Does Your Personality Type Lead or Follow?

Does Your Personality Type Lead or Follow?

By Jack Speer | December 17, 2015

Can your personality type lead? 
In today’s world, followers get marginalized, laid off, lack respect from others, get fewer promotions, and are poorly paid. It is also certain that as you age it only gets worse…

The good news is that all personality types can lead best in the areas where they are most gifted.

You can locate your personality type below to find out

  1. Where your personality type leads best
  2. Where you personality type is likely to struggle in leadership

11.6% of the Population

Where You’re Best: As an ISTJ, you’re excellent at managing existing systems such as accounting, legal and HR, etc. You organize data, systemize compliance, and create SOPS. You keep people and organizations on track.

Where you’re challenged: You may be challenged when you are asked to create new products, services and technologies, because your expertise and experience is with existing data and systems. When you’re asked to manage systems where there is no historical data, you may not feel comfortable. You may struggle in a planning and strategy role in marketing, product development, and roles for which there is no data for the way it functioned in the past.

When you Excel! You excel as an ISTJ in a team in a traditional organization where you are respected and valued as in charge of existing systems that allow the organization to function such as accounting, human relations, and operations. You best ally with people who develop product and services, and chart the future direction of a company.

13.8% of the Population

Where You’re Best: You may not have thought of yourself as a leader, but your leadership is very important. As a person who passionately cares about people, you lead in taking care if them. You are found in the care industry, childcare and teaching, senior adults, restaurants. You are where people need help, and you lead others in the process.

Where you’re challenged: You may be challenged when cast into a role where there is conflict, situations where there are inevitable winners and losers. Although you may be the exception, you probably have little attraction to organizations where power politics rule. You will most likely not enjoy work settings where outcomes are more important than people.

When you Excel! As an ISFJ, you will excel in a workplace design where there is a defined structure with the opportunity to take care of the needs of others. You may find your opportunity to excel in healthcare, education, and in the hospitality/travel industry.

1.5% of the Population

Where You’re Best: As an INFJ, drawn to lead in areas where you can help. Helping is more important to you than achieving. Your strong sense of values may lead you into healthcare, religious service, counseling, or similar fields. Your personal sense of your own vision helps you create a vision for others.

Where you’re challenged: As an INFJ, you may be challenged in situations in organizational teams where you are forced to create winners and losers by your decisions, and where politics play a central role. In situations where goals force you to choose outcomes over your values, you will most probably choose not to lead.

When you Excel! As an INFJ, your leadership will excel in situations where you lead people in caring for them and helping them to develop their potential. You will be happy as an INFJ leader if you find yourself in an environment where there is structure, where you are most likely to find harmony and lack of conflict.

2.1% of the Population

Where You’re Best: As an INTJ, you best can claim the title of “thought leader.” Your combination of extroverted iNtuition and Introverted Thinking allows you to grasp theory perhaps better than any other type. INTJ’s often are thought leaders as scientists, university lecturers, and early stage product development leaders. Although often aloof person to person, few are more able to stir enthusiasm in a classroom setting with witty and creative approaches.

Where you’re challenged: As an INTJ, your ability to understand and explain theory and models and may lead you to individual contributor roles that may tend to keep you from team leadership. Even when you are the leader of the team, you may be more interested in the intellectual content of the project than leading the team. Outcomes can be important to you, but lack of interest in process, procedures, and the politics of interpersonal relationships may not make active leadership your thing.

When you Excel! As an INTJ, you excel as a brilliant individual player, a thought leader as a scientist, theoretician, or lecturer. INTJ’s have the ability to dazzle those around them with their intellect, insight, and wit. You excel in environments when you can best use these attributes.

5.4% of the Population

Where You’re Best: As an ISTP, you are likely to be a hands-on leader that works well with teams in a collegial group setting. You are a personality type is mechanically inclined and you value the comradery of your friends and fellow workers. As an ISTP you tend to lead by your ability to relate to people as peers in your circle.

Where you’re challenged: As an ISTP you will be challenged when asked to manage and direct different functions and roles across the organization. Your decision making style tends to be based on loyalty to the group you identify with closest. You may not do well when dealing with parts of the organization that are different from your own. You may have difficulty managing in a top down organization.

When you Excel! As an ISTP your leadership is valuable in your circle of friends and colleagues, where you are valuable to the organization. As an ISTP you are an astute observer of people and what is going on around you, which makes you valuable in times of crisis. You may excel in law enforcement, construction, and emergency medical care.

4.4% of the Population

Where You’re Best: As an ISFP, you lead those who want to take uncommon paths. You may be an artist and lead others to see what no one else can see or experience. Your art may be in challenging yourself in extreme sports.

Where you’re challenged: As in ISFP, you are not likely to work well in organizations with routine with daily schedules and requirements. You are unlikely to lead in 9 to 5 settings.

