Enneagram 9 Leadership: Strengths, Weaknesses, & Tips

19 June 2024

enneagram 9 leadership

Enneagram 9 leadership style is characterized by compassion and tolerance. Nines, also known as the Peacemakers, hold the reputation of being the most understanding Enneagram type. Their benevolent, genuinely kind nature allows them to easily make connections, as people feel safe around them.

However, Nines aren’t known as the Enneagram type who readily takes charge, asserts their attitude, and leads the way. They are not typical leaders, but they do have many desirable leadership qualities.

In this article, we’ll explore Enneagram 9 leadership style and its strengths and weaknesses in detail.

Let’s start!

Enneagram Type 9 Leadership: General Overview

A group of people gathered around a laptop - enneagram 9 leadership

Enneagram 9 leadership style aligns with the characteristics of servant leadership, as Nines focus on the well-being of each team member, fostering an atmosphere of harmony. Moreover, the Enneagram 9 leadership style focuses on collaboration, inclusivity, and balance. Their central preoccupation is to ensure every member feels appreciated.

As a result, Nines excel at creating an environment that encourages the professional exchange of knowledge and best practices, where team members support one another. Since they are not competitive, Nines don’t support competition within the team either but rather focus on team cohesion.

Even though Nines are fantastic at keeping their teammates' spirits up, they might be lacking in initiative and resolve as they tend to let their team spirit cloud their vision of the ultimate goal.

When it comes to interacting with superiors, Enneagram 9 leaders are empathetic, approachable, and patient. For this reason, they easily earn the trust of their superiors. In terms of communication with their subordinates, Nines remain tactful, compassionate, and kind, which is why they are usually loved as leaders.

What’s important to note is that not every Nine will have the same leadership style. The Enneagram test and theory recognize two Enneagram 9 subtypes, which may have some traits of Type Eight or Type One, depending on their Enneagram wing.

So, these subtypes/wings partially alter their leadership styles—for example, Nine with One wing (9w1) will show more initiative and drive in their leadership, whereas Nine with an Eight wing (9w8) will be more energetic, dominant, and assertive.

5 Enneagram Type 9 Leadership Strengths

enneagram 9 leadership

Enneagram 9 leadership strengths stem from their deeply empathic nature. Here are the most notable advantages of their leadership style:

#1. Compassion

Nines genuinely empathize with other people and don’t see their team members as their subordinates. They see them as partners and are willing to do whatever it takes to make everyone on the team feel valued and accepted.

Their compassion levels the competition that naturally exists between team members and creates fertile ground for productive cooperation. As a result, their teams are cohesive, motivated, and committed to work.

#2. Conflict Management

Harmony is one of the Nine’s top priorities, which is why Enneagram 9 leadership is strongly oriented toward building harmony in and out of their team. As maintaining this harmony demands conflict management skills, Nines usually have them highly developed.

Moreover, they are exceptional at helping their team members find common ground and approach issues in a calm, non-offensive manner. They encourage their team members to show understanding for each other and mediate disputes peacefully.

#3. Sense of Community and Team Spirit

It is important for Nines as leaders to ensure that all team members feel respected and appreciated. They are genuinely interested in hearing everyone’s opinion and encourage participation, aiming to create a diverse and dynamic team setting.

Such an inclusive atmosphere encourages innovation and creativity and leads to effective problem-solving and pragmatic solutions.

#4. Tactfulness

Nines are always very careful in their communication with other people, especially when their task is to provide constructive feedback, point out mistakes, or teach others how to do something.

They are always careful not to hurt anyone’s feelings; even when they have to give their team members bad news, Nines find a way to do so in an encouraging and motivating way. Their tact in dealing with delicate and complex issues inspires their team to respect and trust them.

#5. Collaboration

Nines encourage their team members to learn from each other and cooperate. They are aware that team effort leads to more impressive results. However, they also know how important interpersonal relationships within the team are for team spirit and, therefore, foster collaboration to enhance it.

4 Challenges & Weaknesses of Enneagram Type 9 as a Leader

A team of people brainstorming ideas

The potential challenges and weaknesses of Enneagram 9 leadership come as the result of their people-pleasing tendencies.

