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     Making Champions

The Integram: an Integral Enneagram of Consciousness;  a model of consciousness, including all aspects, for designing practical paths of personal development and evolution.

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Several Workshops scheduled for companies in the SF Bay Area (both full and half day.)  These are internal workshops, so not open to the public. Depending upon time availability and demand, we may attempt to schedule a public workshop in March. If your company would like to discuss a workshop or a talk, please visit the menu page and/or contact me for details. 


Making Champions
(click for podcast)

Watching an interview with NFL head coaches Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll, I was extremely inspired by their shared values and methods. They epitomize what exceptional coaching is all about: evoking excellence from your people. This is where coaching is the same on the field or the workplace.

From player to player, or person to person, we have different ways of being motivated, tied to our perspectives which drive our perceptions, which drive how we interface with the world around us. Depending upon whether we have primarily individual or team goals, another layer of coaching enters; a dimension of altitude. What’s useful for us in all this, is that it follows a very natural progression.

Just as ripples emanate from a pebble tossed into water, individual excellence needs to emanate from the center outward as well. Where these two coaches excel is in how individual excellence can be woven together in a team effort, rather than that team tearing itself apart with individual-centric behavior. The players play for each other, not themselves.

The Coach's Job
When Belichick and Carroll talked about how they worked with players, certain values and skills came up repeatedly. They’re both highly observant and focused in the moment. That enables them to not miss a detail or nuance that could serve their player. This is what makes a coach able to ascertain exactly what gifts and skills you bring, and what areas need work.

Observing this doesn’t help unless you can communicate it effectively; another necessity. These champion-level coaches are linguistically precise and articulate. Communication is so facilitated when we thoughtfully choose our words; paying close attention to the cognitive impact they have. Add aspects of clarity, from avoiding pronouns, to exacting vocabulary, to a kind of economic efficiency; it becomes an art form.

As they were asked difficult questions about what most call painful subjects, they were remarkably transparent, candid, and truthful. Both coaches had been fired several times, and took these “failures” as opportunities to learn, re-group, and shift their approach.  Their willingness to openly discuss this learning process was another window into excellent coaching. Being candid and transparent about our failures, especially within the context of lessons learned, offers our “players” far more than an image of invulnerability or perfection does.

This authenticity leads to equanimity, which may be one of the most important and least understood values behind true mastery of Self. Equanimity is a kind of internal balance. We have a tendency to either over-
identify with feelings, thoughts, and situations, or to suppress them. When we over-identify, a thought or feeling arises and we fixate on it and hold onto it too much, not letting it rise, spread, and pass through us in its natural rhythm. This is where you might say “I’m upset,” when really you’re still you, and you feel upset.  We have feelings. We are not our feelings.

When we suppress, a thought or feeling arises and we attempt to cope with it by stuffing it or denying it until it surfaces again, and this cycle repeats. Either way, we’re not balanced in our approach or our perceptions. If our perceptions are filtering out some things and emphasizing others, our observations get skewed. This interferes with anyone’s perceptions being accurate, and is especially damaging to being able to coach precisely.

Pushing vs. Pulling
Another important lesson is in whether we respond to being pushed or not. It turns out most of us don’t respond well over time. The alternative, pulling, is more about opening a space for a person to expand into. This follows a more organic path, and is a great way to work as a manager or parent as well. When you can be a snow plow, and clear the space in front of your people, simultaneously providing them with the resources they need to excel, you can create a champion-level team.

Opening this space for them to expand into might sound a bit woo-woo or “coach-jargon,” so let’s break it down. There are two parts to this. We all have limiters; scripts in our heads that hold the brakes while we’re trying to accelerate. By identifying these scripts, we can re-write them to take the limiters off. We can diminish the impact of our inner judge/critic, who invariably holds us back. At the same time we illuminate the non-limited space in front of people, which as their skills improve with drills, becomes more possible, and the cycle continues. First create the desired outcome, then develop the skills and eliminate the barriers to exemplary execution of the plan.

The Law of Allowance
Finally we get to where the model is designed either to make the coach’s job easier or to truly evoke excellence from others. These exemplary coaches look at each of their players as individuals. Rather than a canned, templated, off-the-rack coaching program for everyone, they recognize the imperative to view each person’s skills, talents, and blocks as a unique challenge requiring unique coaching. One person may abhor talking to the press, where another loves it, and that’s okay. One may need encouragement where another needs focus, and each can be brought to their best.

