Obama, an Enneagram One, to live the law

Editor’s note: The Enneagram, an ancient means of describing nine personality types, began to draw fresh interest in the 1980s. Reactivated by the Jesuits in Catholic circles and popularized by Richard Rohr, it migrated to therapists, coaches and the habitués of retreat houses since. NCR recently asked Clarence Thomson, who has written several books on the Enneagram, using the tool, to assess the personality of Barack Obama and his presidency – and to offer any appropriate advice. His personal assessment follows:

President Obama, in my opinion, is a style One on the Enneagram graph. And while the enneagram is not an exact science, it can offer helpful personality indicators.

Ones, for example, tend to be idealistic, guided by clear convictions of right and wrong, and work oriented.

Every style has certain strengths and limitations. Style One is in one way, unduly humble. Ones have a tendency to erase their personal feelings and unite, almost merge their personal agenda with the demands of an ideal or law or tradition or principle.