The Enneagram and Leadership Circle Profile: Connections and Complements

People have a variety of resources available to them when they decide to undertake their self-development journeys.  Myriad assessments exist to help us become more self-aware, the first step in building up emotional intelligence (EQ).  As with any “soft science,” it is challenging to measure EQ, its improvement, the extent that emotional intelligence is a success factor for leadership excellence, and if it has an(y) effect on business success.

To this end, the Full Circle Group has conducted its own research in this arena, collecting and analyzing data that indicates that leaders with a specific profile tend to lead their organizations to fiscal success.  Specifically, those leaders who score in the top 10% of what they categorize as “creative behaviors” (when compared to a norm group of their peers), and with a minimum of what they classify as “reactive behaviors,” tend to lead the organizations in which they work to the top 10% of revenue generation, when compared to their competitors.

Your stuff is your stuff.  For life.

Organizations use a variety of tools, models, systems, and frameworks to assess their employees’ personalities, strengths, values, motivations, leadership potential, leadership patterns, communication styles, conflict resolution modes, spirit animals, etc.  When overdone and not strategically deployed, employees can grow cynical, and even skeptical, especially when their companies only implement these as one-time team-building events rather than long-term investments in mindset shifts or frameworks through which to interpret and facilitate business operations.

Another point of resistance can be encountered when people don’t want to take these assessments for fear of being “put in a box” or labeled, or that this will somehow be used against them.  This line of thinking doesn’t take into consideration that all of us are already in boxes.  These boxes contain “our stuff” that we have each collected since our childhoods.  Our stuff is comprised of mindsets, tools, tactics, and behaviors we have amassed and developed to survive our childhoods.  And since we have had such a long time to live with our stuff, we have built some pretty strong muscles and easy lines of access to these default mechanisms.  Understanding what these unconscious, comfortable tendencies are, along with what may trigger these reactions, actually helps people to break out of their self-imposed boxes.  What some people don’t realize is that others are able to see “our stuff” more easily and more “objectively” – admittedly through their own lenses – than we can.  All of the instruments already referenced can help us to see ourselves the way others already perceive us to be.  Having this insight frees us to be able to consciously decide which behavior in our repertoire is the most appropriate and effective to use in any given situation – whether that may be our favored default or another.

Those of us fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to take multiple assessments over time, including receiving 360-degree feedback (from our peers, bosses, direct reports, customers, and others), will tend to notice how the same themes may keep popping up.  The severity and frequency will hopefully diminish over time, especially if we continue to work on “our stuff,” and it’s important to recognize that our stuff is our stuff for life.  Our goal is to learn to manage our stuff so it doesn’t take over our lives in inappropriate, ineffective, or unfortunate circumstances.  It also helps if we know all of the other “stuff” that is available to us.  Let’s see how the Enneagram-infused Leadership Circle Profile helps us do this.

The Leadership Circle Profile was created incorporating many of the other different personality theories, systems, frameworks and models that preceded it.  The Enneagram is one of those systems, and can be easily seen in its mechanics.  The goal of the Enneagram is to enlighten us to our unconscious operating system and to find ways of integrating all the lesser developed/accessed elements of our personality in order for us to be more aware and effective human beings.  When we have developed and integrated these pathways, and can use them consciously and effectively, we become more effective in our relationships and in life.  The Leadership Circle’s version of integration is our ability to spend most of our time in the Creative space, while minimizing any unconscious delving into our Reactive tendencies.  The Reactive tendencies are not bad, per se, as they have gifts of their own and accomplish certain necessary goals.  However, they are not as productive or sustainable long-term, as they tend to drain us of our energy and not reinvigorate us and prevent us from achieving a state of flow, as the Creative behaviors do.

