Discover tips for integrating Enneagram points 2 and 5 from Type 8, Jocko Willink
Several years ago, I came across a Jocko Willink video that served as a great example of an Enneagram Eight integrating to Five. This contradicts the prevailing Enneagram theory, which states that Eights integrate to Two and disintegrate to Five.
At the time, I didn’t think to do much with it other than make a mental note. However, recently, I did a Talkin’ Truth podcast episode with an Enneagram Eight that also had some really good examples of an Eight using point Five in healthy ways.
After the podcast, I decided to take some excerpts from it and create a video on Enneagram Eights using point Five for growth.
“That Jocko video would be a great additional example to the point that I’m trying to make about Enneagram Eights going to point Five in growth, not just stress,” I thought.
…and so the search began.
Who is Jocko Willink?
Who is Jocko Willink?
For those who don’t know, Jocko Willink is a former Navy SEAL who now shares his lessons from his vast combat and training experience through books (Discipline Equals Freedom, Leadership Strategy and Tactics, Extreme Ownership, The Dichotomy of Leadership)
podcasts (“Retired Navy SEAL, Jocko Willink and Director, Echo Charles discuss discipline and leadership in business, war, relationships, and everyday life.”)
and consulting (“No matter the problem, Leadership is the solution”).
Needless to say, while Enneagram typings can sometimes be up for contentious debate, I think it’s fairly uncontroversial to say that Jocko Willink’s dominant Enneagram type is 8!
…fast forward a couple of hours…
…fast forward a couple of hours…
I had to watch a lot of Jocko Willink videos to rediscover that particular clip (00:10:27), but in the process, I came across many others that further exemplify the dynamics of the Enneagram 8-5 connection and offer valuable growth mindsets and strategies for Enneagram Eights. Some of the videos also show a healthy integration of point 2 as well, providing a great example of a healthy Eight’s way of seeing and relating to the world.
Below, you’ll find a YouTube playlist of those videos as well as my comments about the Enneagram principles that they reflect. Hopefully my frustrating, time consuming search to find THAT ONE CLIP can turn into some useful insights for you! Reflecting on these videos did for me.
Emphasizes that Enneagram Five ability of detachment and the importance of grounding it in the physical, i.e. literally taking a step back. “The easy part is stepping back, the hard part is knowing that you need to do it.” If you don’t detach in time you’ll lose control, before you realize it. Recognize your own personal red flags. While the majority of the video is on detaching from heated emotions in the present moment, later Jocko emphasizes the importance of detaching from habitual thought patterns and strategies in order to gain a fresh, otherwise unavailable perspective in leadership. This is the gift that Enneagram 5 brings; the power of self-observation through non-attached witnessing.
Jocko answers the question, “What do you think is the most valuable method for becoming a clear thinker and communicator?” with one word: DETACHMENT.
Jocko’s guest and business partner, Leif Babin, talks about the importance of being able to detach from being too emotionally invested in plans and being able to have a brutally honest assessment independent of previous bias.
Jocko says, “A good way to think is to listen.”
Hal Moore (U.S. Army lieutenant general): “When you listen, you know twice as much as the other guy: what he knows and what you know.”
Along the same lines, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos talks about his strategy of always speaking last in meetings in this clip.
Enneagram Fives are called Observers for a reason, and this video sums up nicely the gifts that point 5 brings in the arena of leadership.
I really like this video as it highlights the intellectual humility that often accompanies healthy Eights with a connection to Five. While other types can become rather arrogant in their assumptions and assertions, getting lost in webs of information, mistaking others’ theories for some absolute truth, or becoming dogmatic about knowledge, healthy Eights often exemplify the attitude of “I know what I know, and I don’t know what I don’t know.”
As an instinctual gut type focused on doing, Eights generally test things in the real world, learn by trial and error, and aren’t afraid to make mistakes.
In this video, Jocko, who admits to being a bad student, talks about later finding agreement with ancient philosophers and more recently with intellectuals and scientists, such as Jordan Peterson and Andrew Huberman, despite being more of an “in the trenches” kind of guy.
“I just figured these things out through my own random trials and tribulations in life.”
“Things that I kind of instinctively or through trial and error figured out were now being reinforced academically, by someone who actually understood the science behind my instincts.”
Discussed are activities that can build mental and physical toughness and get anyone in touch with the energies of Enneagram point 8: cold water immersion, weight lifting, and fasting.
While Enneagram Fives can offer an important perspective to Enneagram Eights, the converse if also true.
In this one, Jocko is calling you out Enneagram Fives and head types:
“If you’re so smart, then why aren’t you taking action and making something happen?”
This is an important video that highlights one of the major overarching themes of the Enneagram: Each type has inherent strengths, and each type employs a strategy using those gifts to deal with and relate to the world. However, each type’s strategy also has limitations, and when over-relied upon, a particular strategy can become a weakness as it turns into a constraining, limiting personality fixation.
While earlier videos focused on the benefits of detachment (a 5 strength), in this video, Jocko skillfully points out the limitations of that strategy:
“You don’t want to go through life where you have no emotions; then you’re not living your life, you’re a machine.”
Jocko talks about compartmentalizing areas of life—where to be detached vs. capable of healthy emotions, i.e., work vs. home (wearing different clothing, setting a different vibe), as well as spending time with people not involved in your work or primary interests.
This video also starts to show what a healthy integration of type Two looks like as well.
“If you’re detached and your wife is trying to talk to you, it’s not going to be good. Open up, show some emotions.”
“Don’t try to be a tough guy who’s just trying to be detached because if you’re detached enough, you’ll realize that you’re being too detached.”
Think on this one: This single quote alone epitomizes a healthy 8-5-2 perspective.
Unhealthy, fixated Eights, focused on power and control, epitomize the phrase “winning the battle, only to lose the war.” This video also discusses how points 5 and 2 can draw Eights out of that narrow, shortsighted fixation that, in the long term, is counterproductive.
“When you’re in an argument…whether you’re right or not almost doesn’t matter at all; what matters is what you’re trying to do, what direction you’re trying to move…”
Jocko’s co-host, Echo Charles, offers a similar sentiment and another brilliant way of describing a healthy integration of the Enneagram head, heart, and gut centers: “Detach so you see that (i.e. what’s going on), but be attached because you care and show that you care.”
Jocko finishes by noting that integrating the warmth and care of point Two is not only relevant when relating to your wife or friends.
“At work, you can’t be detached all the time either. You’re a leader…You gotta show emotions, you gotta relate to the people you’re working with, you gotta show emotions so that they follow you or you follow them.”
Alright, that’s it for today! There are actually quite a few more videos in the YouTube playlist that I curated, but I think that by this point I’ve outlined the main Enneagram dynamics to look for when watching the videos.
All in all, these videos show that a healthy Enneagram type has to integrate both of their connected points, not just one. For Eights, Five brings the ability to detach from heated emotions and see things clearly; Two brings warmth and the ability to relate and genuinely care—to make allies rather than enemies when working towards a goal. Both points can draw Eights out of shortsighted power struggles or control issues and let them see the bigger picture and feel a greater freedom in life.
On a side note, while the clips in the playlist deeply cover the core Enneagram 8-2-5 pattern, each Enneagram type also has a wing(s) that influence their personality as well. I think that this video, “The Other Side of Jocko Willink,” shows how those wings come into play. Check out the video and share your thoughts about whether you think Jocko leans more towards 8w9 or 8w7!