I like the way Facebook helps keep connections alive. Andrea Kleid and I went to college together. Recently, as she’s been sharing about how Enneagram has helped her better navigate life and relationships, I’ve been intrigued and asked her questions.
I decided I was probably not the only one who would benefit from her insights, so please welcome Andrea to #PorchStories today as she shares why Enneagram personality types matter.
(And I’m a 1, by the way.)
I was standing in the Presidential Suite of the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas putting final touches on the room where we would showcase several artists on our label for twenty of our clients. My team of five people was arranging chairs and making sure the lighting was just right while we waited for catering to arrive. Beyond the hors-d’oeuvres, we ordered a birthday cake to celebrate one of our female clients who was turning 40.
One of the gentleman hosts came over to show us the cake before he put it in the refrigerator. As he opened the lid, we all gasped. Instead of reading “Happy Birthday, Theresa!” we saw “Congratulations, Theresa!” decorated with fondant baby bottles and diapers. I just kept saying, “No, no, no, no, no.” I spoke very firmly to the Bellagio host, “This is not what we ordered, and you have 20 minutes to fix it before our guests arrived.” He left with a panicked look on his face, and his fellow hosts followed him out.
As soon as they left, my head blew off my shoulders. “How does this happen?” I asked as I shot a look to each member of my team. “No really, how did this happen?” I yelled in a strong voice. They stayed quiet at first, and then began the terrible idea of telling me it was going to be okay.
My energy was big and I paced and slammed my folder on the table. I felt my team jump behind me. I slowly turned around and they all looked like they had seen a ghost. My normally vivacious and upbeat team looked afraid of me.
I must have let down my guard for a moment to make eye contact, and one of the guys on my team came over, put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Really, Kleid, it’s going to be okay.” Even though I was still incredibly frustrated, I had this acute awareness that I had just completely freaked out and lost all composure OVER A CAKE. Granted it was a $300 cake, but still, it was a cake.
I looked around again at my team and whispered, “I’m sorry I just lost it.” They said it was okay, but their countenance still showed me that I hurt them – not by what I said, but that I had come across in such a blaming, aggressive way. I continued to pace, but there was a different energy about me. I was embarrassed of my behavior and I wanted to fix what I had done.
I turned around to them and said, “Hey guys, this is funny, right?” Staring at me with fear, they seemed afraid this was a trick question. So I repeated it, “The cake, the fact that it’s a congratulatory baby cake, it’s funny, right?” I saw one of them crack a smile and said, “It’s actually hilarious.” I said, “Yes, it’s hilarious! Call catering right away and tell them to keep it the way it is, and get it up here!” They all breathed a sigh of relief and got on the case.
When our clients arrived, we lit the candles and sang “Happy Birthday” and as Theresa approached the cake to blow out the candles, she began laughing hysterically. Then everyone began to realize what it said, and it was the biggest hit of the night. We found out later when we listed “baby blue” as the colors to use, someone had interpreted it as a baby cake. We explained the story to the group, and to this day, people talk about the hilarious cake mishap.
This was a moment in my life when
I knew I had to be a better leader.
I will never forget the looks on my teams’ faces that night and how I made them feel. I knew I needed to increase my self-awareness and learn to be less controlling or I wouldn’t be given the privilege of leading kind, talented people. No one should have to put up with a controlling, aggressive leader.
In many ways, this moment of self-awareness led me to the Enneagram. I am an 8 on the Enneagram, the Challenger, if you couldn’t figure that out yet! I have learned how to take the same energy that can be domineering and channel it into true leadership and empowerment.
The Enneagram is a map of nine distinct personality types, and one of the most life-changing tools I’ve ever encountered. Understanding the nine types and how they interact have forged a way for me to experience deep personal growth and have helped me to have better understanding and grace in my relationships.
So many people ask me where to start, and it’s simply reading through the type descriptions and finding the one that you are most dominant in. No one type is better than one another; each is its own valuable perspective on the world.
Through my time studying the Enneagram and understanding its nuances, I’ve been able to completely change a perspective I’ve had on people I’ve known for more than 15 years.
Once we understand each person emerges
from childhood with a very specific perspective
on the world, the grace begins to flow.
There are so many things I could say about how the Enneagram has influenced my life, but probably the greatest is presence. I have learned through my own personal work if I am able to be present and recognize what I’m feeling in times of adversity or stress, then I can manage my reactivity.
If you’re not familiar with the amazing world the Enneagram holds, please dive in! It will give you tools for growth and make you a more aware human, and we all need more present, healthy people in this world.
Check out the Enneagram Institute to read through the nine type descriptions or find a free test online to begin the journey.
Andrea Kleid is 17-year music industry veteran with a passion to help people grow. She led one of the most successful and influential radio promotion teams in her industry. As a vice president at a major label, Andrea developed a reputation for launching top artists and growing their careers using her signature brand of honesty, laser-sharp insight, and unstoppable passion. A master at connection, Andrea’s deep empathy and fierce strategic mind make her a force for good. Andrea uses Enneagram personality process as a catalyst for growth for artists and teams. Andrea lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and runs her own company, BoxerPoet.
I also want to make sure my #PorchStories friend don’t miss the book giveaway (!!!) happening. Yesterday I shared about Kayla Aimee’s new book, “In Bloom: Trading Restless Insecurity for Abiding Confidence,” and am giving away two copies. Come enter to win!