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The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a popular test for determining personality types. Participants answer questions about their habits and preferences, and the test sorts them by key functions and attitudes. According to the MBTI, there are 16 core personalities, and they are denoted by acronyms like ENTJ.
But what are ENTJs like? What are the key attributes of this personality type, and what are the ENTJ strengths and weaknesses? Let’s find out!
What is the ENTJ Personality Type?
The Myers-Briggs personality types are based on the theories of psychologist Carl Jung, who believed that consciousness expresses itself in nonrational functions, rational functions, and attitude types.
Everyone has a dominant function and attitude that they are most comfortable with and use in most situations and a repressed or unconscious opposite function that they rarely use or express.
In the simplest terms, this combination of dominant functions and attitudes + repressed functions are the basis of the strengths and weaknesses of different personality types.
Today’s type indicators are simpler than Jung’s original theories, and the 4-letter system devised by Myers and Briggs is now used in several different theories of personality. Let’s examine the ENTJ attributes more closely.
The E in ENTJ stands for extrovert, which indicates your preferred source of mental attention and energy. Extroverts are motivated and energized by active involvement and group events and by having lots of people around them.
They like energy and excitement and usually have a wide group of friends and acquaintances. They typically understand problems better when they talk them through with others and often act first and think later.
The N in ENFP stands for iNtuition, which indicates what kind of information is most meaningful and memorable for you. Intuitive people pay attention to mental impressions and conceptual patterns and work well with theories, symbols, and abstractions.
Intuitive people learn by thinking things through and imagining different outcomes. Their focus is on the future and various possibilities rather than the concrete details of the here and now.
The T in ENTJ stands for thinking, which indicates your preference for how decisions are made. The thinking personality type prefers to make decisions based on universal principles and impersonal facts without considering feelings about themselves or others. Instead, they try to analyze pros and cons logically and objectively and arrive at logical and rational decisions and principles that can be applied to a wide range of situations.
The J in ENTJ stands for judging, which indicates the behaviors you tend to express outwardly and how you want to be seen. A judging personality type leads with their thinking, so they seem to have a planned and orderly life. They express clear and consistent decisions, keep themselves organized and on schedule, and prefer to make plans and lists in advance.
With these collective traits, the ENTJ has earned the nickname “The Commander” because their analytical insights are paired with strategic thinking and persuasive communication. They quickly notice flaws and problems and enjoy discovering and implementing improvements. In addition, they are decisive and like to make final judgment calls, so they are excellent managers, using their skills to organize others toward achieving common goals.
Although the ENTJ is one of the rarest personality types, with just 2-5% of the population, and 1-4% of women, their natural leadership abilities make them stand out from the crowd. In fact, many of our most famous politicians and entrepreneurs are ENTJs.
5 Strengths of the ENTJ Personality
Here are the key ENTJ personality strengths:
The ENTJ believes in their ability to analyze and understand problems and situations and make the right decision.
Therefore, they trust their abilities, express their opinions without compromise or self-doubt, and are willing to work hard and take risks based on their assessments.
2. Organized and Efficient
An ENTJ doesn’t want anything to interfere with implementing their plans and ideas, so they naturally optimize organization and reduce inefficiency.
They excel at streamlining processes and are just as capable of organizing people and systems as they are at organizing themselves.
An ENTJ does not want to waste time in uncertainty and inaction. They make clear, actionable decisions and express and explain them well to others. Once they have decided, they commit to it and follow it through.
The ENTJ is a great communicator, able to explain their logic and reasoning to others. This makes them incredibly persuasive because other people understand their thought processes and reasoning, so they agree with their decisions and work toward those outcomes.
While the confidence and assertiveness of an ENTJ may intimidate some people, they are open-minded and receptive to criticism and disagreement and don’t take it personally.
If you give an ENTJ new information, make valid criticisms, or prove them wrong, they will readily adapt to the unique situation and behave accordingly, without anger or resentment. In fact, they will probably respect and appreciate you for it.
4 Weaknesses of the ENTJ Personality
The ENTJ weaknesses are probably already apparent because they are part of their strengths. Here are the most significant weaknesses of ENTJ:
The ENTJ is notoriously impatient. This can make them disregard valuable input if it happens too slowly or express annoyance at processes and systems that are slow and inefficient. In addition, their impatience can make other people feel as though they don’t have time to explain themselves, give opinions, or fully participate.
