Mastermind (INTJ) – Type Description

INTJ is one of the 16 personality types as defined by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). INTJs, also known as “Masterminds,” are intellectual and inventive individuals who are known for their rational and strategic thinking. They are driven by a strong desire to understand and analyze the world around them and are often able to see benefits and flaws in different situations that others might miss. They are independent in their approach to problem solving, and are curious, scientific, and research oriented. 

INTJs are skilled at creating logical, structured plans in order to achieve their goals. They have a clear understanding of the big picture and are able to anticipate potential contingencies in a project. When given a task, INTJs will quickly begin formulating their strategies, prioritizing their actions, or creating flow charts in order to efficiently use their time and resources. They are able to see the sequential steps needed to complete a project and are adept at ensuring that all necessary measures are taken to keep the project on track. However, they can also be perceived as stubborn or aloof by others, as they can be single-minded in their pursuit of their goals and may not always fully consider the feelings or perspectives of those around them.

Cognitive Functions of INTJs:

To gain insight into the characteristics of INTJ personalities, it is helpful to understand the dominant and auxiliary cognitive functions that drive them. According to the MBTI system, each personality type has a set of cognitive functions that they use most frequently, which leads to consistent patterns and characteristics. For INTJs, 

Dominant Ni: People with a dominant Introverted Intuition (Ni) tend to be highly intuitive and imaginative. Ni gives people the ability to see patterns and connections that others may not. Those who have a dominant Ni have a strong sense of the future, and are often able to make seemingly sudden, intuitive leaps in their thinking. 

INTJs use their dominant Ni to interpret and synthesize information, to develop a big-picture view, and to make decisions based on their internal understanding of the world. They also use their Ni to make accurate predictions and to uncover hidden patterns and meanings in data. Their Ni can be used to delve deeply into topics of interest, to find creative solutions to problems, and to recognize the potential implications of their decisions. INTJs validate their intuitions using rational criteria such as principles, laws, and organizational structures.

Auxiliary Te: Extraverted Thinking (Te) allows an individual to analyze information objectively. It is oriented towards the external world and involves making decisions, organizing, and structuring the environment. It is focused on the tangible, on facts, and on the practical aspects of life. People who rely heavily on Te tend to be efficient, analytical, and decisive.

In INTJs, their Te helps them test their intuitions against logical ideas and principles. Te brings structure to their inner world and helps them decide what to do under different circumstances. Because INTJs use Te to deal with the outside world, they have a very scientific, and often skeptical approach towards reality.

While Ni allows INTJs to understand patterns and connections, Te helps them to analyze and organize the data they gather in a logical, efficient manner. This combination allows INTJs to process information quickly and to come up with creative, innovative solutions to problems. The Ni-Te combination helps INTJs to be strategic and analytical thinkers who are able to see the potential outcomes of different actions and make logical, well-informed decisions.

Strengths of INTJs

Like all personality types, INTJs have a combination of strengths and weaknesses. Some of strengths of INTJs include: 

  • Strategic thinking: INTJs are known for their ability to think strategically and see the big picture. Their dominant Ni allows them to gather information and analyze it to form a comprehensive understanding of a situation or problem. 
  • Independent and self-motivated: INTJs prefer to work independently and have a strong sense of self-motivation. They are able to set their own goals and devise their own plans to achieve them, as they don’t depend on others to guide or motivate them.
  • Analytical and logical problem-solving: INTJs are skilled at analyzing complex problems and finding logical solutions. Their auxiliary Te allows them to process information in a systematic way and make objective, unbiased decisions.
  • Leadership: Although unimpressed by degrees, titles and credentials of others, INTJs are known for their natural leadership abilities and their tendency to take charge in situations where they feel they can make a positive difference. The combination of Ni-Te gives them the ability to remain level-headed under pressure. They trust their own ability to analyze and interpret information, which gives them the confidence to make difficult decisions when needed.
  • Efficiency and productivity: INTJs are very efficient in their work and are able to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Their auxiliary Te helps them to prioritize and focus on the most important tasks and make good use of their time.

