Enneagram Type and Leadership Styles

When leaders are asked what their leadership styles are, it’s not surprising that most of them answered with the feedback they’ve received from their underlings. But a lot of people don’t realize that their leadership styles are evolved from their Enneagram type. 

The Enneagram framework describes nine personality types – each with their strengths and weaknesses, the natural tendency when stressed or growing, variations within the type, as well as their motivation and drive. When you do our free Enneagram assessment, you’ll gain an understanding of your dominant type as well as get tips to grow as a great person/ leader. 

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Enneagram helps leaders understand their main focus based on their type, their biases, blind spots, and strengths. The perfect leadership doesn’t exist – all that matters is that you’re aware of your own shortcomings that hinder your leadership. Once you understand why you react a certain way or are defensive when someone brings up a sore spot, you’ll learn to let go of toxic behavior that’s holding you back. You’ll finally blossom into the best version of yourself that you’ve always meant to be.

In this article, we’re looking at leadership styles that you adopt based on your type, some potential problem spots and how to rectify them.

Type One: Perfectionist

Things are always organized under One’s command. You get the job done with minimal room for error and are always the person that others look up to for guidance. Your consistency and pragmatism make you a fair and just leader. People know that under your leadership, things get done right. 

Since you hold yourself to such a high standard, you struggle with delegating tasks and trusting other people to do a good job for you. You know that you’re prone to anger when someone doesn’t get the job done right. But at the same time, you’re angry at yourself for not letting other people take over your already-heavy workload. Once you’re aware of this, harness your strength and eye for talent to mentor someone trustworthy. This person will help you manage the smaller things so that you can focus on the bigger picture instead of doing everything all the time. It might be difficult to pick someone like that, but for a perfectionist like you, it’s sorely needed.

Type Two: Caregiver

Twos are nurturing and motivating. You often give them what they need even before they needed it. Everyone likes you, and you create a safe space for them to tell you their troubles and their struggles without judgment. Every day, your subordinates thank their lucky stars for having you as their leader since you’re just so darn nice and inspiring.

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But you struggle with people-pleasing behaviors and can sometimes get caught up in making other people happy instead of getting the job done. You also tend to put your own needs at the backburner and prioritizing other people’s needs, which encourages your employees to take advantage of you. To overcome this, you have to reframe your mind set and constantly remind yourself that your needs are as important as anyone else’s. You have to learn how to put your foot down when you just can’t do it. 

Type Three: Medalist

Threes are charismatic achievers that would go above and beyond to get stuff done. They aspire for the best and would always shoot for the stars. You’re also generous with your knowledge – everyone knows that you provide sound advice if they ever needed any. And they would come to you for advice since you’re the best at everything you do.

People think that you’re really confident. But deep down, you don’t believe that you’re worth much and overcompensation is the only way you know how to fulfill expectations demanded of you. To overcome this, you need to relax into your leadership role. You don’t always have to be the star of the show, but you do need to figure out your own values and what you want to achieve without considering what other people expect of you. Trust that you’re an authentic and inspiring leader – you don’t need to pretend to be someone you’re not.

Type Four: Artists

It’s in the name – you’re creative, intuitive, and visionary. Your subordinates follow you because they subscribe to your vision. Often when you lead, you bring people to new heights in directions they’ve never thought of before. You focus on interpersonal connectedness, and would often strive for a deeper connection in addition to the company goals.

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But little do they know despite your encouragement for everyone to connect spiritually, you often don’t feel like you could connect to anyone. This is caused by the constant turmoil within yourself that isn’t sure whether you’re unique or not. This causes you to act out or retreat into your mind. At your worst, it causes bouts of melancholy, where you just can’t be bothered to do anything. To be an effective leader, you have to embrace and let go of your stubborn insistence to be special. It’s not that you can’t fit in – you just need to let other people into your story as well. Only when you let other people into your world, can you fully mold your unique talents into the organization.

Type Five: Detectives

You’re the most logical of them all. Every decision you make comes from careful analysis, research, and planning. Your team feels safe with you in the driver’s seat; they know that you have everything prepared and ready and that you’d know what to do when something goes wrong. 

But you don’t believe that you’re adequate enough for this world. You don’t believe that your intelligence is what inspires confidence in your team. So, the first step to fully utilizing your intelligence in a leadership position is to trust that you are enough. Your mental clarity is what makes your team feels safe – so use it.

Type Six: Strategists

Sixes are masters of forming networks. Your forte is to weave a network of trust among people. You tend to anticipate problems and come up with solutions before anything happens, so you’re an excellent troubleshooter. People trust your judgment and your character. 

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Despite being excellent at building trust among your team, you don’t actually believe that your team supports you as well as you support them. You also second guess yourself when you have to make decisions, which can be quite annoying when your decisions involve other people. One way to overcome this is to learn to trust your team. You have to learn to trust your team’s loyalty towards you and their abilities. Most importantly, you have to learn to trust yourself. When you’ve done that, you’ll be able to work as a unit with your team and stand out as a great leader.

Type Seven: Explorers

Sevens are idea factories. No matter how dire the situation, their resourcefulness, and their creativity always lead them to a way out. Like Fours, your followers follow your vision and a great team would be willing to experiment with you. 

However, not being able to see through your vision is your greatest weakness. Because your mind moves so quickly, you get bored easily. Sometimes, it’s a struggle for you to even pay attention to things. Once you’re able to prioritize your projects and see things till the end (or at least get someone to do it), your brilliance as a visionary and boundless enthusiasm will bring your team to the highest pinnacle of success. 

Type Eight: Fighters

Fighters are assertive and confident. You’re not afraid to speak your mind and to put your foot down when needed. You understand your path very clearly and will not hesitate to move forward, even if it means trampling on your subordinates. 

Your followers love and fear you. On one hand, they respect your drive. On the other hand, your confidence and assertiveness can come across as bullying and being overly harsh. When this happens, your subordinates will feel like they are defusing a bomb, which decreases morale and productivity. Your challenge is to communicate your confidence in a non-threatening way. When your employees stop feeling like they’re about to lose their job every time you get upset, that’s when they truly thrive. 

Type Nine: Diplomats

Nines come across as easy-going and nice. You are often the mediator between conflicts even though you don’t particularly like them. This is why in a leadership position, people come to you for advice; you’re able to look at things objectively and maneuver the situation into a win-win situation. 

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On the flip side, your subconscious desire for peace and harmony can also inhibit you from being a great leader. When things are overwhelming for you, you tend to numb out and withdraw into your mind where it’s most serene. This prevents other people from coming to you with urgent issues since you can’t seem to make up your mind at this state. When you’re able to keep grounded and in touch with reality, your calm nature helps ground your team members as well.

So, share with us, what is your leadership style?

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