Are Petraeus and Broadwell Twin Achievers?

Narcissus fell in love with his mirror image in the pond.

Posted Nov 20, 2012

Petraeus and Broadwell

Petraeus and Broadwell

Papageno, the bird keeper in The Magic Flute by Mozart, fell in love with the female bird keeper, Papagena. She was irresistible because she was just like him. Petraeus was reportedly around special women more alluring than Paula for years, but maybe no one else was as much like him. Maybe merging with her, he felt twice as big as his usual wonderful self.

David Petraeus is an extravert. You’d have to be to do things the super-energetic way he does them. People who’ve spent time with him describe him as charming, domineering, a maverick, preferring to be a war fighter to being a professor. They said he guards his reputation, is an incredible force of power, is intense, and was born to command armies. I believe he’s an ESTJ (extravert, sensate, thinking, judging type in the Myers-BriggsTM system) and a 3-Achiever, one of the two most assertive Enneagram types.

An MBTI web site says, “ESTJs are proficient at mastering systems and logistics. They can excel in managing the large, complicated projects often found at the heart of operations. ESTJs can be successful at interpersonal relationships within a team. General Petraeus … has climbed the chain of command step by step. He is well liked by most and will follow the battle plans given him. ESTJs establish the roles of each individual, their objectives, and procedures to be used… If they feel that a project is not on course, they take quick action to right the situation and can be tough in taking action. ESTJ’s can be intimidating to less goal-directed people. They surround themselves with competent, results-oriented people and are impatient with what they see as incompetence and half-heartedness. They tend to have great confidence in their analysis of situations and to see things more as “black and white” than shades of gray. They may not appreciate the opinions of those who see ambiguity in a situation. If results are required, an ESTJ can get it done.”

Paula Broadwell was homecoming queen, triathlete, valedictorian of her class, and an All-State basketball player. Martha Raditz described her as gushy, intense, strong-willed, and inappropriate. I see her as an ESFJ (F for feeling) and a 3-Achiever, judging from her non-stop speech patterns and her drive to get ahead even when it meant overstating her credentials. Broadwell graduated from the U. S. Military Academy at West Point majoring in political geography. She earned a M. A. in international security and a Master of Public Administration.

Broadwell served in the U. S. Army and the U. S. Army Reserve, where she was promoted to lieutenant colonel in the Reserves. She also worked with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. Broadwell met Petraeus in 2006 when he was a speaker at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and she was a graduate student. She began a doctoral dissertation that included a case study of his leadership, with Petraeus fully cooperating, but was asked to leave the doctorate program. Broadwell then co-authored a biography of Petraeus, All In: The Education of General David Petraeus, with Vernon Loeb.

Both are athletic and love to run great distances. I can easily imagine them looking at each other and seeing reflections of themselves, the way Narcissus did in the myth when he looked in the pond and fell in love with his image. When you love yourself more than anything, you can’t resist another one “exactly like you” (as the song goes). Listen! It’s irresistible. 

See Charlotte Melleno’s story from The Enneagram of Death in my other blog.

Famous Types.

About the Author

Elizabeth Wagele was the co-author with Ingrid Stabb of The Career Within You: How to Find the Perfect Job for Your Personality.

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