Myers-Briggs Personality Type – ENTJ: The Leader
Profile by Sandra Krebs Hirsch and Jean Kummerow
ENTJs take charge quickly and deal directly with problems, especially in situations that involve confusion and inefficiency. They provide structure to the organizations to which they belong and design strategies to accomplish their personal and organizational goals. They are ‘take charge’ people who organise their own and others’ external environments. They use their resources to find a way to meet the challenge. They are at their best in using their analytical and strategic thinking.
ENTJ children need to have goals for everything. These goals may be related to achievements such as swimming the fifty-yard freestyle on second faster than they did the previous year, getting a straight-A report card, or winning the school math contest. They seek power and control. They want to have an impact. Because of their desire to take charge, they are often leaders.
ENTJs enjoy an active and diverse lifestyle. They are likely to be in extracurricular activities and often function as the team captain, the president, or the leader. They pursue leadership roles very directly and have difficulty following others unless those individuals demonstrate more competence than they themselves have. Even then, it may be tough for the ENTJ to follow long.
ENTJs are likely to commit to a career goal early, often in their teen years. They determine their overall goals and objectives and what it will take to accomplish them. Whatever ENFJs do must make sense to them according to their logic or they have difficulty doing it.
In mature adulthood, ENTJs are often in leadership positions in their work organizations. They go after what they want with fusto. They set their sights high and work hard. Work and its related activities may become their lives. They may find retirement unsettling, boring, and difficult because it may bring with it a loss of the power that they had during their working years. Often they make arrangements so that they do not have to retire.
Learning and Working
ENTJs see education as one of the major ways of getting ahead. They are willing to learn about the past and what is but always with the mind-set of how that information affects their future. They particularly enjoy critiquing and solving problems. They apply their logical systems view to the issues they deal with. They want to change things to fit their concept of what should be. They learn best through a variety of instructional methods, including lectures and group activities. Without variety and action in the classroom boredom sets in.
ENTJs like to debate and view problems from all sides. They are comfortable critiquing and analyzing. and do not mind intellectual conflict in the classroom. They like challenge. They may have a general study plan laid out, with test dates and paper deadlines noted. They set up a schedule and work to attain the goal within that time.
At work, ENTJs contribute a wealth of energy directed toward the goals and those of the organization. Their sense of identity is closely tied to how they carry out their responsibilities. They are curious about new ideas and theories, evaluating them in terms of their goals. They are very efficient, competitive, strategic, and task focused.
Occupations that require tough-mindedness, goal direction, and a global perspective tend to attract ENTJs. They use logic and analysis to form conclusions, to organize themselves and others, to give direction, and to take charge. Some occupations seem to be especially attractive to ENTJs: administrator, attorney, consultant, credit investigator, labor relations worker, manager, marketing personnel, mortgage banker, personnel professional, systems analyst, and other occupations that allow them to use their strategic sense.
For the ENTJ, love needs to fit into the overall picture and may become subservient to their larger goals. Love is always within the context of what the relationship is. One ENTJ stated, “I don’t allow love to course freely through my body. God forbid that it should control me rather than I control it!” Love means a match between the ENTJ’s needs and what the partner provides. The loved one is, in a sense, an extension of the ENTJ’s vision, preferably acting in a supportive, not competing, role. ENTJs tend to make rigorous demands of love. While they may fall in love easily, they maintain that love only if the other person is willing to accept the ENTJ’s directness and need for independence.
Because attractiveness is a part of our culture and an initial standard for many relationships and because ENTJs like to do better than the standard, they particularly take note of the attractive people. The often wonder if they can ‘win the heart’ of the attractive other. It becomes almost a game for them.
The partner of ENTJ can expect a hard-working and industrious provider who may use the fruits of his or her labor as an expression of love. They may not be as verbally communicative of their loving feelings as others types.
ENTJs expect to have their needs met in relationships, while maintaining their independence. When the partner can no longer do that, it is logical for them to sever ties and to move on. However, when ENTJs are scorned by others, they may feel a passionate devastation and a strong sense of loss that is seldom shared with others. However, this sense of loss and gloom generally lasts only a short period before they are ready to move on.
Profile by David Keirsey
If one word were used to capture ENTJ’s style, it would be commandant. The basic driving force and need of ENTJ’s is to lead, and from an early age they can be observed taking over groups. This type is found in approximately 5 percent of the total population. ENTJ’s have a strong urge to give structure wherever they are-to harness people to distant goals. Their empirical, objective, and extraverted thinking may be highly developed; if this is the case, they use classification, generalization, summarization, adduction of evidence, and demonstration with ease. They resemble ESTJ’s in their tendency to establish plans for a task, enterprise, or organization, but ENTJ’s search more for policy and goals than for regulations and procedures. An ENTJ’s introverted thinking (analysis and conservation) may be less well developed than the extraverted thinking processes, and the ENTJ leader may turn to an ENTP or INTP to provide his kind of input. ENTJ’s are similar to INTJ’s except that the former places greater trust in empirical thought than in intuition; it is the ENTJ’s own intuitive sense of coherence, however, that augments and supports their empirical thinking.
