Fearlessness. One of the ENTP’s greatest strengths and keys to success is his or her boldness in the face of challenge. These are people who are not afraid to try and fail and try again, perhaps thousands of times; they don’t conceive of it as failure, merely another step along the path to success. As they invent and innovate, they are undeterred by doubts, they are barely ruffled when outcomes don’t go as planned and they see all “problems” as opportunities to be embraced and pursued.
Innovation. In all things—products, procedures and systems—ENTPs know there is always a better way and with the right kind of thinking, they will get there. As a result, they may suffer a lot of seeming failures in their lives, but will enjoy many successes as well. They can be marvelously rich and lose their entire life savings—perhaps a few times within the course of their lives. They live out loud and take risks.
Adaptability. ENTPs are generally go-with-the-flow people. This isn’t to say that they are particularly agreeable individuals, but that they are able to adapt to their circumstances and the problems that arise in life and work. ENTPs can improvise on the fly and come up with creative solutions rapidly. They deal well with fast-paced and frequent change and enjoy the corresponding challenges.
Confidence. Generally speaking, criticism and ostracism have very little effect on ENTPs. They are confident in their skills and talents and believe in the power of their ideas. Opposition on the way to success is to be expected and they don’t take it personally; they’d rather prove their detractors wrong.
Flightiness. That which is a strength can easily become a weakness and this is seen in the case of ENTPs and their idea-generating nature. While this can be the ENTP’s greatest strength, it can also mean that the ENTP may be flighty and flaky, jumping from one idea to the next and struggling to follow through. Their fear of missing out can make it hard to commit to one idea or one path; they want to keep exploring and evaluating.
Impracticality. ENTPs have a chaotic air about them that can range from amusing to aggravating, especially to coworkers and spouses. In their tendency to get caught up in their ideas they often lose sight of the immediate tasks around them such as house work, yard work and other responsibilities of daily living, such as paying bills. An ENTP may be stunningly brilliant but also poor, disorganized and seemingly untethered.
Breaking norms. Nonconformity, while it can be a positive trait, often gets the ENTP into trouble. Their entire approach to life is founded upon charting their own course, pushing the boundaries and doing things their way. While this leads to great creativity and advances in their fields, in can also put them at odds with authority figures and superiors, which can, in turn, hinder their progress and impede their success. “Incorrigible” and “stubborn” are two words that wouldn’t be out of place in describing a typical ENTP.
Procrastination. ENTPs are also known for their tendencies toward procrastination and poor time management. To some degree, this is a product of their Perceiving component in which they prefer to continue taking in information rather than making a decision and getting down to business. The issue is not necessarily laziness as much as it is a disinclination to stop the intake of ideas and information in order to move forward with one idea or one decision. They have a hard time prioritizing tasks and will struggle to keep new information and ideas from getting in the way of the work at hand.
ENTP Growth and Development
In order to reach their full potential, ENTPs should:
Do a little more research. ENTPs are quick to dive into new projects and ideas headfirst. While this enthusiastic “all in” quality can be a strength, it can also be detrimental when people of this type fail to do the due diligence or to pay adequate attention to the details. The ENTP can help avoid wasted time and money by stepping back and investigating first.
Look at the “small picture.” As big-picture people and conceptual thinkers, people of this type are focused on the broad themes and patterns and the big, important projects, often letting the details fall by the wayside. However details—while nothing more than a bother to the ENTP—are often essential. ENTPs will do well to realize that details often end up eating more time in the long run if neglected or overlooked.
Learn to adapt to rules and structures. Rules aren’t actually made to be broken, contrary to the ENTP’s belief, and the people who follow them aren’t to be disdained as thoughtless or unintelligent. These boundaries provide order. If everyone disregarded them we’d be living in very different circumstances. ENTPs will get along better at work and in society if they can try to have a little respect for authority and follow the rules.
Stick to it. ENTPs generate so many different ideas and interesting options that they simply want to explore them all. While this can be an asset, it also can deter them from simply getting on with the work at hand. At some point, in order to be most productive, the ENTP needs to make a decision on a course of action, plot the steps to the finish and then just get going.
Differentiate between the possible and the probable. ENTPs often don’t properly distinguish between these two categories and thus find themselves spending a wealth of resources pursuing something that, though possible, is not at all probable. People of this type will do well to factor in the feasibility of various ideas when considering their many options.