Leslie Lyons has achieved some impressive results along her entrepreneurial journey. As the Founder of Chicago’s popular Bombshell Movement Studio, host of the Beyond the Pole podcast, women’s leadership coach, and business leader for movement studios nationwide, Leslie is undeniably a strong leader in her life and her business.
But without being able to identify and integrate with her Enneagram number, that trip to business success and true leadership may have been a much longer, rockier road.
Leslie is a type 8 on the Enneagram personality assessment, a methodology that helps individuals identify their personality type and the fears and motivations that are behind the actions they take.
Unlocking this kind of knowledge, and then acting on it, is one of the most impactful steps Leslie took as an entrepreneur, that changed her leadership style and her path in life. On this episode, she shares incredible insights about how self-development and coaching based on a deep understanding of your personality can enable you to tap into your potential.
How could learning your Enneagram number change the way you lead in your business and in your life?
(02:34) Leslie’s entrepreneurial spirit and learning the value of her knowledge and time
(04:04) “What do I know, what can I do well, what can I get paid to do”: A Mantra
(06:04) Social conditioning that has impacted women’s confidence in sales
(08:19) About the Enneagram personality test
(10:50) Applying Enneagram (or any personality assessment) results to work and life
(12:40) What the Enneagram reveals about personality
(14:42) Leslie’s leadership style pre-Enneagram
(16:41) How “integrating” with your personality type can unlock your potential
(18:43) Enneagram styles in leadership and coaching
(23:24) Feeling empowered to “ask the questions”
Leslie Lyons is the Founder of Bombshell Movement Studio in Chicago, host of the Beyond the Pole: Tales from the CEO podcast, and a sales and leadership coach for female entrepreneurs. With a background in corporate sales, youth ministry (yes-she’s a Christian and the owner of a pole studio!), and as a leader for studio owners throughout the US, Leslie has spent her life pouring into women emotionally and spiritually. Now, more than ever, her dedication to helping entrepreneurial women lead with their heart and head is the exact type of leadership we need.
About Your Host:
Jacinta Gandy is passionate about small business and a champion of women’s entrepreneurship. She’s the founder of Social Circle, a branding and marketing agency that helps service based solopreneurs turn their passions into profitable businesses.
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Jacinta Gandy 0:02
Welcome to Hustle with Purpose, the show that encourages us to leave the busy life behind and focus our time and energy on the things that fuel our passion and align with our purpose. I’m your host Jacinta Gandy, let’s get to it. Today’s guest is Leslie Lyons. She’s the founder of bombshell movement studio in Chicago, host of the Beyond The Poles: Tales from the CEO podcast, and a sales and leadership coach for female entrepreneurs. With a background in corporate sales, youth ministry – yes, she’s a Christian and the owner of a pole studio, and as a leader for studio owners throughout the US, Leslie has spent her life pouring into women emotionally and spiritually. Now, more than ever, her dedication to helping entrepreneurial women lead with their heart and head is the exact type of leadership we need. Welcome to the show, Leslie,
Leslie Lyons 1:02
Jacinta, thank you so much for having me, I am so freaking excited to talk to you.
Jacinta Gandy 1:07
Yes, I am so excited to have you here because we are going to talk about Enneagram types and how you can use them to show up better both on the leadership side and the sales side. And as we were talking before we hit record, this is actually a topic I don’t know too much about, of course, I feel like it’s been a very popular topic as of late and I’m just like, I don’t know what that is. So selfishly, this is a great topic for me but I also feel like this is something that a lot of the listeners are really going to be interested and whether they know their Enneagram type or they don’t know it, and they want to learn more, I definitely think this is a really, really important topic.
Jacinta Gandy 1:53
Absolutely. I think that, especially since we’re talking about leadership, Jacinta, I would just honestly say we can’t lead anybody until we lead ourselves, right. And so any type of tool that allows you to see how you lead, and where there could be room for improvement is gonna make us better overall. So this is just one of many tools that can do this but it just happens to be my preferred tool.
Jacinta Gandy 2:19
Nice. That’s so great. And I can’t wait to learn more about it. Before we dig in, I mean, I know I read your bio, which is very impressive, but I always kind of like to ask people like, just how did you land here? How did you embark on this entrepreneurial journey?
