Eights have a practiced sense of how power is used. Every organization should have an Eight as ombudsman – one who makes sure things are run fairly. When Eights see injustice, they are the first to have boots on the ground doing something about it. Eights are warriors at heart and if you need help, you can’t do better than an Eight. These are the people in the community (church, town, league or state) who are active, vocal and effective.

Nine – inertia

Inertia is the usual translation of the original Latin term acedia and it is helpful to see the high side of style Nine. Inertia technically is a physics term that states “a body in motion tends to stay in motion; a body still stands to remain still.”

Style Nines have a sense of the importance of persistence. Once they focus and decide to do something, they follow through admirably. Here’s an example of our most famous style Nine.
Obama, Persistence

During his prime-time news conference President Obama said, “That whole philosophy of persistence, by the way, is one that I’m going to be emphasizing again and again in the months and years to come as long as I’m in this office. I’m a big believer in persistence.”

He amply demonstrated his “philosophy of persistence” in responding to many of the 13 questions from the pre-selected group of White House reporters with the refrain that reforming health care, energy policy and education, and adopting his $3.6 trillion budget, will save America from economic disaster.


The Genius in All of Us by David Shenk breaks down the black and white thinking about nature/nurture. He insists that intelligence is not a talent (a genetic endowment), but a process.
So is our Enneagram style. It is an ability we have honed over the years. Every Enneagram style is a focus of attention — all the books agree. There is nothing like focus coupled with practice to get better at something.

So I’m going to take a look at the talent of each Enneagram style. Let’s start with style One. Ones are critics. They are often called perfectionists because until something is perfect, they find fault with it. So let’s call the talent of style one a flair for quality, a talent for insisting on excellence in themselves and others. A healthy one has a substratum of anger, an anger that things are not as good as they could be.

To see an example of channeled anger’s success, go drive a Honda or a Toyota. W. Edwards Demming, an outstanding manufacturing consultant, left the U.S. and went to Japan to teach them how to make better cars (the early Japanese cards were dreadful). His remarkable success gave us slogans like “Zero Defects” and techniques like “Quality Circles.” My rural postmaster delivers mail on a country route. Her Honda has 500,000 miles and zero defects.