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"Be All That You Can Be."
Army Recruiting Theme Song
"Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise."
Laurence J. Peter
"False face must hide what false heart doth know."

Threes are based in the Heart Center. Their issues revolve around love and emotion. They believe they will be loved for what they accomplish. Thus, they focus on getting the job done to be a success. Often they are identifiable as "workaholics." Threes are status and image conscious and frequently consider how they appear to others. Being seen as successful is important to Threes.

Best Example of a Famous "THREE": TOM CRUISE
Celebrities Public Figures Characters
Tom Cruise Werner Erhard The Tin Man, The Wizard of Oz
Johnny Carson Deepak Chopra Superman
Dick Clark Georgio Armani Ken and Barbie
Demi Moore Dan Quayle Miss America
Cindy Crawford Michael Jordan  
George Clooney Jimmy Carter  
Sharon Stone    
Sylvester Stallone    
Burt Reynolds    
Christopher Reeve    
Leonardo DiCaprio    
Richard Gere    
Mary Tyler Moore    
Anthony Robbins    
O.J. Simpson    

Quick Profile

Threes are the "stars" of the Enneagram show. They are the optimistic Wayne Dyers of the world. We love them as the cheerleaders, the prom kings and queens, the captains of the football teams, and the Kens and Barbies of our own romantic comedies.

Threes work hard to personify whatever is seen as the definition of high accomplishment by their particular social group. They are standardly hard-working, successful, efficient and goal-driven. They appear self-assured and charming. They are typically preoccupied with looking good, feeling good, making things happen and winning. America loves Threes.

Because of their obsession with looking "the best," they can become competitive, emotionally illusive, calculating, even devious, losing touch with their real inner selves. Highly adaptable and extremely practical, they're always looking for the admiration and attention of others.

People are often attracted to Threes because of their hard-driving dedication to work and their all-American image of success. At their best, they are exceptional promoters and motivators, inspiring others to be like them in positive ways and manifesting their true selves with ease, modesty and authenticity.

Are You a Three? How many of these do you identify with?

As A Three:
  • It's important to me to keep in good shape, stay fit and look sharp.
  • I need to be admired and seen as successful so I can feel worthwhile and loved.
  • Sometimes before social engagements I consider what image I will present and who I should best associate with.
  • I work lots – sometimes 7 days a week.
  • I think of myself as highly competent and efficient.
  • Sometimes I have to cut a few corners to get the job done efficiently.
  • I am optimistic, outgoing and can get along well in many different groups of people.
  • I'm happiest when I'm working all out to achieve my goals. I have confidence that if I work hard I can accomplish whatever I set my mind on.
  • It can be hard for me to recognize my real feelings.
  • I like keeping interactions with others light—not too much talk about heavy emotions, not too much intimacy, and I don't like confrontations.
  • I'm always networking—it just comes naturally.
  • I'm a top-notch salesperson. I almost always excel in sales contests.
  • Sometimes it's simply necessary to put feelings on the back burner so they won't get in the way of getting things done.
  • My passion and excitement about a project or a vision rub off on and motivate others.
  • I like to subtly let people know the great things I've got going in my life: the cool people I know, the recognition I've gotten, the new training program at the new gym, how well my team is doing at work, etc.
  • Attaining financial security is one of life's most important goals.
  • I can be so focused on accomplishing my goals that I can fail to notice that I'm overworking to the point of exhaustion and fatigue.
  • Somewhere along the line I got the idea that I had to earn love by becoming successful, maintaining a good image and making myself the best.

In Enneagram Terms:
Also known as: The Performer, The Effective Person, The Status Seeker
The Main Plot: The main character (a Three of course) sees herself as successful, "way cool," perfectly together, and the plot deals with upholding that image by working hard and winning every contest.
Chief Feature: Efficiency
Basic Motivation: The need to live life the right way, improve self and others, and avoid anger.
Basic Fear: Of being without value in and of themselves, of being worthless aside from their achievements.
Basic Desire: To be valuable for themselves and feel worthwhile.
Focus of Attention: "How am I doing?" The focus is on doing, achieving. Attention is spent on becoming successful, on presenting the desired image, on the next goal-oriented task. The true self is masked and unavailable. Threes can identify with the image so thoroughly that the true self is not known.
Passion: Deceit (Role playing)
Virtue: Truthfulness
Psychological Defense Mechanism: Identification. Basically, in order not to have to be aware of any failure, Threes identify with whatever successful role they play and behave as if they are the role they have identified with. They act as if their job-- "the Doctor," "the actor," the super-salesman"--is who they really are.


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