Enneagram Compatibility: Achiever Type 3 with Leader Type 8

Enneagram Type 3 Achievers/Motivators are typically energetic, optimistic, self-assured and goal-oriented. Enneagram Type 8 is called the Leader, the Challenger and the Protector because of their keen awareness of power dynamics: who is in control, who might need protection, who needs to be challenged. Here we explore the compatibility of an Enneagram Type 3 with a Type 8 and what the relationship looks like when it is in balance and when it starts to spiral downward.


Enneagram Type 3:8 When In Balance

The Achiever (3) and the Leader (8) make an effective, formidable couple who achieve their shared goals while sharing a deep emotional connection. Both are action-oriented, intense, assertive and practical — they see what they want and go after it. Both are high energy, competitive, disciplined and willing to work hard to further their cause. They can clearly and effectively divide up the duties of running a household or a company, both understanding the other’s strengths and weaknesses. And both types are able to put their emotions to the side to stay focused on practical outcomes. With these shared traits, they also have some balancing differences.

Achiever (3)s bring a focus on image, a more diplomatic approach, balanced communication and a greater sensitivity to the way things are being perceived. Practical with a focus on their goals, they bring polish and tact to the dynamic. They strive to be the best in their field, and success is important to them. The Leader (8) finds it easy to admire their Achiever (3) partner, and this admiration brings the couple closer together.

Leader (8)s bring directness, decisiveness, grit, fearlessness and a strong internal compass. They are largely unswayed by the opinion of others and are less image-conscious than their Achiever (3). Honor, honestly, determination and integrity are hallmark Leader (8) traits, and these can be balancing for Achiever (3)s who can be swayed by concerns over image and failure. Leader (8)s have almost legendary willpower and stamina and don’t flee in the face of failure. This can offer a growth opportunity for the Achiever (3) who is more inclined to remove themselves if they sense failure on the horizon.

Together this is an impressive, capable, influential couple. Outsiders see them as confident and bold. Once trust is established, this couple is almost unstoppable.


Enneagram Type 3:8 The Downward Spiral

Both Achiever (3)s and Leader (8) are focused on practical goals and success so this couple can have a tendency towards workaholism. While this workaholic tendency doesn’t usually trigger the downward spiral, it weakens their emotional connection and creates an environment of reactivity.

Tightening defenses cause the Achiever (3) to become more insecure and image-conscious. Situations that would have felt like setbacks start to feel like failures, and the Achiever (3) starts to look for areas where they can score a clear success. Authenticity may be sacrificed as the Achiever (3) becomes fixated about appearances and maintaining a positive external image. This may trigger a breach of trust for the Leader (8) who pushes for authenticity. If authenticity proves evasive, the Leader (8) responds by becoming more controlling and domineering. The downward spiral gains momentum. As both partners polarize, the Achiever (3) becomes more evasive, slippery and avoidant. This prompts an intense reaction in the Leader (8) who seeks to control their environment and wants answers now.

With trust, a common vision and shared goals gone, this couple has lost its way. Intense fights over control and personal agendas may erupt. Without a dramatic change in momentum, the relationship ends, sometimes very bitterly.


Learn more about the Enneagram Compatibility of Type 3s in relationships with Type 8s

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Further Reading

Return to the Enneagram Compatibility Chart.

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