Enneagram Type 8 - The Protective Challenger

Protector, Alpha Leader, Champion, Maverick, Commander, Negotiator, Boss

Worldview of the Type 8


You are a powerful, decisive, and action-oriented person who strives to overcome adversity by righting wrongs and seeking competitive advantage. You can be a charismatic and compassionate leader that champions others by fighting injustice and protecting the weak, downtrodden and underrepresented.

You want to be in charge of your environment and to be the master and commander of your own destiny-- so that you won’t be betrayed, controlled or manipulated. If you feel lied to, or if your authority is challenged, you can become intimidating, impatient, and insensitive. Your keys to growth include seeing through your denial, and being willing to lower your emotional armor in order to accept vulnerability and honor your innocence in the present moment.

What You Are Great At

  • Nurturing and championing others; heroically pulling for the underdog.

  • Maintaining courage and determination in the face of adversity.

  • Being fearlessly honest, sincere, and direct.

  • Being noble, generous, compassionate and magnanimous.

  • Being loyal, dedicated and protective of those in your circle of care.

  • Being self-confident, strong and assertive.

  • Standing up for your own and others’ inherent human rights.

  • Being decisive; taking action and initiative.

  • Being independent, responsible, and self-reliant.

  • Having fun, a love of life, and a great sense of humor.

  • Having the strength to improve conditions in the world.

  • Taking on big challenges and having a bold vision.

Core Wiring

You want to be open, honest, and straightforward; but most importantly, you want to be independent, make your own decisions, and direct your own course. You want to be the master and commander of your own life. You are honest and take pride in calling a spade a spade. You say what you mean and mean what you say.

You have the propensity to be excessive and to go to extremes. Too much is almost enough.

Under stress, you may be intense, intimidating, overpowering, or unwilling to self-limit. At your best, you are a protective, compassionate, and magnanimous leader that is both tough-minded and tenderhearted.

What Drives You

Driven by the fear of being weak or vulnerable you seek the power needed to prevail in any given situation. You want to be respected and the master of your own destiny. You are focused on being autonomous and self-reliant to avoid being dependent on, controlled by, or at the mercy of unfair others.

You are tough-minded and tender-hearted and believe in truth and justice, and a sense of fair play. Naturally strong, compassionate and self-possessed you readily fight to protect others from any abuses of power.

You have a personal code of honor and feel compelled to act in accordance with your sense of right and wrong. You are motivated by big visions of building something significant and serving from your place of power. You are driven to exercise your autonomy, strength and dominion – to assert yourself powerfully in the world.

Inner World of the Type 8

Core Fears

Your core fears are of being weak, vulnerable, controlled, limited, harmed, manipulated, betrayed and/or violated. Unconsciously, you feel that the world can be a cold, hard, and unjust place where the powerful take advantage of the weak and only the strong survive. It may also express itself as not trusting and not opening yourself to others in order to avoid being humiliated or betrayed by having your weakness or vulnerability used against you.

Core Desires

To be powerful, self-reliant, in control, and able to protect and empower yourself and others.

Core Needs

You need to be your own authority. You seek independence, and strive to be the master and commander of your own life.

You need to feel confident, self-reliant, and in charge of your emotions. You don't need to be liked, but you do have a strong need to be respected. You also need a sense of fairness and justice in your dealings with others, as your nature errs on willfulness and stubbornness.

Core Beliefs

Only the strong survive. To be powerful and overcome adversity, I must be tough, independent, self-reliant, and avoid weakness at all costs. The weak are controlled, manipulated, and betrayed. No one can tell me what to do.


  • Fighting for justice and a sense of fair play.

  • Being independent and autonomous.

  • A sense of humor and enjoying life to the fullest.

  • Exposing lies and insincerity.

  • Protecting the weak, innocent and downtrodden.

  • Representing those that can not speak for themselves.

  • Decisive action.

  • Competency.

  • Power of manifesting.

  • Accountability, results.

  • Honesty, integrity and nobility.

  • Being honored and respected.


  • Being betrayed and caught off guard.

  • Any abuse of power.

  • Deceptions, masks, falseness, manipulation.

  • Being falsely accused of something or being misrepresented.

  • Lack of leadership and power vacuums.

  • Incompetence and Idiocy.

  • Being micromanaged.

  • Insecurity, indecisiveness or waffling.

  • Grandiosity and pretense.

  • Being criticized for being honest and direct.

  • Weakness and vulnerability.

  • False or unjust authorities.

Outer World of the Type 8


You are independent, strong, honest, and upfront. You speak the unspoken truth. You have a personal code of honor; you protect the innocent and take control of difficult situations. You deny vulnerability and, when attacked, take charge and retaliate instead of defending.

Impact of Strategies

Being self-reliant and having power and control over your life leads people to accept you as you are rather than who they think you should be.

What's Great About You

You are strong, powerful, big-hearted, independent, and decisive. You can be a protective and charismatic leader that others readily follow.

Attention goes to...

Your attention goes to issues of power- who has it and most importantly, if it is being used fairly. You instinctively sense a power vacuum and often step in to fill it.

You are not interested in subtle nuance but rather in the big picture, much like a general surveying a battlefield. You can be relentless in your search for truth, justice, power and influence.

Operating System of the Type 8

At Your Best

You are a straightforward, generous, protective, and magnanimous leader who focuses on issues of power, control, truth, and justice in any given situation. Confident and self-determining, you readily take the lead. You have a personal code of honor and your word is your bond.

You are very loyal and always willing to stand up to, and/or for other people. Naturally honest and straightforward, you assertively confront injustice to protect those who are vulnerable or being treated unfairly. You determined, fearless and not easily deterred, which makes you especially skilled at fighting the “good fight, ” finding solutions and overcoming obstacles.

Your readiness to speak your mind, take on massive challenges, dream big, and champion others can make you an inspirational, visionary, and transformational leader and an asset to any team in the areas of shared vision and purpose, strategic thinking, clear and meaningful goals, effective decision-making, authentic communication, shared accountability, and healthy conflict.