Weaknesses of INTJs

Like all personality types, INTJs have their own set of weaknesses, some of which are:

  • Difficulty with social skills: INTJs may struggle with picking up on social cues or may have trouble adapting to changing social dynamics. Their auxiliary function, Te, can make them focus on facts and logic, rather than emotions and personal connections. Moreover, they tend to prioritize their inner world, due to their Ni, and may neglect the development of their social skills. 
  • Being overly critical: INTJs may be perceived as dogmatic and difficult to satisfy due to their tendency to point out the logical limitations of others’ ideas. They enjoy engaging in theoretical discussions and are comfortable considering multiple paradigms, but their use of Te may lead them to be overly critical and to consistently highlight the flaws in others’ ideas. This can make them seem impossible to satisfy and may negatively impact their relationships with others.
  • Difficulty with delegation: Since INTJs can often be overly critical of others, they struggle with delegating tasks to others, as they may feel that they can do things better themselves. This can lead to a tendency to micromanage. 
  • Tendency to be impatient: INTJs may come across as impatient or dismissive when communicating with others, as they may be unwilling to repeat themselves or may cut others off when they feel that a conversation is unnecessary. Their desire to find alternate viewpoints in order to understand something (due to their Ni-Te combination) may be misinterpreted as disagreement or negativity, leading others to believe that the INTJ is indifferent or critical towards them.

INTJs & career choice

INTJs are natural problem solvers who thrive in fast-paced positions. Some careers that may be well-suited for INTJs include:

  • Scientists and engineers: INTJs are highly interested in scientific fields, and often go on to make great inventions and discoveries. Their Ni contributes to the innovation required in science and engineering, and their Te helps them bring structure and objectivity to their thought processes, which can be valuable in such fields.
  • Managers: INTJs’ natural leadership abilities and their tendency to take charge makes them well-suited for management positions. Because of their Ni-Te combination, they possess the ability to develop long-term plans and to identify potential problems before they arise, which can be valuable in this role.
  • Lawyers: INTJs’ ability to develop logical, structured arguments due to their auxiliary Te can be extremely valuable in the field of law.
  • Business owners & entrepreneurs: INTJs also make great business executives as their Ni-Te interact to give them the ability to gauge potential risks and benefits of different actions and investments.

No matter which career an INTJ chooses, they have the ability to make large-scale changes in their chosen field, and are sure to excel and make a positive impact. 

INTJs in the workplace

INTJs in the workplace tend to be self-confident and decisive, with a drive to complete tasks and achieve their goals. They are highly stimulated by difficulties and challenges, and enjoy responding to problems with creative solutions. INTJs are typically hardworking and responsible, and may rise to positions of leadership due to their dedication and steady pursuit of goals. They tend to focus on the positive and prefer to move an organization forward rather than dwelling on past mistakes. 

In terms of their approach to work, INTJs use their auxiliary Te to make cost-effective decisions and look for ways to streamline operations and eliminate waste. They prefer consistency, and are quick to realign systems and processes to achieve their goals more efficiently. They are mostly indifferent to or critical of the ideas of others if they believe that their own ideas are superior. 

However, INTJs may become single-minded at times, focusing so tightly on their own pursuits that they ignore the points of view and wishes of others. They may also prioritize internal and external consistency and efficiency to the point where they overlook the needs and perspectives of others. INTJs may be perceived as unemotional, but this is often due to their serious dedication to the goals of an institution and their desire to achieve those goals efficiently. 

It is important for INTJs to be aware of this tendency and to make an effort to consider the perspectives and needs of others in their decision-making and problem-solving processes. Despite this tendency, INTJs are loyal and dedicated employees who are committed to the success of the system rather than to individual relationships within the system.

INTJs in their relationships

INTJs are known to be analytical, independent, and logical individuals, and these traits tend to carry over into their relationships as well. They tend to approach relationships in a thoughtful and rational way and may have high standards for themselves and their partners. Due to their auxiliary Te, they approach the process of choosing a mate in a logical, rational way, basing their decisions on a mental list of physical and intellectual requirements, which may make them seem cold. Being strategic planners, when INTJs do not see a future with someone (with help from their dominant Ni), they do not waste their time on that relationship. They also need a significant amount of alone time to recharge and maintain their connection to their intuitive processes, and may become restless, bored, and emotionally exhausted when there is too much outer stimulation or conflict. 