So, here are the weakest aspects of the Enneagram 9 leadership style:

#1. Conflict Avoidance

Even though Nines are masters at mediating disagreements amongst teammates, they put off dealing with problems that involve them personally. Because facing someone head-on is so stressful for them, they will try anything to avoid doing so for as long as they can. This could hinder their ability to make important, difficult decisions.

#2. Lack of Initiative

Nines generally struggle with asserting themselves, and this is evident even in the Enneagram 9 leadership style. As a consequence, their team members may lack clarity and direction and may end up feeling unsupported.

Furthermore, their apparent lack of drive could potentially result in them being overshadowed by more ambitious and determined team members, who may perceive their passiveness as an opportunity to assume a leadership position.

#3. Indecisiveness

While it is generally great that Nines always strive toward achieving a consensus, in many cases, consensus isn’t crucial for achieving results or reaching the ultimate goal. Their need to make everyone happy may lead Nines to avoid taking a definitive stance and slow down decision-making processes.

Such an approach to decision-making may inspire distrust and uncertainty within the team, eventually resulting in missed opportunities and decreased efficiency.

#4. Lack of Authority

Nines are deeply driven to please everyone and protect harmony in their environment. Some of the benefits of this trait include a great capacity for empathy and a keen awareness of the feelings and needs of those around them.

With that being said, leaders who are good at pleasing others run the risk of undermining their authority because they sometimes fail to remember that their job is to inspire followers, not just make them feel good.

How Can Enneagram 9 Improve Their Leadership Style?

A leader explaining a point - enneagram 9 leadership

Enneagram 9 leadership style can be improved by addressing all of Nine’s key weaknesses in a strategic manner. Here are a few essential tactics:

  • Establish clear boundaries. Learning assertive communication skills is essential for setting clear boundaries. Nines need to practice being assertive and standing up for their own needs and goals within their team. This way, they will prevent burnout and establish firmer authority.
  • Set clear priorities. Nines are generally more oriented toward taking care of their team members, which can backfire in the form of a chaotic atmosphere and disorganization. It is essential that they devise a practical business strategy with clear priorities and persevere in implementing it.
  • Improve decision-making skills. Making tough calls is generally complex, but for Nines, it often feels overwhelming. This is why it is crucial for them to view decision-making as a skill they can improve upon and to explore and practice different decision-making strategies.
  • Split the focus equally between team spirit and achievement. Nines must accept the weight of leadership responsibilities and come to terms with the fact that they cannot satisfy everyone—they need to pay equal attention to the team's performance and the outcomes they achieve.

How Others Perceive and Interact With Enneagram Type 9 Leaders

Others perceive and interact with Enneagram 9 leaders in a very relaxed and calm manner. Enneagram 9 leadership style is perceived as approachable, supportive, and balanced. People usually love Enneagram 9 leaders because they feel at ease around them and know that they can ask for help and encouragement at any time.

In terms of interacting with Enneagram 9 leaders, it is important that you show the will to collaborate, team spirit, and respect. In addition to that, you need to be tactful in your communication, as Nines don’t tolerate confrontation well. Therefore, you should assume a calm and respectful attitude when you approach them.

Furthermore, to avoid getting lost in details, try to be concise and gently encourage Nines to give you clear directions and state what they expect from you openly.

Be the Best Leader You Can Be!

Take our Enneagram test, learn about your Enneagram type, and unlock your full potential!

Key Takeaways

Enneagram 9 leadership style is actually very in line with modern trends in leadership, which emphasize the importance of empathy and focus on interpersonal relationships.

So, let’s wrap up with a brief reminder of what makes Enneagram 9 leadership so powerful and effective:

  • Nines excel at creating a collaborative, inclusive atmosphere within their team, thus encouraging innovation, creativity, and cooperation.
  • Their devotion to their team members’ well-being inspires trust, loyalty, and commitment.
  • There is mutual respect between Nines and the rest of the team as a result of their ability to communicate with composure, tact, and patience.