Dominant Extraverted Thinking with Auxiliary Introverted Intuition
Tertiary Sensing and Inferior Introverted Feeling
Visionary • Directive • Analytical • Systematic
According to the MBTI® Manual, ENTJs make up 1.8% of the population, making this type the 15th most common, of 16, in the US population.
ENTJs are known for appearing challenging, theoretical, critical, and fair, with a great ability to identify and correct problems with systems. They prize logic, the big picture, and competence and couple these with their natural inclination for taking charge to move groups towards accomplishing their visions. ENTJs have a great appreciation for drive, intelligence, expertise, and hard work and will go to great lengths to make sure work is done the right way. This is most easily accomplished in areas where they can implement their own ideas and with people who are willing to challenge them.
ENTJs are often gifted in inspiring others to action with their enthusiasm, and they sometimes enjoy batting ideas around with others for fun and to see where they lead. As family members and friends, ENTJs are typically fair, enthusiastic, and sometimes sentimental. They often hold very high standards for loved ones, and they may sometimes struggle with being seen as harsh by those around them.
Normally, ENTJs will be thrown off in environments that lack vision and/or do not appreciate their vision. ENTJs find stress in disruptions, being surrounded by irrational behavior, and being surrounded by (or guilty of) incompetence. They may also be stressed by poorly managed change and/or laziness of those around them. Also, ENTJs may struggle to be followers because they are typically born leaders who almost need to make their goals and concepts come to fruition.
When faced with stress overload, which may come from being confronted with intense emotions, feeling guilt over being critical towards others, or not having their strongly held values and/or feelings validated, ENTJs may find themselves “in the grip” of their inferior function, Introverted Feeling. During this experience, the individual is likely to do things that are typically completely out of character. This may include having uncharacteristic emotional outbursts and withdrawing from others to prevent displaying what feels like a lack of emotional stability. ENTJs may become hypersensitive about their relationships with others and interpret tiny, insignificant details into the belief that others dislike or hate them.
Fortunately, going through and coming out of a grip experience can lead to growth and balance of the personality and the person.
To learn about ENTJs under the particular stress that only comes from being chased by the dead, check out ENTJs in the Zombie Apocalypse!
In general, ENTJs enjoy learning through inspiration, curiosity, and exploring their vision of the future, and they learn by leading others. They learn best when the big picture is presented first, and details are kept to a minimum. Material sinks in more easily when it logical and general, and the ENTJ is allowed to explore it in an individualized way that examines systems, fits their systematic vision of the future, and emphasizes problem-solving. ENTJs often excel at and enjoy learning through reading and lectures, and they prize their ability for being insightful and visionary.
ENTJs like to learn in a way that allows them to work towards a specified goal in their own way, and they love to talk out and debate ideas with other competent individuals. Typically, ENTJs place importance on their teachers’ competence levels, and they prefer to learn from individuals who are experts in their fields. They will likely challenge the instructor in class when they desire clarification on an issue. On the whole, ENTJs are intrinsically motivated to learn about topics and ideas that intrigue them and/or fit into their vision of what life will be like after school has ended.
Individuals of this type may find it helpful to seek expert opinions, through articles, etc., when having difficulty being interested in material. They should try to remember to look at details that make up the big picture, instead of just the big picture. Frustration may occur for ENTJs in a classroom where they find the material frivolous or feeling based, and they may be helped by examining ways the material can relate to topics they are interested in and using a problem/puzzle-solving approach. When having trouble figuring out a task, it may be helpful to focus on something unrelated. ENTJs may want to form study or debate groups to increase learning.
Typically, ENTJs like to plan broadly, by beginning with their vision and mapping strategies to bring their vision to fruition. They commit to plans, but they are willing to tweak when it becomes clear that a change would create a better outcome. They will often appreciate the use of calendars and to-do lists to stay on task and keep priorities and long term goals straight, and they typically use these methods in all aspects of life. Motivation for ENTJs comes from a strong desire to reach goals and to conquer challenges that are intellectually stimulating and even seen by some as impossible.
ENTJs are often thrown off in time management when required to deal with details, by overloading themselves with tasks and talking with people, and when reaching for a greater product than is necessary. Procrastination may occur when the ENTJ does not control the matter at hand or believe it can be successful, or when they need but do not want to ask for help.
Tips for staying or getting back on task:
- Plan for the unplanned by allotting extra time for possible interruptions and by making yourself temporarily unavailable to others who may distract or seek help from you.
- Take time to prioritize tasks, and make a commitment to someone to finish certain tasks by a certain time to improve motivation.
- Celebrate small completions, and realize that they contribute to the overall vision.
When approaching decisions, ENTJs want to find solutions that are effective, innovative, systematic, and logical. They will often begin by using their Dominant Extraverted Thinking to logically and energetically analyze the pros and cons of the situation to come up with a solution that is rational and as foolproof as possible. They will then brainstorm about patterns, possibilities, and innovations they can see for the big picture and the vision of the situation, and ENTJs will likely weigh the pros and cons of options either mentally or in written form to gather as much information as possible on the course of action that is most competent and likely to succeed.
ENTJs often want to challenge and debate with others to foster the creation of new and better ideas and find the thread of truth that moves through us all. They want to think through the decision critically, widely, and completely, while at the same time wanting to move quickly towards a resolution to implementation and on to the next phase of the vision. Individuals of this type often analyze the decision making process after the fact measuring outcomes against their own personal standards, and they have no problem making changes to improve the product.