Although they can be analytical and serious at times, they are also deeply caring and loving, and value meaningful connections with their partners. INTJs in committed relationships make loyal partners who value honesty and practicality. Since they use Te to engage with the outside world, their feelings and emotions may be hard to read at times. They may not be very good at expressing their feelings verbally, but they will likely show their love and affection through actions.

As parents, INTJs are loving and devoted, supporting their children and allowing them to develop their own interests and independence. However, they recognize the importance of setting clear limits and are firm and consistent in enforcing those boundaries.

In conclusion, the INTJ personality type is truly remarkable, characterized by their exceptional intuition, logic, and strategic thinking abilities. Their introverted nature often leads them to keep their emotions private, yet they possess a deep sense of loyalty and honesty that is deeply appreciated by those they hold dear. INTJs are always looking for the most efficient ways to accomplish a task and thrive in positions where they have the autonomy and flexibility to do so. Their ability to think critically and independently makes them valuable assets in any team and they are truly destined to achieve great things. 

Cheat Sheet: Function Stack of Each MBTI Type

The 8 cognitive functions

The four extroverted functions are oriented outwards towards the external world, they are:

  • Extroverted Sensing (Se): Enjoying the finer aspects of life in food, fashion. Being physically in tune with the world
  • Extroverted Intuition (Ne): From one observation, deriving ten different ideas and possibilities
  • Extroverted Thinking (Te): Real-world practicality, results-driven, things that can be written down on a resume
  • Extroverted Feeling (Fe): Being able to “read the room”, attuned to the social atmosphere, tailoring your words to your audience

The four introverted functions are oriented inwards towards the subjective personal world

  • Introverted Sensing (Si): Seeing and remembering things as they were in the past, taking things step by step
  • Introverted Intuition (Ni): From ten observations, deriving one single theory that explains everything. Projecting the one future path that most likely will happen
  • Introverted Thinking (Ti): Logical and consistent, having various categories to ensure that everything has its own place in a water-tight system
  • Introverted Feeling (Fi): Having a clear idea of individual desires, values, tastes. Living life authentically without being affected by what the rest of the world does

Cheat sheet: Use this table for quick reference to see which functions are in each type

DominantAuxiliaryTertiaryInferior / Primitive
ISFJIntroverted Sensing (Si)Extroverted Feeling (Fe)Introverted Thinking (Ti)Extroverted Intuition (Ne)
ESFJExtroverted Feeling (Fe)Introverted Sensing (Si)Extroverted Intuition (Ne)Introverted Thinking (Ti)
INTPIntroverted Thinking (Ti)Extroverted Intuition (Ne)Introverted Sensing (Si)Extroverted Feeling (Fe)
ENTPExtroverted Intuition (Ne)Introverted Thinking (Ti)Extroverted Feeling (Fe)Introverted Sensing (Si)
ISTJIntroverted Sensing (Si)Extroverted Thinking (Te)Introverted Feeling (Fi)Extroverted Intuition (Ne)
ESTJExtroverted Thinking (Te)Introverted Sensing (Si)Extroverted Intuition (Ne)Introverted Feeling (Fi)
INFPIntroverted Feeling (Fi)Extroverted Intuition (Ne)Introverted Sensing (Si)Extroverted Thinking (Te)
ENFPExtroverted Intuition (Ne)Introverted Feeling (Fi)Extroverted Thinking (Te)Introverted Sensing (Si)
INFJIntroverted Intuition (Ni)Extroverted Feeling (Fe)Introverted Thinking (Ti)Extroverted Sensing (Se)
ENFJExtroverted Feeling (Fe)Introverted Intuition (Ni)Extroverted Sensing (Se)Introverted Thinking (Ti)
ISTPIntroverted Thinking (Ti)Extroverted Sensing (Se)Introverted Intuition (Ni)Extroverted Feeling (Fe)
ESTPExtroverted Sensing (Se)Introverted Thinking (Ti)Extroverted Feeling (Fe)Introverted Intuition (Ni)
INTJIntroverted Intuition (Ni)Extroverted Thinking (Te)Introverted Feeling (Fi)Extroverted Sensing (Se)
ENTJExtroverted Thinking (Te)Introverted Intuition (Ni)Extroverted Sensing (Se)Introverted Feeling (Fi)
ISFPIntroverted Feeling (Fi)Extroverted Sensing (Se)Introverted Intuition (Ni)Extroverted Thinking (Te)
ESFPExtroverted Sensing (Se)Introverted Feeling (Fi)Extroverted Thinking (Te)Introverted Intuition (Ni)

Are You A Thinker Or Feeler?

