The leadership style of every Enneagram type. #Enneagram #Personality

The Leadership Style of Every Enneagram Type

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“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you in trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

Mark Twain reportedly said that years ago and it has been proven true, again and again. Don’t believe it? Here is a short list of “facts” that turned out to be totally false.

  • The earth is the center of the universe (Not true).
  • Bloodletting is a good medical practice for many diseases and ailments (Turns out it is not).
  • Lobotomies cure mental illness (There are definitely better options available)
  • Mercury works as a powerful medicine (It is actually extremely toxic)

People can be crazy! Another “fact” that can be thrown into the trash bin of historically inaccurate facts is that “Leaders are born and have a certain personality type.” This is completely and utterly false. Not only can lead with any “type” of personality, but you can also learn to lead at any time in your life.

Believing you need a certain type of personality to lead can severely limit your potential. The world deserves to see the leader you can be. You deserve it as well. To understand how this works, we look at the Enneagram personality tool and break down how each Enneatype and leadership work together. This way, you can begin to understand how you may begin your journey as a leader.

Not sure what your Enneatype is? Take our online questionnaire now!

The Leadership Styles of Every Enneagram Type

Type 1: The Perfectionist 

Leading with Your Standards

If you’re a Type 1 Enneatype, a Perfectionist, you’ve probably already found a way to improve this article. Also referred to as “the Reformer,” the Type One will try and make decisions as a guiding light in making quality and ethical changes. Out of a desire for the highest standards, the Perfectionist will sometimes come across as self-righteous but their hearts are in the right place. This Ennatype and leadership together make for a tight ship, sailing into the promise of tomorrow.


  • Decisive
  • Pragmatic
  • Ethically minded
  • Productive
  • Focused
  • Enjoy problem-solving
  • Determined
  • Self-controlled
  • Detail-oriented

Potential Weaknesses:

  • Perfectionistic
  • Critical
  • Obsessive
  • May push others too hard
  • Struggle with chaotic situations
  • Impatient

Read This Next: 21 Signs that You’re an Enneagram One Personality Type

Type 2: The Helper

Leading with Your Heart

Sometimes, your Enneagram and leadership come together in the form of empathy and a desire to create a positive relational atmosphere. This is the way of the Helper. This leadership style often leads to powerful mentoring relationships and an amazing company culture which is based on your genuine affection for others. The Type 2 leader can get maximum effort from their team because of the respect and admiration they have for their leader.


  • Supportive
  • Encouraging
  • Recognizes the needs of others
  • Warm and positive
  • Persistent with tasks
  • Helpful
  • Hard-working

Potential Weaknesses (when unhealthy):

  • May be overbearing
  • May be easily offended or hurt by criticism
  • May try to do too much themselves without asking for help
  • May be too lenient and relationship-focused to get things done efficiently

Read This Next: 21 Signs That You’re an Enneagram 2 Type

Type 3: The Achievers

 Lead with Your Ambition

Fast-paced and high-performing, failure isn’t an option for this type of leader. Ambitious and success-driven, Threes set the benchmarks, make the rules and determine the recognition of team members. As a Type 3 leader, you spot opportunities as they happen and turn them into wins. Like a game of opportunity whack-a-mole on an organizational level. When you lead with ambition, you create a culture centered around knocking goals out of the park. Batter up!


  • High-energy
  • Productive
  • Enthusiastic
  • Hard-working
  • High-achiever
  • Visionary
  • Creative

Potential Weaknesses (when unhealthy):

  • Overly competitive
  • May be overly focused on image
  • Impatient
  • May work themselves to burnout
  • Struggle to accept failure
  • Can be insensitive

Read This Next: The Enneagram 3 Child

Type 4: The Individualist 

 Lead with Your Creativity

As an Individualist, you lead from a place of brutal honesty with yourself and others. This type of leader’s openness and willingness to face shortcomings, as well as strengths, becomes a creative superpower. Innovation is born out of seeing situations deeply and making creative adjustments for the better. Type 4 leaders create the environment for this by enforcing and rewarding innovative and original ideas and turning problems into potential wins for the team.


  • Sensitive to peoples’ feelings
  • Imaginative
  • Creative
  • Authentic
  • Insightful
  • Give workplaces a sense of meaning
  • Self-reliant

Potential Weaknesses:

  • May struggle to focus on work when feeling emotionally overwhelmed
  • May be moody or emotionally intense
  • Can be distrustful
  • May struggle to set up an effective authority system
  • Can be distant and struggle to connect with teams

Read This Next: The Enneagram 4 – The Individualist

Type 5: The Investigator

Lead with Your Expertise

This Enneatype and leadership combo becomes a hotbed for expert-level thinking. The Investigator, as a leader, is always learning and adding to their knowledge base and making decisions based on sound, justifiable information. If you lead in this way, you likely encourage extracurricular learning and appreciate and recognize those who put in the extra effort. Type 5 leaders are known for giving their teams a lot of freedom to accomplish their work goals.


