The Reformer

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If you are familiar with my blog, you know that after I quit my job to blog full time, I would later be called upon to serve at Jobs for Life as the Training Specialist this past May. I answered the called with a thrilled “Yes” after learning more about this non profit organization. At Jobs for Life, we believe the Church is uniquely equipped to address the devastating effects of unemployment and poverty by helping men and women experience the dignity of work–through honest relationships, mentoring, Biblically-based training, and an ongoing community of support. If you would like to contribute to our efforts, donate to Jobs for life, and your gift will help to restore dignity to the impoverished, and help to change lives and transform communities all over the world.


After several weeks of working it was time for the staff to go on a staff retreat. It had been over 2 years since the last staff retreat and if you’ve ever worked for a non profit organization, you know how important it is to be able to celebrate successes and unwind. Before the day of the retreat I was asked to complete the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (RHETI version 2.5) that we would be discussing during the retreat. It consisted of 144 paired statements that took about 40 minutes to complete. Of the Nine Enneagram Type Descriptions, I tested to be a type-1 personality, The Reformer.

The Reformer is believed to be the rational, idealistic, principled, purposeful, self-controlled, and a perfectionist personality. I share this type with several people past, present, and fictional including; Confucius, Plato, Joan of Arc, Mahatma Gandhi, Pope John Paul II, Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, Prince Charles, Kate Middleton, Michelle Obama, Al Gore, Hilary Clinton, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Celine Dion, “Mary Poppins,” “Dr. Spock,” and “The Church Lady.”  I was very curious and wanted to know more once I found this out.

IMG_7852Michelle Obama

According to my test results, Ones are generally ethical, conscientious, serious, sensible, idealistic, responsible, orderly, self-disciplined, and feel personally obligated to improve themselves and their world.  Which was easy for me to confirm to be true. However, the traits that were a little more hard to swallow included judgmental, opinionated, sarcastic, impatient, critical (and self-critical), and perfectionistic. Finally at our best, Ones can be accepting, tolerant, humane, discerning, prudent, wise, fair, principled, and able to delay rewards for a higher good. My husband, sisters, friends, co-workers, and children couldn’t agree more with my result. After hearing several examples I had to accept the good with the bad.

According to the test you can recognize a Type One personality because we “exemplify the desire to be good, to live up to the highest ethical standards, and to effect positive changes in the world.” While a number of types care about achieving goals, Ones are particularly aware of how they achieve their goals. Were they honorable? Did they use their resources wisely? Were they fair and truthful? Ones are people of high standards and they expect themselves and others to live by those standards as much as possible. They tend to see things in terms of long-range objectives, and they can be aware of how current actions might affect future situations. For example, Ones are often in the forefront of battles to improve environmental standards or to make people aware of healthier lifestyle choices.

 IMG_7847Mahatma Gandi

Most Ones report feeling a powerful sense of mission, a deep feeling of purpose that they remember from their early childhood. They sense that they are here for a reason and, unlike some other types, they have a fairly clear idea of what that reason is. This sense of mission compels this One to rise to my highest standards, to make personal sacrifices, and to evaluate myself regularly to see if I am falling short. Ones feel that they must live a balanced, sensible life in order to have the clarity and inner resources necessary to fulfill their purpose.

Ones also have deep convictions about right and wrong and what is just and unjust. They are often dedicated to reform and social causes since they feel personally obligated to improve the world and leave it a better place. They put themselves on the line for their values and ethical convictions—if it means risking their jobs, their fortunes, or even their lives. Ones are convinced that there are indeed some truths—some values—that are worth both living and dying for. To accomplish their missions, Ones maintain self-discipline and do their best to practice “moderation in all things.”

 IMG_7849Joan Of Arc

Additionally, the test also revealed at our best “Healthy Ones” are guided by their consciences and concerned with maintaining ethical standards, but they are also flexible and gentle about applying their principles—both with themselves and with others. They are truthful and reasonable—the kind of person others turn to for direction and clear feedback. They have a strong sense of morality, but they temper this with a deep love and respect for the dignity of their fellow human beings. They strive to be impartial, fair, and objective, and they are willing to sublimate their desires and immediate gratification for “the greater good” or a higher principle.

Healthy Ones are motivated to “do the right thing” themselves and are not necessarily trying to fix anyone else. Even so, their personal integrity allows them to teach others by example. They can be quite eloquent and effective at conveying the truth and wisdom of their perspective. They stand for quality and desire excellence in all things. Their commitment to the highest principles can be profoundly moving to others, reminding others of the values they most deeply cherish.


At their very best, high-functioning Ones embody true wisdom, especially in being able to discern appropriate and compassionate action. They radiate nobility and inspire others to remember to live according to the highest values. At the same time, they are gentle and humane: average Ones often feel disappointed with their fellow human beings, but healthy Ones feel a profound connection and kinship with everyone they encounter, giving them an abiding patience and affection for all humanity.

Finally, Ones can “grow by recognizing that others do take things seriously too, but that their approach to problems or tasks might be different. As they become more centered in themselves, they become not only respectful of others’ views, but curious about them. They understand that their own wisdom can only be enriched by taking other perspectives into account. Ones also grow by playing—by finding areas of their lives that are lighter, freer, and that offer opportunities for spontaneous creativity. Most Ones have a great sense of humor, and the more they allow themselves to entertain and enjoy others, the better for everyone involved. Basically, Ones grow proportionately to the extent that they can accept reality with all of its apparent “imperfections.” This, of course, especially applies to themselves. By accepting what is, and working with reality rather than judging it, they become transcendentally realistic, knowing the best action to take in each moment.”

After taking the test, sharing with my family and friends, and discussing it with my colleagues, I believe it will help me to see myself clearer and understand myself more completely. It was fun and entertaining getting to know my colleagues personality type and how it can help us as a team.  I highly recommend taking this test and learning your Enneagram type. Have you taken the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (RHETI version 2.5) from  the Enneagram Institute? Have you taken any personality type assessment? After taking a test what did it reveal about you? How do you feel learning that I am a Type One? Please share in the comments below. I really would love to know.

Until next time, shine amongst the stars!

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The reformer

42 thoughts on “The Reformer

    1. ❤ Thanks for reading & sharing your thoughts! I really appreciate your support, comfort, and love. I read every single comment and it helps to shape into the best blog possible.❤ Lavanda Michelle North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger

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