Personality Driven Leadership

About the Enneagram

The Enneagram is the most powerful system of transformational psychology available today. This practical yet elegant view of humanity describes nine basic personality types and their relationships to one another, giving insight into the habitual patterns and motivations that underlie behavior. It goes beyond mere descriptions of personality to provide a dynamic, compassionate, and comprehensive guide for living your life and interacting with others.

Enneagram Symbol

If you are new to the Enneagram, start with this brief questionnaire to help identify your type.

Brief Descriptions

Type 2

The Helper. Seeks approval, love and fulfillment of needs through giving to significant others what they want in hopes they will give back. Alters to meet needs of others; "many selves" develop. Denial of own needs and authentic self leads to feeling controlled and longing for freedom. Gifts: giving, supportive, sensitive to others' needs and feelings, energetic, romantic. Goal: stay connected through partnership.

Type 3

The Achiever. Believes love and approval will be the reward of performance, achievement, and success. Adjusts and adapts self to the desired image. Equates self with performance; keeps busy; focus on looking good. Misses own feelings; deceives self about own needs. Gifts: optimistic, accomplished, leadership, efficiency, positive & confident. Goal: be productive through personal success.

Type 4

The Individualist. Intense emotional highs and lows. Fears abandonment and loss. Driven to search for lost ideal love. Dissatisfied with life as it is; longing for the unavailable so lives in past or future; succumbs to sadness and melancholy; creates dramatic crises. Feels unique and special – "the one on the outside looking in." Gifts: depth and intensity of feeling, creative, desire to express the essence of life, empathetic. Goal: become authentic through personal expression.

Type 5

The Investigator. Defends self from intrusion and feelings of inadequacy through protecting privacy. Holds back strong feelings, limits desires and needs, minimalist lifestyle. Security comes through knowledge and information. Enjoys living in own mind and a world of ideas. Compartmentalizes people and situations. Detaches from emotion and life. Gifts: knowledgeable, respectful, mental clarity, dependable, thoughtful. Goal: achieve total knowledge through objective intelligence.

Type 6

The Loyalist. Too much fear of fear. Seeks safety from harm in a dangerous world through vigilance, by imagining the worst-case outcome in order to prepare. Looks for the hidden agenda. Mistrusts others. Is both obedient and rebellious with authority. Ambivalent; indecisive for fear of error. Gifts: warm, loyal, intuitive, imaginative, usually great sense of humor. Goal: achieve security through careful observation and alertness.

Type 7

The Enthusiast. Attempts to avoid fright and pain by escaping into fun, pleasure, and imagination. Sees life as limitless possibilities with many options. Moves away from restriction and boredom and goes toward freedom, variety, and interesting experiences. Difficulty with commitment and follow-through. Motto: Don't worry, be happy. Gifts: outgoing, playful, creative imagination, optimistic, idealistic, love of life. Goal: stay upbeat through current enjoyment and positive future.

Type 8

The Challenger. Believes being strong, powerful, and domineering is the only route to safety. Aggressive and impulsive, expresses anger readily, but has difficulty feeling dependency or "softer" emotions. Admires strength; denies own weakness or fear. Gifts: courageous, good leadership qualities, powerful, straight-forward, protective of the weak. Goal: embody power through control and dominance.

Type 9

The Peacemaker. Seeks acceptance and comfort by "forgetting the self," and attending to others. Has fallen asleep to own feelings, desires, and life direction. Merges with others to gain a sense of belonging and harmony. Avoids conflict and anger. Passive-aggressive when upset. Gifts: non-judgmental, supportive, accepting, good mediators, empathetic, positive, trusting. Goal: seeks peace through understanding and acquiescence.

Type 1

The Reformer. Gains worthiness and love through being good, correcting error in self, others, and the world. Suffers anxiety about "getting it right;" delays action until it is "right." Suppresses personal needs, delays pleasure. Can become engulfed in detail that impairs productivity. Gifts: honesty, industry, responsibility, ethical, and fair. Will work hard for vision of improvement. Goal: embody integrity through perfection.

More about the 9 types...

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