ENTJ (extraversion, intuition, thinking, judgment) is an abbreviation used in the publications of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to refer to one of sixteen personality types. The MBTI assessment was developed from the work of prominent psychiatrist Carl G. Jung in his book Psychological Types, which proposed a psychological typology based on his theories of cognitive functions.
From Jung's work, others developed psychological typologies. Jungian personality assessments include the MBTI assessment, developed by Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Cook Briggs, and the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, developed by David Keirsey. Keirsey referred to ENTJs as Fieldmarshals, one of the four types belonging to the temperament he called the Rationals.
ENTJs account for 1–3% of males formally tested and 1–2% of females. ENTJ types tend to be self-driven, motivating, energetic, assertive, confident, and competitive. They generally take a big-picture view and build a long-term strategy. They typically know what they want and may mobilize others to help them attain their goals. ENTJs are often sought out as leaders due to an innate ability to direct groups of people. Unusually influential and organized, they may sometimes judge others by their own tough standards, failing to take personal needs into account.
- 1 The MBTI instrument
- 2 ENTJ characteristics
- 3 Cognitive functions
- 4 References
- 5 External links
The MBTI instrument
- How they focus their attention or get their energy (extraversion or introversion)
- How they perceive or take in information (sensing or intuition)
- How they prefer to make decisions (thinking or feeling)
- How they orient themselves to the external world (judgment or perception)
By using their preference in each of these areas, people develop what Jung and Myers called psychological type. This underlying personality pattern results from the dynamic interaction of their four preferences, in conjunction with environmental influences and their own individual tendencies. People are likely to develop behaviors, skills, and attitudes based on their particular type. Each personality type has its own potential strengths as well as areas that offer opportunities for growth.
The MBTI tool consists of multiple choice questions that sort respondents on the basis of the four "dichotomies" (pairs of psychological opposites). Sixteen different outcomes are possible, each identified by its own four-letter code, referred to by initial letters. (N is used for iNtuition, since I is used for Introversion). The MBTI is approximately 75% accurate according to its own manual.
- E – Extraversion preferred to introversion: ENTJs often feel motivated by their interaction with people. They tend to enjoy a wide circle of acquaintances, and they gain energy in social situations (whereas introverts expend energy).
- N – Intuition preferred to sensing: ENTJs tend to be more abstract than concrete. They focus their attention on the big picture rather than the details, and on future possibilities rather than immediate realities. They tend to focus on the final product rather than the current task.
- T – Thinking preferred to feeling: ENTJs tend to value objective criteria above personal preference. When making decisions, they generally give more weight to logic than to social considerations.
- J – Judgment preferred to perception: ENTJs tend to plan their activities and make decisions early. They derive a sense of control through predictability, which to perceptive types may seem limiting. ENTJs often try to predict outcomes and plan accordingly.
ENTJs have a natural tendency to marshal and direct. This may be expressed with the charm and finesse of a world leader or with the insensitivity of a cult leader. The ENTJ requires little encouragement to make a plan. One ENTJ put it this way... "I make these little plans that really don't have any importance to anyone else, and then feel compelled to carry them out." While "compelled" may not describe ENTJs as a group, nevertheless the bent to plan creatively and to make those plans reality is a common theme for NJ types. 
ENTJs focus on the most efficient and organized means of performing a task. This quality, along with their goal orientation, often makes ENTJs superior leaders, both realistic and visionary in implementing a long-term plan. ENTJs tend to be fiercely independent in their decision making, having a strong will that insulates them against external influence. Generally highly competent, ENTJs analyze and structure the world around them in a logical and rational way. Due to this straightforward way of thinking, ENTJs tend to have the greatest difficulty of all the types in applying subjective considerations and emotional values into the decision-making process.
ENTJs often excel in business and other areas that require systems analysis, original thinking, and an economically savvy mind. They are dynamic and pragmatic problem solvers. They tend to have a high degree of confidence in their own abilities, making them assertive and outspoken. In their dealings with others, they are generally outgoing, charismatic, fair-minded, and unaffected by conflict or criticism. However, these qualities can make ENTJs appear arrogant, insensitive, and confrontational. They can overwhelm others with their energy and desire to order the world according to their own vision. As a result, they may seem intimidating, hasty, and controlling.
ENTJs tend to cultivate their personal power. They often end up taking charge of a situation that seems (to their mind, at least) to be out of control, or that can otherwise be improved upon and strengthened. They strive to learn new things, which helps them become resourceful problem-solvers. However, since ENTJs rely on provable facts, they may find subjective issues pointless. ENTJs appear to take a tough approach to emotional or personal issues, and so can be viewed as aloof and insensitive. In situations requiring feeling and value judgments, ENTJs are well served to seek the advice of a trusted Feeling type.
When striving toward a goal, ENTJs often put personal needs aside until the work is done (and may expect others to do the same). For this reason, ENTJs may be considered self-sacrificing by some, but "cold and heartless" by others, especially those who prefer Feeling.
According to David Keirsey, based on observations of behavior, notable ENTJs might include Napoleon Bonaparte, Margaret Thatcher and Golda Meir. For a more complete list, see Notable Fieldmarshals.
Correlation with Enneatype
According to Baron and Wagele, the most common Enneatypes for ENTJs are Reformers (One), Achievers (Three), Skeptics (Six, also known as The Loyalist) and Asserters (Eight, also known as The Challenger).
Drawing upon Jungian theory, Isabel Myers proposed that for each personality type, the cognitive functions (sensing, intuition, thinking, and feeling) form a hierarchy. This hierarchy represents the person's default pattern of behavior.
