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Leadership Style by Enneagram Type

Jun 10, 2021

 Each of us is capable of leading - whether it be a team, a Facebook group, an Instagram community, inside a course you create, through a podcast, or sitting down with a single client. 

While leadership may come more natural for some Enneagram Types than others, you have a unique skill set and style that can be developed over time as you continue to step more into this role. 

Find out more about the leadership qualities of your dominant Enneagram Type below. Once you do, I'd love to hear from you on what resonated most!  

TYPE ONE - The Reformer, The Perfectionist, The Teacher

These leaders are reformers of high integrity who focus on ethics and meeting high standards of quality. They tend to make decisions from their gut, having their Center of Intelligence be from their body and operate from the Present time orientation.

This has it's benefits living in the present moment, and can also have it challenges when all you can see is the challenge in the moment - not how much you've already overcome in the Past, or all the possible in the future after you get over this mountain. 

Ones are in the Compliant/Dependent Stance with our Twos and Sixes, which just means they are looking outside of themselves to get their needs met. This could be another person, but also could be a community, a set of rules, or a belief system. 

They are focused on the common good and can struggle with boundaries and anxiety around meeting expectations. 

Running towards: being good, having integrity 

Running away from: being bad, wrong, corrupt, defective

Strengths:

  • doing the right thing
  • are ethical and responsible
  • hard working
  • results and detail oriented
  • focused on improving and can take things from good to great
  • excel at creating process and structure
  • make a significant effort with almost all they do

Struggles

  • can be rigid and stuck in "one right way" of thinking
  •  can come across as critical
  • may delay a project because they're waiting for it to be perfect
  • can overcommit and risk burnout by taking on too much to ensure it's done right

How to Know You're Stressed: Ones have an arrow that goes to Type Four when they're stressed. This means they can take on the unhealthy qualities of a Four and may show up  with a more intense inner critic, becoming depressed and feeling hopeless, having resentment for others, and feel unlovable. 

It's not all bad though. This arrows also allows them to dip into the most healthy qualities of a Four and become more trusting of their impulses, imaginative and passionate, authentic over perfect, and be more open and embracing.

Your Specific Path for Growth: The Growth Path arrow for Ones is the Seven where they're able to dip into the most healthy qualities of a a Seven - becoming more optimistic, more open to pursuing joy and fun, more accepting of themselves and other ways of doing things, and more spontaneous. 

TYPE TWO - The Helper, The Lover, The Caretaker

Type Two leaders focus on how to support people so they can perform at their best, and how to create positive, productive connections with the people around them.

They tend to make decisions from their emotions and how they're feeling, with their Center of Intelligence being from their heart and will typically operate from the Present time orientation.

This has it's benefits living in the present moment, and can also have it challenges when all you can see is the challenge in the moment - not how much you've already overcome in the Past, or all the possible in the future after you get over this mountain. 

Twos are in the Compliant/Dependent Stance with our Ones and Sixes, which just means they are looking outside of themselves to get their needs met. This could be other people, a community, a set of rules, or a belief system. 

They are focused on the common good and can struggle with boundaries and anxiety around meeting expectations. 

Running towards: being loved, wanted 

Running away from: being unworthy of being loved

Strengths:

  • flexible and willing to help however needed
  • encourager and cheerleader
  • intuitive and help getting people in the right seat doing right job
  • build community and read the emotional temp of the team

Struggles

  • too focused on others can mean not seeing the bigger picture
  • can neglect their own needs and opinions
  • providing honest feedback about what needs to done
  • can overcommit and burnout

How to Know You're Stressed: Twos have an arrow that goes to Type Eight when they're stressed. This means they can take on the unhealthy qualities of an Eight and show up irritable, aggressive, demanding, controlling, jealous, blaming or vengeful. 

It's not all bad though. This arrows also allows them to dip into the  most healthy qualities of an Eight and be able to step more into their own strength, be more assertive, be okay with their needs and asking for what they want, and gain more self-confidence and more self-compassion, all of which can come in very handy when leading. 

Your Specific Path for Growth: The Growth Path arrow for Twos is the  where they're able to dip into the most healthy qualities of a Four - becoming more introspective and not so others focused, have a clear sense of who they are and what they need, and learn to nurture themselves, not just others. 

TYPE THREE - The Achiever, The Role Model, The Motivator 

These leaders focus on results, working hard, and managing perceptions so that they can assure success for their team and their organization.

While their Center of Intelligence is in the heart with all the feelings and emotions, Threes tend to be repressed in this area and will instead, ignore their emotions and those around them, in order to get the job done.  Rarely do Threes slow down long enough to consider emotional needs of themselves or others. 

