cussing and watching the television
and talking football until the guy behind the bar thinks, “This guy’s one of us”
and buys insurance. They’ll go down the street to a church and
then he’ll put his tie on and roll his sleeves back down and walk up to the secretary and
she’ll say, “oh can I help you?” and “Yeah. I’d like to see the pasture” “Oh good,
how are you?” and he’ll say, “Blessed.” And suddenly, he’s just super spiritual. Brad: Chameleon was the word that you used
to a three when… Ian: Yeah she read the book Emotional EQ,
you know that Goleman referred to those people when they’re unhealthy as social chameleons. But sevens and eights, man they’ll walk
into a room and they own it too, for different reasons. Brad: Well I guess we’re two-thirds of the
way there if you just wanna do a quick… Ian: I’ve already talked about eights a
little bit. They’re the Challengers. We could probably skip past this; I’ve already
spoken about them. Nines are called the Peacemakers. Peacemakers have the need to avoid conflict
at all costs. You don’t find a lot of peacemakers at the
high end of corporations. Usually they aspire to not go much higher
than middle management and the reason is they don’t want a lot of the conflict that’s
inevitable if you’re running a company or a firm. You’ve got to fire people, you’ve got
to sit down and do 360s that may involve lot of criticism in them or disagreement. And nines avoid that at all costs. But what nines bring to the table is they
are remarkable peacemakers so they can reconcile things or people or issues to everybody else
appear irreconcilable. People sometimes thought Bill Clinton was
a three and I’m pretty he was a nine; which goes to show you that nines can be in positions
of great authority if they’re healthy. But what made his nineness apparent to me
was his ability to forge deals not just across difficult lines but Northern Ireland, Bosnia. Maybe if we he could have time he could have
taken on Palestine and Israel. He just knew how to sit at a table and see
the world through and everybody’s point of view through their eyes, to the point,
by the way that everyone at the table. Someone once said, Clinton would get five
people at the table and he was so good at seeing their point of view on a particular
issue that not only did people feel like he empathized and saw their point of view, that
he actually agreed with them. He was so good at it then so that when he
finally made a decision among those five people and the other four people that didn’t win,
their point of view wasn’t taken, they felt betrayed. As if he lied to them. He’s like, “I didn’t lie, I just was
able to see everything from your point of view. I understood your argument.” Once you call the perfectionist, if you want
your airline pilot to be a perfectionist, you want your pharmacist to be, sometimes
they’re called reformers, it’s probably a better word in some ways because they’re
always trying to improve or reform the world. They are the people that when they walk in
a room, the first thing they see is what’s wrong or what’s out of order. First thing they see is the mistake. They don’t mind telling you that you’ve
made a mistake and how you can correct it which doesn’t always make them very popular
when they’re not self-aware. You want one to be your tax accountant; you
want them to be the person who’s your contract lawyer that does not miss a word. They are meticulous detail oriented people. When they run into trouble, is when they think
their way is the right way and there is no other way sometimes and so they can be inflexible
and rigid. And people experience them as judgmental and
overly critical at times. Brad: I can think of the one in our group
was an attorney so spot on there. Ian: Whatever you do, don’t be late. Brad: Just kind of taking that overview that
you’ve now given us on the Enneagram could you apply it to a couple areas? Let’s go with, most of our listeners, once
again are advisors, every single week, their day to day is face to face interactions. Often times, one to one or the advisor to
husband, wife. Let’s say they just got out, they do the
quick assessment, they figure out what their number is. Let’s say they pick up the book or just
listening the last few minutes here, they’ve got a good overview of the different numbers
and high kind level of how they work. How could they apply that to better interacting
face to face with clients just knowing that? Ian: First of all, just in a general sense,
we tend to assume that everybody sees the world the way that we do, that they process
information the same way that we do, that they are interacting with the world the same
way we are. And they are not. But there are at least nine different ways
of seeing the world. And inside of each of these personality styles,
there’s an infinite variety of sort of expressions of the same personality style. So you first walk into a meeting assuming
that whoever you’re meeting with, there’s a high probability they do not see the world
the way that you do. Absolutely not. I mean, can you see how different it would