Jacinta Gandy 2:37
Well, I have been in, past tense, in corporate sales, I don’t know, maybe 10-12 years, something like that. Before that I was in human resources for about seven or eight years. So I had done the corporate dance. And where the rubber kind of met the road was I do not have any formalized education, like, you know, I don’t have my bachelor’s degree, I don’t have any of that. And if you know anything about HR, it is a very much so a kind of pull yourself up by your bootstraps, you pay your dues, everyone starts at the bottom, you need 100 degrees to make $30. It’s that kind of a situation. And candidly, I was recruited out by someone who was looking for a salesperson with an HR background. And it just literally changed my mind about how much money I could be making with the skill set that I had. And eventually, I was like, I’m making all this money for other people, I wonder what I could do for myself. I am a first generation entrepreneur. So my mom and my dad are not entrepreneurs, but I always knew that I could change things from very early on, and I could make a difference and I could make some money doing it. So I was like, you know, what do I know? What can I do well, and what can you get paid to do? To be honest. And so that started for me about probably about 16-17 years ago, and I was selling sex toys. Oh, and yeah, via in home parties, living the dream. And I saw on Oprah, this woman named Sheila Kelly, with this poll. And she was talking about how she was empowering women. And they were doing this in their homes, and she was in her garage. And I was like, you know what, let me research this, and that’s where it started. And so that was like I said, almost 16 years ago, and I never looked back and never looked back. I started with doing it in home and in home parties and as it grew and the demand for it grew. I was kind of like, I guess I need to get a space. Not quite sure how that works, but we’re going to figure it out. And that’s what I did. And so now here I sit, a multiple six figure studio, the largest in Chicago. And right now I coach over at other movements studios about how to grow their sales, and help them out with their leadership as well. So yeah, that’s me.
Jacinta Gandy 5:24
Oh my God, that’s amazing. And I just feel like, you know, people always say, like, if you know how to sell, you can really be successful at anything, right. And I feel like, a lot of us entrepreneurs, especially on the more creative side, like, you know, I’m not gonna front sales, for me is still a scary word, like I do it all the time. But it’s still one of those things that like, I’m not totally comfortable with. So I feel like, you know, you just really have such a great skill that you’re able to leverage now and, and build the whole, you know, enterprise behind it.
Leslie Lyons 6:00
And just so to let me say this to you, you probably have some trepidation around selling, only because we’ve been conditioned, especially women, that to ask for something, especially money, I call it the Cruella De Ville syndrome. Like if you make money, or if you’re selling something, you must want to kill puppies for fur. Like, it couldn’t be that you want to do something great in the world, it couldn’t be because you actually want to take care of your family. No, that’s not what we do. And this conditioning around it, because I bet you, if I asked you something like about a restaurant that you really loved, or what like what’s something you really love something you’re really passionate about?
Jacinta Gandy 6:47
Yeah, I mean, restaurants are big. I definitely a foodie living in New York City.
Jacinta Gandy 6:52
If I asked you the best place to get some type of food that you absolutely like Thai, for example, you would rattle off your favorite place with no problem, right? You would tell me where to go, you would tell me what to order, you would tell me what’s the best time to go, you would have no problem sharing that right? Because you wouldn’t feel like you were selling me even though you are, you would feel like you’re just sharing something with me something you love, something you value, something you think would make my life better. How much more is what you’re selling and doing? How does that make people’s lives better?
Jacinta Gandy 7:27
Yeah, no, that’s true. That’s like such a valid point. Because you don’t think of it as selling. You’re just like, I’m just trying to help you. Right? I’m trying to give you information, right? To make your life better.
Leslie Lyons 7:38
Yes. And whatever you’re selling, if you truly believe that it is life changing, life altering, I take the posture because I’m an Enneagram 8, wing 7. And the enneagram eight is very aggressive. But I know that so when I posture things, I really feel like if you don’t buy it, shame on you. Your loss.
Jacinta Gandy 8:08
I feel that way too. But probably like two weeks later, you know?
Jacinta Gandy 8:13
I definitely feel it. But in knowing that, so and just kind of talking a little bit about the Enneagram. So for those who don’t know what the Enneagram is, it’s a personality test. And while I know because we’ve talked offline that you’ve never taken the Enneagram yourself, but I bet you’ve taken some others like maybe Myers Briggs or DISC, anything like that?
Jacinta Gandy 8:35
I have done DISC, I’ve done what’s the other one? Strengths Finder.
