ENTJ

The Leader

Extraverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Judging

Organised, relentless, productive with high willpower, determination and an intense need to be constantly ‘on the go,’ the ENTJ will not sit back and see what life brings but will proactively go make it happen. Rarely intimidated and with a restless desire to achieve and with no problems going against the grain or being very direct with people. This is of course not intentional, but they can display a lack of patience with those who don’t grasp things as quickly as they do, or who appear to be blocking the plan, and can be seen at times as intimidating overbearing and a bit of a ‘know-it-all.’

Characteristics


The ENTJ is the natural leader - just ask them! They are confident, authoritative and will take the lead in situations, especially one which calls for organisation and marshalling the troops. They don’t hesitate, and their directness can often leave others reeling in their wake as the ENTJ will have little time for anything they see as woolly or obtrusive. As their least developed function is ‘F’ they may not truly comprehend the impact their behaviour has on others, often coming across as overly task driven, insensitive and impatient, and a bit bossy. (The ENTJ would take these as compliments!) Their desire to get the job done, moving from A-Z in the shortest possible time-frame, and using the quickest possible route may mean that the ENTJ may neglect the niceties of thanking people and showing them that they are in fact appreciated, again not intentionally, it is just another part of the ENTJ focus and robustness. The masters of change, ENTJs see what needs to be done and have the confidence and capability to get on and do it, often taking harsh or courageous decisions even against the grain; the ENTJ has no problems bucking authority, indeed they’d secretly (or perhaps not so secretly), relish it! Rarely intimidated or feeling out of their depth, the ENTJ is always looking at ways of doing it better and in so doing increasing their own store of knowledge and experience.

The ENTJ is actually very friendly, outgoing and with bags of energy and enthusiasm, they like (indeed need), to be in the thick of it, although not in a subordinate role but leading the charge.

Always on the go, ENTJs have a restless and unquenchable desire to fill the unforgiving minute. This particular trait means that the ENTJ is often difficult to push off-course once they are running towards the goal. Any deviation would have to be eloquently and robustly argued and even then, may not be enough to turn the juggernaut around so determined are they to get there. If you want to find the ENTJ then go where the action is, and you’ll probably find they’re leading it! Others may disagree with that direction, but no-one will be in any doubt where the future lies. This can, at times, make the ENTJ appear confrontational and overly dominant. However, enjoying intellectual debate, the best way to resolve this would be to challenge back. Being an ‘N’ and a ‘J,’ the ENTJ is the action-oriented, conceptualist, almost a contradiction in terms. They love theories and ideas, abstracts and concepts, but then want to move quickly to implement. They clearly articulate the vision of the future but have the 'J' quality to relentlessly make sure it gets done. This can be a handicap as the ENTJ may not take time to understand the smaller issues, the nuances, as they want to get on with it.

Suggesting that, 'this is the way it's always been done,' will not push an ENTJ's buttons. Indeed, it would be seen as a challenge and provoke an energetic robust response. ENTJs love the new, the untried, the unexplored, as they are essentially future-oriented. ENTJs are decisive - boy are they decisive! They are tough-minded and resolute in their beliefs (because their beliefs are ‘of course’ based on what ‘obviously’ needs to be done) I asked an ENTJ at a job interview if he upsets folk. ‘Of course I do, you have to if you want to get things done!’ No equivocating there then!

Careers


Linking ‘type’ and ‘careers’ would be easy if it was just about listing specific jobs that perfectly fit specific personalities. However in truth it is more difficult than that as ignores other, more important issues, such as the organisation, the values and the culture, which are far better determinants of suitability than a job title. Also individual jobs vary widely from industry to industry, organisation to organisation and person to person. Therefore our focus on ‘type’ and ‘careers’ will be far more on you: your personality, your aptitudes, interests, likes, strengths and weaknesses and then matching these to the sorts of environments, cultures and norms within organisations that will allow you, given your character, to thrive grow and flourish. We spend a lot of our time at work and so it is important to get these issues right or we could spend a lot of working time unhappy, unproductive and unfulfilled.

An ENTJ will want to devise long-range plans and ensure everyone is crystal clear on the direction. Others may disagree with that direction, but no-one will be in any doubt where the future lies.

Strengths

ENTJs like to take the lead on things, naturally take charge and wanting to lead from the front. This does not mean that they can’t delegate or bring others in but they will want to be involved and will happily confront, challenge and cajole to make sure things get done. They will take such a personal interest in their company, department or team and will want to be hands-on when required. There is a matriarchal/patriarchal nature to the ENTJ, which will see them praise and admonish in equal measure. They create, and excel in, performance driven environments where people want to succeed. The ENTJ feels the need to verbalise their thinking and often their feelings so that no-one is any doubt what’s on their minds. An ENTJ will want to devise long-range plans and ensure everyone is crystal clear on the direction. Others may disagree with that direction, but no-one will be in any doubt where the future lies. This can, at times, make the ENTJ appear confrontational and overly dominant. However, the best way to resolve this would be to challenge back as ENTJs see robust debate as the best way of settling things. ENTJs love a challenge and getting right into the thick of things and will be super organisers: of people, or projects, of time, ensuring that what has been agreed is delivered on time and exactly as planned.