Can I ask if you are left-handed or right-handed? The chance is you are a right-handed person, because it is the majority of our population. How do you know that you are right-handed? It is a very obvious question almost without a need to explain. If we need to break down the reasons, there are three ways you know that your type is a right-handed: 1) The frequency of you using your right hand in a day is higher than your left and 2) Your right hand feels a lot more natural and real and 3) Your right hand will objectively be better at handling heavier objects or more complex tasks. 

That is how you should think about your opposing function of Thinking and Feeling as well. Do keep the above ideas of left and right hand in mind as we further learn about the true definition of Thinking and Feeling in Jungian psychology.

If you are a visual learner, you can also follow this video below:

The definitions

Carl Jung

Besides Introversion and Extroversion, Thinking and Feeling are the second dimension in analytical psychology (the third dimension is Intuition versus Sensing). These concepts were first introduced in the early 20th century by Carl Gustav Jung (1875 – 1961), a famous Swiss psychiatrist who developed the idea of Psychological Types, the precursor to the extremely popular Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test and framework.

My philosophy for Our Human Minds have always been to adhere as much as possible to the original understanding and work of Carl Jung to help readers understand accurately the cognitive functions. It is a longer path, but trust me, it is more rewarding and surer way to achieve more accurate self-understanding than purely taking the online test and read the descriptions of the 16 MBTI personalities!

Unlike left and right hand, Thinking and Feeling preferences in analytical psychology are more distinct, serving very different purposes. Your two hands do not oppose each other, but Thinking and Feeling do by definition. Hence, being aware of them and knowing how to develop your weaker function and learn to make them synchronize holds the potential for not only more productivity but also psychological maturity and wholeness.

The definition of  “Thinking” and “Feeling” in Jungian psychology are easily confused with the more layman definitions that we use in our daily languages. They should not be confused with logic versus emotion. You need to understand them in a more fundamental way, that they are evaluative & rational processes to judge incoming information, whether something is right or wrong, good and bad…

Thinking and Feeling aim to clearly distinguish between the two distinct preferences for decision-making: impersonal versus personal/interpersonal respectively. The easiest way to visualize this difference is in the common stereotype between men versus women in our society. Men are known to prefer to “solve problems” and break down problems “logically” while on the other hand, women simply want to be listened to, to be empathized and understood. 

Thinkers (both men and women) prefer to solve problems objectively

While this is a stereotype, indeed, some of the surveys  have shown that there is a slight preference (55%) among men for Thinking and a strong preference (75%) of women who have a Feeling preference. How much of this is the surveyed individuals’ true preferences and how much is a result of social expectation & conditioning, is for another debate. However, I would like to add that based on this survey, thinking that all men are or have to be super logical or women have to be relationship-oriented is a gross simplification and unfair treatment to both sexes.

To break it down further, thinking manifests itself as preference for using objective and measurable frameworks for clear-cut decision making. It is about using objective criteria, conceptual frameworks, pros and cons, structures, logical systems… People with Thinking preference value and take pride in being efficient, precise, goal and task-oriented. Something is good if it is placed in the right category, gives better measurable results, more efficient etc.

On the other hand, Feeling places stronger emphasis on human’s welfare, values and preferences. As an introverted function, it’s about knowing a strong moral sense of right and wrong, of feeling an urge to help the less fortunate, to be humanitarian, to overcome unfairness and restore equality. Extroverted version is about about maintaining a harmonious atmosphere (when hosting a house party for example), making sure common pleasantries and “civilized” etiquettes are adhered to, while making sure everyone has a good time.

