As someone that craves to learn, I am usually enrolled in different types of programs that allow me to entertain my curiosity and my need to expand knowledge. Last September I enrolled in the Inner MBA, a 9-month full immersion program by SoundsTrue, LinkedIn, and MindulNYU and I have to say, the teachings and learning have been incredible.
It was there where I became familiar with the research and work of Erica Ariel Fox and with her New York Times bestselling book, Winning From Within: A Breakthrough Method for Leading, Living, and Lasting Change, which is truly a guide for leadership and self-mastery.
In her book, she presents the idea that we all have an Inner C-Suite based on four main archetypes:
The CEO — the dreamer who creates possibilities, sets strategic vision and gives direction;
The CFO — the thinker who analyzes data, manages risks and clarifies perspectives;
The CPO — the lover who cares about people, feels emotions and manages relationships, and
The COO — the warrior who takes actions, reaches goals and catalyzes performance.
Taking time to understand our own mix of these archetypes, and the traits they each bring to the table when we activate them can greatly help us become more balanced and also more strategic. Recognizing which one of these archetypes is more prominent in any of our interactions is incredibly valuable, and acknowledging that most likely we gravitate towards always reacting from that archetype can be a game-changer. Let's say that if you are brainstorming new ideas with your team and don't allow your inner CEO (regardless if that's your title or not) to dream and to explore possibilities, but rather guide the session with your inner CFO, you might leave the meeting having shut down all potentially good ideas, and deflated your team's creativity. In contrast, if you are evaluating the success of a newly implemented initiative and don't put your inner CFO front and center to analyze data and zoom into what's happening financially, you won't make an objective assessment of the situation.
I won't do her work justice by relating it to you, so you want to dig deeper into this, I encourage you to read her Forbes article, and of course, her Book if you are up for it. Identifying, acknowledging and balancing your own mix of your inner C-Suite can be a great exercise for the new year!
It was not surprising to me, to find out my mix: Dreamer, Lover, Warrior, Thinker. And now I've become very mindful about which one I want to bring forward in a particular situation while remaining aligned to my purpose and my inner and outer goals. Want to share yours?
"Leadership is a state of being" - Erica Ariel Fox