Weaknesses

The "jump in and take charge" style of the ENTJ ensures that things get done. They have super long-range vision and will devise comprehensive plans plan to make sure everything stays on track. However, this means they may at time steamroller people in their desire to get on and complete. They are relentless in their drive for closure and this can leave those who are a little slower, or who do not like extreme robust debate, reeling in their wake. Being slowed down can frustrate the ENTJ who will become impatient and, in such circumstances may ‘go it alone’ without consulting or involving other people and become task obsessed at the expense of the people side. ENTJs also prefer the intellectual pursuit and so may struggle with those who don't quite ‘get’ it first time around. This is not because of being rude, just impatience to agree then get it done. Tact and diplomacy are not necessarily their strong points and ENTJs might be overly direct at times which can cause debris. Often ENTJs make the assumption that everyone else is a robust as they are and that other people have the same pace and action orientation and this can, at times, make the judgmental of others. They are also difficult to move off the ball once they have started their run at goal and it would take an almighty tackle to push them off-track.

Best Work Environments

ENTJs are built to lead and organise and would thrive in a more robust, action-oriented environment where long range planning and drive for closure are valued. They prefer working with like-minded people who want to be rewarded for contribution and achievement and who enjoy the challenge. It is difficult to have an ENTJ in a more ‘subordinate’ position and so organisations where they value stability, consensus and predictability would not be for them. They need freedom and space to act, and boy they will act and in many respects it is best to give them that freedom then just check every so often as the ENTJ becomes frustrated with rules, regulations and ‘the way things have always been done round here.’ They want to change things, build things, improve things, get things done and they have the confidence, ability and drive to make seemingly impossible things happen. They want to work hard and be recognised for doing so and they want to improve everything: the organisation, the team and mostly themselves and they will have no problem tumbling down the old traditions and bringing in the new.

Worst Work Environments

Being told what to do and how to do it, having to follow rules regulations and policies and repeating the same procedures over and over would not be an environment in which the ENTJ would thrive. Things have to make logical sense to them and they are happy to vocalise their thoughts and engage in robust, heated debate to find the best way forward and so quieter organisations where much time is spent on consultation and consensus would not bring out the best in them. They like to make their own minds up, looking far into the future to consider ‘what might be,’ rather than ‘what is’ and then being free to devise plans in relentless pursuit of the goal. Very little will hold the ENTJ back and so a slow-paced culture, that rewards tenure or past successes would not be for them. The ENTJ likes to tell it like it is and so an open environment which values feedback and openness and is not afraid to be critical would be far better than one where everyone keeps their heads down. ENTJs need headroom to expand and improve and anything that constrains them will be seen as preventing progress and the ENTJ needs to see progress.

Best Careers

ENTJs are natural organisers and built to lead, from the front. They tend to be superb at seeing what needs to be done, coming up with genuinely radical plans to achieve it and then pulling everyone along with them in a relentless charge towards the endgame. They make great system builders, planners and it is no surprise that a type that makes up only a small proportion of the general population makes up an extremely disproportionate percentage of leaders: they tend to have the confidence, drive, energy and ability to see what needs done and make sure it gets done.

ENTJs are highly motivated people with a lot of energy and a great need for achievement. They are assertive with strong drive and like to challenge others as their concern is for the team to win.

Work


At work the ENTJ will be the leader: the organiser, of materials, of people, of deadlines making sure tasks are planned and coordinated and that everyone is clear what is expected and what should happen next. The ENTJ will shape the way in which team effort is applied and direct attention to the setting of objectives. The ENTJ is challenging, pushy, task-focused, outgoing and dynamic. They will have high drive and a readiness to challenge inertia, ineffectiveness, complacency or self-deception but can be prone to irritation, provocation and impatience as their primary aim is change and getting things driven through.

ENTJs are highly motivated people with a lot of energy and a great need for achievement. They are assertive with strong drive and like to challenge others as their concern is for the team to win. They like to lead and to push others into action. If obstacles arise, they will find a way round. Headstrong and assertive, they tend to show strong emotional response to any form of disappointment or frustration. The ENTJ value to the team is to generate action and they love the pressure and the action. They are excellent at sparking life into a team and are very useful in groups where political complications are apt to slow things down as they help the team rise above problems of this kind and forge ahead regardless. They are well suited to making necessary changes and do not mind taking unpopular decisions. An ENTJ will love a challenge, the more difficult the challenge the greater the energy levels.

The ENTJ also likes conflict as a means to discuss and inform and get things done. They enjoy a good argument as a means to impart their views, think things through and gaining input, and they will be robust and strident in their views and will forget conflict as quickly as they enter into it. The ENTJ does not like anything preventing progress and they will make their views known on that directly and clearly. Their whole purpose is to make change happen and they do not like a slow pace. The ENTJ is extremely direct, and so and they may therefore not pick up on sensitivities, especially around the fact that other people may not enjoy conflict, and some may even fear it. The ENTJ will often think they have had a gentle discussion whilst the other person feels they have been in battle. Arguments are the way of getting clarity to the ENTJ and once it’s over, it is completely forgotten. The ENTJ is impatient, driven and with a strong desire to agree the strategy then drive relentlessly for closure. They will be superb at preventing complacency and giving pace to the team. If the ENTJ is not the elected leader they will still assume leadership, as their nature is to change things and make it happen now. At the centre of what’s happening and will relentlessly ensure a focus on goals.

Managing an ENTJ is about providing the right conditions to let them lead, whether people or a project or a task, to allow them the authority to do and occasionally pull them back to ensure people are with them. The ENTJ loves a goal, something to run at and they will excel at making sure other people are just as enthused and understand the need to get on and drive for closure. They will focus the team clearly and often. The ENTJ loves the complex and the big picture. They strategise and consider but they do this quickly and, once they are clear, it is all about getting to the end as fast as possible and when the plan is agreed - no more thinking.