Name: Leah Elias
Lives in: Pasadena, California, USA
From: I was born and raised in rural Michigan, 20 minutes outside of Ann Arbor. I didn’t move out of Michigan until I moved to Beijing, China in 2012. I spent about 5 years of my 20s in Beijing so I count that partly as where I grew up. I learned how to pay electricity bills and open bank accounts in Chinese before I really learned how in the US.
Occupation: I am an Enneagram coach and writer. I coach couples, individuals, teams, and leaders to understand their Enneagram types better. Through those sessions, I encourage them to discuss the issues they have with the people in their lives (coworkers, bosses, parents, kids) to see how their own Enneagram motivations might be clashing with those of the people they’re having trouble with. It’s been amazing to see the changes that come about!
I’m currently writing my first book about how God has used the Enneagram to teach me about myself, save my marriage, and lead me to coach others through what I’ve learned!
Tell us your first three jobs (ever!): My first job ever was as a waitress/hostess at my small town’s only Chinese restaurant. Oddly enough, there is where I improved my high school Spanish, chatting with the kitchen staff every day.
In college I worked at a coffee and ice cream shop, making drinks and serving ice cream. I was given the nickname “psychic barista” because I had a good knack for guessing what customers were craving even before they knew.
I moved to China after college and worked as an Educational Consultant, helping high schoolers navigate their US college applications, and later helping 13-year-olds through their private boarding school applications. I became a very very minor celebrity in that field when I convinced a boarding school to overturn their initial rejection of my student, something they had never done before! That student attended the boarding school and used it as a launch pad into Columbia University four years later.
Zodiac sign: Cancer (right on the edge of Leo)
Enneagram type: Type 1 (self preservation subtype with a big Type 2 wing)
What do you love about Greece? I hope this counts. I LOVE baklava. Fun fact: in elementary school I and one other girl were assigned to bring in a food from Greece as a class project. My mom and I spent the whole night before learning how to make baklava from scratch. I ate so much syrup I was sick all night, but it was soo good! The other girl brought in store-bought baklava but the class preferred mine 🙂
Tell us something most people don’t know about you: I’m a Type 1, rigid and inflexible (in many ways) but I have a deep desire to be a circus performer. I did the aerial silks for several years before Covid changed my plans. I absolutely love setting myself up for big drops in the silks, letting the blood rush to my head, trusting that I’ve wrapped myself in correctly, and shocking my mother.
Tell us your top tip to combat climate change: I’ve been trying to buy only the discounted produce from the bin at my local Kroger store. The veggies and fruit are 95% perfect but for some reason or another are stuffed into a bag for $0.99. I preserve the slightly mushy tomatoes into spaghetti sauce, freeze the overripe avocados for fudgy flourless brownies, and peel the spotty lemons to make “lemon peel tea” for my husband which he loves. (You can squeeze the lemon juice and freeze in ice cube trays for future recipes!).
Anything else you’d like us to know?: I am available for new Enneagram coaching clients and/or team workshops! I can do all sessions virtually, or in-person in the local LA/Pasadena area. You can learn more at Enneagram Studio or message me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a discovery call.
You can also listen to my interview talking about the Enneagram with Stephen Spencer on “Get Yourself Optimized”