We can relate the Reactive hemisphere of the Leadership Circle to the greatest fears of each Enneagram type.  Conversely, we can relate the Creative hemisphere of the Leadership Circle to each Enneatype’s virtues:





Criticism due to own fear of not being good enough

Pursuing and modeling/leading others in the pursuit of excellence (not perfection)


Helping others and making oneself indispensable to them for ultimate fear of being unloved by them

Motivating and serving others, without expectation of any reciprocity or acknowledgment


Being insignificant and useless

Achieving results, healthily (to self and others)


Dramatic reactions and constant comparisons to the past, to counter fear of being without identity

Pursuing own passion(s)


Social isolation to prevent being / feeling dependent, exhausted, without resources

Objectivity and proactive information gathering and sharing


Being alone in a threatening world

Productive Insight and planning


Non-committal and positive reframing to prevent self from being limited or in pain

Inspiring others to pursue visions of innovation and flexibility


Bullying others to prevent them from seeing own vulnerability

Making things happen, without anyone feeling intimidated


Passivity in response to turmoil or feeling being controlled

True systems thinking, incorporating inclusion and consensus


The Leadership Circle Profile model was built so that we can get insights into which development path to take by “folding the taco” from the Reactive hemisphere into the Creative hemisphere, both across the equator line and diagonally across.  This provides a diagonal pathway from the Task hemisphere to the Relationship hemisphere (or vice versa) as well as the option to stay within the same hemisphere if you “fold the taco” across the equator line.  What I have noticed in my own debriefs of leaders who have taken the LCP are the following patterns (focusing on reducing the Reactive tendencies through use of the Creative behaviors):










Courageous Authenticity | Integrity

Caring Connection | Fostering Team Play | Decisiveness | Achieves Results

Community Concern | Sustainable Productivity

Selfless Leader | Balance | Composure




Purposeful & Visionary | Achieves Results | Collaboration | Mentoring & Developing

Courageous Authenticity | Community Concern | Personal Learner




Strategic Focus | Systems Thinking | Balance | Selfless Leader | Composure

Mentoring & Developing | Interpersonal Intelligence | Purposeful & Visionary | Sustainable Productivity



Courageous Authenticity | Integrity




Personal Learner | Composure | Community Concern

Courageous Authenticity | Community Concern | Personal Learner




Systems Thinking | Decisiveness | Strategic Focus | Interpersonal Intelligence | Selfless Leader

Achieves Results | Decisiveness | Caring Connection | Fosters Team Play





Purposeful & Visionary | Achieves Results | Collaboration | Mentoring & Developing

Personal Learner

Systems Thinking | Strategic Focus | Purposeful & Visionary





Balance | Composure | Sustainable Productivity | Selfless Leader

Courageous Authenticity | Community Concern | Personal Learner | Composure

Integrity | Courageous Authenticity




Sustainable Productivity | Community Concern | Composure | Balance | Selfless Leader

Purposeful & Visionary | Strategic Focus | Achieves Results | Collaboration | Mentoring & Developing

Fortuitously, Marlene de Lange, a South African Organization Development consultant, uses both the Enneagram and Leadership Circle Profile in her executive coaching engagements.  Her experiences, research, and analysis have yielded the following insights and findings, as they relate to verbatim comment analysis:






True to own values and standards


Provides guidance and positive, rational feedback

Acts with honesty and integrity

Enforces slid disciplines, practices, and processes

Lifelong learner


Looks for ways to make things more efficient

Calm and collected way of leading

Needs to create more space for conversation (talk less)

