In this episode, Naomi re-shares a short segment of a previous interview with her business coach Lena West.
Before listening to the episode you might like to visit https://www.archetypes.com/ to determine your primary archetypes. Lena will explain what her CEO DNA process is – and how knowing your CEO DNA can inform your life, work and attempts to dream for others.
Listen to this episode
What you will learn:
- About Lena West’s CEO DNA process.
- How knowing your CEO DNA can inform your life, work and attempts to dream for others.
Featured / Referenced:
Prefer to read? Download the full episode transcript:
Read the full episode transcript:
You are listening to the Dream For Others® podcast with Naomi Arnold, Episode 19.
Dream For Me, Dream For You, Dream For Others®. And now your host, award-winning life and business coach, Naomi Arnold…
Hi there! Thank you for joining me on the podcast today.
Those of you who have been listening since the first season, before I moved to solo episodes, would know that I used to do long-form interviews on the show.
I got to speak to some of the most amazing people and I wanted to reshare some of those interviews with you, in case you’ve joined us in more recent times or want to listen to components in more digestible blocks.
So today, I’m going to re-share part of my interview with my business coach, Lena West, where we focused on her CEO DNA method.
This episode is mostly relevant to those who have a business, but if you don’t have a business, I invite you to listen through the lens of: “how can I apply this wisdom to my own context?”
I suspect if you do this, you too will learn some real gems from what Lena shares, in terms of how the insights can support you in your life, work, and attempts to dream for others.
Before you listen to the rest of this episode, if it is safe to do so, you might like to press pause and go to archetypes.com and complete the quiz on this site. We talk a little bit about some of the different results from this quiz in the episode. If you aren’t able to do this right now though, that’s okay, you might like to do so afterwards. I’ll pop the link in the show notes for easy finding at a later date.
Before we transition to the interview, I also wanted to let you know that Lena will soon be using her platform to start a much needed conversation with online business owners.
We have been socialised to believe that in order to build a successful business we need to be hard core, void of feeling and play silly little manipulative games with people we say we want to serve. Lena’s calling BS on this, and will be running some free CEO Clinics shortly that will help people find a new way – THEIR way.
The CEO Clinics will be a safe space where people can ask questions and get Lena’s direct input on how to tap in so they can make optimal decisions and build a business that loves them back.
So if you want to participate in the next wave of how to do online business, and if you want to learn how to create a business that loves you back, head on over to Lena’s website at www.lenawest.com and enter your email address on her interest list. That way, you’ll be the first to find out when this conversation begins and when those free CEO Clinics become available.
You might also be interested to know that Lena is going to be a guest teacher in Developing Coach Collective – a collaboration I’m doing with Cameron Airen for coaches. You can learn more about this over at www.developingcoachcollective.com.
Okay let’s jump in and listen to Lena…
So my first question, I’m going to jump straight, is for those who don’t get to talk to you every other week like I do, and who might not be familiar with you in your work, could you let us know a little about yourself and your passions and what you do.
Sure. I am a business growth coach for women entrepreneurs.
I am extremely passionate about the ability of entrepreneurship to awaken and strengthen agency within women. I am also passionate about women’s agency in general and I always liked to say with my clients, one of the major things that I believe I help them with is to get out of being a business owner and into the CEO seat in their businesses.
I think a lot of times when we hear a CEO, we think old white guy, and I am wanting to let us take that term back and let us each individually define what CEO means for us and then leverage that to build businesses that love us back. That’s what I do, it’s why I wake up every single morning, it’s what I’m most passionate about and I can speak about women’s entrepreneurship ‘til the cows come home, literally.
Part of that, from what I’ve experienced, is helping them really identify what is unique about them and then harnessing that in their role as a CEO and in life as well. Would you share some of the ways that you do this? How do you help people get to know themselves more fully?
Well one of the first things that I do with the women I work with is I will have them take a battery of assessments. That doesn’t mean ten assessments, it’s a curated three or four that I ask my new clients to take.
