When I was thinking about which book I would kick-off this series with, there was no close second. Ian and his book, The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery had me at hello. The book’s message: in discovering ourselves we discover God and as we find more of ourselves, we find more of God.
Reading Ian’s book was one of those fill-my-cup moments. It continues to be when I pick it back up and I believe it will illuminate the path forward for you. Honestly, we need all the illumination we can get.
Our collective pain and grief is exacerbated because we have removed God from so much of what needs to be God-infused. We are coming up empty and suffering greatly: increased suicides, addictions, abuse of all kinds, overwhelm, grief, and depletion. And let’s not forget the deeply egregious darkness often packaged as compassion, success, and power.
It is not that we have no grief, pain, and darkness when we discover God. We still have all matter of struggle. However, we have a connection with God and in that, is comfort and a host of other things that guide how we live, interact, and lead. As much as I am not sure how any of this life-shit really works, what I experience is as we connect more with God, we get closer to our authentic self… and as we embrace that self, we move even closer to God.
In my work and in the work of people like my friend and colleague, Ian Morgan Cron, we partner with organizations and individual leaders who want to cross the boundary to integrate spirituality with leadership, self with God, and the Divine with business.
Ian’s book dives deep into how to cross these boundaries. Taking the Enneagram is an important step; it is an assessment used by those who want to get out of their own way, step more fully into their God given gifts, accept their shadowy parts, and heal, with Grace, the unflattering, distorted, aching parts. Nothing is perfect or the one Eureka; the Enneagram is an illuminating path forward, not a weapon, or magic bullet. It helps many leaders discover themselves, move out of paradigms that no longer work, and into their authentic promise while deepening their relationship with God in a way that helps to navigate the mystery of life.
However, Ian’s invitational, let’s-chat-over-a-cup-of-coffee style encourages his readers to feel comfortable while they are exploring the uncomfortable. His life is shared openly and his stories invite us to see ourselves in them.
As an Enneagram 2, I am drawn to taking care of others, making my home a loving haven, and listening deeply as those around me open up. I can really rock it as a 2. I am also, as a result of being a 2, a recovering Higher Power who believes I can meet your needs, fix you, and prove myself indispensable. Aren’t you the lucky one? And isn’t it all so lovely until it is not … until it morphs into resentment and anger, guilt and exhaustion. And so … thanks to Ian’s meaningful and soulful tips for us 2’s along with other discovery-and-recovery work I am doing, I am attending to my own needs and working on my soul in solitude.
The human appetite for self-deceit and denial is big. As someone who continues to stumble and as a weathered sinner, I know that not facing/and changing my inner shitstorm has created problems for myself and not just a precious few; continuing in that darkness was not even a possibility for me anymore.
Yet, yippee-ky-yay the human appetite for growth is also big. Ian’s book and the Enneagram are tools that lovingly promote progress, not perfection. As Ian writes, “The Enneagram should only be used to build others up and help them advance on their journey toward wholeness and God. Period.”
We need wholeness, God. Period. We do not need cliches and easy answers as we navigate all things complex and messy. Finding God does not mean we now possess the let-me-tell-you-how-it-is answer. As we find God, what happens is we learn to just sit with life’s complexities, our inner struggles, the dark night of the soul, and the most wonderful moments. It becomes about acceptance and connection.
Ian’s book is for leaders in all aspects of life: at home and at work, on the field and in the classroom. We are leaders having a human being and spiritual crisis. We need leaders who want to double-down on self-discovery as they keep their eye on the bottom line and the hand up.
The Road Back to You is like a porch light, beaconing us home with a message of hope: with self-discovery comes the ability to break the chains without getting caught up in the traps of blame, perfection, and disconnection. With self-discovery, comes a new type of leadership resting on a foundation of emotional and spiritual wholeness.
Take the Enneagram before you read the book. Not all Enneagram reports are created equal; the report you will receive by taking the Enneagram assessment found on Ian’s website is a rich treasure. So, my friends I suggest you use this link to the assessment tool on his website: https://ianmorgancron.com/assessment
I keep my own report close by and have my clients take the Enneagram when we work together on all things leadership.I look at my report often, refer to it for clarification, and remind myself of what St. Augustine said, “Grant, Lord, that I may know myself that I may know thee.” And I am not sure about you (perhaps you are the exception ) yet these days I need to know God and myself every minute, as honestly as possible, one day at a time.
Join us – we saved you a seat.