Smooth Operators: Macron and Trudeau show how Threes succeed

'Enneagram Famous Figures' by Subhuti Healing & Meditation

Subhuti takes Canadian and French heads of State as examples for Enneagram Numbers Three.

Trudeau and Macron

‘Bromance’ was in the air. When leaders of the world’s most powerful countries gathered for their recent G7 meeting in the Sicilian town of Taormina, they had serious issues to discuss, like terrorism and the global economy.

But the television news teams covering the event were soon distracted by a casual stroll through the gardens, as Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and newly-elected French President, Emmanuel Macron, demonstrated their star power.

Good looking and intelligent, these youthful politicians stole the show from Donald Trump, Angela Merkel and Theresa May. It was a photo-opportunity to die for. Smiling, shaking hands, looking out over a sparkling blue Mediterranean Sea in their dapper suits, they could have been making a television commercial for men’s cologne or designer tailoring.

“Apparently, Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron flew to Sicily for their wedding photo-shoot,” tweeted one commentator as the Internet fired up over this seemingly casual encounter. The two men were quick to capitalise on their popular appeal.

“The Franco-Canadian friendship has a new face,” tweeted Macron, shortly afterwards. Just to make it clear that old folks like Trump, Merkel and May were out of fashion, Macron added: “Justin Trudeau, it’s up to us to take on the challenges of our generation!”

Trudeau picked up the cue. “Looking forward to more conversations, my friend,” he tweeted back.

On the Enneagram of nine personality types, there is only one ego-fixation point that does justice to this skilled political performance by these two men: Three.

Threes know what they need to do to look good and get the job done. Of course, success is never guaranteed, especially in politics, but what gives Threes an edge is their chameleon-like ability to shape their convictions according to public demand.

To others, this may look like cynical manipulation, but Threes don’t see it that way. Rather, they regard themselves as high achievers who identify with an image of youth, optimism and a reassuring message of “Yes, we can do it!”

What more do you need to succeed?

When Emmanuel Macron founded his own political party in 2016, he called it “En Marche!” meaning “Forward!” or “Onward!” or “On The Move!” It was only a year before the French presidential election, but Macron shrewdly put a lot of time and energy into conducting surveys of public opinion. He wanted to know what people wanted and, in spite of his unimpressive political history as a banker-friendly economist, Macron got the message across to the voters that he was the man to deliver their dreams.

All politicians need luck and Macron was no exception. François Hollande, the incumbent president and leader of the Socialist Party, dropped out of the contest when his ratings slumped in the polls. And Macron’s most serious rival, Republican François Fillon, got caught in an untimely scandal about creating fictitious jobs for his family members. So, in the final round, Macron was facing Marine Le Pen, the right-wing, anti-European, anti-immigration nationalist. It wasn’t much of a contest. Faced with extremism, French voters opted for the relative safety of centrism. Macron won by a landslide.

Across the Atlantic, Justin Trudeau had shown little interest in politics as a young man. He was a school teacher and TV actor when, at the age of 29, he was invited to give a public eulogy at the state funeral of his famous father, former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. His powerful speech made him a national star overnight and raised an interesting question in the public’s mind: could this young man follow in his father’s footsteps? Justin, in turn, reacted to the public’s reaction. He could feel his star appeal. The seed of political ambition was sewn.

Eight years later, Justin Trudeau entered politics. Five years after that, he won the Liberal Party leadership and in 2015 Trudeau led his party to victory in the Canadian federal elections, overturning ten long years of Conservative rule.

It was William Shakespeare who penned the saying: “Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.” In Trudeau’s case, it was a mixture of all three. His father had been hugely popular and the Liberal Party had been suffering for lack of a charismatic leader ever since his retirement. Justin Trudeau found himself in the right place at the right time. By 2015, the Canadian public was tired of the Conservatives. The voters wanted a new face, offering new hope – and that’s what Trudeau was able to give them. And his good looks certainly added a magical X-factor to his success.

On the campaign trail, Trudeau was hyper-active, tirelessly criss-crossing the country, pausing for countless selfies with admirers, floating big ideas and hammering home his election slogan “Better is always possible”. True to his type, Trudeau wasn’t so much offering convincing, practical solutions to Canada’s problems as selling an image of a man who can successfully take care of any problem that might come along. It worked.

So, here we are: two young, smiling, vigorous-looking political leaders who may transform the global power paradigm.

Europeans and Americans alike have been accustomed to an international pecking order which sees the US President as “No.1” and the German Chancellor as “No.2”.

In terms of basic economic strength, this order is unlikely to change. But in terms of capturing the spotlight of public admiration and offering a new vision of hope to a weary world, Macron and Trudeau may steal the show.

They know what they need to do. They have the ambition, skill and style to do it.

Editor’s note: ‘Bromance’ is a relatively new word, referring to a close but non-sexual relationship between two men.

SubhutiSubhuti gives workshops about the Enneagram all over the world and also gives individual online Enneagram sessions. Contact: anandsubhuti (at)

Related articles on the Enneagram by Subhuti

All articles in this series: Enneagram Famous Figures
The Enneagram – a journey with the Enneagram from Oscar Ichazo’s original school to Osho’s Multiversity
The Enneagram: Types – Enneagram type descriptions, childhood environments, problem areas and sentences which characterize each type

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