The Differences Between Barack Obama and Donald Trump from an Enneagram Perspective

In Uncategorised by Anne Thomas

With Donald Trump’s inauguration having taken place last week and the significant amount of negativity that surrounds his appointment, I thought it would be useful to share a more positive perspective on this change of world leader and maybe help bring things into a healthier more balanced viewpoint towards his appointment. Having worked very closely with several 8/9 profiles in the past, I thought it would be worth highlighting some of the good things about the leadership style of Donald Trump’s enneagram type to increase awareness of the healthier side of the 8/9’s nature.

Whether we like it or not, we ALL have a dark and a light side. Not all of us will admit to having a dark side but it is a fact of life. Some enneagram profiles have a more outwardly ‘obvious’ dark side and this is the case with eights (also known as The Leader, Boss or Asserter).

None of us can function at the highest levels of being all of the time. We are human after all. But, we must understand and accept that we can only ever succeed, especially in the public eye, if we live a good life at the healthiest and holistic aspects of our profile consistently.

dreamstime_m_35468818The purpose of Natural Superheroes is to educate people in functioning as a ‘whole’ person. Accepting the good and the bad, the dark and the light so that when things go wrong we are fully aware of ourselves, can more easily stay truly centred and think and act clearly under pressure for the good of all.

In times of change, challenge and uncertainty, we must still ‘do right’, as Maya Angelou would say. This doesn’t mean doing the right thing, it means simply doing right – there is a difference.

Barack and Michelle Obama significantly surpassed peoples’ expectations. They acted with grace, authority and humility in the face of criticism, adversity and terrorism – consistently. They were masterful – Presidential Natural Superheroes. To remain so popular under great pressure is a huge and admirable achievement.

From an enneagram motivational profile perspective, the ‘Barack and Michelle way’ of moving through the world is very different to the style of Donald and Melania. We would be wrong to expect anything like the same. As such, we cannot truly compare or judge new the President and First Lady on this inauguration day on their abilities to ‘be presidential’. We must wait and see how things unfold.

Barack operates predominantly from a 9/1 profile so his style is peaceful with a clear sense of what is right and what is wrong. Donald Trump operates predominantly from an 8/9 profile so his style is to overtly to take charge and then connect with people.

We all show tendencies of all nine types, in fact our goal is to be healthily balanced across nine types.

If we look at the paths of integration for these profiles we will see that on a good day, 9/1’s (like Barack Obama) would primarily be highly focused and yet happily playful at the same time. For 8/9’s (like Donald Trump) the path of positivity is primarily being proactively and authentically helpful to ALL with a crystal clear focus of the achievement of mutually beneficial goals. By good intent for all – that means for all of the people AND the  environment.

Having studied the enneagram for over 18 years, I know that without knowledge of the enneagram, we are most often drawn towards people with profiles that match our own. This is because the filter through which we see the world ‘appears’, on the surface, to be naturally more aligned making communication much easier and in many situations effortless.

There are considerably fewer eights in world leadership roles than nines. This is because of their tendency (on an average day) is to be too aggressive, over controlling and bossy. Their ‘my way or the highway’ style isn’t as easily sustainable as that of a nine which is more laid back and inclusive of others. It doesn’t mean that they can’t be great servers of people though if they focus on being their best selves. But, they must keep the interests of all people at the forefront of their minds at all times. Their winning formula is a clear focus that is primarily and predominantly of service to all people.

Whilst Donald Trump’s life path and traits have in the past reportedly been derogatory to women, domineering and bully like at times, this is an unhealthy 8/9’s way of not dealing with stresses of situations or life – it is the unhealthiest side of their profile. As life unfolds, this is a part of themselves they must learn to acknowledge and conquer. Failure to do so will mean that they will never realise their full potential as they progress on their personal journey.

We all have pressure points and negative traits. Every enneagram type handles them differently – for better (healthy) or worse (unhealthy). Therefore, it is very important that we understand all of the different enneagram types and their models of the world. In doing so, we better understand why they behave the way they do and we can understand their model of the world when we come together for a common purpose.

From now on, after this inauguration, if Donald Trump focuses on his strengths of helping all people to achieve great things then he has all of the potential to be an amazing President. After all, no one can deny how successful he has been at building businesses, doing deals and creating jobs for people thus far. Maybe his skills and experiences are valuable in world leadership.

After winning the election he now has to ‘be’ a President so time will tell. It is important for us all to hold Donald and Melania Trump to the highest of standards as President and First Lady but it is also imperative that those who disagree with his policies and oppose him personally, take full responsibility for their behaviour too. They are still required to function at the highest level of awareness and from the healthiest aspects of who they are. Then and only then can they maintain the right balance of effectively holding the President to account whilst allowing him to be a great world leader.

So we must also watch those around him. When fearful and unhealthy, 9/1 dark sides have a tendency to sneakily make it difficult for other people to succeed. They have mastered how to quietly bring down the competition. They may appear to be doing the right thing to the outside world yet their intention is (often unconsciously) to sabotage the efforts of others. 2/3’s tendency is to take an aggressive approach to taking people down and 6/7’s, well they attack and pick holes in people to wear them down constantly testing them until they crack.

We all have a role to play on a daily basis to serve and empower each other in life – never to tear each other down for our own gain. This doesn’t mean we condone unhealthy behaviour, it means we find healthy ways of dealing with other peoples’ unhealthy traits. Inevitably, those of us who intend harm to others however ‘bad’ they have been, can expect to pay a price if we do not handle the situation well. It is all about managing the pressure of daily life impeccably and challenging people around us in the ‘right’ way. Accepting our differences, accepting the natural talents of those around us and maximising our effectiveness as a team.dreamstime_m_59313251

I have worked with eights before, and, yes they can be controlling and explosive but they are also big hearted, proactively of service to people and will challenge people when necessary in a good way for the good of all.

With all of this in mind, if he focuses on good for all, it is entirely possible that being POTUS will be the making of Donald Trump. I really hope so. If he becomes presidential and stays on the healthier side of his profile it is a very real possibility.

Finally, many, many congratulations to Barack and Michelle Obama. They have done an amazing exemplary job and are an inspiration to a great many people.

Good luck and best wishes to Donald and Melania Trump – may the very best of your Natural Superhero talents come to the fore to serve not only the USA in amazing ways, but the rest of the world as well.

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