Is too humble

Micro-manages; Needs to trust the team more

Needs to be less operational and more strategic

Strives for excellence – does not accept mediocrity

Calm and level-headed



Slow decision-making


Needs to be more of a team player

Needs to focus more on developing people

Too negative and critical

Needs to think more big picture

Needs to trust people and delegate more; stop micro-managing

Takes setbacks personally

Unaware of own impact

Needs to connect more and be more accessible

Needs to expand influence beyond technical

High Distance, Critical, Arrogant


Lives/role models values


Elicits great loyalty in teams

Builds relationships

Passionate and driven

Caring and respectful

Encourages others to thrive

Addresses issues head-on

Coaches and mentors team

Visionary and knows how to get things done

Needs to manage conflict sooner

Acts inconsistently

Get more well-versed on technical aspects of role

Be more bold and courageous in sharing ideas

Mentors people

Speaks up for the needs of the people

Passionate about people

Empowers people

Narrow focus/silo

Waits for consensus

Gets too much into the detail

Passive – lacks ambition and drive

Doesn’t project enough strength

High Pleasing, Belonging, Passive


Leads by example

Authentic servant leader

Competent and able to integrate complexity

Very supportive

Optimistic and confident

Builds and inspires teams

Results-driven without sacrificing people

High standards

Able to assess, make quick decisions, and take action

Dynamic and innovative leader

Too hard on self; doesn’t celebrate results

Takes on too much

Dynamic, creative, and inspiring

Strong strategic thinking

Drives delivery

Cool and rational

Deep passion

Works in isolation

Too guarded – needs to show people who they are

Over-commits, takes on too much, and lacks balance

Disengaged from the team


Doesn’t share knowledge and ideas

Too single-minded/focused

Doesn’t delegate/prioritize enough

High Distance, Arrogance, Driven


Performs with integrity

Leads by example

Gets things done


Down-to-earth and humble


Needs to delegate/share more

Needs more compassion and patience

Needs to be more people-focused

Works too hard/long hours

Responds to challenges creatively

Delivers high quality results

High standards

Hard worker who never misses deadlines

Responds quickly

Technical visionary

Needs to adopt a more strategic perspective

Start trusting the team

Too much into the detail

Improve ability to inspire and build teams

Develop people

Panics and stresses too much

Is too ”black-and-white”

Needs to take more personal interest in people

High Distance, Critical, Arrogance, Controlling


Elicits loyalty

Prepared to address the elephant in the room

Warm and supportive


Very engaging

Really cares

Very insightful


Demands evidence and data

Projects onto others

May come across as apologetic

Checks in with others

Creates structure and consistency


Victim mentality

Comes across as not grounded



High Passive, Distant, Critical, Controlling


Passion, energy, enthusiasm


Positive attitude

Support, guide, and empower


Open, honest, transparent

Constructive conflict management

Pushing boundaries

Listen and consider others’ views

Talk less


Visionary who spots opportunities

Challenges the status quo

Generating new ideas

Consider realistic stepping stones

Be more tactful

Over-commit and candy coat


Value diverse perspectives

Be more prepared to collaborate

Too judgmental of others

Follow-through, detail

High Distant, Critical, Arrogant, Driven


Asking difficult questions


Open and honest

Giving feedback

Raising difficult questions

Pushing for results

Empowering others

Firm and decisive

Not warm enough – smile more

Trying to win every debate

Cynicism and sarcasm

Disengaged at times

Challenging others to think differently

Expressing views

Being courageous

Energy and drive

Too short-term focused

Engaging harshly

Not listening


Unilateral decision-making

Forcing own ideas

High Passion, Driven, Controlling, Authoritative


Supportive, generous

Calm and objective

Quiet pillar of strength




Empowering others

Leads by example

Avoids Confrontation

Avoids Difficult Decisions





Not compassionate enough

Too cautious

Monitoring trivial things

High Passive, Distant

 * Note the absence of data for Enneagram type 4, due to the scarcity of this style in for-profit organizations and the sample pool.

How does this play out on the Leadership Circle Profile?

Enneatype 1s tend to score high in Perfection and Critical in the Reactive hemisphere.  For 1s, the pathway is straightforward:  Directly across from Critical in the Reactive space are Courageous Authenticity and Integrity in the Creative space.  This invites Enneatype 1s to diminish Criticality by exploring more productive, positive, and constructive advice while being courageously authentic and maintaining their Integrity (the high sides of Type 1).  Another pathway for Enneatype 1s to explore is to traverse diagonally by “folding the taco” across the equator line from Perfection (low side of 1) in the Task hemisphere to Caring Connection (high side of 1’s 2 wing) and Fostering Team Play (high side of the 1’s 7 security arrow) in the Relationship hemisphere.  When the Enneatype 1 is able to quiet their inner critic, they can then play in the land of 7 (reducing the perception of and need for perfection).  “Folding the taco” from Perfection over the equator line lands 1s in Decisiveness (high side of 1) and Achieves Results.  When making decisions, using their superpower of discernment, this reminds 1s to also take into consideration the Caring Connection component diagonally across, so that their decision isn’t just task-based, but also takes into account human and relationship implications.  Keep in mind that Perfection and Critical may not be the only behavior attributes that may be perceived as high in Enneatype 1s.  Their need to be right, coupled with their mindset that they know what is right in any situation, may also be experienced by others as Arrogance, so that Leadership Circle Profile score may be elevated as well.  Arrogance can be mitigated through movement to the 1’s 9 wing into Community Concern and Sustainable Productivity.  Sometimes, the motivation to be perfect and do the right thing may also be construed as Autocratic (where the 1s are always telling people what needs to be done and how to do it better) or Ambition (where they seek leadership positions so that they have the authority to do so).  In these cases, 1’s development focus to movement to the high side of its 9 wing, in the Relationship space of Selfless Leader, Balance, and Composure, may be the perfect antidote. 