Threes are in the Aggressive/Assertive Stance with the Sevens and Eights, where they are Future focused and looking for ways to move far and fast with "what's next?" energy.

They are comfortable being in charge and definitely do not want to be controlled. Impulsive decision making can occur as they are driven to take action. 

Running towards: being valuable

Running away from: being worthless or without inherent value 

Strengths:

  • run on efficiency and strategic planning
  • natural leaders who love to goal set
  • model hard work and hustle to their team and communities
  • bring passion and motivational energy to their office or online communities

Struggles

  • may come across as impatient when talking to their team, groups, clients
  • can feel that no one is doing as good as them so never delegate 
  • can be dismissive and frustrated if they feel like their time is being wasted
  • can ignore others' feelings (and their own) to get the job done

How to Know You're Stressed: Threes have an arrow that goes to Type Nine when they're stressed. This means they can take on the unhealthy qualities of a Nine and become withdrawn, disengaged, apathetic, and self-doubting. 

On the other hand, this arrow also allows them to dip into the most healthy qualities of a Nine and be able to step more into the present moment (vs. the future), achieve from passion instead of pressure, embrace calm and peace when needed, find contentment, and truly value others' perspectives, emotions, and wants. 

Your Specific Path for Growth: The Growth Path arrow for Threes is the  where they're able to dip into the most healthy qualities of a Six - becoming more cooperative, people-focused, aware of feelings and able to express them, and become more self-revealing and real that they don't always have it all together! 

TYPE FOUR - The Individualist, The Artist

 As leaders, Fours promote the value of authentic expression and communication and support creativity and mutual understanding among their teams and communities. 

Like Twos, they tend to make decisions from their emotions and how they're feeling, with their Center of Intelligence being from their heart.

Fours are in the Withdrawn Stance with the Fives and Nines, where they are Past focused and looking back to recall how things went last time, which can be beneficial to remember and reflect on those lessons learned, but need to be cautious not to dwell on the past.  

In the Withdrawn Stance,  Fours escape into their inner worlds and look inside themselves to get their needs met. They'll need a significant amount of time to process which isn't good or bad - just is. So as a leader be aware of what you need and communicate that for those with a more assertive stance who could be frustrated by "being slowed down." 

Running towards: belonging for being their authentic self, being unique, finding themselves

Running away from: being defective, insignificant, ordinary, mundane 

Strengths:

  • highly creative and aesthetically gifted
  • naturally see opportunities to add originality and a unique spin
  • make an effort to understand others
  • aren't afraid of tough conversations or giving honest feedback
  • most fulfilled when they have higher purpose

Struggles

  • will often procrastinate on mundane tasks
  • can get frustrated when their ideal image doesn't live up to reality
  • can get stuck on wanting to fix relationships and neglect work priorities
  • comparison and feeling resentful if they haven't reached a certain level

How to Know You're Stressed: Fours have an arrow that goes to Type Two when they're stressed. This means they can take on the unhealthy qualities of a Two and become overly dependent on others and clingy, crave attention and need affirmation.

This arrow also allows them to dip into the most healthy qualities of a Two and be able to become more others-oriented, more service-oriented, highlight hope and optimism, and be more loving and compassion to their self.  

Your Specific Path for Growth: The Growth Path arrow for Fours is the One where they're able to dip into the most healthy qualities of a One - becoming more objective, disciplined, emotionally grounded, and focused on wisdom. 

TYPE FIVE - The Investigator, The Innovator, The Expert 

 As leaders, Fives focus on the importance of gaining knowledge and generating and relying on the best information available for their teams, organizations, and communities. 

Your Center of Intelligence as a Five, where you tend to make decisions from, is in the Thinking or Head Center. Which means there is a lot of planning, rationalizing, idea generating, and prioritizing going on here. 

Like Fours above, Fives are also in the Withdrawn Stance where they are Past focused and looking back to recall how things went last time, which can be beneficial to remember and reflect on those lessons learned, but need to be cautious not to dwell on the past.  

In the Withdrawn Stance, they escape into their inner worlds and look inside themselves to get their needs met. They'll need a significant amount of time to process which isn't good or bad - it just is. So as a leader be aware of what you need and communicate that for those with a more assertive stance who could be frustrated by "being slowed down." 

Running towards: being competent, self-sufficient 

Running away from: being incapable, incompetent, reliant on anyone else 

Strengths:

  • objective and critical thinkers who are great problem solvers
  • consider and analyze all options before impulsively acting
  • count on them to provide high level of expertise
  • genuinely enjoy learning
  • improvement-oriented
  • good listeners and open to others' ideas around work issues
  • low drama and healthy boundaries

Struggles

  • don't have as much sympathy for personal issues or problems
  • hesitant to step out of comfort zone
  • others might experience you as wanting to get away when they ask to talk to you
  • you may not always want to collab with the team or peer group - prefer to work independently

How to Know You're Stressed: Fives have an arrow that goes to Type Seven when they're stressed. This means they can take on the unhealthy qualities of a Seven and become self-centered, scattered, hyperactive, condescending, impulsive and intensify hoarding (thinking survival mode). 