The Dominant function is the personality type's preferred role, the one they feel most comfortable with. The secondary Auxiliary function serves to support and expand on the Dominant function. If the Dominant is an information gathering function (sensing or intuition), the Auxiliary is a decision making function (thinking or feeling), and vice versa. The Tertiary function is less developed than the Dominant and Auxiliary, but it matures over time, rounding out the person's abilities. The Inferior function is the personality type's fatal weakness. This is the function they are least comfortable with. Like the Tertiary, the Inferior function strengthens with maturity.
Jung and Myers considered the attitude of the Auxiliary, Tertiary, and Inferior functions to be the opposite of the Dominant. In this interpretation, if the Dominant function is extraverted, then the other three are introverted, and vice versa. However, many modern practitioners hold that the attitude of the Tertiary function is the same as the Dominant. Using the more modern interpretation, the cognitive functions of the ENTJ are as follows:
Dominant: Extraverted thinking (Te)
Te organizes and schedules ideas and the environment to ensure the efficient, productive pursuit of objectives. Te seeks logical explanations for actions, events, and conclusions, looking for faulty reasoning and lapses in sequence.
Te is the most developed function for ENTJs. Te involves ordering, structuring, specifying, and applying logic to situations. ENTJs tend to be endowed with strong organizational and coordination skills. Te is also focused on performing a task in the most efficient and productive manner, which generally gives ENTJs the ability to direct and marshal their environment according to work-specific needs. Further, Te contributes to the ENTJs' ability to accumulate relevant data while analyzing that data for factual accuracies and impersonal applications.
Auxiliary: Introverted intuition (Ni)
Attracted to symbolic actions or devices, Ni synthesizes seeming paradoxes to create the previously unimagined. These realizations come with a certainty that demands action to fulfill a new vision of the future, solutions that may include complex systems or universal truths.
Ni allows ENTJs to process information and events through impressions, possibilities, and meanings, thereby helping provide ENTJs with a sense of the future. Ni contributes to the ability to grasp patterns and plans. Complex, generalized information is processed through Ni to add clarity and check for imperfections. Ni supports Te in ENTJs' pursuit of goals; ENTJs use Ni to improve a situation to make it more useful to themselves.
Tertiary: Extraverted sensing (Se)
Se focuses on the experiences and sensations of the immediate, physical world. With an acute awareness of the present surroundings, it brings relevant facts and details to the forefront and may lead to spontaneous action.
In ENTJs, Se is a basic function, less developed than Te or Ni. Se helps ENTJs effectively act upon their immediate surroundings. ENTJs scan their physical environment to observe where improvements can be made, and Se is integral to the application of Te and Ni to meet those standards. Se gathers detailed data from the immediate experience to expand the ENTJs' knowledge base and heighten the ENTJs' sense of reality upon taking action.
Inferior: Introverted feeling (Fi)
Fi filters information based on interpretations of worth, forming judgments according to criteria that are often intangible. Fi constantly balances an internal set of values such as harmony and authenticity. Attuned to subtle distinctions, Fi innately senses what is true and what is false in a situation.
Fi is the ENTJs' weakest function, but it does mature over time. ENTJs have difficulty applying subjective and emotional thoughts to their decision-making, since they believe Feeling obstructs decisiveness and impartiality. While this is applicable to objective criteria, ENTJs must learn to recognize the great importance of Feeling in relationships and personal contact, since it creates the close bonds vital to human beings. At worst, a failure to engage the Feeling function can make ENTJs appear overbearing, insensitive, and abrasive. Further, it can result in an underdeveloped system of morality and values, which can disengage ENTJs from the personal world of self-fulfillment.
Later personality researchers (notably Linda V. Berens) added four additional functions to the descending hierarchy, the so-called "shadow" functions to which the individual is not naturally inclined but which can be developed, or emerge when the person is under stress. The shadow processes "operate more on the boundaries of our awareness…We usually experience these processes in a negative way, yet when we are open to them, they can be quite positive." For the ENTJ these shadow functions are (in order):
- Introverted thinking (Ti): Ti seeks precision, such as the exact word to express an idea. It notices the minute distinctions that define the essence of things, then analyzes and classifies them. Ti examines all sides of an issue, looking to solve problems while minimizing effort and risk. It uses models to root out logical inconsistency. For the ENTJ, Ti supports Te by expanding the use of the Thinking function. But using Ti requires more effort, and Ti's application is narrower.
- Extraverted intuition (Ne): Ne finds and interprets hidden meanings, using “what if” questions to explore alternatives and allowing multiple possibilities to coexist. This imaginative play weaves together insights and experiences from various sources to form a new whole, which can then become a catalyst to action. For the ENTJ, Ne can connect and generate ideas, adding breadth to the intuitive process of Ni. In its negative form Ne has a critical element that may lead to actions that demoralize or immobilize others.
- Introverted sensing (Si): Si collects data in the present moment and compares it with past experiences. This process sometimes evokes the feelings associated with memory as if the subject were reliving it. Seeking to protect what is familiar, Si draws upon history to form goals and expectations about what will happen in the future. For the ENTJ, Si can provide practical guidance and comic insight into bothersome or tiring situations that stress an otherwise stable ENTJ. However, neglect of Si can lead to careless and hasty behavior in detail-oriented tasks.
- Extraverted feeling (Fe): Fe seeks social connections and creates harmonious interactions through polite, considerate, and appropriate behavior. Fe responds to the explicit (and implicit) wants of others, and may even create an internal conflict between the subject’s own needs and the desire to meet the needs of others. For the ENTJ, the Fe function lacks proper acknowledgment much like the inferior Fi counterpart. Over the long term, Fe will balance the awareness that ENTJs have of themselves and others by dampening the excessive effects of the dominant Te function.
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