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ENTJ

An Overview of the ENTJ Personality Type

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ENTJ
U.S. Air Force photo by Edward Aspera Jr.

The acronym ENTJ represents one of the 16 personality types that are identified by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. This popular personality assessment was developed by Isabel Myers and her mother Katherine Briggs. The assessment tool is based upon Carl Jung's theory of personality types. Other people often describe people with this type of personality as assertive, confident, and outspoken. According to psychologist David Keirsey, the ENTJ type is quite rare, accounting for a mere two-percent of the population.

ENTJ Characteristics

People who take the MBTI answer questions designed to assess their personality across four major areas: 1) Extraversion and Introversion, 2) Sensing and Intuition, 3) Thinking and Feeling and 4) Perceiving and Judging. In this case, the ENTJ acronym indicates that the person rates highest in the extraversion, intuitive, thinking, and judging dimensions.

  • Extraverted: People with this personality type enjoy spending time with other people. They have strong verbal skills and interacting with others helps them feel energized.

  • Intuitive: ENTJ prefer to think about the future rather than focus on the here-and-now. They usually find abstract and theoretical information more interesting that concrete details.

  • Thinking: When making decisions, ENTJs place a greater emphasis on objective and logical information. Personal feeling and the emotions of others tend not to factor much into their choices.

  • Judging: ENTJs are planners. Making decisions and having a schedule or course of action planned out gives them a sense of predictability and control.

Some common characteristics of this personality type:

  • Excellent leadership skills
  • Self-assured
  • Strong communication abilities
  • Appreciates organization and structure
  • Good at making decisions
  • Likes to plan
  • Assertive and outspoken

Since ENTJs are extraverts, they gain energy from socializing (unlike introverts, who expend energy in social situations). They love having passionate and lively conversations and debates. In some cases, other people can feel intimidated by the ENTJs confidence and strong verbal skills. When they have a good idea, people with this personality type feel compelled to share their point of view with others.

Thanks to their comfort in the spotlight, ability to communicate, and tendency to make quick decisions, ENTJs tend to naturally fall into leadership roles. In his book Please Understand Me II, David Keirsey points out that these individuals sometimes find themselves taking control of a group without really knowing how they came to be in such a position. Because of their love for structure and order, the ENTJ is also good at supervising and directing others and helping groups complete tasks and achieve goals. They are able to quickly see what needs to be accomplished, develop a plan of action, and assign roles to group members.

Despite their verbal abilities, ENTJs are not always good at understanding other people's emotions. Expressing emotions can be difficult for them at times, and their tendency to get into debates can make them seek aggressive, argumentative, and confrontational. People can overcome this problem by making a conscious effort to think about how other people might be feeling.

Famous People With ENTJ Personalities

Some experts suggest that the following famous individuals exhibit characteristics of this personality type:

  • Margaret Thatcher, former British Prime Minister
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt, former U.S. President
  • Candace Bergen, actress
  • Al Gore, former U.S. Vice President
  • Harrison Ford, actor
  • David Letterman, television host
  • Richard M. Nixon, former U.S. President
  • Patrick Stewart, actor

Best Career Choices for ENTJs

ENTJs do best in careers where there is a lot of structure, but plenty of room for variety. Jobs that allow them to meet and interact with lots of different people are ideal. People with this type bring a lot of desirable skills to the table, including excellent leadership and communication skills, a hard-working attitude, and an ability to plan for the future.

Some job options that might appeal to an ENTJ include:

  • Human resources manager
  • Company CEO or manager
  • Lawyer
  • Scientist
  • Software developer
  • Business analyst
  • Entrepreneur
  • University professor

References:

Butt, J. (2005). Extraverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging. TypeLogic. Retrieved from http://typelogic.com/entj.html

Keirsey, D. & Bates, M. (1984). Please Understand Me II. Del Mar, California: Prometheus Nemesis.

Myers, I. B. (1998). Introduction to Type: A Guide to Understanding your Results on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Mountain View, CA: CPP, Inc.

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