Home Pastors Articles for Pastors Carey Neiuwhof: 5 Surprising Truths About the Enneagram Tritype Test

Carey Neiuwhof: 5 Surprising Truths About the Enneagram Tritype Test


It would be amazing if you woke up every morning automatically better than the day before.

I’m still waiting for that day.

The truth is that the path to emotional and spiritual health is an intentional one.

Healthy leadership doesn’t happen by accident; unhealthy leadership does.

The real power in the Enneagram is not knowing your number or the numbers of the people you work with or live with (sure, that’s helpful). The real potential is that it helps you see how God created out, and how life has sapped some of that potential or marred your soul.

Understanding how you negatively impact others, confessing your sin, addressing it and taking steps to get healthier will begin to unlock your potential in life and leadership.

Where does it start? For me, it started in realizing and then confessing my sins as a human and as a leader.

Leaders, you’ll never address what you don’t confess.


Heres’ the simple truth: Healthy leaders create healthy organizations.

If an organization’s leadership is healthy at the top, that health will most often spread through the entire organization. But the same is true for the unhealthy leaders and teams; eventually, the entire body gets infected.

The health of an organization’s leader determines the health of the organization. I know you probably think it’s more complicated than that, but it’s really not.

Whether you lead a tiny startup or a massive movement, here’s what I’ve discovered: healthy at the top, healthy at the bottom. Unhealthy at the top, unhealthy at the bottom.

So, if you’ve been leading your organization for over two years and you think it’s unhealthy, look in the mirror. You likely just found the source of that unhealth.

Healthy leaders create healthy organizations. Unhealthy leaders create unhealthy ones.


There’s a remarkably close link between self-awareness and awareness of God.

John Calvin began his treatise on Christianity and religion with this line: “Without knowledge of self there is no knowledge of God.”

It’s fascinating that a man known for his theology (his thinking would later be called Calvinism) began with self-knowledge. Calvin believed that those who don’t know themselves will never fully know God.

The point Calvin was making runs deep. Self-knowledge will take you into profoundly meaningful places.

When you are intimately in touch with your own emotions and inclinations and deeply knowledgeable about the ways of God.

Self-aware people have a conscious knowledge of their motives, desires, feelings and character. They are also in tune with how their actions affect others. To that end, smart leaders are in touch with their emotions, because everyone else is whether you are or not.

Calvin was right. It’s hard to know God if you don’t know yourself. And it’s hard to truly know yourself if you don’t know God.

You can’t be spiritually mature and be emotionally immature.

You know how you know this? The people who claim the greatest level of spiritual maturity but have the lowest level of self-awareness end up leading very unhealthy churches and organizations, destroying the people they work with and making you swear off religion forever.

Cron and Stabile quote Augustine in the book: Grant Lord that I may know myself, that I may know thee.

Leaders who are afraid of themselves are also afraid of God.

Think about that for a while…


While the journey to health may not be easy, it’s worth it.

To get started, here’s what I’d do:

  • Admit you have a problem.
  • Get someone else on your side: a good Christian counselor, a spiritual director (or both).
  • Enlist a few close friends who want to see you get better to walk with you along the way.

My book, Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the Seven Greatest Challenges No One Expects and Everyone Experiences has helped thousands of leaders get healthier in their leadership. It will help you tackle cynicism, pride, burnout and even the emptiness you feel as a leader.

You can get it anywhere books are sold or order a copy right now, here.


What else are you learning about the Enneagram and health?


This article on the enneagram tritype test originally appeared here.