Celebrity MBTI® Test: George Washington Personality Type ISTJ, Lead Like A Founding Father

Leon Jesmanowicz, Vice-PresidentISTJ, MBTI, MBTI Celebrities, Personality Type

George Washington Personality Type

This week marks the beginning of a sixteen-part blog series focusing on different Myers-Briggs® test Personality Types and a Celebrity throughout history that matches the MBTI® Type.  It’s appropriate that we begin this series with our first president and a great example of the ISTJ Type, George Washington.

The ISTJ Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® Personality Type combines Introversion, Sensing, Thinking, and Judging.  The strengths of the ISTJ Type form the foundation of a man who would defeat the British as the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and develop the rituals surrounding the United States’ Presidency.

A key ISTJ strength is the individual’s great loyalty and sense of responsibility to organizations and relationships.  Whether it’s one’s commitment to his or her family, or George Washington’s commitment to the infantile and then fragile entity that would one day be the great United States, the end point is the same.

ISTJs have a tendency to have a dogmatic and practical commitment to finishing what they see as necessary.  In a person’s everyday life it might mean making sure a project or daily agenda gets done no matter the obstacle. In George Washington’s case it might have been as grand as continuing the fight for his country and freedom after numerous defeats and setbacks.  The flip side of an ISTJ’s dedication toward commitment is their polarizing tendency to cringe at the thought of committing to something that is illogical to them.  In order for ISTJs to be at their best, they have to believe that their path is logical and can be achieved in a practical manner.

Interestingly enough, ISTJs prefer to work alone based on their Introverted preference, which would normally have made it difficult for George Washington to lead an army, or nation.  Luckily, ISTJs are comfortable working in teams when it’s necessary to get the job done right.

The key is that ISTJs prefer roles to be clearly defined — they expect people to fulfill their assigned responsibilities just as they hold themselves accountable for their own duties and responsibilities.  This can be applied to everything from managing a team of specialists at a software firm to managing your own family unit, or heading a team that leads the United States of America.

ISTJs use a logical, objective, tough-minded approach when making decisions.  True to their Thinking Type, they don’t look at individuals but instead focus on the task at hand as whole.  This allows them to detach from specific points where there may have personal bias and focus on analyzing the greater picture and do what is best for the successful completion of the task at hand.

George Washington’s decision to cross the Delaware River during the dead of winter is a perfect example of how he analyzed a situation as an ISTJ. He realized he would have to endure human casualties due to extreme weather, but believed that the proposed surprise attack would have a better chance at success than his other options.  This event triggered a chain of events that culminated in his overall victory over the British.

When others look at ISTJs, they see a person who is calm, consistent, reserved, orderly, serious, and one who values traditions; this is an almost-perfect description of George Washington.

ISTJs believe standard procedures and traditions exist because they work. They also favor a planned and organized approach to obstacles, consistent with their Judging preference.  They are slow to change their minds on subjects unless facts show that an alternate method brings forth better results (Myers, I. et al. 2007).

Do not let this make you believe that all ISTJs are simply stubborn and stone-faced.  Interestingly enough, if someone an ISTJ cares for expresses a need, and convinces the ISTJ it is important, then the ISTJ will take that as a fact and go out of his or her way to meet that need even if he or she doesn’t personally believe it is the best choice based on analysis (Myers, I. et al. 2007).

Those closest to an ISTJ may also get to experience the rich Sensing observations and sometimes-humorous private reactions to the world, but this side of an ISTJ is closed off to all but the closest of friends and family.

If you would like more in-depth information on ISTJs or if you would like to discover your Myers-Briggs Type Personality, go to our MBIT Assessment page and take the Myers-Briggs Assessment for an analysis of your type.  And don’t forget to check in next time when we continue to part two of our sixteen-part series of MBTI Type and the Celebrity personalities that exhibited those types.

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Introduction to Type (Isabel Briggs Myers, 1998, CPP Inc.)

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