When you Excel! As an ISFP, finding situations where you can lead by drawing others to you, to your ideas, and to your art is where you will excel. ISFP’s can be fearless and daring and participate in physically challenging settings.

5.4% of the Population

Where You’re Best: As an INFP, you have great leadership potential—to the point you know where you want to go yourself. You have great interpersonal skills and you have an easy going acceptance of others. You are extremely intelligent, and people want you to lead. You lead best in an environment where you can lead without being heavy handed and have time to build relationships and explore with others. You can lead to the point that you have a direction where you can lead.

Where you’re challenged: As an INFP, you can too often be a victim of the expectations that you set up but do not fulfill. You seem saner than most people, the adult voice in the room, accepting and socially skilled. Yet you are challenged by deadlines and expectations, and you can drift away from a project or initiative and suddenly get lost. As an INFP, you may suffer from suddenly not liking what you are doing and sliding into a depressive funk.

When you Excel! As an INFP, you have a wealth of talents, both artistic and technical. You excel in situations with a definite structure and soft deadlines. As a burst worker, you need the flexibility to work intensely and then have the flexibility to rest, internalize, and to integrate what you’re doing with who you are and where you are.

8.5% of the Population

Where You’re Best: As an ESFP, you are the personality type that wins through your ability as a winsome, entertaining person, sometimes on stage and sometimes your own kind of celebrity in a more conventional life. You have the ability to lead by social skills and artful performance.

Where you’re challenged: As an ESFP, you may struggle in organizational settings where administration and operations are critical. As a person who values your own uniqueness, you may feel more comfortable in settings that allow you to more easily charm those around you, where you work best.

When you Excel! As an ESFP, you excel in settings where you can display your ability to use your charm, art, and style to lead others. This may be on the stage, as spokesperson for a cause or product, or as a skilled host.

3.3% of the Population

Where You’re Best: As an INTP, you are one of the brainy types that leads in seeing the tiny details that others miss. Your insight often revolves around what is missing or what is wrong, which is a valuable quality when avoiding risk. You lead in areas such as building inspection and in teaching students in areas of detail.

Where you’re challenged: You as an INTP you may struggle when you are leading teams or as a member of a teams that must meet tight, deadlines with complex interlocking completion steps. As an INTP tendencies to find contradictory issues involved in products and services and your tendency to investigate them may delay critical outcomes.

When you Excel! As an INTP you excel in systems and organizations where accuracy of detail is extremely important. You excel when your expertise requires that you seek out contradiction and aspects of systems that don’t work. You also communicate well in writing, and have a talent for teaching.

4.3% of the Population

Where You’re Best: As an ESTP, you have the natural advantage as a leader of ample self-confidence, and an innate ability to relate to people and groups. You have the kind of poise and guts that make you able to rise to any occasion in crisis. You have the ability to know what the other person is going to do before they do it. You have the ability to create a feeling in another person that you understand and care.

Where you’re challenged: You as an ESTP are optimized to achieve important short-term outcomes, whether it is leading a sales campaign, seeing a project completed, or piloting an aircraft. You are unlikely to work in organizations with a routine and highly predictable role. You are quite capable of getting people to buy into them. You may be the facilitator and promoter of a project as opposed to initiating it.

When you Excel! As an ESTP, there are a wide range of opportunities for you to excel in organizations from sales to international security. You best excel where there is a need to relate to other people and solve complex situations that demand you agility and courage. Your ability to connect with people enables you to bring teams together.

8.1% of the Population

Where You’re Best: As an ENFP, your personality type is legendary for its ability to lead people and teams through periods of change and to them to see it positively. You as an ENFP are often at the side of CEO’s, taking their message to teams and the organization in general. ENFP’s are often heads of HR, communication and marketing.

Where you’re challenged: Your greatest danger as an ENFP leader is your overuse of your ability to attract people to your personality and ability to connect with others. ENFP’s can be guilty of not taking the time and effort to understand the underlying issues of business initiatives. You can “stall out” in the role of being in charge of day-to-day operations. Your colleagues may be disappointed in your follow through and ability to sustain. Because ENFP’s are quick to understand organizational dynamics, they can easily become bored and move on, sometimes even to their own surprise.

When you Excel! As an ENFP, you are happiest and most effective when leading teams in an environment of change. As a member of a team where major change is taking place in organization and product delivery, you excel at translating the message from the c-suite to the organization’s teams. You excel at taking difficult messages and crafting them into messages that teams can use to help them navigate through change. You are happiest in shorter term assignment where you leadership abilities impact rapid change.

3.2% of the Population

Where You’re Best: You as an ENTP are best when using your extroverted intuition to quickly size up a situation and to move forward quickly to achieve an outcome. You are perhaps the most mentally and physically active of all personality types. You are best as an entrepreneur, technical person, or media personality, where quick movement forward coupled with a quick wit gives you an advantage over others. You can understand what’s going on technically or meet a verbal challenge more quickly than any other type.

