ENTP - The Originator

ENTP

The Originator

Extraverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Perceiving

Engaging, plausible and entertaining the ENTP will be like a breath of fresh air, infusing people and situations with a whole array of new ideas and creative ways of doing things. However, they can become bored and withdraw their energies as they go off in search of the next thrill. Curious, child-like wonder characterises the ENTP, they are flexible, open-minded and love possibilities. They tend to see everything as a challenge, seeing opportunities even in the most difficult of circumstances. ENTPs can at times display impatience with those whom they consider wrong, and may show little restraint in demonstrating this.

Characteristics


The ENTP is constantly on the lookout for opportunities and possibilities, which will feed their strong desire for something new. An ENTP will bring energy, dynamism and creativity to people and projects. They are of the moment and are great at creating momentum for anything new but may become bored after the initial fascination has passed. ENTPs love telling conceptual stories. They will often go off at tangents, weaving apparently contrary pieces of information into a conceptual whole, bringing others in and teaching them in the process. Curious, communicative and challenging, the ENTP loves intellectual debate, is spontaneous, (at times shockingly so), and assertive. They sometimes confuse, even hurt, those who don't understand or accept the concept of debate or argument simply as a ‘sport.’ ENTPs are as innovative and ingenious at problem-solving and verbal gymnastics, as they are bored with the routine and the detail.

They are also far better at the 'front end' of projects and may slide out when it becomes tedious. The ENTP is expedient, and can disregard rules, regulations and even obligations and follow their own instincts and urges. The upside of this is the ability to bring whole new perspectives and ways of looking at things. The downside is that they may leave loose ends, and lack follow-through. The ENTP's independent streak make them excellent at challenging the status quo, self-deception and self-delusion, but this challenging can, at times, become critical or negative if the ENTP becomes bored or feels stultified or threatened.

Curious, communicative and challenging, the ENTP loves intellectual debate, is spontaneous, (at times shockingly so), and assertive.

They have a kaleidoscope type vision, seeing all the disparate parts and then, in one twist, pulling them all together into something often quite wonderful. These characteristics also mean the ENTP can be intellectually promiscuous, enjoying one new experience after another, one new idea after another and constantly looking for bigger and better things. ENTPs are excitable and this excitement is very often contagious. They have ‘the gift of the gab,’ and are at ease in social situations, winning people over and can adapt to any level and any conversation - if it interests them. They are generally confident and possess the ability to look far beyond the present, the mundane, the facts and the horizon. However, their dislike of detail, practicalities and closure, often means that their dreams, aspirations and ideas may come to nothing as they can lack the propensity for follow through and the attention to detail required to ‘complete.’ This does of course make the ENTP very flexible and they have the ability to change tack in a nano-second much to the consternation of those following, who ask ‘but I thought we were going in that direction?’ Radical experimenters, rules are there to be (gently but firmly) bent; they like to get their own way and will happily rationalise, intellectualise and build a sophisticated argument to prove they were right. Of course, next week they may change their minds because ‘right’ for the ENTP is about what is right for ‘now.’ ENTPs are nothing if not unique, having an enquiring mind, real sense of adventure and excitement for new ideas and opportunities. They thrive on a new challenge, the more impossible it seems, the more thrilling it is! But smaller, less significant issues can really get to them and see them becoming scratchy and impatient, and this will communicate itself to anyone in the vicinity

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.

The ENTP's energy, enthusiasm, optimism and plausibility mean that people tend to want to follow them and they will be excellent at selling the vision and will happily take risks and bounce back from setbacks ready for the next big thing

Strengths

ENTPs are creative, fresh and interested in such a variety of things, indeed whatever takes their interest at that moment, preferably the new, the novel, the exciting. They are excellent at reading people and situations and possess a wide range of views, interests and knowledge. This may, of course, be at the expense of depth, in that the ENTP will want to quickly move on to new pursuits, often before 'completing the course.' They are unconventional, sporadic, work with amazing bursts of energy with an enthusiasm that can be almost tangible. Once they become bored, however, they will be ready to move on. Verbally quick and incisive the ENTP has a great gift for language, and is clever with words and is happy to demonstrate this. An aspect of the ENTP character which can alienate them over time, is if they continually fail to follow through on their commitments - especially to those whom they have invited close. ENTPs are excellent at considering and selling future possibilities but if they ‘fly too many kites,’ then others can begin to at best see them as dreamers and at worst mistrust them. However their energy, enthusiasm, optimism and plausibility mean that people tend to want to follow them and they will be excellent at selling the vision and will happily take risks and bounce back from setbacks ready for the next big thing.