While an ENTJ is open to new perspectives and opinions, they won’t change their mind unless they believe they have been proven wrong. Their confidence and willpower often lead to stubbornness and inflexibility, where they won’t entertain ideas that delay or distract from their plans and goals.
On the other hand, they will not give in just to get along and create harmony, even on minor issues.
An ENTJ is a factual, unemotional, direct communicator who is often blunt, cold, and insensitive. They do not handle their own emotions, or other people's feelings, with care and consideration and often shut down or express anger in emotional situations.
The combination of confidence, determination, and insensitivity can make the ENTJ aggressive and even ruthless. When they have decided to overcome an obstacle, dismiss an objection, implement a plan, or accomplish a goal, they won’t let anything stand in their way.
Considering the history of famous ENTJs like Steve Jobs and Margaret Thatcher, this combination of strengths and weaknesses becomes very clear. The Commander is a natural leader with incredible intellect, a gift for strategic thinking, and the ability to clearly communicate and persuade others to follow their plans.
As leaders, many people love their straightforward, frank, and open communication style and willingness to accept and adapt to new information. However, their impatience, arrogance, and insensitivity can also be challenging to work for.
In the workplace, ENTJs are often seen as ambitious, wanting to climb the ladder into leadership. However, they aren’t actually motivated by titles or compensation; the ENTJ simply wants the authority to pursue their plans without hindrance.
When an ENTJ is not in a leadership position, they can be tough to manage and supervise, with their frequent, blunt, open disagreements and criticism.
For these reasons, ENTJs need to pursue career paths that take advantage of their strengths and minimize factors that aggravate them.
ENTJs typically avoid jobs that require a high degree of emotional communication, compassion, and compromise, like childcare, nursing, and work in the service industry. Instead, ENTJs tend to be happier in professions like:
As you may have guessed, ENTJs are also excellent entrepreneurs and earn more than any other personality type when self-employed.
The self-confidence of an ENTJ may make them avoid considering areas for personal growth and development. Still, they will be happier if they pursue greater balance, focusing less on the workplace and more on the other dimensions of life.
Tips for People with ENTJ Personality
To grow personally and achieve greater balance, the ENTJ needs to learn to value feelings and emotions, both their own and other people’s. They can accomplish this in the same way they use their talents to achieve any other goal: work, attention, and effort. Some solutions to overcome ENTJ weaknesses include:
Meditation and Mindfulness
Mindfulness can help an ENTJ overcome the impatience that often makes them rude and hurtful to others. Take time for mindful listening. Instead of rushing to make a judgment and implement a decision, an ENTJ should try meditating on a problem and simply sitting quietly with it.
Explore what the problem feels like and the feelings of all the people involved. If you discover a perspective that makes you emotionally uncomfortable, focus on it for a while and consider why you feel that way.
Journaling is a way for the ENTJ to explore and focus on their own emotions and slow down a bit, but it is important for an ENTJ journal to not give in to their natural tendency to make lists.
For some personality types, “5 Things…” journal entries can be effective, but the ENTJ needs to focus on their feelings and elaborate on them in detail.
For example, an ENTJ could choose one emotion a day, describe a time when they felt that way, and describe how it felt in every part of their body (heart racing, face flushed, palms sweaty, etc.).
Exploring their emotional and physical side in an introverted way, rather than focusing on extroverted thinking, is a healthy exercise for the ENTJ.
Final Thoughts on the ENTJ Personality
The ENTJ is a rare personality type but so dynamic and dominant that they are easy to spot. The Commander personality may be small in number, but their unusual combination of traits makes them exceptionally memorable, with a significant impact on business, politics, and history. Their sister personality type, the INTJ, is equally rare and equally influential but less likely to stand out in a crowd.
If you don’t yet know your own personality type, here are some great tests to help you learn more about yourself. And if you want to know more about the MBTI and the 16 personalities, check out our guide.
Finally, if you want to identify YOUR personality type, then take one of these 11 personality tests to better understand what makes you tick.