Enneatype 2s tend to score high in Pleasing and Arrogance in the Reactive hemisphere.  The diagonal development pathway for 2s from the Reactive Relationship quadrant to the Creative Task quadrant lands them in the Purposeful & Visionary (high side of the 2’s 8 stress arrow) and Achieves Results (high side of the 2’s 3 wing) sectors.  By applying this filter to requests made of them, 2s can prioritize what to agree to (if it is something that is part of their remit and will help achieve their goals and strategy) or if it’s something they can decline (or delegate or pass onto a more appropriate party).  The journey then flips from Pleasing, across the equator line in the same Relationship quadrant, landing on Collaboration and Mentoring & Developing (both high sides of 2).  This reminds 2s that they don’t need to take everything on themselves, and instead can look to partner with others to fulfill a request, either through Collaboration with someone else who knows how to do this or by Mentoring & Developing someone else who can continue to respond to an on-going request in the future.  Arrogance can come into play when Enneatype 2s take pride in intuitively knowing (or assuming that they know) what other people need and/or when they take on too much themselves, because no one else can do it (better), especially when the 1 and 3 wings start to exert their influence.  This tendency can be mitigated by reminding 2s to take the journey diagonally across from Arrogance (sometimes also associated with the 2’s Enneatype 8 stress arrow) to Personal Learner (the 8’s security integration arrow), involving asking questions of others to gain an understanding of the full picture.

Enneatype 3s tend to score high in Driven and Ambition in the Reactive hemisphere.  “Folding the taco” within the Task hemisphere lands them in the Purposeful & Visionary and Strategic Focus (3’s “eyes on the prize” orientation) and Systems Thinking and Sustainable Productivity (high side of 3’s arrow to Enneatype 9) areas of the Creative hemisphere.  Traversing diagonally from the Task to the Relationship hemisphere suggests that Balance, Composure, and Selfless Leader (3’s arrow to the high side of 9), along with Interpersonal Intelligence, Collaboration, and Mentoring & Developing (3’s 2 wing) could provide a means to mitigate the derailers associated with high Driven and Ambition, which can include burnout and burning bridges to achieve the goal, no matter what.  The Creative space encourages Enneatype 3s to remove their ego and identification with their successes from the equation, and instead shift focus to the good of the team and/or enterprise.

The sample size of Enneatype 4s in corporate settings is pretty sparse, so there is very limited data on which to report out.  It can be safely concluded, however, that there is a tendency for Distance (given their more introverted, internal-referencing tendencies), counteracted by their Courageous Authenticity (high side of 1, 4, and 8).  If overdone, their Courageous Authenticity may come off as Critical, straddling both Task and Relationship worlds in the Reactive hemisphere, so these Leadership Circle Profile scores may be high as well.  They can be counteracted through focus on positive and constructive reframes to stay within the high side of Courageous Authenticity, directly across from Critical in the Creative space.  4’s Integrity scores tend to be high as well, as Enneatype 4s value genuineness and authenticity.  The corporate sector could benefit from more Enneatype 4 energy, harnessing their constellation of Creative gifts, which also includes actual creativity, not specifically called out or measured in the Leadership Circle as a distinct behavior.