ENTJs may neglect the people-centered side of decision making, including their own feelings and those of others, and they may also fail to consider the current details of the reality of the here and now when making decisions. To find more balance in the process, all types may consider discussing decisions with friends of different types to gain new insights and/or utilizing the Zig-Zag Method, which encompasses exploring decisions from the perspective of all four functions. ENTJs will likely find this process more natural when exploring Thinking first, followed by Intuition, Sensing, and Feeling.
Personality type is one important part of the process of choosing a career that is a good fit, but it is far from the only part. It is important to first look at your personal goals and values when making a career decision. These may involve retiring early, helping others, having time for hobbies/avocations, having time to spend with kids and family, making lots of money, making use of a specific talent (singing, art, athletic ability, etc.), following in family footsteps, or following a childhood dream.
It is also important to look at skills and preferences. If you hate math, maybe engineering is not the way to go, and you may want to skip being a doctor or nurse if the sight of blood makes you queasy. Interests, from loving the great outdoors to being fascinated by the depths of the human mind, play a huge role in the career choice process as well. Below are some type specific commonalities in the career world.
- Seek careers that allow them to use their skills in leadership, analysis, designing logical systems, perseverance, and creativity to enact their vision of the workplace and its direction.
- Prefer environments where they have time to interact with others and inspire them to follow the vision. They want an environment where competent individuals surround them and where they will feel intellectually and professionally challenged.
- Enjoy tasks that involve designing, analyzing, invoking, processes as a means to an end, while allowing them to move the organization forward to the finish line. They also love tasks that involve bringing their vision to fruition and solving puzzles.
- Might struggle with tasks that require extended periods of attending to details, where their creativity or vision is squelched, or where they are required to deal with emotional situations in the workplace. Moving up the career ladder may be frustrating, if it is slow going. They may also struggle to communicate a desire for warmth and collaboration in the work environment and in the job search process.
- Are attracted to careers such as:
- Law (lawyer or judge)
- Manager/Executive (business, operations, computer, architecture)
- Science (physical, social, psychology, geology, chemistry)
- Teaching (13+)
- Sales and Marketing
- Computer science (designing programs, IT, analyst)
- Human Resources
- Psychology (Industrial/Organizational, clinical)
- Engineering (chemical, electrical)
- Medicine (anesthesiology, surgery, research)
- May be less interested in careers involving repetition of detailed, hands on processes or a great deal of emotional or nurturing work.
If the career you are interested in does not appear on this list, or if you simply don’t find any appealing careers listed here, do not worry! Personality type is not meant to sentence you to a life of misery in a career you hate, and this list is far from exhaustive. You may want to check out descriptions of thousands of possible careers at O*Net, and then contemplate how your type may play into some of the careers that do interest you. Also, if your university has a career counseling center (and most do), visit them to gain assistance in finding a career that suits your needs and wants.
As Team Members
ENTJ team members will likely contribute to the team by being energetic, strategic, systematic visionaries. ENTJs have a great propensity for designing systems based on their vision and persuading others to believe in their vision. They appreciate logic, competence, and innovation, and they are known to be honest, proactive, enthusiastic, and direct team members.
While ENTJ team members have many strengths, they may find it difficult to accept the opinions of others, especially if they do not fit within the ENTJs vision for the goals of the team. They may also have a tendency to move, talk, and criticize too much, and can sometimes forget to take into account a situation’s impact on people. ENTJs sometimes develop single mindedness to the point of inflexibility and/or pushiness in reaching their goals. Awareness of these areas, as well as seeking out the perspectives of team members with different preferences, can help ENTJs gain balance and appreciate team and type diversity.
ENTJs make decisive, innovative, and strategic leaders who begin with a vision and work hard towards bringing their vision to fruition. They tend to be clear and direct with expectations and value competence, creativity, and drive in those that they lead. ENTJs are known for being good at finding imaginative and structured ways to complete tasks, and they are often helpful in energetically motivating competent team members by sharing their own expertise, drive, and knowledge.
ENTJs may find it challenging to deal with practical details and mundane day to day tasks, preferring to work on accomplishing their vision. They may be seen as arrogant for their tendency to take over the process of accomplishing their goals and to write off ideas that do not fit their vision. It may also be difficult for ENTJs to remember to place focus on the impact actions will have on people and encourage and include their team members in making their vision a reality.
ENTJs take commitment seriously, and they want to know their partners share and honor that commitment. This extends to fidelity and support. They also prize being able to enjoy spending time together and having lots of fun together. In addition to this, ENTJs also want to feel stimulated intellectually in a relationship, and they want to share values.
As partners, ENTJs tend to be a source of inspiration and playfulness, while also being direct and highly organized. They tend to like to lead in relationships, just as they love to lead in other parts of life. ENTJs are innovative problem solvers who love to share, and be appreciated for, ideas, creativity, visions, and competence. They sometimes play by way of intellectual and flirty banter and games of creativity. When faced with conflict, ENTJs will swiftly and decisively take on and seek to resolve the conflict, and then they want to move on from it. This can cause relationship struggles, as the method may discount emotions and ignore feelings of others.