What that does is it allows me to hone in and really pinpoint their energetic blueprint because I don’t want them to be building a business that is based on my interpretation of who they are. I want them to be building a business that is based on who they truly are and the assessments that I’ve selected range from archetypal to some human design things. It gives me a really good idea of who this person is at their core, when we strip away society, when we strip away all the other ‘isms’, when we strip all that away, this is who this person is.
So based on me knowing that, I can then say OK here are some suggestions on how you need to be leading and it’s different for every client.
I call that whole process the CEO DNA and it’s really getting into the DNA of who you are as the CEO of your business. It’s been my experience that when women go through this CEO DNA session with me, what they then realise is the thing that they thought was a preference, the thing that they thought was an idiosyncrasy, or them being too sensitive or not sensitive enough, or whatever label you want to give it, that thing is not really just a preference. It is part of who they are and so they then have to learn how to integrate this and make this a win instead of seeing this as a liability or something to overcome or something to fix.
So the first thing that we do is figure out their CEO DNA and then one of the ways that I help them to really get to know themselves and bring that into their business is we get clear on what they want.
So often we hear six and seven figures, which are terms that I am in the process of outlining an entire revolution around us taking those terms back because they’ve been really badly treated and bandied about – just like the term CEO, let’s redefine that. Let’s take those six figure and seven figure terms back because they’re not bad, it’s just how they’ve been used in their association and manipulated a bit.
So let’s take those terms back and let’s get clear on what do we want.
So if you say you want a six figure business, what does that look like. If you say you want a seven figure business, what does that look like. Because we can say I want a million dollar business and that is yet another place that we hide. We hide behind the round numbers. So if you say a million dollar business, I’m going to say ‘OK, now let’s get clear about what that is’. Whereas if someone says they want a business that makes $741,331.53, now we’ve got a goal!
It’s a combination of them knowing who they are and understanding their own energy blueprint and also becoming completely unapologetic about what they want and not everything is for everyone.
We’re sold this ‘bag of tricks’, a lot of times in the internet marketing world. We’re told ‘Oh you need to have a funnel and you need to have a low priced product they need to have a group program’. The reality is those things don’t work for everyone and instead of doing the press and play thing because I can get you to the money, it’s just a matter of what structure, what business model, is going to get you uniquely there.
Yeah I love this, as you know. I got so much out of even that first CEO DNA session with you. I walked away from that session, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot ever since, thinking about how that work that you do around CEO DNA and the CEO mindset, how relevant it is as well to those who may have a business or don’t have a business and are interested in social change and activism and how understanding how they work in terms of that mindset could really impact on their way of making a difference in their own way. So I was curious to ask you about this, and at the top of the call, I invited everyone to go to archetypes.com and find out if what their primary archetypes are to provide some context. I’m curious to know the work that you do around CEO DNA and your mindset, how can that then be applied to people who are wanting to find their way to make a difference in some way?
This is such a good question and I am really glad that you’re asking this. I’m so excited about this question, I’ve got to calm down!
The first piece is in order to effect change externally – so social justice work, political work, environmental change, any type of external change – before you can do that and in order to do it a way that is healthy, in order to do it in a way that doesn’t cause harm to others, in order to do it in a way in which it will be most efficacious to the people who are seeking to serve, it is best for you to understand yourself.
Once you understand yourself and how you think and what your triggers are and the things that you are not exactly strong at doing, it doesn’t mean you then go off to fix yourself.
What it means is you now walk into the support and the dreaming for others knowing exactly who you are and when you do that you are able to say ‘OK well I know that I am a Caregiver archetype’, and that’s not uncommon in social justice work, it’s not uncommon in environmental change work and social change work. You get to see this is the lens – you’re seeing the world through the Caregiver eyes.
So what that means is, you’ve got to take care of you before you take care of others. So for example, and this is just an example (not every social services person is a Caregiver, but I work with a lot of experts in the social justice field and by and large, a preponderance of them have a strong Caregiver archetype) when you see that come through in your archetypes assessment, you know part of what you’re going to need to do is take care of yourself because you need to have reserves.
