Enneagram 6 Leadership: Strengths, Weaknesses, & Tips

19 June 2024

enneagram 6 leadership

Enneagram 6 leadership is based on planning and strategizing. Enneagram Type 6, also known as the Loyalist, has many leadership skills yet often isn’t keen on taking on leadership roles. That’s because Sixes prefer having someone to rely on for making tough decisions. But with the right encouragement, they can grow into capable, wise leaders.

The greater the degree of their emotional maturity, the greater the likelihood that they will become leaders in their respective fields of expertise. With that in mind, let’s explore the intricacies of Enneagram Type 6 as a leader in detail.

Enneagram Type 6 Leadership: General Overview

Enneagram 6 leadership style has many elements of servant and participative leadership. This means that they are focused on the well-being of their team members, sensitive to their needs, and ready to provide support and encouragement. Moreover, Sixes seek to create a nurturing environment and a strong sense of community.

The participative leadership style elements are evident in the way Sixes enjoy involving their team members in all the key decision-making processes, respecting their opinions, and valuing the contribution of each member.

Furthermore, Sixes are detail-oriented, thorough planners who are risk-averse and do everything in their power to prevent potential problems. Security is their greatest concern, and they would never risk it at the cost of achieving extraordinary results. They have a strong sense of responsibility and feel obliged to provide protection to their team.

Because of their strong focus on potential problems, they may be perceived as pessimists. However, their hypervigilance makes them exceptional trouble-shooters and excellent planners, well-prepared for all kinds of scenarios.

With that being said, Sixes are also known for their duality. Some Sixes act in a counterphobic manner and may appear as though they have no fears, taking on unnecessary risks just to prove their fearlessness.

In fact, the Enneagram test and theory recognize two Enneagram 6 subtypes, which explains why not all Sixes exhibit the same leadership style. Sixes may display some traits of their neighboring types—Five or Seven—depending on their Enneagram wing.

Sixes with a Five wing (6w5) will be even more prudent and tactful, whereas Sixes with a Seven wing (6w7) fit the description of the counterphobic Six.

5 Enneagram Type 6 Leadership Strengths

A group of people looking at a laptop

Enneagram 6 leadership strengths stem from their serious and thorough approach to life. Here are some of their strongest leadership assets:

#1. Methodical Approach

Sixes are exceptionally structured and organized. They like to have a plan for everything and pay attention to every detail. Moreover, they value procedures, rules, and clear instructions, as these instill a sense of security in them. The purpose of their meticulous plans is to avoid and prevent pitfalls and ensure the perfect execution of their planned strategy.

#2. Long-term Perspective

As Sixes are driven by the need for security, it comes as no surprise that they tend to think well in advance. They are never focused just on achieving their goals but on the wider perspective of how achieving their goals will reflect on other aspects of work, on their team, and on their life in general.

Because of this talent, they are great strategists, and they can assess any and all factors that could affect their success.

#3. Compassion

For Sixes, a sense of belonging and community is of great importance, and they want their team members to feel good working within the team.

So, they are considerate of their teammates' needs and happy to lend a hand or offer words of encouragement whenever necessary. They build honest, genuine connections with their team members and put their well-being first.

#4. Collaboration

For the Loyalists, the process is just as important as the results, and they want all team members to participate in work equally. They make room for everyone to give their contribution because establishing an atmosphere of collaboration is important to them.

As a result, they often create a strong team where team members encourage and support each other.

#5. Conflict Management

Harmony is one of Sixes’s top priorities in all aspects of life, but especially at work. For this reason, they have developed excellent conflict management skills, and they put effort into fostering harmony within their team. They remain composed in tense situations, stop arguments before they escalate, and look for ways to defuse tensions effectively.

4 Challenges & Weaknesses of Enneagram Type 6 as a Leader

Three women discussing work - enneagram 6 leadership

The potential challenges and weaknesses of the Enneagram 6 leadership style generally stem from Sixes’ dependency tendencies.

Here’s an overview of their most prominent weak points:

#1. Indecisiveness

Sixes tend to be overly cautious and spend a lot of time double-checking the facts and data related to their work. They are prone to overanalyzing risks and potential outcomes, which consumes a lot of their time and results in unnecessary delays. This is also why they struggle with making decisions and often experience decision paralysis.