be at a meeting with a one versus a seven? Those are two very different people and if
you wanna serve them, they would behoove you to try and identify the way that they see
the world, Enneagram can give you some clues as to how you might be able to do that. I would also say that financial advisors that
they meet one on one with people is to understand that some of those different personality styles
take a while to make decisions. They’re not instant decision-makers. Do a lot of listening. Now I know this is just basic sales 101 right? It’s much better to spend a lot of time
listening to people than it is selling people. People tend to oversell from out of the gate,
tend to either arouse suspicion or to make some of those withdrawing types back away
from the table a little bit. Everybody, there’s not a sole on the Enneagram
or in the world that doesn’t want you to listen to their concerns and anxieties, not
one. Or what their needs are. Nobody will ever accuse you of listening too
much and taking notes. And just know, there are basically three fundamental
emotions that all of us try to manage all the time, fear, anger
and/or shame, feelings. Everybody’s trying to cope with all three
of those dynamics going on at the same time with all different management systems for
them. So I can’t recommend highly enough to people
in sales to know these different personality styles and their expressions and once you
do, you really are advantaged. We’re not just trying to make a sale, we’re
trying to improve the quality of people’s lives. Everything that a financial advisor does has
so many effects and so many areas of individuals’ lives, in their marriage, for their children,
their livelihoods. It’s a great responsibility and the burden
is on you really as an advisor to serve your customers well, to know them well and to make
decisions in mind of who they are. Brad: I think, whether it’s having a better
marriage, which is why we met originally, or better serving your clients, I wrote a
quote down that I love, I think this is an original from you, I don’t think you stole
this from anyone. I think this was… Ian: I’ll let you know. Brad: Alright, you let me know. You said, “We’re looking at the same screen,
watching a different movie.” Ian: Okay, let me tell you who that is. Brad: Okay, who is that? I was gonna credit it to you. Ian: Well I could take it but I’m gonna
be honest here. So I have a driver, who, when I go to the
airport when I’m in New York, we have a home in Connecticut as well as here in Tennessee. And so he drives me from my home in Connecticut
to Laguardia. He’s a piece of work and so I was explaining
to him, we were talking about the Enneagram and he already know his number and we had
a lot of conversations about this. He has this whisky voice, he’s a recovering
alcoholic and one day he says to me, “You know Ian, it’s like we’re all in a theater
looking at the same screen, watching a different movie.” And I said, “You gotta pull the car over
so I can write that down. That’s gonna be in my book, man. That’s perfect.” Brad: There you go, we found the origination. But it’s so true. I do it, dealing with advisors. It’s funny as you were saying the eternal
optimist; I could see how that could wear in people, because sometimes there are negative
things that come out and you have to acknowledge them and be real about them. Ian: As I said, the Enneagram takes into account
that these personality styles are dynamic. So you can be anywhere within your number
at a range from healthy to unhealthy. When you’re healthy, every single one of
these numbers is awesome, when they’re healthy. Every single one is great and needed inside
of an organization or on different roles. When you’re unhealthy, you’re a mess if
you’re at the lower average to unhealthy range. And you’re all the time, moving up and down
in there in the a course of a day. You get a ten o’clock call and be real healthy
all of a sudden and then get up in a meeting at three in the afternoon and find yourself
in the really unhealthy range. So you can know what you look like and when
you’re not very healthy, you can spot it in real time. You begin to make adjustments to your behaviors
and your way of being with other people. That’s the joy of it. It gives you freedom to make different choices
you didn’t have when you were running on automatic. Brad: I wanted to make sure we talked about
this quote because you shared a quote that I can literally say changed my life and my
perspective. My wife and I have talked about it multiple
times since we left and it was this one, “Between stimulus and response there’s a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. And in our response lies our growth and our
freedom.” And digging in on that, just going back to
healthy and unhealthy, a lot of difference for healthy and unhealthy from my experience
is how big of a space you have between that stimulus and response. If you actually give yourself some time to
think about it, usually you can start to lean towards the healthy side of that but do you
wanna dig in on that? I just think that that’s a quote to live