Weaknesses

One reason why ENTPs find it difficult to keep on track is that their boredom threshold is so low that before the project is up and running they are thinking about the next one. They also hate commitment and feeling ‘shut in,’ and so they look for easy escape routes and will take one if things become stultifying. For the ENTP the chase is the prize and they will be long gone before it gets too serious. Beside there’s another great idea looming just over there…! For that reason the ENTP can struggle with completing tasks they see as boring or unnecessary and ignore rules and regulations if they don’t fit with what they are trying to achieve. This trait also means they may ignore facts and details if they don't fit with the overall picture of where they are headed. A key strength for the ENTP is their expediency, which can see them take quantum leaps and break through red tape, but this also, means they do not fit easily into hierarchical structures and will tend to argue, push back or ignore protocols if they don’t like them. ENTPs also don’t like planning, preferring to work in sporadic bursts of energy on the issues they believe are important and jump around rather than follow a straight line. Supremely confident and optimistic, ENTPs may therefore have unrealistic expectations about what they can achieve and by when.

Best Work Environments

ENTPs tend to thrive in environments that value innovation and creativity and where they are completely free to solve problems their way, and at their pace (which is usually very quickly, as they become immersed in the task if it is interesting). They love people interaction and verbalising their thoughts, being at the centre of things and the opportunity for spontaneity. They prefer a fun and fast-paced environment where they can demonstrate their quick thinking and verbal skills and where they can enhance their knowledge. ENTPs love change, (especially when they are changing things), and an organisation that values, and can deal with, unique contributions and the innovation, and occasional debris that this brings will allow them to prosper. An environment free from rules and restrictions will suit the ENTP need to do things their way, where they can expend their considerable energies without worrying over whether it is correct. ENTPs need action and excitement and the opportunity to juggle many issues at once with like-minded people is where they will flourish.

Worst Work Environments

Quiet, stable and predictable environments that value adherence to rules and regulations would not bring out the best in the ENTP. They struggle with deadlines, not because they are lazy but because they are so animated and optimistic that they like to jump in and immerse themselves totally, only really surfacing when it becomes tedious or just needs the loose ends tying up, which is not the ENTP strength. Working with facts and figures, where the emphasis is on detailed analysis would not be in ideal environment for the ENTP who prefer a more broad-brush approach and to be able to dip in and out of things. Being micromanaged or made to toe the line would stifle the ENTP’s natural creativity and determination to change things and they do not like a hierarchy, preferring the flexibility to be able to do what they need to do, speak with whom they need to speak, without formal structures. They also value robust debate, which they see as a way of solving problems or getting things done, and so a more laid back, tranquil environment, where everyone has their head down, would not suit them.

Best Careers

The ENTP needs an environment of flexibility and freedom, creativity and where there is lots going on. A quiet, people-free zone with no opportunity to shine or come up with ideas and improvements would not be one in which the ENTP would flourish. They like to be different, to persuade, cajole and seize opportunities and so they tend to make super consultants, salespeople, IT specialists (especially around system architecture and complexity), and politicians. Stifling an ENTP or forcing them into boxes will render them ineffective and they will kick against it.

Confident and dynamic the ENTP will bring strong drive and a readiness to challenge inertia, ineffectiveness and complacency.

Work


ENTPs bring a radical perspective, looking at newer, better and more interesting ways. Not for them the routine of the past, but a healthy challenge to the status quo, and irritation with a pace that’s too slow. ENTPs can find ways around obstacles and problems. Headstrong and assertive they can spark life into a team, break through inertia but they may not follow through, as they like to move on to the new as soon as it becomes routine. [Insert Space] They can however become irritable and impatient if things do not progress at pace and benefit from someone who will dare to impose some structure to get the best out of the ENTP. ENTPs are so highly motivated until it becomes workaday and then they will withdraw and look for some other big challenge where they can impose ideas and a big-picture perspective. ENTPs thrive under pressure and have a strong desire to succeed and to win and this is super as a call to action for the rest of the group.

The ENTP will energise, enthuse and impose some shape or pattern on group discussion and on the outcome of group activities. Confident and dynamic the ENTP will readily take the lead, cut through complacency and seek to bring new, radical ideas to the group, which the ENTP sells emphatically to the others. Very little will get or slow them down and they will be the catalysts for change and have no problem making unpopular decisions or tearing up the rulebook. The ENTP is a great front end driver for the team but may not stay around once it becomes about implementing as the ENTP will feel they have done their bit; and they probably will have.

ENTPs will need space and flexibility as they like to do things their way, working in incredible bursts of energy, getting things moving very quickly but then looking for the next big thing to interest them. The ENTP does not like to be controlled or micro-managed and they dislike rules or regulations preferring to create as they go, working at pace and focusing on what interests and excites them. ENTPs are true radicals, coming up with ever-better ways of doing things, breaking through conventions and even taking unpopular decisions. However they are less useful when it gets to the detail.