Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Perhaps there is more…

Written by: on October 18, 2018

During our trip to Hong Kong, I heard many of you discussing the Enneagram, and various reflections on your “2-ness” or “8-ness.” I was curious about this, so I decided to take the assessment myself.[1] My result: over-the-top-3. After assessing my type, I fell down the rabbit hole of discovery. Apparently, this is common for threes. I gathered as much information as I could (in-between Bayard and Rowntree, of course). A few of my cohort friends even added to my “three library.”[2] In true three fashion, I was determined to be the best three possible.

The more I read and understand my three-ness, the more I wish I could have stayed blissfully oblivious. Until now, I thought my inner questions of “How does this lead to success?” and “How does this resource drive me forward?” were simply avenues to positive achievement. Now, I realize they have been the directional signs I use to guide me toward the approval of others. Thanks so much, Enneagram, for introducing me to my “shadow self.” Now, I am responsible for this information and am presented with a decision as to how to move forward in personal growth. I will add this to my ever-growing Three to-do-list.

Rowntree compounded my conviction in his chapter on studying and learning.[3] I now realize that I approach study in the same way I approach other areas of my life: look for the items that will generate “success” and move on. Rather than actively listening and reflecting on what I am studying, I too often peruse for what will help me be successful or impressive in the course and leave the rest out. I typically have a singular purpose: get an impressive grade. This utilitarian approach to study is the opposite of what Rowntree suggests when he says, “In general, it is better to have more than one purpose in studying. The more reasons you can find for doing what you have to do, the more energy you’re likely to put into it – and the more you are likely to get out of it.”[4] This was difficult to read. In the past, I have moved fairly easily through academic endeavors, only to be dissatisfied in the end when I had the honors, but not the application. I accomplished the academic expectation, but I didn’t allow the study to become meaningful.

I can already see that this program will be different in the most beautifully uncomfortable way. I resonate with Rowntree’s words, “Students who remain open to the unexpected will often find themselves getting more out of a course than they bargained for.”[5] I know this reading was supposed to teach us about studying, but for possibly the first time, I am allowing myself to learn more from the read. Perhaps this program is a pivot-point for me. I am choosing to take the advice of many and trust the process.


A newly assessed but recovering three “Achiever”


[1] https://exploreyourtype.com

[2] Last name, first name. “Looking into the Shadow…A Hero’s Journey.” Typology. Podcast audio, August15, 2018. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/part-2-2-looking-into-shadow-heros-journey-feat-claire/id1254061093?i=1000417917882&mt=2

[3] Derek Rowntree, Learn How to Study: Developing the Study Skills and Approaches to Learning That Will Help You Succeed in University — a Virtual Tutorial With Professor Derek Rowntree, 6 ed. (Amazon Digital Services: Kindle Edition, 2016).

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

About the Author

Rhonda Davis

Rhonda is passionate about loving her Creator, her wonderful husband, and her three amazing sons. She serves as VP of Enrollment Management & Student Development at The King's University in Southlake, TX.

7 responses to “Perhaps there is more…”

  1. Mario Hood says:

    I love this post so much. Personal transformation should always be the goal, but oh how quickly we can slip into other result-driven data as the goal. I think because I came straight from the master’s program and already knew the DNA of the leaders, I was oblivious to how other programs function and feed the need to be goal driven and not transformation driven. I have not taken a full enneagram assessment but it is on the list for the future, but I glad that you dove into it and now know more about yourself and can apply that information to this journey.

    You spoke in this post about how knowing this enneagram information can help you as a student but how do you see that playing out as a leader. Is it different or similar?

    • Rhonda Davis says:

      Mario, I think this is just the beginning of the journey for me. Currently, I have more questions than answers. I can say that the information is causing me to take a more reflective approach to leadership since my natural tendency is to drive hard toward a goal. Measurement is good, but there are some intangibles I need to spend more time developing in myself and others. This discovery has really been an invitation to draw from a new well.

  2. Harry Fritzenschaft says:

    Thanks so much for sharing! I apparently avoid personality type tests at all costs. I say this because Glo was interested in the Enneagram and found the book in my library, a bit worn but not marked. That means I skimmed very lightly and obviously felt none of it pertained to me. I am sure I just confessed my Enneagram “number” for those of you who are devout practitioners. Therefore, to your point I choose to remain proactively blissfully oblivious (Glo says I am good at that!) Your statement, “I can already see that this program will be different in the most beautifully uncomfortable way.” is both reveletory and compelling. I think Dr. Clarke and others know a secret that we are each discovering in our own unique way. While I cannot speak of other doctoral work or tracks, this program seems to be designed and executed to be uncomfortable and transformative (in a most beautiful way.) Perhaps, according to our friend Rowntree, we will all get more out of this doctoral journey than we bargained for. Blessings and thanks again for your wise insights, H

  3. Hey Rhonda, thanks for sharing this quote: “Students who remain open to the unexpected will often find themselves getting more out of a course than they bargained for.” This reminded me of the oft-mentioned phrase our tutors kept instilling in us: “Trust the process.”

    I know it’s bewildering at times but I’m beginning to see how things are unfolding, albeit ever so slowly.

    I mentioned in my original post how writing is such a chore for me. However, the weekly writing required of us is beginning to feel old hat–in a good way. Still not there, but I have to trust the process.

  4. Andrea Lathrop says:

    This is excellent, Rhonda! I look forward to being on the journey with you. What a gift you are.

  5. Nancy VanderRoest says:

    Hey there, Ms. Three Achiever! Glad you found the Enneagram interesting. I actually really appreciate the Enneagram and its outcomes – and use it often with my Counseling clients. It can be very insightful!

    I also appreciated your comments about studying by looking for items that will help you meet the requirements to push forward in your studies. I have always been more of a “feeling-type” personality (working in Counseling will do that to a person!), so I’ve always focused on meaning and how it relates to me. But I think there needs to be an even ground between the two to make learning most effective. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Tammy Dunahoo says:

    I smiled as I read your post, as it is wonderfully you! We all have a shadow self we are learning to shine light on so that the best image comes through. I love how painfully wonderful transformation is and I sense this program is going to be a significant marker in our lives in that regard.

    Rowntree provided tools as well as challenge that caused me to think through the purpose and goal of my growth in learning while giving confidence through his practicality.

    Mrs. Three, it is a pleasure to walk this journey with you!

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