by. Ian: Yeah sure. It’s a tremendous quote. It’s Viktor Frankl, the holocaust survivor
and psychologist, he’s a genius. If you don’t have self-awareness which is
what the Enneagram gives you, affords you. You are constantly living in a state of reactivity. Always. You’re just reacting. You are just an autopilot inside the confines
of your own personality, limitations of your personality. So what the Enneagram does hopefully is help
you identify those aspects of your personality that no longer serve you the way that they
did in childhood, that you need this to identify with so that you can live into your full potential. So when you’re in reactivity, the space
between stimulus and response is very small, it’s like a crack in the sidewalk, you’re
just stepping right over it, you don’t even know it exists, you’re just reacting as
things come at you. But the more you grow on self-awareness, the
larger that space becomes. The larger that space becomes, you’re able
in that moment to take a pause. It doesn’t take long but you’re just able
to say, “Okay, I can step back and observe myself right now. I can just step back and observe what’s
going on and choose a different response than the one I used to choose all the time just
reactively that never worked.” We just fall into these repeating, self-defeating
patterns constantly but when we develop self-knowledge and the ability to, what I call push in the
clutch. Just push in the clutch for a moment. Let the engine whine without engaging the
transmission. And just observe and make a different choice
than the one that you used to make that didn’t work. I was just reading an article, not long ago
in the archives of the Harvard business review, that this is more and more in common the case
in a world where we have to collaborate with other people. It’s not just my argument. It’s the premise of a lot of business consultants
and that is that self-awareness may be the single most important thing you or your business
can have. In the absence of self-awareness, you just
cannot do your job well. You can’t collaborate well. You can’t do anything well. We’ve all worked with people who lack self-awareness
and it’s never good. And the worst thing in the world is when you
have a super talented person that you can’t afford to get rid of who has no self-awareness. That happens from time to time. And then you really require to bring in a
coach to work with him help and help them to adapt an awareness of how they interact
with other people and what’s not working. So that you can save them before they drown
themselves in their own mess. So self-awareness, absolutely critical in
the world of business. Brad: I wanna segue a little bit, I see this
a lot and we’re fortunate at our company… We’re working with about the top five percent
of independent financial advisors, if you just base it solely on revenue numbers. So we’re very fortunate we work with the
best of the best. But going back to that three, the achiever,
that if they got to bust through a brick wall, they’ll probably go straight through it
if they have to. So can you speak to, what I would call in
our industry something that happens a lot is people work 50, 60, 70 hours and we’re
not coaching them to do that. It’s just part of what naturally makes of
successful financial advisor; they have to drive to help people to achieve. Can you speak to maybe when people tend to
go to that unhealthy area, some ways to get back to healthy? And I know we’re dealing with probably with
different numbers but let’s just assume those are threes, sevens and eight which typically
salespeople that are gonna be in our industry. Ian: Yes, they all have workaholic tendencies. Threes, because they have a need to succeed
and they have a need to be admired, that’s a very important need. You ask a three to be honest and you ask them,
“Would you rather be liked or be admired?” They’ll say they’d rather be admired. Whereas a two for example or a six or nine
or a seven, would much rather be liked. But threes in particular have a deep need
for admiration. What do you say happen to threes, unfortunately,
often takes a big fall or a big crash before they come to this realization, is that their
value in human beings lies in who they are inside, it’s not on their achievement. The problem is in our country, we live in
a three country, so for a three living in our country, it’s like a drunk living over
the saloon. It’s pretty tough to give up. I think there’s a… if I can use the word
in a very generic sense, a spiritual journey for threes which is the realization that they
are loved for who they are not for what they did. If they don’t figure that out, they will
crash and burn eventually or multiple times in small ways throughout the course in their
life. And it really damages their marriages, in
a big way. It’s very difficult for a three to turn
it off between the driveway and the front door. They gotta start the moment they leave the
office to decompress. Threes have to learn to stop multitasking
all the time. They can’t be listening to the news productivity