Enneatype 5s tend to score high in Distance and Arrogance in the Reactive hemisphere.  Note that Arrogance is also affiliated with the low side of Enneatype 8, and 5’s natural security arrow integration.  It is easy to see the path from the Arrogance in the Reactive Task quadrant to the Personal Learner in the Creative Relationship quadrant (the high side of 5), where Enneatype 5s can explore asking questions to find out more about people and situations rather than assuming superior knowledge about them.  Staying within the Task hemisphere, another pathway to reduce Arrogance is Courageous Authenticity (the high side of 5’s movement to its 8 arrow in security) and Community Concern (a nod to the 8’s 9 wing and 5’s 6 wing).  In this way, Enneatype 5s are invited to consider external factors, resources, and consequences in addition to their default personal insights.  Distance contributes to Enneatype 5s’ superpower of objectivity and creates the environment enabling their inherent gifts in data analysis, pattern identification, and sense-making.  Too much distance, however, can lead to perceptions of disinterest, disengagement, and even Arrogance.  These can be countered through the same connections already mentioned when working on reducing Arrogance:  this time it’s a diagonal traversal from the Reactive Relational quadrant to Courageous Authenticity (5’s movement to the high side of 8, 5’s integration arrow to security) and Community Concern (5’s 6 wing) in the Creative Task quadrant.  Personal Learner and Composure are the high sides of 5, and are exactly where we land when “folding the taco” from Distance within the Relationship hemisphere.  Thus, 5s can leverage their investigative curiosity to emphasize their engagement and interest, and reduce perceptions of Distance.

Enneatype 6s tend to score high in Conservative and Belonging in the Reactive hemisphere.  This makes sense due to the 6 yearning for a tribal affiliation and risk-aversion (at least in the non-counter phobic subtypes!) for comfort, safety, and security.  It can make sense for 6s to take the diagonal journey from Conservative in the Reactive Relationship quadrant to the Creative Task quadrant and land on Achieves Results and Decisiveness (the high sides of 6’s movement to its stress arrow point of 3).  Additional insights can be cultivated from 6’s “folding the taco” just over the equator line, landing on Caring Connection (the high side of 6 in fitting into the tribe) and Fosters Team Play (6’s 7 wing).  Launching from the Belonging category in the Reactive Relationship quadrant, 6s can travel diagonally into the Creative Task quadrant, landing on Systems Thinking (6’s movement to its security arrow 9 point) and Strategic Focus (6’s movement to its stress arrow 3 point and 7 wing).  These Creative behaviors can help the 6s take a bigger picture perspective, focusing on more positive opportunities and possibilities rather than fixating on worst-case scenarios and needs for safety.   Staying within the boundaries of the Relationship hemisphere, “flipping the taco” from Belonging lands the 6 in Interpersonal Intelligence and Selfless Leader, high points of 6’s movement to its stress point of 3 and comfort point of 9, respectively.  Here, 6s can leverage the insights of their hearts and guts/bodies to get out of the anxieties and self-doubts in their heads.

Enneatype 7s tend to score high in Pleasing in the Reactive hemisphere.  This can be attributed to their positive outlook, enthusiasm, and reluctance to say no to new opportunities for fear of missing out.  A diagonal journey from the Reactive Relationship quadrant to the Creative Task quadrant lands 7s in the behaviors of Purposeful & Visionary (high side of 7) and Achieves Results (high side of 7’s movement to its 1 stress point).  This can help 7s focus on the right activities and goals in the attainment of the right results.  Being part of the assertiveness triad that has no issues with asking for what they want (Enneatypes 3, 7, and 8), Enneatype 7s may also land some high scores in Arrogance, Autocratic, Ambition, and Driven.  As we’ve seen with Enneatype 5s (and will see with Enneatype 8s), Arrogance can be tempered by “flipping the taco” to Personal Learner, where 7s can access their 5 security arrow point to slow down to ask questions, rather than assume they know and speed on through.  Ambition and Drive can be mitigated by “folding the taco” within the Task hemisphere to the 7’s natural high side of Systems Thinking and Strategic Focus and Purposeful & Visionary.  Focusing on these tactics can help oust the ego from the 7s’ Reactive patterns and focus more in the Creative space where the bigger picture takes precedence.

