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The Type 6 Leadership Style: Strength in Security and Reliability

Jun 15, 2023
Type 6 Leadership Style and Qualities


Leadership comes in various forms.


The Enneagram Type 6 leadership style can be referred to as the "Skeptical Guardian" and brings a unique focus on trust, preparedness, and loyalty.


In this article, you'll learn more about the strengths, potential challenges, growth opportunities, and the impact of Type 6 leaders on team members who may not share the same personality type. By understanding the dynamics of the Type 6 leadership style, you can foster a balanced and inclusive work environment that inspires collaboration and personal growth.


Read on to learn more about the anatomy of a Type 6 Leader.


Strengths of Type 6 Leaders: 

  • Strong Sense of Responsibility: The Guardians are deeply committed to their responsibilities as leaders. They take their roles seriously, demonstrating a high level of dedication and reliability.
  • Diligent and Prepared: Type 6 leaders are known for their thoroughness and attention to detail. They anticipate potential challenges, analyze risks, and take proactive measures to ensure preparedness.
  • Building Trust and Safety: These leaders prioritize creating a safe and trusting work environment. Their loyalty and support foster strong bonds among team members, promoting collaboration and cohesion.


Potential Challenges and Blind Spots:

  • A Tendency toward Overthinking: The Six Leader has a tendency to overanalyze situations, leading to indecisiveness and delays in decision-making. This can hinder efficiency and progress within the team.
  • Seeking Reassurance and Validation: Type 6 leaders may seek reassurance from others, often questioning their own judgments. This can create a dependency on external validation, potentially slowing down the decision-making process.
  • Fear of Failure and Uncertainty: The fear of failure and uncertainty can sometimes hold Type 6 leaders back from taking risks and embracing change. It is important for them to cultivate resilience and develop strategies to manage their anxieties.


Growth Opportunities for Type 6 Leaders

To continue to enhance their leadership effectiveness, Type 6 leaders can focus on the following growth areas:

Cultivating Self-Confidence: Type 6 leaders may want to consider how to cultivate self-confidence and trust in their own judgment. Building self-assurance allows them to make timely decisions and lead with conviction.

Balancing Preparedness with Flexibility: A Type 6 leader can strive to strike a balance between being prepared and embracing flexibility. They can learn to adapt to changing circumstances without compromising their thoroughness.

Managing Anxiety and Overthinking: These leaders may want to develop strategies to manage anxiety and overthinking. Techniques such as mindfulness, seeking support from trusted colleagues, and setting realistic expectations can help them navigate these challenges.

For additional opportunities, study Type 6s resource points, Type 3 and Type 9, to see what behaviors and qualities they can pull in to enhance their leadership style. 


Potential impact on their team:

Positive impacts

  1. Safety and trust: Type 6 leaders prioritize creating a safe and trustworthy work environment. They are reliable, loyal, and committed to their team members, fostering a sense of psychological safety and trust within the team.
  2. Thoroughness and preparedness: This type of leader tends to be thorough and meticulous in their work. They ensure that plans are well-thought-out, potential risks are identified, and contingencies are in place, contributing to a sense of preparedness and stability.
  3. Collaboration and teamwork: A Six leader values collaboration and seeks input from others. They actively engage with their team members, encourage participation, and build consensus that promotes a culture of teamwork and inclusivity.
  4. Analytical thinking: These leaders often have strong analytical skills. They carefully consider different perspectives, weigh pros and cons, and make well-informed decisions, enhancing the team's problem-solving capabilities.


Negative impacts

  1. Overreliance on others' opinions: Type 6 leaders may have a tendency to rely heavily on others' opinions and seek reassurance before making decisions. This can lead to delays, indecisiveness, and a potential lack of assertiveness in leadership.
  2. Fear-driven decision-making: This type of leader may be influenced by fear and anxiety. This can result in overly cautious decision-making, a preference for maintaining the status quo, and resistance to taking calculated risks that could benefit the team.
  3. Indecisiveness and overthinking: A Type Six leader may experience analysis paralysis and struggle with decisiveness (we all can sometimes!). Their desire to anticipate potential problems and consider multiple scenarios can lead to prolonged decision-making processes and missed opportunities.
  4. Need for constant reassurance: These leaders may seek reassurance and validation from their team members, which can create dependency and stifle their ability to lead with confidence and autonomy.


It's important to remember that the impact of a leadership style can vary depending on the specific context, the composition of the team, and the project at hand. A balanced approach that combines the natural gifts and strengths of the Type 6 leadership style with an awareness of potential challenges and blindspots can help maximize their positive impact and lessen the negative impacts. 


Every person is unique. Factors like childhood experiences, race, culture, birth order, socioeconomic status, education level, religion/spirituality, family dynamics, and more, all impact how a person's personality and strategies for navigating life show up in the real world. Understanding yourself, or someone else, through the lens of the Enneagram simply gives you a starting point to begin to better understand and support yourself and others. 


Sarah Wallace is the owner and lead trainer at Enneagram MBA, the host of the Enneagram MBA podcast, an Enneagram Certified coach, and a workshop facilitator for teams and groups. Learn more about Sarah and her approach with the Enneagram here


 (Pictured above is from the Ways We Work 1-Hour Enneagram Overview at the Real Estate Distilled Conference in Louisville, KY). 


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