The Importance Of Understanding Your Inner-Core

What Makes Up Your Inner-Core?

Your inner-core, based on the Mattone Leadership Enneagram Inventory (MLEI), consists of 9 leadership traits that every person possesses.  What are those traits?  The 9 traits are:  Activist, Arbitrator, Artist, Disciple, Driver, Entertainer, Helper, Perfectionist, and Thinker.  Not one trait should be considered better than the others, rather, each trait carries a unique value of individualism and expertise that a person can bring to the table in terms of leadership skills and capabilities.  Having said that, we begin are journey into better comprehending the importance of understanding your inner-core as a whole, and in part.

In Part?

Yes, in part... While everyone will possess each of the 9 traits, the reality is that not everyone will be as active or mature in one trait as they are in another.  It is easy to understand the importance of understanding your inner-core as a whole, as it will provide you insight into the totality of leadership traits that you possess as a leader.  However, in order to really understand your inner-core, you must be able to drive through those results showing the surface information, and ultimately be able to gain greater insight into your activity and maturity levels for each of those 9 traits.  In doing this, you separate those traits by breaking them down into four primary categories - Predominant Trait, Least Active Trait, Most Mature Trait, and Least Mature Trait.  Why break them down into these four categories?

Going Deeper

You break them down into the four primary categories of Predominant Trait, Least Active Trait, Most Mature Trait, and Least Mature Trait in order to isolate the traits that are of the most importance to you.  In other words, you enable yourself to determine the traits that hold the most potential for success, and the highest probability for failure.  Taking it a step further, from there, you now want to break them down into two Ultimate Categories - Predominant Trait and Least Mature Trait.  By narrowing in on these two elements, you now have the ability to better understand:  a) Which trait are you activating the most (providing you a baseline for understanding what you are doing and why), and;  b) Which trait carries the highest probability rating of derailing traits arising (providing you a baseline for the highest probability of failure).

What Makes These Two Elements So Important?

What makes these two elements so important is is the leverage that it provides you as a leader in gaining greater control over your actions, reactions, and overall self-awareness.  Going a step further, these two elements will help you to create goals and development plans that will drive enhanced leadership skills and operating results.  Think of it like this, in order for someone to make a car go faster, you have to first be able to understand the greatest potentials the car possesses in achieving faster rates of speed, while also understanding the car's greatest setbacks for obtaining those better results.  In doing this, you will be able to construct a strategic plan on how to enhance the car's strengths, while decreasing it's negative counterparts, leading to a faster vehicle.  We as leaders are no different.  It is vital that we understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to allow for ourselves to become a better leader today than we were yesterday.

Lessons Learned

If we want to have a greater impact on our societies, organizations, or even just simply in our own homes...we must have a deeper understanding into ourselves.  How many times have you heard a child respond to the question "why did you do it?" with the answer, "I don't know..."?  The greatest part about that child-like response is that they actually don't know why they do a lot of what they do.  They understand the surface elements behind what may help drive them to do something (i.e. anger, fear, embarrassment, etc.). however, they don't really understand why they were driven to those specific emotions to begin with.  As an adult, you help the child to better understand those emotions, and realize some of those drivers, because you want them to be able to do things that will help them, not hurt them.  Why would you then choose to stop that process once you have become an adult?  Why wouldn't you want to continue to better understand what drives your outer-core skills and decisions?  That is the ultimate benefit of understanding your inner-core.  It will allow you to gain insight into those traits that you possess as a leader, and provide better explanation of what leads you to making the decisions you make, and why.  You do not have to feel like you can't do something, you just need to have the tools necessary to help you get there.  In other words, if you can't place your finger on the problem, you will have a very hard time trying to fix it.  Even worse, if you choose to ignore the problems that exist within yourself, you will never obtain the true results you desire.  Therefore, by learning more about your inner-core, you will better understand who you are, and ultimately possess the tools necessary to get where you want to be in a faster and more sustainable manner.