Jacinta Gandy 8:39
Jacinta Gandy 8:41
Any of those. So all of these are different personality tests but what’s different and what makes the Enneagram so powerful is like, let’s use Strength Finders, for example. It tells you in the name that is helping you to discern your strengths, right? Like, luckily, this is what you do best. Jacinta, this is what you do best, right? You should work in these environments, you should do this type of work, you should work on these types of projects. The Enneagram is not going to tell you what you do best. I’m going to tell you why you do what you do.
Jacinta Gandy 9:14
Leslie Lyons 9:15
The motivation behind why you do what you do. So is not going to just deal with, “You’re so great, you’re so awesome, let’s do it!” it’s gonna be like this is what you look like when you’re under stress sis. This is some warning signs, ‘danger Will Robinson danger’ that things are getting ready to go left and go left super fast. And so when you’re armed with that knowledge about yourself as a leader, think about how more empowered you are in terms of being able to make decisions. Right? And I can look through the lens and say is this my emotions, Leslie, like, Are you feeling like this person is trying to betray you are you feeling Like this person is threatening you in some way. So now you’ve gotten into your armor, which is your eightness? Or is this real and you need to deal with this threat. Does that make sense at all?
Jacinta Gandy 10:12
Yeah, that makes complete sense. And I definitely need to take this test. Like, pronto.
Jacinta Gandy 10:20
Because I mean, honestly, when I, when I heard about it, I feel like it’s been very popular. I’ve seen it a lot, you know, on Instagram. And I’m just like, uhg, another personality test. So I just couldn’t help but roll my eyes, because I’m like, I’ve taken a lot of them. And I feel like a lot of times, I’m like, Yeah, I guess that’s true. You know what I mean? I feel like they’ve been accurate. Like, they’re validating things that I think I know. But then I haven’t really found a way to, to really utilize that moving forward.
Jacinta Gandy 10:48
Yeah. And that’s the thing is, like I said, I think there’s much bigger voices. So your listeners if they want to dig deeper into like, the history of the Enneagram, where does this come from, and all of the nerds, I call it nerding-out on the Enneagram. There’s better voices, like I’m certified through Your Enneagram Coach, which is Beth McCord’s program. And Chron is another one, The Road Back to You. These resources are absolutely amazing. And they will nerd out with you. For me, I’m like, let’s take this knowledge and make it practical. Because this is what happens, what you just described, you take some test, you get the results, you’re like, yeah, that’s me. And we go on. How do you use that information to grow your business is my question. And that’s what I want to help people do.
Jacinta Gandy 11:35
Yeah, I feel like that’s, you know, so important, right? Because we’re getting all this insight, and, you know, part of our entrepreneur journey is having more self awareness, right? And then I feel like being able to really, like you’re doing, put it into actual, like, tactical things that we could be doing, right? Or ways that we can be approaching situations, you know, to show up better whether it’s on sales calls, or maybe it’s leading a team. I feel like that’s, that’s so important.
Jacinta Gandy 12:08
Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more.
Jacinta Gandy 12:11
Yeah. So I mean, I know you’ve talked about, you know, the Enneagram. I mean, and how, you know, business leaders can use it. I’m just like, really curious about, like, you know, how, you’ve talked about the fact that like, you’re in Enneagram, eight, so like, how have you leveraged your Enneagram, to kind of step into your own power?
Leslie Lyons 12:35
Oh, that’s a great question. Um, before the Enneagram, can we talk about like, before the Enneagram what Leslie was like, as a leader?
Jacinta Gandy 12:42
Yeah, of course!
Leslie Lyons 12:46
Maybe I should dig up some of my old employees to tell you about the joy that it was to work for Leslie? Not. Um, so let’s talk about how the nine different types, this might be helpful just for contacts. All nine types have three things that we basically kind of focus on that makes up our type. We have a core fear, we have a core desire. And then we have a longing. What does our heart really want to hear? What is the thing that I’m desperately going after? Really, right? And so for me as an eight, my core fear is that someone is going to try to control me and by being controlled, you will harm me in some type of way. You will betray me so like, I have trust issues. And it’s not just a Drake song, right? Like, trust issues. And I know that about myself now, right? My core desire is to know that I’m going to be protected. Like, someone something usually myself is that I’m going to be protected from harm. Like and I know, you’re probably thinking, well, none of us want to be hurt. But no, I fixate on it. So like when I meet someone brand new, Jacinta, I’m trying to figure out like, what’s the angle with this person?
