The Enneagram Circle Characteristics of Type 8 - The Leader

Find out about the different characteristics, stresses, management styles and ways you can assist a 'Type 8 Personality'.

Whether you feel you fit within this characteristic type or a colleague or loved one, learning more about the different character types of the Enneagram circle can assist you in your work and home life.


(Also called the Boss, Protector, Asserter, Challenger)

  • Psychological defence  is to provide protection and strength
  • Focus upon power and control over their immediate environment, relationships and resources. 
  • Often personally strong and assertive and can be forceful and direct. Sometimes use confrontations with others to establish the truth or identify weaknesses in others. Loyalty and honesty are highly valued.
  • Can experience life as a fight against injustice. Once crossed, they remember and react to wrongs against themselves and others they care about.
  • Often take a no-nonsense practical approach.
  • Highly protective and supportive of people they care about or lead. 

Key goal - Control

Traits - Dominance, autonomy, strength, excess, freedom of speech, stands up for rights, straightforward, direct and outspoken

Where the attention Goes - To power and action, to extremes, all or nothing

Pre-occupations - Dominance and control of space, things and people, correcting injustice and protecting the weak

Difficulties produced for self - Exhaustion, combat, intimidating others, not knowing impact of energy, lack of tact, all or nothing approach

What causes me stress - Being unable to correct perceived injustice, having to contain my confrontational style and having difficulty containing it, going full-out and denying fatigue and pain

What makes me angry - Deceit, manipulation, people who won’t stand up for themselves, others not responding to me or what has to be done, boundaries or rules that are unjust or too constraining, attempts to control me

Nature of my anger - Powerful anger expressed in direct, confrontational style or armoured withdrawal, balancing the books (revenge)

Gifts - Strong, powerful, determined, courageous, persistent, protective of others, just, fair, truthful and clear

Basic strategies for development - Notice and reduce intensity and moderate impact on others Daily activity:  Take care of yourself physically, slow down your impulse to rapid action, share your feelings of vulnerability and recognise this as a strength, not a weakness.

Management style - The Type 8 manager can keep a lot of balls in the air at the same time

Leadership strengths - Direct, self-confident and authoritative, overcomes obstacles, energetic, protective of others, moves projects forward, supports others’ successes

Improve leadership by - Manage the anger, consider opposite points of view, be careful about blaming others

Stress point- Type 8 moves in the direction of Type 5 when under pressure or feeling stress. The characteristics at this point could appear to be:

  •  Withdrawal
  • Gathering information
  • Developing strategy

Relax point - Type 8 moves in direction of 2 when in a relaxed state. The characteristics at this point that may then appear are:

  • Improved listening skills
  • Increased vulnerability
  • Increased emotional connection and softening

How to get along with a Type 8

  • Be open and straightforward with the 8s
  • Don’t avoid conflict. The 8s respect people who stay to face the music
  • Set clear boundaries
  •  Don’t take their anger or challenging personally. 

For any further information regarding the enneagram personalities please contact [email protected]