What Bores Boards? And What Makes Them Get Really Excited?

By Jack Speer | April 3, 2012

Cool Insights From Members of the APTI Board of

Mission Possible: Reorganizing and Redirecting APTi for the 21st Century, Serving the Needs of the Traditional Type Community, and Attracting a New Generation

Never before have traditional associations been tasked with re-thinking themselves in the age of social media. The Association of Psychological Type is an association working hard to achieve carrying on a traditional program while reinventing themselves. Boards can be boring, but APTi is onboard for new approaches.

It began with a phone call. The Publisher had a rather unusual assignment for the Personalities Editor to consider. She misunderstood “Interview the board,” for “Interview the bored.”

“Where will I find them?” she queried.

“Start with the Association for Psychology Type International, otherwise known as APTi®,” he advised.

“Interesting…” the WTA Personalities Editor thought to herself. APTi is not only well-known, but continues to be the most important personality type association in the world—a center for the type community.

Her friend Suzanne Brue had been President of APTi. Katherine Hirsh and Jane Kise had been Presidents too. Those were fascinating people. How could the publisher possibly think APTi would be comprised of “the bored”? She called him back immediately for clarification.

Well, you guessed it; the message was, “Interview the Board. Many of the Board members will answer your inquiry fast and give the article a unique twist.”

And so what began as an assignment to “interview the bored,” became an interview of some members of a totally un-boring Board who good-naturedly responded to WTA’s “fun” and “serious” questions. Meet some of the “movers and shakers” (and quick responders) of the Association for Psychological Type International® Board of Directors – Mr. Phil Kerr, Ms. Jane Kise, Mr. Sterling Bates, and Ms. Sharon Richmond. In James Bond twisted vernacular, you should find their responses “shaking,” not boring.

WTA: Mr. Phil Kerr of the Land Down Under, Director of International Development, INTP, and lover of vegemite, what bores you?

Kerr: For much of my life, I had little liking for parties or small talk, but, as I’ve matured, I’ve developed a genuine enjoyment of social activities. I’m now eagerly anticipating a big party for my 60th birthday next year.

Another boring thing is adhering to standard operating procedures. The usual pattern is that soon after my arrival in a new role, I begin questioning and (to the extent the organization permits) redesigning work processes, job descriptions and organizational structures. Sometimes, my original thinking and challenging has been accepted, even appreciated. Other times, I’ve been told firmly, “that’s not how we do things around here.” If I am forced to do things the same way every time, I’ll pretty soon move on.

WTA: What
idea do you have that would attract younger people (20s and 30s) to join a “type community”?

Kerr: I’d suggest we provide authoritative web-based type tools and information. The proliferation of dubious pages and homemade tools on the web presents a real challenge for the type community. It’s impossible to restrict that proliferation; all we can do is offer quality information in easy-to-find places.

WTA: Jane Kise, INFJ, author of many books that I own (which are the object of my professional expertise admiration), Immediate Past President of APTi, what bores you?

Kise: In most things that aren’t engaging, my imagination takes over so I don’t actually get bored (but I’m also not doing what I’m “supposed to.”) When I was younger, this included playing scales on the piano, three-digit multiplication problem worksheets, weeding the garden. Now, it’s listening to bad music or TV shows that aren’t character-driven or informative.

WTA: What idea do you have that would attract younger people (20s and 30s) to join a “type community”?

Kise: To get younger people to join a type community, have a website that has information they need, short YouTube videos that pique their interest as well as provide needed tips on early career issues, dating, fitness, etc. Make sure your meetings aren’t “sit and get,” but are interactive.

WTA: Sterling Bates, ENTP, smiling Director of Finance [Ed. Note: Is that an example of an oxymoron?], what bores you?

Bates: I find doing repetitive tasks on the computer especially boring! I would rather spend an hour finding a way to use Excel and Word “find and replace” tricks to do a data import than spend 45 minutes just manually doing it.

WTA: What idea do you have that would attract younger people (20s and 30s) to join a “type community”?

Bates: Make it practical and immediate to their life. Help them see the usage in everyday life, like “learning tricks at school,” “how not to make your girlfriend as mad when you have to change the schedule,” or “how to get your boss to love you.” Show them how type applies everywhere.

WTA: Esteemed APTi® President Sharon Richmond, ENTP, what do you find boring?

Richmond: Listening to people whine and complain about how bad everything is, all the woes that befall them, and how there isn’t anything they can do to affect it, or how busy they are all the time. I have no patience for the victim mindset. “Then make different choices,” I say. “Don’t just sit there feeling trapped.” I also find the Three Stooges boring. [Ed. Note: Apologies Larry, Curly and Moe fans. The INFP seeks to avoid conflict.]

WTA: What idea do you have that would attract younger people (20s and 30s) to join a “type community”?

Richmond: The best idea is to make it relevant to their immediate life priorities. Appeal to mating, dating, winning, or saving the world. Whatever the core drivers are, there is a type-savvy way to reach them where they feel need. Emphasize the value of people understanding and embracing their “core self.” Validate the value of “finding yourself” and making your way in the world in a way that brings out the best in you. Help them use the material to change the world for good. Make the material easy and practical; for example, perhaps it would work to introduce a game world as a way to “play” into understanding.

In summary, please know that the APTi® is an organization with an informative magazine, expert leaders and a terrific conference. Stay tuned for reflective responses to the insightful question: “How might we help people recognize there is more to type than just reporting their results of the MBTI® or other assessment tool?” In other words, “How do we help them know what they DON’T know?” In fact, why don’t you submit YOUR response and we’ll see how your response aligns with the APTi® Board members’ perspectives on that same question.

Meet the Board of APTi

Composition Analysis: 14 board members – 8 NTPs, 3 NFPs, 1 NTJ, 1 STJ and 1 undisclosed type; 9 with a preference for extraversion; representing 8 states, 2 countries, 2 continents and 5 of 16 different type preferences.


Other APTi Board Members are: Director of Training and Education Mike Shur; Director of Communications
Debra Sanborn; Director of Chapter Development Gary Fleishacker; Director of
Membership Markey Read; Director of Marketing Eileen Brown; Director of
Interest Area Ann Holm; Director at Large Casey Lovoy; Representative of the
Conference Planning Committee Jerry Black; and Executive Director Tony Doucet.

Visit APTinternational.org For More Information

Read more from Executive Director Tony Doucet about the History and Future of APTi