Jacinta Gandy 14:18
Jacinta Gandy 14:20
Like, that’s not normal. Like that’s not how everybody walks into a room trying to figure out who has the most power in this room? And do they deserve to have the power? Like, that’s not like the majority of people, but that’s how eights think. Right? Because again, what am I trying to do? What’s my longing is I just want to be protected and not betrayed. So what does that look like pre the Enneagram and me not having that knowledge. It looked like me in a business environment, never letting anyone get really close to me. It doesn’t matter if you were my assistant, or if you were an instructor for me. I never fully trusted you. And what happens when you don’t fully trust people? You micromanage? Right? You don’t give anybody any growth, right? Like, you can be overbearing, to put it nicely. I can be explosive. So what is, you know, just hearing that about me? Do you think that’s a fun place to work?
Jacinta Gandy 15:28
No, but I think I’ve worked for some people like that to be candid.
Jacinta Gandy 15:33
I’ve definitely had some bosses that were like that. And, you know, I think actually, knowing that it’s like a personality type is is a little, it helps you depersonalize it a little.
Leslie Lyons 15:47
It does, oh, my goodness, that’s such a great insight Jacinta. Is that if you learn the system, if you learn the Enneagram system, it does give you the grace for people to be like, okay, this is not personal. This is a person in their unintegrated state. And the Enneagram world, you’ll hear things like healthy and unhealthy, like, when you’re a healthy eight, or when you’re a healthy two. This is how you show up. When you’re unhealthy, this is what you look like. I don’t like the term healthy and unhealthy just for mental health reasons that I won’t go into. But I don’t like that languaging. But I do like what resonates with me is integration, like when you’re in touch with your emotions, when you’re cognizant of what’s happening. And you can actually own that, then we can make different choices. So when I use the word integrated, so when I’m integrated as an eight, I now can recognize and say, you know, what, all of the strength, all of this power, really what you want is justice. You don’t want it to be betrayed, because you want people to do what’s right. What’s fair. When I’m integrated, I protect people, I use my strength not to push against people, I use it to protect people. To draw people in people who might be being marginalized or hurt or taken advantage of, an underdog. I will be your voice, I will step up and say oh, no, you won’t. You won’t say that you won’t do this when I’m integrated. So it’s almost like you go from being a bully to being a protector.
Jacinta Gandy 17:34
Leslie Lyons 17:36
But I didn’t know that before. Also, one of the best things I have done as a leader is to tell my staff like this is what I look like, when I’m at my best. This is what I look like when I’m under stress. When you see this happening. I empower you to grab my coattails as my mama was say, and say, hey, you’re being a bully. Hey, you’re making me feel kind of small. Hey, you’re overwhelming me. Snap me back in if I can’t bring myself back. But these days, thank God, I’m a lot better about catching myself in the act. Does that make sense?
Jacinta Gandy 18:17
Yeah, that definitely makes sense. And that’s so, I think that’s such a good way of handling it. And also sort of, you know, giving your you know, giving your team like the permission right to sort of ground you right to bring you back to Earth.
Jacinta Gandy 18:35
Yeah, yeah. So like you said earlier, so you don’t take it personally. Right? Right.
Leslie Lyons 18:42
Now, here’s the other thing I’ll say about the Enneagram is not like and you’ll see this in meme world. That’s what I call it, where there’s all these meme sites on Instagram about the Enneagram.
Jacinta Gandy 18:51
Jacinta Gandy 18:52
And they’re like, Ah, I’m just an eight. I’m just a to this is what I do. The Enneagram is not an excuse for your lack of self development.
Jacinta Gandy 19:00
Leslie Lyons 19:01
You don’t get to say, Well, this is just how I am. Not as a leader. You you’ve got to be growing man. Are you just leaving your Horgan leaning? It’s not an excuse for bad behavior. It is a tool to recognize, what does it look like when I’m at my best? What does it look like when I’m under stress? And how do I respond in both situations?
Jacinta Gandy 19:27
Right. Yeah, that makes total sense. So yeah, so I guess I’m curious because I know you you’ve coached a lot of people. Are there certain people that you’ve coached over the years where like, they just guess they understand that they have like a certain Enneagram type, but like you said, like there’s no excuse for like bad behavior, right? But they’re not able to kind of apply you know, your tools to kind of improve situation like they’re still kind of stuck in a rock?
