How the Enneagram Can Help You Become a Better Leader

I’ve had so many people ask me what my Enneagram personality type is in the last few years. I had taken the DISC profile, which is similar, but the Enneagram seemed to go more in-depth on personality types, which fascinated me as I was reading mine. I had also listened to several podcasts where the test had been mentioned, so I finally decided to take it to see for myself what it was all about. 

For those of you who don’t know, the Enneagram is a system that helps you discover your personality type, and how you interpret the world and manage your emotions. There are nine Enneagram personality types that are configured into a nine-point diagram, to illustrate how the types relate to one another. 

It helps you identify both the strengths and weaknesses of your personality, helps you become more self-aware, and give you guidance as a leader, employee, spouse or friend. 

The Enneagram test describes your basic fears, motivations, passions and temperaments. Each personality type also includes healthy and unhealthy tendencies, which align with an individual’s mental, emotional, and ethical maturity. 

People in the business world love to examine the personalities of their teams to see how to best work with each member. When leaders understand their subordinates, they can leverage the strengths of their employees while exercising patience with their weaknesses. 

I’m truly fascinated with knowing the personality types of each of my team members. Here are the nine personality types of the Enneagram test. 


The Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic


The Caring, Interpersonal Type: Demonstrative, Generous, People-Pleasing, and Possessive


The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious


The Sensitive, Withdrawn Type: Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed, and Temperamental


The Intense, Cerebral Type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated


The Committed, Security-Oriented Type: Engaging, Responsible, Anxious, and Suspicious


The Busy, Fun-Loving Type: Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered


The Powerful, Dominating Type: Self-Confident, Decisive, Willful, and Confrontational


The Easygoing, Self-Effacing Type: Receptive, Reassuring, Agreeable, and Complacent

I took the test and came back as type 3, an achiever. The qualities of an achiever are:

  • Successful, adaptable, and hardworking
  • May sometimes be overachievers or workaholics
  • Driven to excel
  • Image-conscious
  • Adaptable
  • More focused on success than feelings, but are good at communicating

I took the test here and paid $20 to get the full report. I was amazed at how spot-on it was for me and a little embarrassed at some of the qualities. It felt like someone knew me inside out and was examining me personally right there!

Here are some of the strengths and weaknesses of a type 3: 


  • Great zeal for work, success and goal accomplishment
  • Know how to work a crowd
  • Supremely efficient and productive
  • Risk-taker, with novel ideas for solutions
  • Good at adapting and improvising


  • Focus too heavily on their personal image – Because I worked in TV news and in PR, so much of my training was centered around self-image and how to create and maintain a good personal brand. I would never go on social media and complain, blast someone, or share my political views, because that’s not the way I was trained in business. Good or bad, self image is definitely a priority to me.
  • Can come across as insensitive or overly competitive in their race to the finish line – There have been times I’ve been insensitive to my staff when we have a goal we’re trying to achieve and my biggest focus is on getting there, no matter what. This isn’t always the best approach, as sometimes there’s a need for empathy when employees can’t reach the goal because of unforeseen circumstances. This is something I am aware of and am actively working on. 
  • Intolerant of failure from themselves or others –  Failure is not an option for me. This can be a very positive trait, but also seem very insensitive at times.
  • Repress their emotions to achieve maximum performance and results – Entrepreneurs who can control their emotions are the ones who tend to be more successful; however, this repression can backfire in your personal life.

I would recommend any person in a leadership position take the Enneagram test. It’s so good to have a detailed inventory of your strengths and also areas where you can improve. It’s changed the game for me in a professional and personal sense because I have more self-awareness now than I ever had before.

Here are seven ways the Enneagram test can improve your leadership skills:

1) Self Awareness — Self-awareness of your strengths and weaknesses will enable you to adapt when needed to succeed!

2) Communication — You will be a much more effective communicator with your team and your clients knowing their personality types.

3) Conflict Resolution — You will know how to approach each personality type and be self-aware of your own tendencies when conflict arises.

4) Self-Care — You will know if you are the type to neglect much-needed self care and can make a conscious effort to improve this area of your life.

5) Organizational Structure — You may have the wrong people in the wrong jobs! I know I can’t have too many type 3’s on my team – one seems like A LOT!

6) Management Style — You will understand your management style and be able to adapt to those on your team with different personality types.

7) Bottom Line — Your bottom line will increase as you understand your strengths and weaknesses and align more with your team after learning their personality types.

Take the test today and see what you learn about yourself! 

Deedra Determan, Founder

Deedra Determan started her career working in television for one of the top media companies in the country and later became a marketing consultant in the television industry.

Determan went on to launch a niche website for moms in her local market with over 100,000 moms visiting the website each month using the power of Facebook. After one year from launching, Determan sold the website to Oklahoma Media Company, Griffin Communications. Determan went on to launch a digital marketing agency, D2 Branding that was recently recognized as one of the “Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America” by Entrepreneur Magazine’s Entrepreneur360.

Determan is the host of the Do It My Way Podcast Show, empowering women business owners and CEO’s to do business on their terms with no regrets, hesitation or fear. Determan coaches these women on how to create a personal brand so they can live a life of financial freedom, working when they want to work and making the money they want to make!