Enneatype 8s tend to score high in Arrogance and Autocratic in the Reactive hemisphere.  This aligns with 8s’ tendency to be direct, decisive, action-oriented, and powerful/power-driven.  To escape the entrapments and possible derailers associated with these tendencies, 8s can traverse from Arrogance in the Reactive Task quadrant to Community Concern and Sustainable Productivity (components of 8’s 9 wing) in the Creative Task quadrant.  As we’ve seen above, the negative effects of Arrogance can be diminished by traveling diagonally to Personal Learner (8’s movement to its 5 stress arrow point) in the Creative Relationship quadrant.  Asking questions to understand, rather than directing dictatorially will help to reduce perceptions of ArroganceAutocratic can be further reduced through the neighboring behaviors of Composure, Balance, and Selfless Leader, all three representing the 8’s 9 wing qualities.  8’s work to dial down their intensity and energy will support success in this area.  Enneatypes 8s can also receive high Critical scores in the Reactive space, especially due to their propensity for speaking up and debating to get to truth.  These can be tempered by working on their natural strengths in the high side of 8 of Integrity and Courageous Authenticity, directly across the circle when “folding the taco.”

Enneatype 9s tend to score high in Passive and Pleasing in the Reactive hemisphere.  High Passive can be interpreted by others as 9s being disinterested or disengaged in the work or relationship.  It can be counteracted by 9s taking the journey and “folding the taco” from Passive in the Reactive Relationship quadrant to Sustainable Productivity and Community Concern (the high sides of 9 and 9’s movement to its 3 security arrow) in the Creative Task quadrant.  A jaunt contained within the Relationship hemisphere lands us in the Composure and Balance behaviors (both comprising the high side of 9).   By leveraging their natural attention on the community/environment and its welfare, and tapping into their focus on sustainability with regard to productivity and effectiveness, 9s can counter the perception that they are not engaged or interested.  Their innate prowess in Composure and Balance can also be leveraged to temper any Passive tendencies.  From the Pleasing dimension, 9s can follow the same journey as 2s and 7s:  “Folding the taco” from the Reactive Relationship quadrant to the Creative Task quadrant lands 9s in the Strategic Focus (high side of 9’s movement to its security arrow of 3, which also includes Achieves Results) and Purposeful & Visionary (high side of 9 and 8 wing) realms.  These qualities can help 9s prioritize where to focus their energies to be more sustainably successful.  To do this, they can also leverage their natural strengths in Collaboration and Mentoring and Developing others, so they don’t have to go it alone.

It is also important to keep in mind that each of the Reactive tendencies has positive attributes associated with it.  If they are used appropriately and consciously, they can be beneficial.  If they are overused, they can become potential career derailers.

Enneatype 1’s Perfection is important for attentiveness to quality results, but can become debilitating if it prevents action or decisiveness while waiting for the ever-elusive and unattainable state of perfection.  Enneatype 1’s Critical is important in critical thinking and improvement, but can become divisive if used to constantly criticize others without any constructive and productive proposals for solutions.

Enneatype 2, 7, and 9’s Pleasing is important in relationship-building and nurturing, but can actually hinder relationship trust when promises can’t be kept due to overcommitment.

Enneatype 3’s Drive and Ambition plays a huge role in motivating advancement and achievement of success, but can become a derailer if one is perceived as too ambitious and leaves a trail of dead bodies in their wake.

Enneatype 5’s Distance helps their objectivity, while the gift of Arrogance is self-confidence.  If over-relied upon and overused, however, Distance can be perceived as unattachment and disinterest and Arrogance becomes, well, ugly, off-putting, and demotivating arrogance.

Enneatype 6’s Conservativeness supports rule following and safety.  Overused it can prevent innovation, creativity, and forward motion.

The gift of Enneatype 8’s Arrogance is in self-confidence.  However, too much self-confidence can lead to others experiencing 8s as arrogant.  The gift of Autocratic is the ability to take authority and control and provide direction.  This is important in certain situations (when people need direction if they are novices in a certain area or during crises/emergencies), but it can become tiresome and demotivating in everyday operations.

The gift of Passive for Enneatype 9s is from the opportunity to provide space for others to think, problem-solve, think, and make decisions on their own, as opposed to providing the solution for them.  On the other end of the spectrum, too much space may be interpreted by others as 9s being disengaged, disinterested, or even invisible.