podcast and closing a deal on their cellphone, texting on their iPad, driving a car, eating
a sandwich and talking with their wife about a problem one of kid is having all at the
same time and expect that the most important thing in their life, which is their family
is gonna appreciate the fact that their ambition seems to take precedence over their relationships. Threes had a great deal of trouble with feelings. Number one, feelings tend to slow down progress. They’re messy. They require to deal and address them. So threes are experts in disconnecting from
their feelings in service to accomplishing some task that they’re in the middle of. Problem is that after a while, they can’t
stay disconnected from feelings their own and of others all the time. They also, by the way in the office, can run
people over because they don’t recognize other people’s feelings very well. So I would warn anybody who works for a three
not to not support some new effort or launch that a three is doing. You don’t want to not support that in public
otherwise you’re gonna be sidelined. It’s not a good idea. In terms of the workaholism, its very hard. They just need to learn how to be in the world. Not just do. They’re just addicted to doing all the time. These are the numbers really take some disciplines
to help unwind the excesses that can be found in each of them. Brad: What about sevens or eight with that
same question? Just going back to a lot of, I guess there’s
a lot of listeners to this podcast are threes, sevens and eights. Does that differ at all? Ian: No, it’s the same with different reasons. A seven will overwork because they want to
avoid unpleasant feelings. Anything that will distract them from unpleasant
feelings is their friend. They do a picture of reframing because that’s
oftentimes just a way of being psychologically invasive of what’s happening in the moment. And for sevens, it’s very difficult to slow
down. The difference is, they’re not as fixated
on the work as the feeder in which they are going to prove themselves necessarily. They just love new adventures in any area
of life. So the other night I was in California. I was with a guy who is a billionaire from
China, it was a dinner and I’ve never met a seven like this in my entire life. I was like, “Oh my gosh, I’m in a room
with a poster child of all sevens. This is the most amazing thing I’ve ever…” He can’t stop talking about new wines, new
trips, new vacations, the new motorcycles, the new this. Just everything was about the new, the new
escapade. And he never stopped smiling the whole night,
it was stunning. Now interestingly, at the table, he knew what
I did for a living and he was an intellectual like most sevens, very curious, really curious. So we had an audience, about eight of us around
the table and we got talking about the Enneagram and he said “I’m not afraid of my feelings
at work.” “Well, I’ll tell you what, if I took you
to an island right now with nothing on it except you and me” I said “in about two
or three days, you would start to feel a backlog of all kinds of feelings, anxieties and fears
that you have been out of touch with. If I just took away all the wine and all the
motorcycles and the houses and the bars and the jets, trust me you’d become just like
the rest of us. You would have to start getting in touch with
stuff that you didn’t even know was there because you’ve been moving so fast for so
long.” If you’re an eight, eights can learn. But they’re bulldozers not diplomats. They have to learn that they are so intense. They carry so much energy that it’s intimidating
and overwhelming to the vast majority of people. They actually exude a lot of anger, it radiates
them often. It’s right beneath the surface, you can
just feel it. When they’re unhealthy they have a sort
of menacing feeling about them actually being unhealthy. I once heard of someone say, they were talking
about Frank Sinatra and they said, he was a little guy too. This has nothing to do with physical stature. They said, “You could feel Frank Sinatra
walk into a room 15 minutes before he got there.” That’s how much energy he had. It was this sort of intensity. When eights can begin to learn that again,
like ones, their way isn’t the only way, that other people need to be attended to, that
they’re have to be part of the team before they can lead a team, that they need to take
into account the sensibilities of other human beings. Here’s the thing about eights by the way,
unlike threes and sevens sometimes, ones not so much… Eights when they let loose at a party or they’re
just having fun, they bring all the same energy and intensity that they do to work. These are the one’s on intense vacations
and they are wonderful and very powerful leaders. But we all struggle with work in different
ways. Threes, sevens, and eights tend to be such
hard drivers that they get themselves in trouble. Brad: Thanks for sharing that. Alright, buddy. Well are you good to roll on to some rapid
fire questions as we get closer… Ian: Is this the money round? Brad: This is it, man. This is the one. I think you’re good. Alright, so let’s go with the first one. When you hear the word successful, who’s