Where you’re challenged: As an ENTP who is quick to see new opportunities and ways of doing things, you may struggle in organizations that are at the stage where processes must be systematized, documented and methodically followed. It will be frustrating to work in environments where experimentation and change will destabilize rather than improve things. As one who is one of the most successfully verbal of types, you may be quite unsatisfied in situations where staying on message is important. You are a problem solver, but operations may be a burden to you.

When you Excel! You, as an ENTP, are at the top of your game as an entrepreneur, a technical wizard, and a spokesperson, whether an attorney or media personality. Your best relationships are with those who are tough minded and thick skinned, as you do not respect weakness. Your ability to create a better way of doing things is widely recognized and you excel in situations where radical change is called for.

8.7% of the Population

Where You’re Best: As an ESTJ, you are best as a leader within an organization where you can put people, tasks, and milestones together to get an outcome within an established system. You are the ultimate logistics person, with an ability to make quick and accurate decisions based on tried and true methods and best practices. You can be tough and unrelenting, but at the same time you have the capacity to energize and team with clear direction and a sense of humor.

Where you’re challenged: As an ESTJ you are highly capable of the identifying effective methods that achieve the objectives you’ve been assigned to accomplish using the resources that you have been given. At the same time you may struggle in situations where there is little or no precedent for the objective your team must accomplish. You are most likely a master of logistics and can manage projects, yet you can struggle with the larger view of how your part of the task relates to the whole. You are much more interested in how that why.

When you Excel! As an ESTJ, you excel when you are working within an organization that has a system to be managed, whether logistics, financial, or healthcare. You are highly able to find the people and resources that you need. You have teambuilding skills that energize teams. Few can match your ability to find, identify, and effectively utilize resources for outstanding results.

12.3% of the Population

Where You’re Best: As an ESFJ, you have a natural ability to lead teams in their day to day processes. You as an ESFJ are one of the most organized of all personality types, and you patiently pull the team together and keep them on track. You have a natural empathy for people and an understanding of groups. A team is very fortunate to have an ESFJ coordinating them and assuring their success.

Where you’re challenged: You as an ESFJ are more focused on internal processes as opposed to larger logistical projects of the ESTJ. To the ESFJ, attention to detail, organization, and group harmony is always more important than the overarching reasons for the project.

When you Excel! You, as an ESFJ excel in organizations that have well defined processes and established ways of doing things. In a world where teams are expected to carry out multiple tasks, the ESFJ is the lynchpin to achieve organizational objectives.

2.5% of the Population

Where You’re Best: As an ENFJ, you are a gifted leader as a facilitator, negotiator, and personal coach. People value what you tell them. You not only understand group dynamics, but you have the ability to move groups forward to achieve difficult outcomes by identifying their strengths, and coordinating their differences. You are a teacher by nature and are confident in the knowledge you have to deliver. You are gifted at managing details and are good at technology, although these are the roles you least prefer.

Where you’re challenged: As an ENFJ, your leadership style is to bring harmonious, happy relationships to groups. You struggle with leadership roles that cause you to create winners and losers in the group. You dislike negative feedback and are quick to discount it, seeing it as a personal attack by the person giving the feedback. Although you hold yourself accountable and are passionate about excellence, you work to create a harmonious environment that may work against accountability. Working in organizations where there is conflict is extremely draining to you, and you seek parts of organizations where you can stay out of the line of fire.

When you Excel! As an ENFJ, you have wide choices about the leadership roles in which you will do well. You excel as the person beside a tough executive who makes good decisions, but often bruises those around him or her. You are best when you marshal strategies and communicate them, as opposed to creating them yourself. You excel as a trainer, facilitator, and negotiator.

1.8% of the Population

Where You’re Best: As an ENTJ, you are the most outcome driven of all personality types. You have a sense of the strategy of how to make the most difficult outcome possible. A high percentage of CEO’s share your type. The methods you use may seem ingenious to some, and to others they may seem like common sense and your abilities will not always be valued. Yet you are always sought often to achieve difficult tasks.

Where you’re challenged: As an ENTJ, you will struggle with the idea that harmony and good feelings could ever be more important than winning. You may struggle with situations in which group process and consensus decisions are more valued than outcomes. You may easily show your impatience with people who are less committed or simply don’t understand. You will struggle with people who believe that collateral damage must be controlled, even when the outcome is important.

When you Excel! As an ENTJ, you excel as a leader of an organization where there are is a goal that is critical to achieve. You will be most effective where those around you understand that failing to achieve the goal is not an option. Whether the organization must attain their target for sales, finish a construction project, or win a war, ENTJ’s excel at creating a strategy to obtain the objective. You, as an ENTJ, are tireless and relentless in accomplishing the goal of the organization.