ENTJs are notoriously decisive, direct, individualistic and driven. That doesn’t change just because they’re working in teams. 

An ENTJ will always naturally take the lead in a team setting, even if they’re not the ones technically in charge. They can’t help but put themselves at the front of the pack, and they’re most engaged when they have the power to direct their team and be a key decision-maker.

On the flip side, they’re not the best at deferring to other people. This is where ENTJs can quickly get frustrated.

Here are 13 experiences every ENTJ has when working in teams - and exactly what they’re thinking at every point of the process.

1. Who’s in my team and what are their strengths?

The first thing an ENTJ does in a new team is size up each person and figure out where their strengths lie. You can bet the first time you meet an ENTJ they'll be going through a series of checks and balances in their minds to try to understand you better.

In a work context, an ENTJ will always be the one asking questions about your skills and your prior experience. They’ll want to know how you got to this point and how you like to work. This is an automatic response to help them figure out where you’ll work best in the team - they can’t switch it off.

2. Why am I here?

Every ENTJ has a transition moment when they’re working in a team when they realize they’re not the manager, director or leader. At this point they wonder what on earth they’re doing in that position. 

Then they start to find ways to be the leader anyway.

It’s not necessarily a deliberate or conscious process, it’s just the natural ENTJ way. They’ll try to lead their team even without realizing they’re doing it, which can sometimes land them in hot water with their actual manager or coach.

3. Can’t I just do this all by myself?

Another classic trait of ENTJs working in teams is the desire to do everything themselves and cut out all the extra people. ENTJs can be quick to judge and if they think that someone on their team isn’t capable, they’ll be really tempted to bypass that person and do the job themselves.

4. That’s an alright idea, I guess

Imagine an ENTJ in a brainstorming session - this is exactly what they’re thinking at that moment. The fact is, ENTJs will already have figured out what they think is the best idea and the best strategy going forward and they won’t have much time for anyone else’s opinions. The only way you can get them to change their minds is to come up with an earth-shattering idea that they can’t help but support.

5. I have a better idea…

If an ENTJ isn’t sharing their opinions in a team, there’s something seriously wrong with them. ENTJs always have an idea up their sleeve, a strategy they want to run with and a solution to the problem you’re facing. This makes them a brilliant asset to have on your team - but it also means they can be extra opinionated and annoying!

6. I don’t want to do the details part

ENTJs don’t do well in administrative positions or any role that requires good attention to detail. They are the big-picture people in the team so any ENTJ needs to be given responsibilities that reflect that. If you’ve got a task that requires a lot of detail-oriented work, give it to someone else. Focus on ENTJs for strategy and broad plans instead.

7. Here’s what I need you to do

Regardless of whether an ENTJ is leading their team or working in the ranks, they’ll still be telling other people what to do. Sure it can be annoying if you’re one of the people on the other end of their directions, but it’s a natural trait that they can’t switch off. You can embrace it or ignore them - your choice!

8. Delegate, delegate, delegate

Though ENTJs like to take charge, they’re not afraid to delegate when needed. ENTJs recognize that everyone has their strengths and they’re keen to use them to their advantage as much as possible. Every ENTJ knows that to have the most effective and efficient team, they need to get everyone on their side.

9. We need to go faster

There’s one thing ENTJs will never be and that’s patient. This is not the personality type that lives by a “slow and steady” motto. ENTJs are extra competitive and they’re always conscious that if they don’t get their goal, someone else will. That means they can be impatient and overly critical of others.

On the other hand, their competitiveness and energy can also be infectious. In the right setting, an ENTJ is the person to have on hand to motivate a team and inject drive and enthusiasm into a group. When they use their charisma for good, they can be an awesome asset.

10. We need to do it better than our competitors

The ENTJ personality type is naturally ambitious. ENTJs will always be striving to be that little bit better than their competition and they’ll work that extra bit harder to get there. Thanks to their goal-oriented personality type, ENTJs are tireless in the pursuit of their team’s collective goals.

11. Who’s getting distracted?

If you’re in a team with an ENTJ, procrastinate at your peril! This personality type is super focused and motivated so they don’t have a lot of time for people who get distracted easily. If you’re twiddling your thumbs when you could be getting stuff done, you can bet an ENTJ is going to tell you to focus in their characteristically direct way.

12. You’re all brilliant!

Ultimately, ENTJs love working with other people. They’re hugely passionate about what they do and they work really hard to bring out the best in other people. They’re happiest when they’re working towards a goal, and if their team members are also excited and engaged, they’ll be happy. 

Expect your ENTJ colleague to invite you out for a beer to celebrate or bring in cookies after you hit a key target. ENTJs love the feeling of succeeding and they make sure to let you know it!

What’s next?

ENTJs are always looking ahead to the next challenge. You’ve completed that task and hit that goal? Fantastic. An ENTJ will be ready and waiting to set the next target and go after it. They’re amazing people to have on your team – as long as everyone is pulling their weight, of course.

Elizabeth Harris
Elizabeth is a freelance writer and ghostwriter. She’s an anthropologist at heart and loves using social theory to get deeper into the topics she writes about. Born in the UK, Elizabeth has lived in Copenhagen, Frankfurt and Dubai before moving most recently to Budapest, Hungary. She’s an ENTJ with ENFJ leanings. Find out more about her work at bethharris.com