  • Original
  • Self-reliant
  • Careful
  • Prepared
  • Skilled at troubleshooting
  • Skilled at concentrating
  • Objective

Potential Weaknesses:

  • Can be disconnected and aloof
  • May struggle to connect with people
  • May get too stuck in information-gathering that they don’t take action when needed
  • May get overwhelmed when dealing with a lot of people or interaction

Read This Next: The Enneagram 5 – The Investigator

Type 6: The Loyalist

 Lead with Your Preparedness

 You can’t be caught off guard if you are always preparing”. This is the motto of this Enneatype and leadership style. If you lead as a Loyalist, you are always preparing… for something to happen. Troubleshooting and risk assessments are common tasks for those on your team. While this may lead to a few missed opportunities, this leads to thoroughly finished projects that don’t often run into unforeseen problems.


  • Detail-oriented
  • Dutiful
  • Loyal
  • Strong at risk-assessment
  • Planful
  • Organized
  • Empathize with people’s worries and concerns

Potential Weaknesses:

  • May catastrophize
  • May prepare for worst-case scenarios when it’s not necessary
  • May struggle to trust themselves
  • May be skeptical of change when it’s needed

Read This Next: The Enneagram 6 – The Loyalist

Type 7: The Enthusiast

 Lead with Your Endless Optimism for the Future

 This Enneagram and leadership combo is certainly refreshing to be around. The unbounded, full potential of the future directs the Enthusiast. As a Type 7 leader, you surround yourself with high-energy, optimistic individuals who make decisions and decide how to pursue projects based on potential as opposed to certainty. This may lead to more failed projects but the Enthusiast, and their teams, understand that the road to success is paved with those very same failures.


  • Visionary
  • Creative
  • Innovative
  • Know how to get people involved and excited
  • Make work fun
  • Often a jack of all trades
  • Connect ideas well

Potential Weaknesses:

  • May struggle to settle on a commitment or direction
  • May get irritated with detailed work they see as mundane
  • May have their hands in too many projects and struggle to finish things
  • May be so busy making things fun that they slow down progress

Read This Next: 7 Struggles of the Enneagram Seven Type

Type 8: The Challenger

 Lead with Your Growth Mindset

The Challenger, the Type 8 leader, is the epitome of taking the bull by the horns. They make decisions, direct and expect things to get accomplished. If you are this type of leader, you are used to pushing your own limits, so you transfer that to your teammates. Capacity stretching responsibility is a way of life with you at the helm. This can lead to some frayed nerves but your team is better because of the high standards and expectations.


  • Protective of their people
  • Believe in playing fair
  • Hard workers
  • Bold
  • Pragmatic
  • Passionate
  • Strong sense of direction

Potential Weaknesses (when unhealthy):

  • May be too intense
  • Can be insensitive
  • May be intimidating
  • May be overly competitive
  • May micro-manage
  • May have a quick temper

Read This Next: The Enneagram 8 – The Challenger

Type 9: The Peacemaker

 Lead with Your Calm

 The Peacemaker often appears like the opposite Enneatype and leadership style to the Challenger. Akin to the statesmen of old, the Peacemakers are having conversations and helping get goals along behind the scenes. If this is you, you expect a well-paced and strategic approach from your team about their goals and encourage a whole team approach that accounts for all parties, making sure it’s a win-win for everyone before moving ahead.


  • Understanding
  • Creative
  • Encouraging of inclusivity
  • Make sure people are heard
  • Determined in their purpose
  • Gentle

Potential Weaknesses (when unhealthy):

  • May struggle with decision-making
  • May sometimes feel paralyzed when forced to choose a direction
  • May move slowly to get things done
  • May be too conflict-avoidant to give effective criticism or make tough choices

Read This Next: How Enneagram Nines Handle Anger

Your Enneatype and Leadership Style

There is no right or wrong approach to leadership from a personality perspective. The way you are, your gifts and your weaknesses, all play a part in how you will lead your teams. What makes you awesome, funny, slightly annoying, or irritating (or a combination of all the above) will be a part of your leadership style because is it a part of you. Embrace that.

Leave that thought of “I can’t be a leader because of my personality” in that pile of outdated ideas, next to “The earth is flat” and “Washing your hands is unnecessary”. Step into your leadership potential.

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