DefinitionImpersonal evaluationInterpersonal and value-based decision-making
Related conceptsobjective criteria, pros and cons, measurable results, conceptual frameworks, logical systemsvalues, morality, harmony, personal preferences, gut feels of right and wrong

Quick Exercise : What is your true preference based on the above definition?
You might need to think about when you are younger or in a more comfortable place at home without any stress of work or “have to” pressure. Social expectation and work stresses might force us to over-compensate to the point of losing sight of who we truly are, like Feeling men are often expected to appear logical and tough, or your jobs have required you to develop your weaker function, even if in your younger years you are the opposite.

Develop Thinking

This section is more relevant for Feeler who has a natural strength in making decisions based on personal values or harmony, but as a result, devoting less consciousness energy in using systemic/impersonal perspectives. We will look at concrete steps that you can take to gradually build up confidence in using the skills and become more holistic in decision making.

Playing a big part of your ego, Feeling – the preference for using value and personal-preference based approach, is part of your identity. The cause that you care about, friends and family, the social connection and status that represent your deepest conviction and meaning of life, are valid. As much as it’s important to acknowledge the other side of the equation, in the end, Thinking should serve in a supporting role and not to dominate your preference for  personal values or interpersonal harmony.

Just like this two-people bike, you should let your dominant function to take the lead and guide the other function, not the other way round!

The development of your weaker functions and achieving wholeness is a life-long quest, so the instruction below serves as a general direction and examples of the kind of steps you can take to develop Thinking.

Remember that the basic definition of Thinking is the use of impersonal systems, framework and measurable results and data. Hence, you can:

  1. Learn from someone close to you who is strong in Thinking like your family members or colleagues. Talk to them more or reflect on the time you guys spend time together. Learn about how they conduct themselves differently, understand why they do it and see if you can learn and integrate some of their techniques or philosophy.
  2. Develop interests in activities that require strong impersonal reasoning and decision making such as chess, finance, computer games…
  3. Integrate productivity tools such as planner, calendar, deadlines and KPIs clearly for both personal work and managing others.
  4. Take courses, read books, watch videos… on productivity, time and project management.
  5. Learn to say No. It’s very natural for Feeler to go with the flow and say yes to keep harmony. Saying No doesn’t mean being harsh or rude if you can explain yourself clearly. It doesn’t have to be black and white either, you can also negotiate what you’d like to do and what you cannot do or you feel is not fair. It’s hard at first, but it’s an essential skill that will go a long way!

Knowing other ways to develop your Thinking side that can help other readers? Feel free to comment below!

Develop Feeling

This is more relevant to Thinking dominant type. Again, it’s important that you acknowledge and embrace your identity as a Thinker and develop Feeling as a support for a more holistic decision making process. Your Thinking function should still be in the driver seat!

  1. Find friends, family or colleagues who you know well and you are fairly certain they are stronger in Feeling. Get to know them more and reflect on how they conduct things differently and see whether you can integrate some of their physiology and methods to your daily life.
  2. Engage in reflective activities like meditation, arts, writing… to reflect on your values and what’s important to you. Remember, it’s a gradual process that requires patience and regular practices.
  3. Engage in social activities and roles that you have to interact more with people. Recognise some of your biases and see it from a more positive light when it comes to social relationships. 
  4. Immerse yourself in nature, away from distraction of work and technology, to hear and embrace your inner voices, values and feelings.

Are you a Thinker that has other ways that work? Feel free to share below.

I hope you now have a clearer understanding of the distinction between these rational dimensions of Thinking versus Feeling. In reality, these two preferences never exist as standalone in a healthy person’s psyche but work in tandem. But since they are mutually exclusive/cancelling out, it’s natural to prioritize and put your conscious energy into one while “send to exile” the other, giving little conscious energy to nourish and maintain it.

If possible, you should learn further about how Introversion and Extroversion are combined with Thinking and Feeling to give rise to 4 distinct Cognitive Processes/Functions: Introverted Thinking, Extroverted Thinking, Introverted Feeling and Extroverted Feeling. This breakdown will bring in a whole new level of depth and opportunities for self-understanding and development. Good luck!


