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How to Thrive Leveraging Team Optimization

Date17 Mar, 2022
Type Team Optimization
Author Emily LePan

We sat down with Emily LePan, Managing Partner & Leadership Coach, to learn more about the Flipp Team Optimization Program and how it can help you and your business thrive.

How did Team Optimization become part of the service offering at Flipp?

I’ve always instinctively had a drive to help others. Running an agency for the past 13 years has highlighted how much people’s lives outside of the office affect their fulfillment and passion at work. I wanted to explore the impact of that on our business. Internal culture is nurtured and maintained by people, so naturally your people are an extension of your brand. 


There’s been a huge shift over the years in how intertwined professional and personal lives are, and more than ever there’s an opportunity to help make individuals and teams stronger by acknowledging the complexities of life. Unlike the dated mentality of “leave your personal problems at the door”, business owners are starting to pay more attention to their team’s interests and challenges outside of the office walls (or after they log off Zoom). 


Once I focused my interest in this area, I enrolled at the Co-Active Training Institute to become a professional Co-Active Coach. It was an intense 6-month immersive experience that allowed me to fully understand the co-active coaching process by experiencing it first hand. I completed my training in February 2020 (right before COVID hit), which forced me to adjust my plans, but also allowed me to kick start coaching internally with the Flipp team. This time allowed for further understanding around the benefits of building self-awareness not only in team members but in their relations to other team members and the effect that had on optimizing team outcomes. 


Who benefits from Team Optimization?


Really, everyone in an organization benefits from team optimization, not just the leadership team. I believe everyone is a leader in whatever role they play, at work and in life.  At Flipp, one of our core values is empathy, which research has shown is the single most important skill for today’s successful leaders. Team Optimization helps members reach higher levels of self-awareness to better understand themselves, to grow in understanding of others, and make them more effective leaders.


The most important qualifiers when it comes to team optimization are willingness and mindset. To be wildly curious about why you think, act, and feel the way you do in any given situation. You have to be willing to learn more about yourself – both the lighter and darker sides. 


What is the Enneagram and how is it utilized in Team Optimization?


The Enneagram (eh-nee-uh-gram) is a part of Flipp’s Team Optimization Program. It is a self-awareness tool that reveals the unconscious motivation of your personality type. It is the lens with which you see the world. It directs how you habitually act, think and feel, and most importantly – why. It drills down into our motivations and decision-making style. 


Through the Team Optimization Program, your team participates in the Enneagram assessment, and learns not only about themselves, but equally as important, about each member of their team. The results of the assessment are presented to the team, as a group. This helps to ensure everyone arrives equally open-minded, curious and ready to learn. It is a transformative exercise which can then be woven into the fabric of an organization’s culture. At Flipp, we use this as part of our onboarding for every team member and use Enneagram references daily. It has become part of who we are. From the results we have seen, I believe it can help any organization. 


What are the benefits of the Flipp Team Optimization Program?


The Flipp Team Optimization Program sets you, your employees, and your business up to thrive. 


By having a better understanding of how your personality affects your decision-making and understanding the impact you have on other people, you can begin to observe and regulate your thoughts, feelings, and actions as you interact with others throughout the day. Better understanding the personalities of your team members acts as a guide for how to best communicate with them, understand them, and motivate them. 


When everyone is aligned and tuned into each other’s Enneagram type, it can help to reduce conflict, increase collaboration, result in higher engagement and retention, and eliminate inefficiencies. It can increase productivity, profit and overall success in the marketplace. 


The program is a great launchpad for teams to then assess if ongoing accountability is needed. When you think of traditional ‘team building’, it is often a one time event. It can be difficult to measure and assess its effectiveness. Team Optimization is on-going and progressive. It has sustainable strategies that lead to results. 


What have you learned about yourself by going through coach training and team optimization?


My level of self-awareness has grown immensely. But as self-awareness is on a continuum, there are of course days when I recognize I may be lacking understanding and empathy in a given situation. The difference now is being able to catch myself and dig into my toolkit and shift my understanding. As a leader, I clearly see all the pieces of the ‘pie of life’ – work being only one of them. In an unregulated and often frustrating world of ‘self-help’, I understand the root purpose of coaching. It isn’t advice giving. It isn’t problem solving. It is being a guide for others to realize they have the resources and answers within them. It is about finding the roadblocks that are preventing people from getting unstuck. We all know the ‘how’ when it comes to making change. You can google the ‘how’. Coaching digs into ‘why aren’t you doing it, then?’


Do you have any favorite blogs or social media accounts that you like to follow to stay inspired?


I try to consume a range of perspectives. I find the ‘self help’ industry has become riddled with toxic positivity and often ignores the full spectrum of our emotions and experiences. I have settled into my coaching style (which is not for everyone). It is a blend of my training and the wisdom of experienced and qualified people I follow.  If a blog or feed makes me feel like I’m not ‘doing’ enough, I unsubscribe. The focus instead is on ‘being’ enough. It’s a ruthless lens that I use to filter what I consider quality content, and these are a few that have made it through that gauntlet. 


Kate Bowler 
Kate is a New York Times bestselling author, podcast host, and a professor at Duke University. Being a stage 4 cancer survivor fundamentally shifted how she viewed the ideal of “everything happens for a reason”. I love her perspective, her wit, and the way she challenges unhealthy positivity.  Her podcast is perfectly named “Everything happens for a reason.” And I highly recommend her book, “No cure for being human.” (I would opt for the audible version – I find her voice and demeanour very soothing).


Byron Katie
Byron Katie is known for her process of doing ‘The Work’. It is her step by step break down of the things we are thinking and believing – which is ultimately the root of all our suffering. She offers weekly group Zoom calls (for free) which are a great way to experience her unique personality and calming nature. She has many books, free resources on her website and a podcast. 


Wayne Dyer 
Wayne Dyer was an internationally renowned author and speaker in the fields of self-development and spiritual growth. I see his no nonsense approach as comforting and motivating at the same time.  I recommend ‘Wayne Dyer’s Ultimate Library’ on audible. It is a compilation of snippets from various conferences and speeches he gave over the course of his life. I go back to it often, even just for a short section, to pull me out of negative thinking and to get reinspired. 


How does a company get started with the Flipp Team Optimization Program? What is the first step?


Get in touch via email or send a DM. From there I will schedule a call to learn about your business and your team and further detail how the Team Optimization Program will help your business thrive.