The ENTJ, or “The Commander”, thrives on pressure and loves to make tough calls and big decisions. This is reflected in their working life as well as their personal life. Their sharp eye for detail and quick wits enable them to make important judgments and decisions in an informed and efficient manner.
In this article, we will get to know and understand the ENTJ a little better so that anyone who has tested as an ENTJ will have a good insight into their strengths, weaknesses and cognitive functions!
The ENTJ, or the Commander, is one of the of the “16 personality types” that we see in several different models based on the work of Carl Jung. These models include the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Keirsey Temperament Sorter, among others.
ENTJ represents an individual who is Extraverted, iNtuitive, Thinking and Judging. This means that those who test as an ENTJ are likely to be energized by spending time with others, focus on ideas and concepts, make decisions based on logic and reason, and prefers to be planned and organized.
Driven, determined and charismatic, ENTJs are one of a kind. ENTJs will work tirelessly to achieve their goals. Where there is a will there is a way as far as an ENTJ is concerned and there is no time for inefficiency.
ENTJs are also characterized by a ruthless level of rationality. To other types, who are perhaps more timid, ENTJs can overwhelm them and appear insensitive and uncaring.
They get their nickname, “The Commander” because they are natural born leaders. Commanders are excellent at taking charge and paving the way for others. Generally, ENTJs have high standards, know what they want and will push others to do the same.
ENTJ Strengths and Weaknesses
As you might expect from a personality type so well suited to leadership, ENTJs are incredibly work-oriented and are voraciously ambitious when climbing the career ladder. They are also able to take the long view, analyzing any given situation and deciding ahead of time how best to achieve their goals.
There are few things that an ENTJ personality type likes less than mistakes and inefficiency. They tend to go about their day-to-day tasks with a great deal of precision and expect others to do the same. That said, they are also engaging and good communicators, so they can organize others into a concerted effort.
This precision and efficiency is also directed internally, enabling an ENTJ personality type to wield significant amounts of personal discipline in their own lives. This is one reason why ENTJs make such great leaders and why they are often able to get the best results out of those who work around them and for them.
ENTJ Cognitive Functions (Functional Stack)
Each of the 16 personality types has four cognitive functions, as introduced by Carl Jung. These functions are the two scales of Sensing-Intuition (used to process information) and Thinking-Feeling (used to make decisions), each of which can be expressed both in an extraverted manner (e.g., displayed outwardly/externally) or an introverted manner (e.g., displayed inwardly or internally). The ENTJ has a ‘Te, Si, Ne, Fi” cognitive stack. However, they are called the ‘TeSi” due to their top two functions. This cognitive stacks means that:
- Dominant: Te (extroverted Thinking) is the primary way that ENTJs interact with the world around them. It encourages them to be efficient, get things done and make logical decisions in the moment.
- Auxiliary: Ni (iNtroverted intuition) means that ENTJs are able to see 10 steps ahead and predict what might happen in the future. It also always the ENTJ to access many parts of their brain to find solutions.
- Tertiary: Se (extroverted iNtuition) is the cognitive function that means the ENTJ craves new experiences and idea. They can use their details and knowledge gathered from previous experiences, to create plans for new and exciting things.
- Inferior: Fi (introverted Feeling) helps ENTJs to assess situations and see how they match up to their belief. This cognitive function allows ESTJs to be sensitive to the values and feelings of those around them.
ENTJs and Work/Career
ENTJs aren’t nicknamed “Commanders” for no reason. Due to their ambition and assertiveness, ENTJs often rise to positions of powers where they can lead from the front. Similarly, ENTJs are goal setters and are likely to thrive in positions where they can work towards goals, and inspire others to do so too. Careers in sales or real estate, are likely to suit ENTJs, for example. Importantly, ENTJs are not likely to perform too well on the lowest rung of the ladder. They do not like being told what to do, particularly if they can see errors being made higher up.
Check out our comprehensive page on ENTJ careers to see more job titles specific to ENTJs.
The ENTJ is one of the least common personality types, making up only 2% of the general population! Some examples of famous ENTJs include:
- Margaret Thatcher
- Napoleon Bonaparte
- Carl Sagan
- David Letterman
- Douglas McArthur
- Harrison Thord
- Julius Caesar
- Bill Gates
- Bernie Sanders
- Sports – both supporting their favorite sports team and participating in sports
- Sharpening their professional skills
- Networking, often for career advancement
- Reading interior design magazines
- Reflecting on their goals in a journal
“I would rather be first in a village than second in Rome.”
– Julius Caesar
“I am definitely attracted to characters that [are] tough, and you have to break through that exterior.”
– Charlize Theron
“I like to work fast. I like to keep moving forward.”
– Michael Douglas
“My… style requires tremendous energy and labor.”
– Garry Kasparov
“A nation that prefers disgrace to danger is prepared for a master and deserves one.”
– Alexander Hamilton
ENTJ-A versus ENTJ-T
Those who score as an ENTJ will sit somewhere on the identity scale, ranging from assertive (A) to turbulent (T). The ENTJ-A is likely to be very confident and price themselves on who they are. When they encounter obstacles, they tend to see the opportunity for growth and learning, which makes them strong leaders.
The ENTJ-T are less confident than their assertive cousins. However, ENTJ-As can sometime appear impatient or inconsiderate. Whereas the ENTJ-T has the ability to recognize and understand the emotions of others. In general, ENTJ-Ts tend to be more considerate and empathetic!
The Career Project can help you find rewarding work that is well suited to the skills and abilities of an ENTJ. Browse our career guides to learn about different career options. Or, check out our job profiles, which are informational interviews with real-world professionals sharing their “inside scoop” on what their job is really like.
Finally, for more about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, read our first post in this series.