Type Fundamentals Guide @mbti-notes

Psychological types by CG. Jung

Why Does Your MBTI Make You A Late Bloomer


Let’s face it, even in the 21st century, what society defines as success is still very much materialistic. Whether someone is considered to do well in life depends on how high is his or her earning, his material possession and other status symbols including having (attractive) romantic partners.

The average income chart above by MBTI types portray a perspective of success. The highest earners on average are ENTJ and ESTJ while the lowest earners are INFP and ISFP. Overall, higher scores on extraversion (E), thinking (T), sensing (S) and judging (J) better predict financial success.

The reason that I phrase this article as “late bloomer” is because even though there is no survey that I know of, I do believe the material gap between types will lessen as people become more mature and balanced. The second reason is that even if the gap is still there, you will better accept who you are and the non-material and non-traditional sense of success that you create, which will give you better self-confidence and happiness down the road.


There has been a rising support for the power of the introvert in the past decades with many books and articles that talk about the hidden advantage of being an introvert. They might be stereotyped as wallflowers who are meek and easily pushed over.

The truth is that introverts are not the minority. They are almost equal in the share of population as extroverts and introversion and shyness are not the same, though they can be easily mistaken. Introversion simply means the information processing pathway is longer and consumes more energy. Hence, introverts tend to think more and are easily overwhelmed by external stimuli.

It’s easy to see how introversion leads you to become a late bloomer. Life is tough and complicated at the start. You can be overwhelmed by the world when younger and it will take longer for introverts to consolidate and master this wave of insights and nuances in their brilliant but overwhelming minds. 

Not only can introverts catch up with extroverts later in life in material success, their insightful minds allow them to excel in highly skilled and specialized careers such as writer, scientist and philosopher. These careers might not be the best paid, but they have the potential to be highly celebrated and to propel society forward.


If your type has letter F instead of T, you lean more towards feeling, which has to do with either intrapersonal or interpersonal relationships than efficiency and logic (T).

Feeling can either be introverted or so-called intrapersonal (Fi) (most dominant in INFP and ISFP) or extraverted/interpersonal (Fe) (which is dominant in ENFJ and ESFJ). Introverted feeling will likely have it the hardest at younger age because it is very hard to express and easily misunderstood. It is primarily concerned with moral right and wrong, living authentically and freely according to their inner compass of beauty.

This inward feeling may make you artistic yet impractical because deep down you yearn to express something of profound beauty but also makes you unable to take on more practical tasks and jobs, which feels inauthentic to your being. It will take time and sometimes luck to find a path that is both spiritually fulfilling yet lucrative. Introverted feelers like ISFP and INFP make the best artists and poets but their path will be long and rocky.

Extraverted feeling users, especially introverted ones (INFJ and ISFJ) would also feel under par because they find it hard to assert themselves and risk upsetting others. This function chiefly concerns maintaining a harmonious social atmosphere, causing you to feel it hard to just simply put people aside to get what you want. But humans are ultimately social creatures and being able to get on the good sides of the group often can take you far ahead, including in your finance and career.


I believe the Intuitive (N) – Sensing (S) dimension is the most interesting yet often overlooked in MBTI. Only about 25-30% of the population are intuitive, so they are way more rare than introverts! You can think of the intuitive-oriented person simply as a nerdy book-smart kind of person who is more interested in philosophy and theories than concrete facts and actions.

Intuitives, especially INFP, INTP, ENFP and ENTP (extraverted intuition) are often scattered-brain big-pictured people who have a hard time being decisive. To them the world is full of possibilities where traditional and well-accepted concepts like marriage, houses, children and even money should be questioned and explored.

With so much information and so many questions being shifted and synthesized, no wonder it takes longer for them to reach a stable stage in life. They make for smart students but somewhat clueless and restless young or even middle-aged adults while their sensing-dominant peers have happily accepted and settled into more traditional paths and roles.

However, the gift of this unconventional and big-picture mindset is the potential for paradigm shifting and holistic perspectives. Survey might suggest that intuitives earn slightly less than sensors but one reason is because the former takes longer to synthesize their perspectives, which can go beyond the immediate needs of themselves and families to challenge the status quo and propel society’s understanding forward. They make for wise and profound innovators and teachers of arts, philosophy and sciences.

