MBTI® ENTJ and Workplace Behavior – Individuals’ innate personality influences every aspect of human behavior, including how one communicates with colleagues, navigates and avoids potential conflicts, and organizes one’s professional day. Personality type can even shape personal and professional preferences, such as the types of fields or careers that one finds fulfilling, as well as the type of work environment in which one is most likely to thrive. Leaders, organizations, and individuals alike can harness personality insights and apply them to optimize their operations, maximize output, improve customer satisfaction, and more. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) framework, assessment, and related analytical tools are integral to making these goals reality.
ENTJ (Extraverted-Intuitive-Thinking-Judgment) personality types are “logical, organized, structured, objective, and decisive” (Hirsh, S. & Kummerow, J., p25, CPP Inc., 1998). ENTJs are also inherently social and outgoing. They often function as interpersonal and professional networkers, moving seamlessly between groups that would not generally interact without their facilitation. They may even bring these groups together, serving as natural leaders. ENTJs take pride in tackling seemingly insurmountable problems head-on, working tirelessly to discover the most efficient solution, developing a strategy for implementation, and ultimately bringing their vision to life and moving on to their next challenge. ENTJs tend to be strong-willed and may even come across as self-centered. However, if properly prepared with insights from The MBTI®, they and those around them can anticipate and leverage their strengths and mitigate their challenges for their own, others’ and an entire organization’s benefit.
Organizational Climate and ENTJ Disposition
People with different personality types typically thrive in different workplace environments because of synergies between their own preferences and tendencies, those of their peers, and the characteristics of their environment itself. Workplace environment is complex and includes factors as diverse as appropriate dress, corporate hierarchy, communicative standards, and more. While diversity of personality and communication style can be an asset, for instance if a consulting company needs to match clients with consultants who can meet their needs, diversity within a team can become a liability if not handled appropriately because of potential miscommunications. Different members of a team or organization must be able to interact with each other comfortably and communicate quickly and unambiguously, so they can return to successfully accomplishing the task at hand.
ENTJs typically do best in goal-oriented environments that have efficient procedures, systems, and people. Because of their “Thinking” and “Judging” (a “Judging” type does not mean that an ENTJ is judgmental but instead is an organized person who prefers schedules and structure) preferences, ENTJs are inherently outcome-driven. They focus narrowly on solving problems and completing their designated assignments without paying much attention to the “human element” and social niceties of workplace communication, which may be more important to colleagues with “Feeling” personality types. For example, they may see a semi-mandatory Friday team lunch as unnecessary or even invasive, since they do not receive a financial bonus for giving up their lunch hour. This perspective may create friction with colleagues who see such lunches as fulfilling bonding experiences that build relationships that directly improve collaboration in professional environments.
Furthermore, “Judgment” means that ENTJs are highly systematic, both mentally and physically. They express themselves clearly and concisely and think in a linear way that clearly connects premises and conclusions or causes and effects. Furthermore, they dislike clutter both at home and in the workplace. Their organization can manifest in many aspects of their behavior, from leaving their desk in the same arrangement each evening to making identical cups of coffee each morning. As a result, they may find loosely structured organizations stressful because their expectations are not met. When it comes to meetings, ENTJs are punctual if not early. They appreciate invites and agendas being communicated in advance, and they notice when organizers deviate from the agreed-upon timeframe or docket. In discussions and brainstorming sessions, ENTJs contribute and value practical proposals that consider the constraints of implementation. That said, they tend to be “big picture” or macro-level thinkers, and their approaches to large or complex problems typically consider broad objectives.
Workplace Association and Interaction
In the modern workplace, simply streamlining communication can result in significant efficiency gains, as less time is wasted in clarifications and tasks are completed correctly the first time. While a diversity of personality and communication style can be an asset, for instance when matching clients with consultants who can meet their needs, diversity within a team can become a liability if not handled appropriately. Different members of a team or organization must be able to communicate with each other quickly, comfortably, and unambiguously, so they can focus on the task at hand.
ENTJs are strong-willed, decisive individuals who enjoy working with people who make their opinions and needs explicit. Their focus and drive are so strong that they may overlook subtle social cues that indicate another person may be uncomfortable or hesitant. They can be competitive and prioritize achieving the best possible outcomes rather than building relationships.
As ENTJs continue to grow and develop, they may need to pay more attention to the human element. Even small gestures and comments, like complimenting an employee’s contributions in private (“Nice work!”) or even in public (“Sue stayed late Friday to do X.”) can create a positive shift in company culture. In addition, ENTJs may need to take a step back and consider multiple aspects of a situation before deciding on and pursuing a course of action. At times, their eagerness to solve a problem can result in making decisions hastily and having to backtrack later on.
ENTJs and Operational Efficiency
Strong teamwork and efficient operations are essential for the success of any organization, from churches and nonprofits to family-owned businesses to multi-national corporations. Every team member, regardless of their personality type plays a different role in this process. Understanding contributors’ MBTI® type can provide valuable insights that can help balance teams and ensure that people with different or even conflicting personalities collaborate more smoothly.
ENTJs provide structure and organization, as well as an analytical approach and a strong will. They may not remember their colleagues’ birthdays, or maybe even the names of new hires, but they will likely be able to answer any relevant questions about their projects and can quickly analyze complex situations to develop logical courses of action. Their almost exclusive focus on professional success makes ENTJs invaluable members of any team. However, those who work closely with ENTJs or who lead teams with ENTJs should be aware that other team members may feel neglected or even irritated if their need for personal connection and appreciation is not met. At the same time, ENTJs may themselves become frustrated if others do not respect their time or any agreed-upon deadlines. Even seemingly minor inconveniences, such as meetings consistently running over time, can become sources of stress and conflict.
Like other “Thinking” and “Judging” personality types, ENTJs prefer to have a clear workplace hierarchy with defined supervisors and direct reports (Judging does not infer that ENTJs are judgmental, it means that these types prefer to be scheduled, structured, goal oriented and organized). They find it easier to prioritize tasks and projects when they know who the respective stakeholders are and how each task contributes to their organization overall. For example, if an ENTJ has two projects competing for their time, which project should be prioritized is much clearer if one ultimately helps the C-suite make a critical business decision while the other is a “nice to have” from a director in a different department.
ENTJs approach learning and professional development in the same way they approach any other assignment—they are fast, efficient, and focused on outcome. They are most invested in training that explains the theory behind behavioral change. In other words, they not only want to know “what” and “how” something needs to be done, but also “why” changes are being made or why specific procedures are optimal. For example, an ENTJ learning a new standard operating procedure will be more motivated to make a behavioral change if they understand why the procedure is being altered and how it will improve safety, efficiency, or other metrics. When preparing learning materials for ENTJs, it may be helpful to include expert opinions and testimony, as well as opportunities to explore implications of the recommendations being made.
Using the MBTI® in the Workplace
Strategically applying the Myers Briggs Type Indicator® Assessment can greatly improve any professional setting. The first step is for every team member to take a simple self-assessment. Then, each person will receive a comprehensive report detailing the characteristics of their MBTI® Type and how their personality type may influence their personal and professional preferences, proclivities, and behavior. These insights can improve organizations’ approach to resolving conflicts, structuring learning and development programs, designing incentive structures, and many other operational considerations. The MBTI® can also help employees understand their co-workers, including their vocational values, decision-making habits, and personal fulfilment. Collectively, The MBTI® can contribute to greater empathy and patience among employees, making it an invaluable tool for streamlining communication, maximizing efficiencies, and improving employee satisfaction.
Introduction To Type in Organizations (Hirsh, S. & Kummerow, J. CPP Inc., 1998)