Posts in Articles

One Tribe: A Message from Awareness to Action International

Humans are tribal creatures and at a deep, non-conscious level we often associate “different” with “bad.” This innate bias served our ancestors well. To them, a stranger was likely to be a threat—a competitor for territory, mates, resources; a risk to their very lives. They were safe with members of their tribe who they knew and trusted based on experience, but they were wary of “the other” and quick to assume the worst about them. We have inherited our ancestors’ biological impulses toward tribalism but we do not live in… Read More

What Comes Next

Basic principle number one is that during a dual health and financial crisis, we are all going to be Preservers. Have you been focused on how to stockpile and conserve resources? Have you been mindlessly (or even mindfully, for that matter) cleaning and organizing more than usual? Have you been thinking more about your physical safety? This may feel like simple common sense, but it is behavior driven by deep-seated, prehistoric wiring. But you should also remember basic principle number two… ***** We don’t know exactly what tomorrow will bring… Read More

Coaching Eights: Mercy, Grace, and Magnanimity

I was recently asked about an approach to coaching Eights; particularly, how to help them access the “high side of Two.” I’ve coached quite a few Eights over the years and, as I am an Eight myself, I have a few thoughts on the topic. This blog is a slightly extended version of my response. First, the typical exhortation to Eights that they simply have to “go to Two” and be more vulnerable, open, etc. will rarely work. The affective strategy with which Eights approach the world is “striving to be powerful,”… Read More

Problems vs. Conditions

In life, there are problems and there are conditions, and they are not the same thing. Here is an example of what I mean: My 16-year old son is 6’3” with an excellent vertical leap. He plays on a local club basketball team and, being the tallest player on his team and having an aggressive attitude, he is the starting center. Adrian is a very good player, averaging four or five blocked shots and 12-15 rebounds per game. There is a minor weakness in his game, however—when he pulls in… Read More

Looking Past Three: The Instinctual Bias Subdomains

People tend to view the three instinctual domains as three discreet and specific “instincts”: self-preservation, social, and sexual (or one-to-one). This is an archaic and outdated view of biology, which is far more complicated. It is more accurate to think of these as three domains of related impulses, drives, or evolutionary adaptations that increased the likelihood that our ancestors would survive and reproduce (I refer to these domains as Preserving, Navigating, and Transmitting). Those adaptations that worked for our ancestors were inherited by us. But they lived in a different time (for example, when food was generally scarce) and these… Read More

Leadership and the Instinctual Biases: Preparing to Scale

Excerpted from the book “Instinctual Leadership: Working with the 27 Subtypes of the Awareness to Action Enneagram” by Mario Sikora with Maria Jose Munita. Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. As we stated in the previous section, no one can be good at everything. We don’t expect our finance people to be as good at selling as our sales people, and we don’t expect our engineers to be PR experts. The larger a company gets, the more specialized people become in their specific functions. The more expertise individuals have in their… Read More

Power: How to Get It and Why

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” (Lord Acton) Acton may be correct (most people leave out the important word “tends” when repeating this quote), but I have never seen an effective leader who was powerless. In fact, the best leaders are powerful people who know how to use power appropriately. Most of us can find many examples that validate Lord Acton’s concern—from the tyrannical political ruler to the bossy new manager who lets a little power go his or her head. This can lead to us being wary… Read More

Developing Talent–A Quick Guide

“Sometimes it just comes down to, ‘Will this person embarrass me?’” A client recently expressed the desire to develop the qualities that would help him grow from being the kind of leader who can run a $200m business to the kind of leader who can run a business of $1bn or more. I have some opinions on what those qualities are since I’ve worked with a number of leaders who made this kind of jump in scale—some successfully, some not—and other leaders who were never given the chance to try…. Read More