This goes back to knowing who you are, and you not going out there trying to save the world when you don’t have reserves. You want to have reserves so that not only can you give from those reserves, but you can be generous and you can give freely without concern, without worry, without resenting and thinking ‘oh I’m so exhausted, but I gotta keep going and doing this social justice, social change where I really don’t have it to give’.
Why not show up with the full cup, and the best way to show up with a full cup is to understand yourself and how you fill your own cup. So that is so so so critical.
The other piece to it that I want to say is, let’s say you go to the archetypes website and don’t get the Caregiver archetype or the Spiritual archetype (the Spiritual archetype is another one that is very common with people working in social justice). People want to know why I don’t get the Advocate archetype or why don’t I get the Explorer archetype and those archetypes are completely different.
So the Advocate archetype is more along the lines of someone that will be an ACLU attorney and such. They are going to be the ones who will have a harder, legal edge than working in the community and effecting change locally and being passionate about change. I just want everyone to know that if you don’t get the Advocate archetype or the Explorer archetype it doesn’t mean that you’re any less of a social change agent or a social justice change agent. What it means is you’re not on the legal side of that part of it.
You really do care about the people. It’s been my experience that people who take archetypes assessment when they get Caregiver or Spiritual they really are super in the people and the Advocates are super invested in the process.
I don’t know if that distinction makes sense – the process of effecting change, so the laws and drawing awareness to the whole process of change. With the ones who get the Advocate archetype it’s more that they’re involved with the process and the Spiritual and Caregivers are very very very close to the people.
Yeah that’s interesting. I am mostly Caregiver and Intellectual, and I can see with hindsight how that comes together in how I’m trying to create change through my research and podcast like this.
Yeah again, I can’t underestimate the power of knowing yourself.
It is rare that I pass up an opportunity to know myself even more because I always am able to then say ‘OK now what does this mean for how I need to be and how I need to show up’.
Does this mean to take better care of myself, does this mean I need to have different or stronger boundaries, does this mean that I need to not engage in this type of work in my business and instead outsource that to someone else? Does this mean I need to make sure that I have a certain amount of projects that stoke my creative fire?
What does this information mean and then how do I bring that to play in the work that I do? How do I make sure that shows up so that I get what I need – I get my cup filled and then I can share what’s in my cup with the people I want to support so desperately, so passionately, and I can do it without reservation, without hesitation, and without feeling put upon.
Once you understand someone’s archetype, you get this window into their spirit and you get to see who they are. It’s almost like you now know how to relate to them. You know this is what’s going to make them pay attention, or you know their currency.
Everyone’s got currency, and in my archetype, I’m Royal, Intellectual and Visionary so I am all about nice spaces, nice things, having the best of everything, having a really clear strong vision and mapping out a plan for it. If I’m not careful, I can be super in my head about things. So I have to make sure that I stay grounded. Visionary is what we would consider upper chakra energy, and so I can make sure that I stay grounded.
So once I know my archetype I can then see what I need to do to make sure that I don’t tip over because all this energy has happened in my head. How do I stay standing straight up? It’s being grounded, and then this is further supported by some other assessments that I have taken where I am the one who wants to be in the driver’s seat.
Before I started doing this kind of self discovery, I would always say ‘all things being equal I want to be the one who’s in charge’. It helps me to pull back too. I know that I’ve got a very strong personality and so sometimes I have to say to myself ‘you’re a really strong personality, yes you want to share your views here, but give other people a chance to share their views’. So it helps me.
You would never know that observing you. It’s so well integrated because you are so good at letting other people share their views.
Thank you. That was not always the case. You’re witnessing loads of work!
That’s often the case though, isn’t it? We don’t realise it. Thank you so much for coming and sharing your brilliance with us.
Thank you so much for asking me to be on this podcast. I love what you do obviously.
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