Enneagram 4 Leadership: Strengths, Weaknesses, & Tips

19 June 2024

enneagram 4 leadership

The Enneagram 4 leadership style is very personal and unique. Fours bring a delicate blend of compassion, innovation, and insight into their leadership. In most cases, they are very atypical leaders, passionate about their goals and driven by their vision.

However, assuming leadership roles isn’t something a typical Enneagram Type 4 personality is interested in. So, in what circumstances do Fours become leaders, and do they have everything it takes to lead others successfully?

Let’s find out!

Enneagram Type 4 Leadership: General Overview

Enneagram Type 4 leadership is based on a strong sense of individuality, emotional insights, and creativity. Fours are intellectually and emotionally daring personalities who don’t hesitate to challenge the status quo, go against social norms, or fall short of others' expectations as long as they believe in their mission.

Moreover, Fours, also known as “Individualists,” aren't interested in leadership for the title, profit, or any other common benefit. They can only lead if they believe their goal has a higher purpose. When they believe in their mission, they focus entirely on it and use all their creativity to come up with the best possible solutions and achieve extraordinary goals.

In general, the Enneagram 4 leadership style has many elements of democratic leadership. They are inspirational leaders who lead with passion and vision and are capable of motivating other people to follow them enthusiastically.

Since they are very adaptable, their leadership style also adapts to the situation, and they are likely to use any leadership strategy or tool as long as it takes them toward their goal. However, they would never do anything that didn’t align with their values or sense of morals.

Furthermore, they are aware of the importance of connection, so they put effort into making meaningful relationships with their team. They want their subordinates to be just as inspired and passionate about the goal as they are.

Enneagram 4 Leadership Style and Enneagram Wings

The Enneagram test and theory recognize two Enneagram 4 subtypes—Four with a Three wing and Four with a Five wing. This is why not all Fours will have the same leadership style—their leadership skills are influenced by their Enneagram wing.

Four with a Three wing (4w3) is a more goal-oriented and pragmatic leader who is very efficient in turning their visions into actionable goals, whereas Four with a Five wing (4w5) has a good sense of strategy and structure.

5 Enneagram Type 4 Leadership Strengths

A team of people working

Enneagram 4 leadership strengths stem from their strong individuality.

Here are some of the most important ones:

#1. Creativity

Fours have a knack for thinking outside the box and easily coming up with innovative, unorthodox approaches and solutions. Their open-minded attitude also motivates their team to be more creative, so their leadership often results in unforeseen benefits.

Moreover, Fours enjoy exploring new ideas with their team and encourage their team to take creative risks.

#2. Compassion

Thanks to Fours’ empathy, they find it easy to connect with their team and understand their needs. They are genuinely interested in each member’s feelings, preferences, and talents, and they are generous in providing them with the support to grow and develop.

This way, Fours create a collaborative and harmonious work environment, which helps them address potential issues more efficiently and proactively. Furthermore, their compassion also helps them to resolve conflict within the team in a productive and peaceful manner.

#3. Vision

Though they are not as structured as some other personality types, Fours have a very clear and strong vision of what they want to achieve. This vision is fueled by their intuitive insights, which drive them toward extraordinary solutions.

As an added bonus, they are able to motivate their team with their infectious energy and passion because of the clear vision they have for the future.

#4. Intuition

Fours may not take the most logical approach to things, but that’s only because their intuition is so strong that they feel no need to consult logic. Thanks to their intuitive power, Fours are capable of devising fascinating strategies that seem risky and bold at first but prove to be amazingly effective.

Moreover, their intuition also helps them identify each team member’s talents and potential, which they can put to use for the benefit of the whole team.

#5. Inspiration

Fours are some of the most inspiring leaders to work with. That’s because they are exceptionally creative, and their nonconformist approach ignites the creative spark in everyone around them. Moreover, their authenticity and the courage to follow their intuition inspire their team to do the same.

4 Challenges & Weaknesses of Enneagram Type 4 as a Leader

A woman leader - enneagram-4-leadership

The potential challenges and weaknesses of Enneagram Type 4 as a leader stem from their unpredictable nature.