So in conclusion, even if you are at the receiving end of all the disadvantaged factors above, like even in the case of INFP and ISFP, don’t be discouraged. Your mind is uniquely created for a special purpose with unique strengths and values. Of course life is tough for everyone and everyone needs a certain degree of material and practical success, but social contribution and your path to success are just not in a traditional sense. Your life purpose might be more towards helping others or helping society make new breakthroughs or to find the secrets of the universe, at the expense of the practical aspects – and that is ok!

MBTI Superpowers Part 2: The ENTJ and INTJ

At the core, INTJ and ENTJ are very similar and hence one type often gets confused for the other. They are both visionary doers who prioritize external measurable results. Both often are straight-shooters who dislike politics and small talks.

ENTJ’s superpowers: effectiveness and vision

The reason I put ENTJ first is because their inner workings are probably easier to imagine than that of INTJ. They are over-represented among CEOs and corporate managers, often pictured as smart, decisive and even ruthless about profit and bottom lines.

ENTJ’s superpower in leadership and strategy is derived from Extraverted Thinking (Te). Te is adept at recognizing and applying the rules of the system. It is energized by external, socially-approved rewards. Te-dominant personalities like ENTJ and ESTJ, or even INTJ and ISTJ, work really hard and are industrious. They look for measurable results and can be impatient with explanation or speculation. Their motto is “ What matters is the results, not the process”.

But what distinguishes ENTJ from ESTJ is their auxiliary function, Introverted Intuition (Ni). Ni helps ENTJ to be more imaginative and visionary. If ESTJ is more of a traditional manager, ENTJ are often innovators and change-makers who can realize and turn new technology or invention into profitable enterprises. 

Bill Gates and Napoleon Bonaparte are said to be of ENTJ types. Napoleon was well-known as an effective and ruthless conqueror, but he was also a forward-thinking law-maker who spearheaded various changes to the legal, military and political landscape of France.

The most mature ENTJs even go beyond the pull of their typical competitive and controlling Te and become magnanimous and forgiving. They are extremely protective of their team, employees, and friends. They have the vision and disciplines to push the entire company towards goals but are also flexible and open-minded enough to give individuals under them space to perform with autonomy and trust.

napoleon in battle - a poster child of ENTJ
Mature ENTJs can be inspiring and magnanimous leaders


INTJ’s superpowers: patience, vision and integrity

INTJ’s dominant function, however, is Introverted Intuition (Ni). The chief purpose of Ni is understanding, not external achievements. It seeks clarity and truth. Especially during the younger years where Te is not yet developed, INTJs will often indulge in Ni, spending hours daydreaming and contemplating. They are voracious readers of both fiction and non-fiction and often enjoy computer games and fantasy genre when young.

As INTJ becomes more mature , their more developed Te allows them to become more engaged with the external world. They learn to channel their fountain of unique perspectives into achieving real-world objectives. If their extraverted counterparts seem like brash go-getters, INTJ’s superhuman strength lies in his extraordinary patience to plan and wait to execute with relentless precision, when all the pieces fall into the right place.

INTJ’s penchants for logic and planning often allow them to be great engineers and scientists. The more socially-inclined and ambitious type often find resounding success in the commercial world, conducting their business with cutting-edge technology and uncompromising integrity. Yes integrity is very true for INTJ who is also very much influenced by their third function, Introverted Feeling, which is the epitome of integrity and moral character.

However, logic and precision are not enough to describe INTJ’s ingenuity and potential contribution. Leading with Ni, their understanding are global and highly objective. They are forward-looking visionary leaders who can make the impossible happen for society at large. Think about Mark Zuckerberg. Though Facebook can be controversial nowadays, it is undeniable that Mark’s ambition and strategic mind have enabled an once college-campus social network to boom into a global phenomenon. 

A really good place to understand INTJ’s inner workings is the Cold-war classic Atlas Shrugged. Most of the heroes and heroines in the book are INTJ (and maybe INTP) and the author, Ayn Rand, herself is said to be an INTJ.

INTJ can exude unflinching confidence and passion when talk about their topics of interest