This arrow also allows them to dip into the most healthy qualities of a Seven and take life less seriously, become more in touch with joy, allow themselves to be spontaneous and excited, have a trust in abundance, and see the goodness in others and life in general. 

Your Specific Path for Growth: The Growth Path arrow for Fives is the Eight where they're able to dip into the most healthy qualities of an Eight - becoming self-confident, assertive, forward moving, energized, and gut-trusting (vs. overthinking in their Head Center). 

TYPE SIX - The Loyalist, The Guardian, The Troubleshooter

Six leaders are sensitive to power dynamics and issues of safety and security. They focus on preparation and risk-assessment and support their teams, communities, listeners, and client at every level.

Your Center of Intelligence as a Six, is in the Thinking or Head Center with the Sevens and Fives - which means there is a lot of planning, rationalizing, idea generating, and prioritizing going on here. 

Sixes, like Ones and Twos, are in the Compliant/Dependent Stance which means they are looking outside of themselves to get their needs met. This could be other people, a community, a set of rules, or a belief system. 

In this stance, they're most time-oriented to the Present, which has it's benefits and can also have it challenges when all you can see is the challenge in the moment - not how much you've already overcome in the Past, or all the possible in the future after you inevitably get over this mountain. 

Running towards: being safe and secure

Running away from: being without support or guidance

Strengths:

  • can understand and explain complex issues and problems
  • loyal to the mission and seeing it completed
  • excellent on teams, keeping other engaged, valued and commitment 
  • very honest, straightforward, humble
  • funny and quick wit

Struggles

  • self-doubt and all their questioning can slow down work process
  • may flood team or group with too much information
  • often have hard time deciding (consulting their inner committee and others)
  • can make things more complicated than they need to be
  • too much skepticism and doubt can undermine team's confidence and energy

How to Know You're Stressed: Sixes have an arrow that goes to Type Three when they're stressed. This means they can take on the unhealthy qualities of a Three and become competitive, avoid new things they don think they'll excel at, stay busy to avoid anxiety, and can sabotage their support systems that typically mean so much to them. 

This arrow also allows them to dip into the most healthy qualities of a Three and become more self-respecting, confident, and self-trusting, achieve from a place of joy instead of anxiety, fully step into leadership (you know enough now!) and pursue your passions. 

Your Specific Path for Growth: The Growth Path arrow for Sixes is the Nine where they're able to dip into the most healthy qualities of a Nine - becoming more relaxed and peaceful, trusting of others and yourself, bring warmth, optimism, and acceptance to their groups. 

TYPE SEVEN - The Enthusiast, The Energizer, The Wander 

Sevens' leading style is optimistic and visionary. They like to play with ideas and innovate as a way to move forward. 

Like the Five and Sixes, Sevens are also in the Head / Thinking Center of Intelligence and also spend a lot of time planning, rationalizing, idea generating, and prioritizing. 

Sevens are in the Assertive/Aggressive Stance focused on the future, and moving far and fast into it. This can sometimes lead to impulsive decision-making and rarely slowing down long enough to consider emotional needs of themselves or others. 

Running towards: being happy, satisfied

Running away from: being trapped in emotional pain, or deprived

Strengths:

  • energetic, high-paced, optimistic
  • attention on fun and stimulating things to do, creating many options and planning
  • having a positive outlook and able to reframe almost anything to see the good
  • have quick minds, many interests and enjoy engaging socially with others

Struggles:

  • incredible at casting vision and kicking off initiatives
  • naturally bring motivation, optimism, and enthusiasm
  • creative problem solver and dreamer of all possibilities
  • can be counted on to move things along
  • innovative and futuristic

How to Know You're Stressed: Sevens have an arrow that goes to Type One when they're stressed. This means they can take on the unhealthy qualities of a One and become critical, judgmental, perfectionistic, blaming and away from their typical optimism state and into a more pessimistic one. 

This arrow also allows them to dip into the most healthy qualities of a One and become more self-disciplined, structured, committed, satisfied in the present moment, and look for ways to better their communities and the world as a whole and live for a higher purpose.

Your Specific Path for Growth: The Growth Path arrow for Sevens is the Five where they're able to dip into the most healthy qualities of a Five - being comfortable with silence and solitude, with less-is-more thinking, wisdom seeking, able to sit with uncomfortable feelings, and more thoughtful and less impulsive. 

