ENTJ in a Nutshell
ENTJs are strategic leaders, motivated to organize change. They are quick to see inefficiency and conceptualize new solutions, and enjoy developing long-range plans to accomplish their vision. They excel at logical reasoning and are usually articulate and quick-witted.
ENTJs are analytical and objective, and like bringing order to the world around them. When there are flaws in a system, the ENTJ sees them, and enjoys the process of discovering and implementing a better way. ENTJs are assertive and enjoy taking charge; they see their role as that of leader and manager, organizing people and processes to achieve their goals.
What Makes the ENTJ Tick
ENTJs are often very motivated by success in their careers and enjoy hard work. They are ambitious and interested in gaining power and influence. To the ENTJ, decision-making is a vocation. They want to be in a position to make the call and put plans into motion.
ENTJs tend to be blunt and decisive. Driven to get things done, they can sometimes be critical or brusque in the pursuit of a goal. They are typically friendly and outgoing, although they may not pick up on emotional subleties in other people. They often love working with others toward a common goal, but may not find time to attend to their feelings. They are focused on results and want to be productive, competent, and influential.
Recognizing an ENTJ
ENTJs are natural leaders, and often take charge no matter where they are. They typically have a clear vision for the future, and intuitively understand how to move people and processes towards that goal. They tend to approach every situation with the attitude of an efficiency analyst, and are not shy about pointing out what could be done better. For the ENTJ, their ideas are a foregone conclusion: it’s just a matter of time before they can move the players to get everything accomplished.
ENTJs are often gregarious, and seem to have an idea for how a person will fit into their grand scheme from the moment they are introduced. They are typically direct and may seem presumptuous or even arrogant; they size people and situations up very quickly, and have trouble being anything but honest about what they see. ENTJs are sensitive to issues of power, and seek positions and people of influence. They are characeristically ambitious, and often very engaged in their careers. More than any other type, ENTJs enjoy their work, and may even say that working is what they do for fun.
ENTJ in the Population
ENTJ is one of the least common types in the population, and the rarest type among women (with INTJ). ENTJs make up:
- 2% of the general population
- 3% of men
- 1% of women
Popular hobbies for ENTJs include taking leadership positions in community groups, attending social gatherings or sporting events, and playing competitive sports. Because ENTJs are so often focused on their careers, they may have few interests outside of work, or they may participate in leisure activities that also help to further their careers.
Research on ENTJ
Interesting facts about the ENTJ:
- On personality trait measures, score as Ambitious, Forceful, Optimistic, Egotistical, Adaptable, and Energetic
- Least likely of all types to report stress resulting from work or finances
- More likely than average to suffer cardiac problems
- Among the least likely of all types to believe in a higher spiritual power
- Among top 4 types in college GPA
- Among most likely to stay in college
- Personal values include Home/Family, Achievement, Creativity, and Learning
- Overrepresented among MBA students and small business owners
- One of two types most likely to be satisfied with their work
What the Experts Say
"ENTJs are seldom content in a job that makes no demand on intuition. They need problems to solve and are likely to be expert at finding new solutions."
- Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing
"When in charge of an organization, whether in the military, business, education, or government, ENTJs desire and have the ability to visualize where the organization is going, and they seem unusually able to communicate that vision to others."
- David Keirsey, Please Understand Me II
"They see daily life as a kind of chessboard, upon which people, things, and entities are moved, removed, altered, and engaged—constantly for the organizational good."
- Otto Kroeger, Type Talk at Work
ENTJ at Work
ENTJs are drawn to leadership positions that allow them to develop strategies to achieve greater efficiency and productivity. They prefer to be in management or supervisory roles, and want the ability to initiate and lead organizational change.
ENTJs enjoy the challenge of solving difficult problems, and enjoy understanding complex systems so that they can determine where improvement is possible. ENTJs naturally see opportunities to improve systems, and want to lead teams to carry out their vision. They appreciate an environment where innovation is encouraged, and where traditions are not held sacred.
ENTJs want structure in their work. They prefer that their work and that of their colleagues be evaluated based on a set of clear guidelines. They appreciate an environment that is businesslike and fair, where performance is evaluated objectively and rewarded generously. ENTJs are typically motivated and hardworking, and want to be recognized for their efforts with money, power, and prestige.