the first person you think of and why? Ian: Yo-yo Ma, the cellist is the very first
person… if you ever met him, he is the most disciplined, optimistic but not foolishly
optimistic, not Peter Pan optimistic. He, I think, really believes in the basic
goodness of all people and believes in the best about the world but he’s not naïve. I think he’s a remarkable human being. If I get off this by the way in a minute and
I’ll pick up ten others than I think are more but he’s the first place that came
to mind. Brad: I’m just surprised I know who Yo-yo
Ma is. One of my good friends, Ryan, pulled up his
album and it is… Ian: I bet it was The Goat Rodeo. Done here in Nashville. Brad: It was obviously cello but I don’t
know which one. Ian: He is probably the finest cellist alive. Brad: Well now you know Yo-yo Ma, so you just
went way up in my book, man. Not that you weren’t already up there before. Ian: I’m a four. I know about the artist. Brad: What’s your favorite book you’ve
ever read and why? Ian: Maybe Wendell Berry’s Jayber Crow,
just a genius American novelist, essayist and poet from Kentucky. He paints portraits of human beings in the
most remarkable way. I’d add The Brother’s Karamazov, Dostoyevsky. The Russians are like nobody else. Dostoyevsky can get inside the thoughts of
a human being and just reveal the thought patterns of people that are just spookily
accurate and beautifully written. The recent books that I’ve enjoyed by the
way, Mindsight. I’ve read business books, I’ve read books
about neurobiology and neuropsychiatry. Mindsight’s a fascinating book. I really recommend it for people who are actually
doing work around the Enneagram. It’s a great compliment. Brad: This is Mindsight. Different from Mindset, Carol Dweck. Ian: Right. Mindsight. Brad: Okay, we’ll have that in the show
notes. Do you have a book you’ve gifted a lot over
the years? Ian: Yeah, mine! Gifted over years? Christmas, I always give away copies of a
book by Oscar Hijuelos called Mr. Ive’s Christmas. Beautiful story about forgiveness, a shorter
novel about forgiveness. So that’s one, I’m thinking of other books
that I kind of give away. Obviously, Jayber Crow, the one that I just
mentioned. I love Churchill, I give away the Biography
of Churchill as often as I can. Just a tremendously fascinating leader. Yeah, that’s enough for now. Brad: Okay, cool. This will be an interesting one with your
background in psychology? Let’s just go back to the time of your life
when you think you needed the most advice, so whether that was your 20-year-old self,
30-year-old self, 40-year-old self, can you just maybe speak to that time of your life,
how old you were, where you’re at and the advice you would go back and give yourself
now. Ian: Yikes. Okay. I would say that one of my greatest regrets;
I try not to have regrets but if I’m struck by one is this, I didn’t have a great mentor
when I was a young man. My father is otherwise occupied with his own
problems and I really found myself swimming around in lot of confusion about who I was,
what I was called to do and to be. I once read a quote from someone, a novelist,
I don’t remember now but I remember reading it being so struck. He said, “A young man who doesn’t have
an older man who admires him is impoverished.” And I thought that is a remarkable statement. And it was just true. The young man needs an older man who admires
him and admires his gifts and wants to help him find his way in the world. So I would actually encourage anyone in your
audience, let’s say over the age of 35 or 40, that you have a younger person in your
life that they recognize and connect to naturally, that they can help find their way in the world. It’s a great service to younger people who
may have that. And to your women in the audience, to find
younger woman who has the gifts and abilities or particularly I would say your women in
the audience, that women need guidance in the workplace simply because the workplace
to this day remains a difficult place for women of talent. For example, can I just make a really quick
tangent? Brad: Yeah go for it. Ian: There’s no harder thing in the world
for anyone in the business than to be a woman who’s an eight. If you’re a hard-driving, accomplished,
get-it-done, bulldozer, tell the truth at all costs, and you’re a guy, guess what? You’re a hero. And if you’re a woman, you know what they’re
called. It’s not good and it’s a terrible disservice
and it’s really drained us or taken away lots of women who have tremendous gifts from
exercising women in business settings. Guys need to be a little bit more self-confidence
to allow these women to do their jobs in the way that they’re designed to do them. Let’s go back to the question again. Never had gone off on that tangent. What was the question again? Brad: I think you answered it. It was the advice you would give your younger
self so it sounded like you would… Ian: Yeah, get a mentor. Find a mentor or they use to say in the financial
service industry in New York, find your rabbi inside that can help you find your way in