The role of culture and some other general observations

Self-Preservation Enneagram subtypes (or those who tend to use Self-Preservation in their top two Subtype stacking) tend to have higher scores in Distance, a reflection of introversion, regardless of primary Enneagram type.  Furthermore, regardless of one’s primary Enneagram type affiliation, we can also expect to see some other patterns play out that can be related to a person’s tri-type/triadic style (the styles they use to access their thinking, feeling, and action/gut centers).  Company and culture overlays can also show up in a person’s LCP, and should be taken into consideration in coaching.

Country culture (or culture of upbringing) can play a huge role in overlays of behaviors and motivations.  This creates an added element of complexity and robustness to human beings, and can many times be reflected in unexpected spikes of scores on the Leadership Circle Profile, which may at first blush seem to indicate a client’s core motivation, but may not be so.  For example, I have noticed a trend where my Canadian clients seem to be scored relatively high in Passive by their (also Canadian) raters.  Knowing this can help a coach dig deeper to determine what the real, underlying issue and motivation may be – the core issue to be focused on that will yield transformational change, rather than a symptom that may only be an indicator of cultural projection.

Company culture is also an important, yet sometimes deceptive, factor when coaches try to help their clients to identify their core motivations.  Companies advertise their values and principles overtly and in their business practices.  This leads them to attract and reward (read: promote) people who align and represent these values and principles through their explicit behaviors.  This culture is fortified further as these leaders then hire in their own images, via myriad unconscious biases.  We then end up with a leadership phenotype which keeps propagating itself throughout the organization until a new senior leadership phenotype emerges, takes hold, and cascades.  We see certain patterns emerge because of this, with organizations displaying and promulgating a definitive core Enneagram type, manifesting as certain Leadership Circle Creative behaviors and Reactive tendencies on the LCP.  The LCP high scores and related core type, is based on the Enneagram core, tri-types/triadic styles, wings, secondary, tertiary, and other Enneagram points available to their employees, since we all have inherent access to multiple Enneagram points within us, regardless of our core affiliation.  When these are aggregated, a dominant and common Enneatype emerges, reflected in high scores in their related LCP categories.

Thus, awareness of an organization’s cultural and leadership phenotype is imperative in effectively coaching its people, especially when it comes to validating whether the presenting high scores in certain LCP categories are due to the company’s culture or the individual’s true core motivations.  These insights can help coaches in working with their clients to explain any employees’ lack of culture fit, confusion around what “executive presence” means in this setting, developing precautions against groupthink, and finding ways to mine and harness diversity of perspective.  Knowledge of the company’s culture also allows coaches to hold that construct separately, while helping their clients investigate what other motivations may also be guiding their mindsets and behaviors – and what development will be most appropriate, meaningful, productive, and transformative for them given their environmental situation.


The Leadership Circle Profile is a very powerful tool that provides users with a map to help them understand their stuff – their strengths, potential derailers, and development journeys.  Knowledge of the Enneagram enhances the understanding of this framework (since the Enneagram was embedded in its creation) and development pathways inherent in its structure.  Fortuitously, the Full Circle Group, which created the Leadership Circle Profile, has also conducted research into its effectiveness.  Their findings indicate that there is validity in its construct and shows that those with greater access to the Creative behaviors (which reflect the high points of each Enneagram type) tend to be associated with better leadership and more successful organizations.  Extending the transitive property, we can therefore also see the Enneagram’s relevance in contributing to leadership excellence and business success.  Used in tandem, these tools provide a way to truly help people transform themselves and their organizations for the better.



Anderson, R.J. & Adams, W.A. 2015.  Mastering Leadership: An Integrated Framework for Breakthrough Performance and Extraordinary Business Results, Wiley: Hoboken, NJ.

de Lange, M., (October 11, 2019). The Conscious Practice of Leadership Using the Enneagram and the Leadership Circle, International Enneagram Conference: The Art and Science of Consciousness, Cape Town, South Africa

Hebenstreit, R.K. 2016.  The How & Why: Taking Care of Business with the Enneagram – A Practical Organization Development Framework to Drive more Effective, Efficient, and Sustainable Business Results and Relationships.  Amazon CreateSpace: North Carolina.

Ronsick, B. & Wyman, P. (August 15, 2019). Bringing the Enneagram into LCP Coaching Engagements