The INTJ as Thought Leaders

A societal obligation for the INTJ

The goal of this short essay is not to proclaim the genius of the INTJ, but rather to inspire them to make their unique views known in a world that is heavily dominated by a select few voices.

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When I’ve spoken previously about cognitive diversity, it was in reference to the hiring process and creating amazing project teams.

But cognitive diversity can be applied anywhere.

It’s time for the Thought Leadership space, particularly on LinkedIn, to get the perspective of INTJs in order to prevent the echo chamber from becoming too large.

man in gray and white checkered dress shirt

When a social network becomes one-sided in its use of cognitive functions (explained below), it rejects many other strongly needed and vitally important talking points.

To explain what I mean in as concise a way as possible:

Right now, the most widely used function within the Thought Leadership space is known as Extraverted Feeling (written as Fe in the Typology world). Extraverted Feeling can be simply characterized as Harmony, Togetherness, Unity. Fe takes the prevailing norms, mores, and social niceties and adopts that as the mechanism of decision-making. It uses whatever is currently trending as the lens to view the world.

low-angle photography of metal structure

INTJs and Cognitive Functions

All 16 MBTI types have a unique order of cognitive functions that they use to decipher information and then make decisions based on that information. 

There are 8 of them:

  1. Ni
  2. Ne
  3. Si
  4. Se
  5. Ti
  6. Te
  7. Fi
  8. Fe

For the INTJ specifically, Extraverted Feeling (Fe) is a highly under-utilized and often under-valued function that falls far down in their function stack.

INTJ function stack:

  • Ni
  • Te
  • Fi
  • Se
  • Ne
  • Ti
  • Fe (7th)
  • Si

Simply put, most INTJs do not value harmony and togetherness in the way that other types do. ESFJs and ENFJs value it the most, and ENTJs value it the least.

My argument is that this is a good thing, especially for a platform like LinkedIn that is crying out for a counterbalance to the prevailing Thought Leadership. 

When everything starts to sound the same and the same types of posts are trending, then you know you are sitting inside a thought bubble.

people sitting on white concrete stairs

I say there needs to be just as much cold, hard, and objective truth as there needs to be empathy, warmth, and inspiration. Because the INTJ is actively not considering the prevailing wisdom when they form thoughts, they can contribute a wholly fresh perspective. 

Tips for LinkedIn Thought Leadership

So what do I recommend for INTJs to do (and other introverts, for that matter)?

  1. Propose a solution that is completely opposite from what others are saying. Ask your audience for feedback.
  2. Remark on current trends and explain why you see it differently. Ask if others see this as well or if you are by yourself?
  3. Study influencers that use Fe (Extraverted Feeling) and attempt to emulate that style in 1 or 2 posts. See how it feels. Do you still feel authentic or do you feel gross? Reiterate until you find that happy medium between bold and inclusive.
  4. Understand that many thought leaders don’t know it all, yet they speak with authority. Getting caught in that loop of “ I just need to study it some more before I can speak on it” will be detrimental to getting your ideas out in the world.
  5. Make a concerted effort to do a short video so people can see how you present yourself. Building trust is the best way to begin a Thought Leadership journey. From experience as an introvert, there is a magical thing that happens when you click “record” that transforms you into an Extravert. The more you do it, the more you will build that confidence. 
selective focus photography of chess pieces

Because INTJs are a rare personality type, their unique style of perception is greatly needed on LinkedIn. Corporate thought leadership risks falling into a very loud echo chamber that doesn’t consider other points of view, which then ultimately affects the greater society.  My hope is that other INTJs join me in finding their voice and making their insightful views known to the world.


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Job Search during COVID-19. Hiring, Firing and Furlough.

Nobody knows what is going on, and there is no strategy in place for both corporations and candidates alike.

Many candidates are getting furloughed, which I’m skeptical is actually a real word. What furloughed means is that you are still an employee but you don’t get all the perks of being employed, like getting paid. You might get to keep your health benefits, but that is usually it. This is much better than getting laid off, as the intent with being furloughed is to bring you back after a certain period of time. Its a huge cost-saving measure for the company, and they get to save face with their employee.

For those that were laid off, the market is purgatory. The image below is what it’s like to search for jobs on Indeed.

20 Creepy Pieces Of Purgatory Art
Welcome to the job market!

You don’t know if the job you applied for is truly hiring (heaven), or if it’s going to be “put on hold” indefinitely (hell). Likewise, the recruiter is talking to candidates as if the job is moving forward, with the nagging feeling that it could all be for naught. This is not a great location to reside.

The companies that are adapting quickly are going to to be the winners after we come out the other side of this. They are going to snatch up all the former on-site workers who have tasted the remote life, and take all the best talent across the US. Mentioned earlier, larger corporations are going to struggle with this transition. The small-to-medium size businesses will see the vision and thrive moving forward.

Economy and Corporations

The issue that big corporations have during this time is their inability to see past a small snapshot in time. Because the ultimate concept of the corporation is to deliver return to your shareholders, there is no flexibility when it comes to adjusting to a crisis like we have with COVID-19. There is no such thing as maintaining profits or holding steady — there most always be growth eternally. And with this mindset, its tough to be agile when its most needed. The instant reaction is to panic, slash spending and staff, and essentially hibernate until things blow over.

What I am not seeing at all while cruising around news blogs and LinkedIn, is a mention about the fragility of the economy. Imagine being a massive corporation with vaults full of money, huge dividends, and a positive cash-flow. A little 1-month slump can bring you to your knees? That’s not a strong economy built on a sound foundation. That’s a house made of sand that is praying the tide doesn’t rise too high.

LinkedIn Job Search and Quick Apply

As a best practice, I would not recommend applying to jobs with the mentality that its all “just a number’s game.” Because what happens when the recruiter calls you and asks whether or not you have a certification that is required? Or if you have the minimum 5 years experience? Or if you’ve ever worked with Salesforce? You look bad because you have to backtrack and say, “Well… I’m familiar with it.” “I’ve messed around with it at home.” And then the classic, “I’m a fast learner.”

This does not bode well for being perceived as an honest candidate. You may be tainting your future chances with a company or staffing firm.

The Job Market and the Continuous Job Search

Topics:

  1. -Boom Bust and Pandemic Job Cycle
  2. -Keeping resume up to date
  3. -Having a line out to staffing firms
  4. -Updating resume as you acquire new skills
  5. -Not waiting until last minute to decide to start looking