Although ENTJ’s are tolerant of established procedures, they can abandon any procedure when it can be shown to be indifferent to the goal it seemingly serves. Inefficiency is especially rejected by ENTJ’s, and repetition of error causes them to become impatient. For the ENTJ, there must always be a reason for doing anything, and people’s feelings usually are not sufficient reason. When in charge of an organization, ENTJ’s more than any other type desire (and generally have the ability) to visualize where the organization is going and seem able to communicate that vision to others. They are the natural organization builders, and they cannot not lead. They find themselves in command and sometimes are mystified as to how this happened. As administrators, ENTJ’s organize their units into a smooth functioning system, planning in advance, keeping both short-term and long-range objectives well in mind. They seek and can see efficiency and effectiveness in personnel. They prefer decisions to be based on impersonal data, want to work from well thought-out plans, and like to use engineered operations-and they prefer that others follow suit. ENTJ’s will support the policy of the organization and will expect others to do so.
ENTJ’s will usually rise to positions of responsibility and enjoy being executives. They are tireless in their devotion to their jobs and can easily block out other areas of life for the sake of work. They will be able to reduce inefficiency, ineffectiveness, and aimless confusion, being willing to dismiss employees who perpetuate such behaviors. ENTJ’s tend to work in organizational structures of some sort, tend to be in charge administratively, and rise to top levels of responsibility, whether in the military, business, education, or government.
ENTJ’s take charge of the home. When an ENTJ is present, there will be little doubt as to who is in command. Because their work is so important to them, however, they can become increasingly absent, especially if male. Male or female, ENTJ’s expect a great deal of their mates, who need to possess a strong personality of their own, a well-developed autonomy, many and varied interests, and a healthy self-esteem. A career wife, however, may not be appealing to an ENTJ male, who is apt to view his home and family as a part of his professional background, a resource, and adjunct to his own career development.
As a parent, an ENTJ will be thoroughly in charge, and the children will know what is expected of them and will be expected to obey. When this does not occur, an ENTJ parent is not apt to make a scene; rather, there is more likely to be a low-key, firm issuance of reprimand and a taking-for-granted of immediate obedience. While both mating and parenting are roles of importance to the ENTJ’s, they are to some degree preempted by the ENTJ’s strong career interest. The romantic dream and the quest for the ideal mate is usually not a characteristic of this type. ENTJ’s generally do, however, expect a home to be attractive, well-ordered, with meals served punctually and maintenance accomplished on schedule-all these in the service of the larger goal of creating a family system where children can be reared to be productive and healthy and establishing a devoted, harmonious relationship between man and woman. An ENTJ male might expect his mate to be active in civic and community affairs, to be socially sophisticated, and as well educated as he. The ENTJ female may find it difficult to select a mate who is not overwhelmed by her strong personality and will.
At midlife the ENTJ’s tendency to be somewhat unaware of the feelings of others, including those close, may be an area that could be given attention. But perhaps the most important midlife task of the ENTJ is to begin to allocate time and energy to pursuits which are not work-connected and to begin to develop a larger repertoire of play skills. Putting off vacations, travel, hobbies, and family should be avoided.
The ENTJ is a natural “fieldmarshal,” that is, he’s itching to get his hands on several “armies” so that he can marshal his forces and conduct the “war” as it should be conducted. If our ENTJ is in charge of any kind of enterprise, however small, his temperament dictates that he run it as he would his armies-with an eye to long-term strategies and their derivative tactics, logistics, and consequences. In startling contrast to this, the fieldmarshal is enamored by the “flower child,” the bucolic artist ISFP, tranquilly ensconced next to Walden pond! Perhaps the ENTJ wishes a spouse who will share with him or her the quiet of the forest and field far from the madding crowd, thus separating home from work by a great, insulating distance.
The ENTJ is attracted also to his opposite in the Appolonian camp: the monastic and questing INFP. What in the saintly or knightly (St. Joan of Arc, Sir Galahad) INFP calls the ENTJ fieldmarshal? First note the outward similarity of the INFP and the ISFP. Perhaps it is this, the underlying missionary outlook of the INFP. In a sense, both INFP and ISFP have great missionary zeal, the former enlisting the spouse in the quest, the latter in the tranquil respite of nature?
What’s your Myers-Briggs Personality Type?
Read up on the sixteen Myers-Briggs Personality Types here.