An ideal organization for an ENTJ values competence and logical thinking, and includes coworkers who are intelligent and ambitious. An ideal job for an ENTJ is one that challenges them to address complex problems with strategic planning and clear goal-setting.
Popular Careers for the ENTJ
Top careers for the ENTJ include:
Least Popular Careers for ENTJs
It is important to note that any personality type can be successful in any occupation. However, some occupations are well suited to the natural talents and preferred work style of the ENTJ, while other occupations demand modes of thinking and behavior that do not come as naturally to the ENTJ. Occupations that require the ENTJ to operate outside their natural preferences may prove stressful or draining, and often sound unappealing to ENTJs who are choosing a career.
The following occupations have been found to be unpopular among ENTJs, based on data gathered from surveys of the general population.
ENTJs as Leaders
In leadership positions, the ENTJ excels at organizing and implementing long-term plans for change. They prefer to be in control and will take on as much responsibility and decision-making power as possible.
ENTJ leaders are democratic about ideas, and often willing to listen to new perspectives; however, when the time comes to make a decision, they are commanding and unwavering. ENTJ leaders who have already made up their mind are singly focused on action, and leave little room for dissent.
ENTJs are focused on long range plans and vision, and lead their teams systematically towards their goal. They enjoy attacking tough problems, and want to organize people and resources strategically to achieve goals on time. They focus on results and can be blunt and critical; they may have difficulty with employees who want a more personal touch. ENTJs do best leading no-nonsense, goal-oriented teams who share their desire to get to work.
ENTJs on a Team
ENTJs are commanding team members who typically want to take charge. They are strategic thinkers with an intuitive sense of what needs to get done and how everyone can contribute. ENTJs typically have a clear vision and often see how systems can be improved. They may not want to take much time explaining themselves to others, and although the clarity of their ideas is often convincing, they may have power struggles with teammates who question their ability or authority to lead the team.
ENTJs are objective thinkers who are willing to consider many options, and typically listen to their teammates’ ideas openly. They are good at synthesizing information and can often incorporate many ideas into a single plan of action. Although ENTJs are open to ideas, they are also decisive, and may take it upon themselves to deem when a discussion has been concluded. Personal issues rarely command the ENTJ’s attention, and may be neglected in their drive to finalize a concept. ENTJs want to create a definitive plan for change, and move decisively to action.
ENTJ Communication Style
ENTJs are direct and commanding communicators, often with a clear idea of what needs to be done and and a take-charge attitude toward organizing people and projects. ENTJs are organized and strategic in their thinking. They communicate their vision and their plan to implement it in a logical, task-oriented way. ENTJs see flaw in ideas and plans quickly and give critique freely. They enjoy analyzing ideas, but are ultimately oriented toward action; they want to integrate information, formulate a long-term plan, and then move forward.
ENTJs as Partners
In relationships, the ENTJ is a commanding and challenging partner. ENTJs have high expectations for themselves and for their partners, and want a mate who will put in the time and effort necessary to create a successful life together.
ENTJs prefer to have their homes and lives structured and organized, and may be domineering in imposing this structure on others. They tend to have a clear idea of how things should be done, and may feel that others should follow.
ENTJs are enthusiastic and analytical problem-solvers, and will approach conflict head-on. They are unemotional in sorting out issues, and weigh perspectives with a logical detachment. They may neglect to attend to their partner's feelings, preferring to arrive at conclusions with objective logic. They can also have trouble listening patiently, because of their strong desire to problem-solve.
ENTJs are typically ambitious and may spend a lot of time at work or otherwise pursuing career success. They often need a partner who is independent and supportive of their goals. ENTJs value a partner who respects and appreciates their competence, intelligence, and effectiveness.
ENTJs as Parents
As parents, ENTJs are in control of their children and their households. ENTJs set clear expectations and see that their rules are followed. They tend to be consistent and rational disciplinarians by setting clear consequences for misbehavior, and usually elicit obedience from their children.
ENTJs often have a strong focus on career, and so may spend limited time at home and with family. However, they place great importance on the task of being a competent and effective parent. They often ensure that what time they do spend with their children is well used, and allows them to instill values of hard work, productivity, and achievement.