Your Authentic Leadership Style

In order to be the best leader you can be, and lead authentically, you need to embrace and develop the leader that you already are. Many people try to fit into what they perceive to be ideal leadership styles without first discovering their strengths and using their own talents to their advantage. Operating outside of your natural abilities can be a great disservice to yourself and your team. No matter your personal skills or character traits, you can develop into a leader whom others will respect and follow. Let’s take a look at the 9 Enneagram personality types, corresponding leadership styles and challenges, and development tips for each type.


Type One: The Reformer
Style: Leads by Example and Standard Setting
Challenges: Being reactive and critical, overly involved in operational details, opinionated, and inflexible
Development Tip: Learn to delegate, even the work you enjoy doing, without hovering or constantly checking up on others


Type Two: The Helper
Style: Leads through Motivation and Encouragement
Challenges: Being overly relationship-focused, having difficulty saying no or setting boundaries, and being too involved
Development Tip: Focus on tasks equally with the relationship aspects of leading, take time for yourself to rest, eat and relax


Type Three: The Achiever
Style: Leads through clear Goals, Plans, Entrepreneurial spirit and Results
Challenges: Being too competitive, abrupt when stressed, impatient with lengthy conversations, and over-working
Development Tip: Identify less with your work as the primary sense of who you are and the value you bring


Type Four: The Individualist
Style: leads through values-based Vision and Connection
Challenges: Being too intense or moody, over-emphasize feelings, over-sensitive, and withdrawn
Development Tip: Focus less on yourself, your feelings, and the emotions of others, and more on the task at hand.


Type Five: The Investigator
Style: leads through Research, Deliberation and Planning
Challenges: Being detached, remote or aloof, overly independent, discomfort engaging others, and overly cerebral
Development Tip: Gain greater access to your emotional state in real time and trust your body instincts more


Type Six – The Loyalist
Style: leads through Creative Problem Solving and Collaboration
Challenges: Being too wary and cautious or too risk-taking, too compliant or too defiant, and projecting feelings and thoughts
Development Tip: Ask fewer “what ifs” and more “why nots” as you approach leadership challenges


Type Seven – The Enthusiast
Style: leads through Innovation and Idea generation
Challenges: Being impulsive and unfocused, avoiding difficult issues, rationalizing, and lack of thorough follow-up
Development Tip: Talk less, listen more, stand still, and focus on execution equally with idea generation


Type Eight – The Challenger
Style: leads through Strategic vision and bold Action
Challenges: Being controlling and demanding, agitated with slow pace or lack of big action, and being highly over-extended
Development Tip: Learn to forgive and forget, remembering that there are multiple, valid perspectives, and invite conversation


Type Nine – The Peacemaker
Style: leads through Diplomacy and Consensus
Challenges: Being unassertive, conflict avoidant, overly accommodating, and being indecisive or low energy
Development Tip: Believe in yourself, honor what you have to offer as a leader, and share your point of view with others


Read through these descriptions again, and notice which traits are the most dominant in your leadership style. Keep in mind that you might find yourself with strengths in more than one category, and in reality, most good leaders adopt different leadership styles based on the situation at hand. The key is to always play from your strengths and those of your team, and have the flexibility to adapt yourself to different circumstances. Ultimately, the best leaders are true to themselves and embrace the leader that they already are. Which kind of leader are you? 


The Enneagram leadership styles referenced in this article are from theenneagraminbusiness.com


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