Here are the most common weak spots of Enneagram 4 leadership:

#1. Lack of Structure

Fours are free-spirited and deeply emotional individuals who believe in their creative vision. As a result, they may glorify spontaneity at the cost of discipline, which may leave their team feeling confused and insecure. Moreover, the lack of structure may also sabotage their goals, as they may easily fail to notice important details needed to turn their vision into reality.

#2. Impulsivity

Though their emotional sensitivity has many positive sides, such as profound compassion and emotional insight, it can also cause Fours to act on their impulses. Sometimes, Fours get so overwhelmed with emotions and take everything too personally, making decisions on a whim without careful consideration of how they affect others involved.

#3. Lack of Contact with Reality

Fours may get too carried away with their ideas or set goals that are too difficult to achieve and, therefore, unrealistic. In addition, they can also focus only on the ‘glamorous’ aspects of work, neglecting the mundane but essential tasks that are vital to success. As a result, their team may feel frustrated and unmotivated.

#4. Sensitivity to Criticism

Fours may take every failure, mistake, or criticism too personally, reacting emotionally to honest feedback. This may also cause their moods to fluctuate, creating an atmosphere of instability and distrust where team members feel like they have to tiptoe around the leader.

Furthermore, their mood swings can also affect their decision-making ability and lead to impulsive choices and a lack of control within their team.

How Can Enneagram 4 Improve Their Leadership Style?

Enneagram 4 can improve their leadership style by becoming aware of their weaknesses and leveraging their strengths.

Here are a few essential strategies:

  • Practice discipline. By introducing more structure into their own routines, Fours will get a sense of how useful discipline is. It is important for them to overcome the belief that discipline limits their creativity. On the contrary, discipline can boost creativity, productivity, and efficiency.
  • Create a strong bond with the team. Fours tend to self-isolate and preoccupy themselves with their feelings, which may harm the bond they form with their team. It is essential that they establish regular feedback and communicate openly with their team to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Focus on execution. Balancing visionary ideas with practical goals is what Fours should aim for. They should collaborate with their team on this and create actionable plans that can support their visions and translate them into reality.
  • Foster open communication. It is crucial that Fours provide an atmosphere in which every team member feels comfortable sharing concerns and ideas. Fours should encourage their team to share their insights and feedback openly without being afraid of their reaction.
  • Hone decision-making skills. Individualists struggle with making decisions either by taking too long to make them or by making them too impulsively. This undermines their authority and creates instability in their team. It is important that they learn to strategize when making decisions and adopt effective decision-making skills.

How Others Perceive and Interact With an Enneagram Type 4 Leader

A team of people sitting and working

Others perceive and interact with Enneagram Type 4 leaders in a very careful manner. Fours aren’t typical leaders in any sense, which is why other people are often taken by surprise by their approach to leadership.

On the one hand, Fours fascinate their team with their creativity, vision, and innovative approach. People are often fascinated by how unconventional and inspirational Fours are. On the other hand, Fours' moodiness and unpredictability cause stress and frustration within their team, which undermines trust.

Nevertheless, Fours’ empathy and honesty, in most cases, ensure the team’s loyalty, as the team members appreciate Fours’ care for their well-being. For this reason, they are often perceived as approachable and supportive.

In addition, the most important thing when interacting with an Enneagram 4 leader is to be authentic. Fours will see through any attempt at manipulation and will lose respect for those who try to win their sympathy for personal goals. Moreover, they appreciate honest, deep, meaningful conversations within the team and foster genuine connections.

In general, Type 4 leaders are loved and admired. However, their team may not take them seriously enough in certain situations due to their lack of structure and discipline.

Unlock Your Leadership Potential!

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Key Takeaways

Enneagram 4 leadership style reflects all the core Fours’ strengths and weaknesses. In general, the more inspired and passionate the Fours are about their goals, the better leaders they will become.

Let’s wrap up by focusing on Enneagram 4 leadership style strengths:

  • Fours are compassionate leaders who have the power to inspire great creativity in their team members.
  • Their focus on genuine connection creates a strong team and an atmosphere of collaboration.
  • Fours’ unique insight and unconventional approach lead to innovative, effective solutions.