the world particularly inside the setting of your business. Brad: And I don’t think you ever outgrow
the need for that really. Ian: But you’re so open to formation at
that point in your life. You’re looking in your rearview mirror and
there’s just not a lot of wreckage yet usually. There’s not a lot of problems to look back
on and it’s a magical moment. Brad: Awesome. I love that advice. Alright, last question. You’re a pro, man. What is the one piece of advice you can share
with the listeners that has led to your success? Ian: Honestly I would say, develop knowledge
across a broad array of disciplines. Specialization is okay, it’s good to have
a deep well of information about a particular area. But learn widely. Read a lot and then read more. Read every genre. I have a friend of mine who is a very successful
guy who owned probably 50 or 60 television stations and one of the bigger markets in
the country and he got about 65 or 67 and I happen to notice one day that was carrying
a list of 100 books. And he said, “My aim is to read all 100
of these books before I die.” And I said, “Wow.” And he said, “Yeah, I spent all of my life
reading basically around business and maybe history books but I had no idea how much I
could learn from other disciplines, other areas that I could have applied in the world
of business.” So for example, if you read a book about Yo-yo
Ma, you might think what does that guy do with business? Well if you’ve got an imagination and you’re
a good leader, you’ll be able to find principles inside of what he does and what he knows that
can be applied in your context. If you read Cicero or Marcus Aurelius, you’re
gonna similarly find lots of information in there that is applicable in your marriage,
in your friendships, in the organizations that you serve. So when you can begin to find universal patterns
and ideas that overlap, you know you’re onto something that you need to know about. Often I meet young millennials, who come out
of programs, anthologies where they’re highly specialized. And between that and Facebook, or Instagram
and other social media platforms, you don’t actually have to interact with somebody face
to face very much. You’re going to dinner with these folks a
day you don’t know what to talk about. They’ll just look at you and I can talk
about the software I designed to do X or about financial, I could do that but I really don’t
know anything else because I’ve specialized the last four years in college and I’ve
been in business for the last three years doing the same thing. I just don’t have anything else to say. And I think that’s terribly sad. Brad: There was a study, I won’t remember,
maybe we’ll throw it in the show notes but it even talked about engineers very technical
discipline and it showed job advancement in the engineer sector and it all came down with
best person to person skills. They’re able to interact with others, not
so much the technical discipline of the job. Ian: I’m just telling you. I’m not sure, but between self-awareness
is what will create the natural climate or soil from which will grow good interpersonal
relationships where the best that you’re capable of having. So if you don’t have the skill to understand,
get along and empathize with other people, to be able to see the world through their
eyes or get into their shoes, you’re destined for other shallow relationships, relationships
that don’t function optimally in the workplace. And you’re kind of destined for loneliness
in a degree of shallowness that nobody wants to live with. I would rather have a guy around the shop
that had good people skills, good soft skills than to somebody who I had to spend a ton
of time but wasn’t so good in that department nor did their job or were confident within
their job and that’s why they’re kept around. I don’t see any reasons why businesses can’t
have both most of the time. Brad: Well, Ian this has been awesome. I’m so thankful that you’re able to carve
out some time for my audience here today. It’s been enlightening as I knew it would
be. Thanks for sharing the story of the Enneagram
and as far as the show notes, we’ll make sure to get the assessment where everybody
can go out and figure out what their number is. That’s an awesome journey to start and then
obviously go pick up your book, The Road Back to You, as well if they wanna dig in and dive
deeper in the Enneagram. Ian: Absolutely. That’d be great. Brad: Alright, Ian. Thank you. Ian: Take care, friend.

1 thought on “Ian Cron on The Road Back to You, Enneagram 9 Personality Types, Better Knowing Prospect Motivations”

  1. wow I'm impressed some of the things you've said are scary right on I've been experimenting with my intuition lately and it hasn't failed me once. every time I second-guess myself I find later I made the wrong decision. i believe i am an INFJ , everything fits like a glove . i took M B PTI twice and resulted in INFJ. Im still confused and trying to figure things out. Your vids are helpful and insightful. keep up the good work. thankyou.

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