Leslie Lyons 20:02
Yeah, absolutely. You know, there are some people, it’s like with therapy, I feel like coaching is similar. If you’re not ready to be transparent and do the work, it’s not gonna work, right? The tool is only as good as you putting it into play. So because of my eight energy, oftentimes, in coaching situations I’m very clear on, here’s what you can expect from me, here’s what I will expect from you. This is how we will gauge success. And that’s an example of me leaning into my personality type in a coaching environment. Now, conversely, let me pretend to be someone else. Let me pretend to be a two, for example. So a two is typically known as a helper. And twos really know how to feel out like what you need, almost like intuitively, like they can see you. Or they can like, see what you need and, and give it to you like they want to be needed. They want to feel loved, the best thing of two wants is to feel like you needed them for their growth. So uh, to coaching, you might look like me making sure that I’m available, here’s all the ways you can reach me, right? Here’s my cell phone number. Here’s my Voxer, right? Here’s my, you know, and if you find yourself in this situation, Jacinta you just call me. And we’re going to work this out together.
Jacinta Gandy 21:45
Yeah, that’s so funny. I was literally just working with someone, I was helping her, like, do her website and set up all her backend systems. And she actually was saying, I want to be completely available to my clients. No, like, are you sure about that? Because I feel like you should set some boundaries. But that was exactly what she was saying. I want them to get me on Voxer, I wanted to have my cell phone, my email, you know, like, and I was just, I was shocked, because I would never, like, give someone that much access to me. Um, but now that you’re saying that, that makes total sense. And another reason why I need to learn more about these Enneagram types, because I feel like it could totally be applicable when I’m working one on one clients and figure out right, like, why they want to do certain things.
Leslie Lyons 22:30
Mm hmm. Because that person, if she wasn’t, two, she wants to please people. Like, that’s her pitfall. Like, anytime she feels like, I’m not being loved, I’m not being wanted, she’s gonna default to trying to please people. Because what she’s longing to hear is that you’re wanted, you’re loved. And so if that means I have to sacrifice myself, to hear that from you, when she’s integrated, she’ll go there. So it’s those types of things. So a two coach is going to look very different than an eight coach. Mm hmm. You know, how we show it for our clients are going to be very different. And having this as a tool for you as a coach is very valuable. Because if you know where they’re coming from, you can ask the questions, because that’s all we do as coaches, right? It’s just ask the questions,
Jacinta Gandy 23:31
Leslie Lyons 23:32
But I need to be able to ask the right types of questions. As a salesperson, I need to be able to ask the right types of questions. As a leader, I need to be able to ask the right types of questions. And if I know who you are, it helps me just frame my questioning.
Jacinta Gandy 23:46
That’s all. Yeah, I completely agree. Well, thank you so so much for being on the show today, Leslie. Where can our listeners find out more about you?
Jacinta Gandy 23:58
Yeah, absolutely. So I’m going to give you a couple different things.
Jacinta Gandy 24:01
Leslie Lyons 24:02
For those who I’ve already gave a couple of book recommendations, for those who want to nerd out on the Enneagram and go deeper, because I definitely think it would be worth their time to do that. But I would also say get with somebody where you can take a test, there are free ones TrueSelf.io is one that I would recommend that you take it’s free, it would it’ll give you a start. But what I will say just as a point of warning, these tests are only as good as you are self aware. So that means the best test may only be about 70% accurate, okay? So what it tells you don’t get married to that number until you try it on for a little bit. And that’s what a coach can help you do. It’s a process and some people know right out the bat. But like with me inside of my unshakable leadership framework, we spend five whole weeks Jacinta, diving in every week for an hour into understanding who you are now, how you got there, how you make decisions. Does this feel right? Is this what happened? Are you or two? So that you really get a good understanding of Yeah, this is who I am. So, start with the test, but then get with a good coach. So you can follow me at Leslie D Lyons, so l-e-s-l-i-e D Lyons, L-y-o-n-s on Instagram. That’s where I live. That’s where I show up the most and talk about all things in Enneagram sales and leadership.
Jacinta Gandy 25:42
Yeah, that sounds amazing. Well, again, thank you so much. I really really loved having you on the show. I learned so much. You’re just so much fun to talk to. I’m so great to have you today.
Leslie Lyons 25:55
Thank you again for the opportunity.
Jacinta Gandy 25:59
Thanks for listening to Hustle with Purpose. For more information on today’s show, check out the show notes and don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Spotify or Stitcher Radio.