Those different perspectives and perceptions create different ways of seeing the same things, and different communication styles. Not only do we need more custom tailored coaching than some corporate-office template can provide, but we need to see each other through these eyes.

We need to recognize that whoever we’re interacting with might see, feel, and hear things completely differently than us. We need to make room for these differences, check in, and engage with those different styles.

In relationships I call this the Law of Allowance. We need to allow the person we’re with to be the person they are, and stop trying to make them be more like us, or more palatable to our style. Our differences are imperative and fundamental to learning on more levels than you might imagine. Getting to where we’re excited by and celebrate these differences, instead of being confused and frustrated by them, is where everyone’s best is brought out. More ways of looking at something is like more pixels on your screen; it increases resolution and clarity.

Want to learn more about how to become the best you possible?  Come visit the web site, or better yet, contact me and see how we can design a program to fit your needs and desired outcomes.

     - Ian J. Blei


Valentine's Day Special! -

Couples Sessions 1/2 OFF!!
Couples, Partners, or Duos of any kind!

Using a completely "non-gooey," communication-centric approach, we’ll map the minefields and illuminate the most nourishing path for your relationship.

Each 90-Minute Session Includes:

  • Integram™ Assessments for each of you

  • Where you're on the same page (sometimes without knowing it)

  • Where the forks in the road are (subtle shifts that confuse and frustrate)

  • The Danger Zones (the minefields of "triggers.")

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"Thanks so much for the Couples Session. It just nailed us to a tee, and we're doing great now! Understanding each others' different approach makes a huge difference."  --D.B., San Francisco, CA

There's no reason to put off enhancing your connection and communication; Schedule Today!!

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Resource Links:

The Integram (TM) - the podcast series

Melissa Risdon's Raving Fan Radio Show:
Ian Blei on the
Integram (TM) -understanding ourselves, each other, and our relationships

KG Stiles: "Conversations that Enlighten and Heal"
Ian Blei on Kind Ambition and the
Integram (TM)

Kind Ambition - 2nd Edition

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Welcome to the Integram, where consciousness meets intentional design.   Enjoy!



The Optimizer
Ian Blei,
Director of the
Institute for Integral Enneagram Studies and
President of
Optimized Results



Kind Ambition

Click HERE





Kind Ambition:
Practical Steps
to Achieve Success
 Without Losing Your Soul



Kind Ambition
Fan Page
now on



Kind Ambition is about you having the tools to slide over to the driver’s seat of your own life.  Circumstances will always be changing, seemingly thwarting our plans, but we don’t have to be  thrown around by them. You can be in charge of your choices and actions more than you might imagine - yet.


Kind Ambition is written for you, as a practical guide you can use right now.  It is a collection of  insights and actions designed to help you move forward and get more out of your life at home and at work.  The chapters hold to a formula of first giving you a new way to look at things, then offering you tangible Action Steps to try them out, and finally some things to notice when you do.





Kind words for “Kind Ambition”


"If you are interested in success, whether it is in running a large organization, a small business, or leading a satisfying life, you will find a right blend of rules, wisdom and wit in a digestible fashion that will serve to accomplish your objectives. The notion that kindness can be blended with ambition and made to work and serve the "bottom line" is enlightening, uplifting and satisfying."

-Steven Kiefel – CEO, Red Pill Media




“An easy to use guide for anyone who wants to achieve real  growth and success. His sensible and practical tactics solve age-old challenges with real, how-to solutions. Best of all, Ian lives his work!”

-Romanus Wolter - Author: Kick Start Your Dream Business
Success Coach Columnist: Entrepreneur Magazine
Radio Host: Syndicated Kick Start Guy Segment




" We all face obstacles in our lives and careers. Some of these come from within, subverting our conscious intentions. The  good news is: they can be overcome.  The techniques and processes found in this book will help you on your way."

-Margaret Heffernan – Author: The Naked Truth: A Working Woman's

 Manifesto on Business and What Really Matters

Syndicated Columnist: Fast Company Magazine




“A scientifically-based, spiritually-awake, (and smart and funny) guide to making the most of your life.  Ian Blei provides the know-how, the inspiration, the structure and all the tools you need in  this straightforward and inspirational book.”

     -Lisa Betts-LaCroix, Past President of SF Coaches
Star of Unapix film, “Dance Me Outside”




" Ian Blei shares his deep insights in simple and straightforward ways.  His work continues to inspire me whenever I feel I'm getting stuck in some area of my life."

-Roy King, III , Senior Partner/Channel Marketing Manager - Skype





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