TYPE EIGHT - The Challenger, The Protector, The Maverick 

These leaders are comfortable exercising power, establishing order, and moving work forward in direct ways. They are fearless in dealing head-on with challenges and make strong mentors.

Like the Ones and Nines, Eights are also in the Gut / Body / Action Center of Intelligence and are tuned into both to their internal instinctive voice and the external environment around them. When expressed in a healthy way, the Action Center can bring energy, decisiveness and power. 

Eights are in the Assertive/Aggressive Stance, with our Threes and Sevens, focused on the future, and moving far and fast into it. This can sometimes lead to impulsive decision-making and they rarely slowing down long enough to consider emotional needs of themselves or others. 

Running towards: protecting oneself 

Running away from: being harmed or controlled by others

Strengths:

  • natural action-and initiative takers
  • big picture thinkers
  • confident and capable leaders who encourage others to be the same
  • ability to take bold action and maintain control
  • load of energy that can move project forward well after everyone is tired
  • open to new ideas if others can prove when they're better
  • confident in approaching conflict

Struggles:

  • low tolerance for the small details that are needed to make big ideas happen
  • can be too comfortable with conflict and look for ways to initiate
  • they can over control things and squelch spontaneity and creativity
  • may intimidate people without knowing it

How to Know You're Stressed: Eights have an arrow that goes to Type Five when they're stressed. This means they can take on the unhealthy qualities of a Five and become withdrawn, secretive, fearful of being betrayed, increase in stubbornness and repress emotions. 

This arrow also allows them to dip into the most healthy qualities of a Five and will have an ability and wisdom to slow down, see others and themselves as equal part of a the big picture in life, become more humble, and receptive to others contribution. 

Your Specific Path for Growth: The Growth Path arrow for Eights is the Two where they're able to dip into the most healthy qualities of a Two - allowing compassion and caring to drive them, become more open and receptive, emotionally vulnerable and appreciative. 

TYPE NINE - The Peacemaker, The Healer, The Comforter

These leaders value inclusion, usually don't have big egos, are easy-going, approachable, and lead by creating consensus.

Like the Ones and Eights, Nines are also in the Gut / Body / Action Center of Intelligence, but because they tend to be out of touch with their own opinions, thoughts, and feelings, have a harder time tapping into it.

However, they most likely will still have strong body sensations like knots in the stomach or body temperature changes, etc. that will alert them something is off. 

 When expressed in a healthy way, the Action Center can bring energy, decisiveness and power to a Nine and their leadership style. 

Nines are in the Withdrawn Stance with the Fours and Fives, where they will withdraw into themselves to get their needs met.  They are Past focused and looking back to recall how things went last time and will need a significant amount of time to process which isn't good or bad - just is. As a leader be aware of what you need and communicate that for those with a more assertive stance who could be frustrated by "being slowed down." 

Running towards: to be at peace, inner serenity 

Running away from: loss of connection

Strengths:

  • great on a team; want to share power with others
  • create structure, predictable systems, and routines to keep work easy and uncomplicated
  • will blame the system vs. the person when things don't go well
  • flexible and happy to fill gaps as needed
  • help all voice at the table be heard
  • make people feel accepted and included

Struggles:

  • tend to procrastinate on important or daunting tasks and can waste time on menial things
  • can be too accommodating and could be taken advantage of
  • may hold back what they're really thinking
  • can avoid taking initiative even as a leader
  • can say things so delicately because fear of conflict they don't communicate clearly
  • because they value harmony and dislike conflict, they tend to be out of touch with their own anger and personal agenda

How to Know You're Stressed: Nines have an arrow that goes to Type Six when they're stressed. This means they can take on the unhealthy qualities of a Six and become overcommitted, anxious and worried, looking for worst-case scenarios, defensive, stubborn and become more black and white thinkers (which is the opposite of Nine's abilities to see the grey and understand all sides). 

This arrow also allows them to dip into the most healthy qualities of a Six and can become more self-reliant, confident of capabilities, committed to others and use their voice to a make a difference. 

Your Specific Path for Growth: The Growth Path arrow for Nines is the Three where they'll be able to tap into the most healthy qualities of a Three that could look like being more energetic, confident, assertive, decisive, and goal-oriented. 

Now What? 

Now that you have a better idea of how your dominant type can show up in your leadership style, both what to lean into and areas that might require more intentional navigation around or thru, I hope you'll be inspired to do just that.

I also recommend, while you continue to learn about your dominant type to dive more into learning about your arrow Types and look for ways to fold the best of each into your day to day, to not only become a great leader, but a happier and healthier human being. 

What resonated most with you about your Leadership Style? I'd love to get connected and hear from you over on Instagram @sarahlynn.co! 

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