In addition, their reluctance to take risks leads to missed opportunities for innovation and growth and undermines their authority.

#2. Lack of Autonomy

One of Six’s most prominent traits is the need for authority and protection. If unsatisfied, this need may hinder their leadership ability and make them too dependent on consensus within their team.

Because they feel insecure about their own competence and leadership, they may focus too much on getting everyone on board with their decisions, which results in a slow decision-making process.

#3. No Flexibility

Lack of flexibility is also a consequence of Six’s lack of autonomy. To compensate for their insecurity, Sixes may rely too much on rules and procedures, insisting on them even when they hinder progress.

For this reason, Enneagram 6 leadership may limit the team's creativity and innovation and lead to stagnation, as Sixes tend to focus too much on maintaining the status quo.

#4. Pessimistic Outlook

Sixes are prone to excessive worry, which leads to high levels of stress and can affect the entire team’s morale and productivity. Obsession over potential mistakes and undesired outcomes also propels Sixes to micromanage their team, undermining their autonomy and confidence. As a result, Enneagram 6 leadership may fail to provide motivation.

Furthermore, focusing on the worst-case scenarios also limits their ability to recognize and take advantage of unforeseen opportunities for progress.

How Can Enneagram 6 Improve Their Leadership Style?

How Can Enneagram 6 Improve Their Leadership Style? - enneagram 6 leadership

Enneagram 6 can improve their leadership style by focusing on understanding and overcoming their key weaknesses.

Here are a few effective strategies:

  • Foster decision-making skills. By establishing firm deadlines for crucial decisions, Sixes can prevent over-analyzing and ensure timely progress. It is also important for them to understand that there’s no such thing as a perfect decision and to develop a mindset that embraces calculated risks.
  • Learn stress-management techniques. Sixes can benefit greatly from practicing mindfulness, yoga, or similar exercises that aim to reduce anxiety and tension. Incorporating these into their routine is an excellent way to prevent burnout in the long run.
  • Prioritize objectives. Setting clear priorities will prevent Sixes from getting lost in the details and wasting too much time on things that aren’t relevant to their goals. This will, in turn, make Enneagram 6 leadership overall more effective.
  • Cultivate openness to innovation. Introducing changes can be stressful for Sixes, so they need to learn how to introduce them gradually. The key to embracing changes lies in understanding that they are not a threat to stability.
  • Foster autonomy. It is essential for Sixes to overcome their need to rely on someone for guidance and protection. Becoming aware of their own qualities and developing their competence can help them build self-confidence and become more independent.

How Others Perceive and Interact With Enneagram Type 6 Leader

Others perceive and interact with Enneagram Type 6 leaders in a respectful manner. Sixes are typically perceived as reliable, devoted, and mindful leaders who prioritize stability and security. Because of their dedication to their team’s well-being and tact in communication, they are generally trusted and respected.

On the other hand, their prudence, anxiety, and hesitation may undermine their authority, and their aversion to risk-taking may cause them to seem insecure and indecisive.

When it comes to interacting with an Enneagram Type 6 leader, it is essential that you follow all the rules and procedures and approach them calmly and with respect. Sixes are practical individuals and value realistic insights, facts, and evidence, so if you want to present an idea to them, make sure to do so while taking these values into consideration.

Furthermore, it is important to be patient with Enneagram 6 leaders. They need time to analyze your suggestions and insights, as they think thoroughly about everything. When they are ready, they will provide detailed feedback to you, so don’t try to speed them up—they might react with anxiety and tension.

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Key Takeaways

And that’s a wrap!

Let’s round off by focusing on the key traits and the most positive aspects of the Enneagram 6 leadership style:

  • Enneagram 6 leadership style can be categorized as servant and participative leadership, which means they primarily focus on the well-being of their team.
  • Sixes are great at fostering a sense of community and collaboration in the team, and they build genuine connections with their team members.
  • Diligent, responsible, and competent Sixes excel at devising long-term strategies and are thoughtful, methodical leaders who lead their teams toward their goals step by step.