How The ESTJ Can Be a Better Boss

landscape photo of brown mountain

The ESTJ has been labeled the Executive, Life’s Administrator, and the Director. The ESTJ knows what needs to be done and how to make it happen. This “knowing” is based on a vast collection of sensory experience — that solidifies in a structured, delineated, and traditional manner of operation. You are hardly ever going to find an ESTJ doing something out of line with how it’s always been done. We can see why David Keirsey labeled this temperament “The Guardians.”

The reason I single out the ESTJ for being a better boss is that statistically speaking, the ESTJ tends to be in management positions in corporate America. Most of us, if we look through our work history, have had an ESTJ boss. However, with direct experience under the tutelage of ESTJs, I believe I can add real value to this discussion.

low angle photo of city high rise buildings during daytime

The ESTJ in Corporate America

If you study ESTJs in relation to corporate America, you will see that most of the time, they are at or near the top, but not in a founding role. ESTJs tend to not be the creative, innovative, entrepreneurial type, but rather extremely diligent and prudent administrators and upholders of tradition. That tradition will be in whatever institution they find themselves in like government, law, military, or corporate America.

The ESTJ is similar to the ENTJ in that they both lead with Extraverted Thinking (Te), the cognitive function that desires to organize the physical world into effective, pragmatic action. Doing, above all else, you could say, is the ultimate desire of this function. 

gold angel figurine on white surface

The 2nd function differs in that instead of Ni with the ENTJ, it is Si, which is called Introverted Sensing (Si). Si is what we call Memory, and desires to look backward at the past in order to make judgments about the future. Introverted Sensing, simply put, is a backward-looking function.

Given that the ESTJ and ENTJ both share Introverted Feeling (Fi) as their inferior function, the advice I gave previously for the ENTJ could be used here as well. However, in my experience, the ESTJ is better served in the boss’s chair by observing their 3rd function: Extraverted iNtuition (Ne). 

Ne is what we call Brainstorming, and it desires to both connect many ideas together and to create various alternatives. In many ways, it is directionless and novelty-seeking, without a true goal in mind. With this in mind, let me set the stage for how embracing this part of the ESTJs personality will lead to better leadership.

multicolored hallway

How the ESTJ Can Work with Their Colleagues

As a boss, you are going to have colleagues that will bring you ideas. New ideas. They will be enthusiastic and genuinely passionate about their ideas and want, in some way, to be validated in those ideas. Your natural inclination is going to be resistant to change as new ideas break things. Your memory (Si) will be searching for instances where you’ve tried it before and whether or not it worked, and evaluating if it fits with the way things currently operate.

The breakthrough occurs when you allow that Brainstorming (Ne) part of your personality to stay open-minded against your Memory (Si) part of your personality to be considerate of new information. Nothing kills the creative intrapreneurship of great employees more than immediate rejection without consideration.

Avoid Saying This as an ESTJ

Deletion of the phrase “That’s not how we’ve done things” and replacing it with, “OK, interesting idea, how do we do it,” allows you a couple things. One, you get them to answer a Te (Extraverted Thinking) question (How do we do it?), and two, you empower further discussion and input from your colleagues. Eventually, someone will bring you an idea that you will implement, and be so glad you didn’t reject it immediately. 

The bad stereotype of the stodgy ESTJ boss can be broken by embracing novel ideas from your colleagues and creating a culture of intrapreneurship.


To book me for an MBTI session or learn more about me, find me here:

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How the ENFP Can Start a Business

The ENFP is likely the most misunderstood of all the 16 personality types. The ENFP is often viewed as a space cadet, bouncing around from idea to idea with no sense of time, priority, or follow-through. We find they are often more likely to be diagnosed (or misdiagnosed) with ADD/ADHD. 

astronaut in spacesuit floating in space

Conversely, the ENFP is also an idea factory, a brainstorming machine, and an overall future-thinking behemoth. We all know someone with this personality type that can just crank out ideas seemingly without end. They are great in marketing, sales, and R&D departments.

I want to show how the ENFP can take this plethora of ideas and drive them forward in their own life and start a thriving business.

Typical Struggles of the ENFP

In coaching ENFPs, here are some recurring themes that arise:

  • Better at starting projects than finishing
  • Would rather create the idea than implement it
  • Having too many ideas to pick just one
  • Stuck ideating endlessly which prevents starting
  • Fear of rejection; fear their ideas are bad

This can be easily explained by understanding how the ENFP operates functionally. The ENFP cognitive function stack is:

Ne (Extraverted iNtuition) – Brainstorming

Fi (Introverted Feeling) – Values

Te (Extraverted Thinking) – Effectiveness

Si (Introverted Sensing) – Memory

Simply put, leading with a mindset that prioritizes brainstorming, ideation, and novelty will naturally reject things like process, structure, and repetition. There is always a counterbalance, and if we leverage it to grow, then we can become our most dynamic Self.

lightning strike at night

So from the perspective of starting a business, the ENFP can utilize their less-developed functions to actually move forward productively.

Let’s use Introverted Sensing (Si), the ENFPs 4th function, which is known as Memory. It’s not just remembering in the classic sense, but it’s, as Dario Nardi has labeled it “a predictable standard.” Standards, traditions, and stability are what this function seeks. For the ENFP, the desire for newness and novelty will always try to fight against predictability and standards. 

With ENFPs, the struggle of starting a new business lies in the fact that once the new idea gets going for a certain amount of time, the allure wears off and it’s no longer new and fresh. This start-stop motion can be internally frustrating for the ENFP who’s many good ideas seem to flame out after a very energetic start.

silhouette of person jumping above ground

3 Tips for an ENFP

Here are some tips that I’ve learned while coaching and collaborating with ENFPs:

  • Look at what’s worked before for you. Can you use that as a jumping-off point for your new venture? For example, have you had repeated remarks from others that “You see things nobody else does…” or “I’ve never thought about it that way until you said it.” Perhaps everytime you post a meme you created on social media, you get a massive response from your audience that is much better than your text posts. Repeatability creates a standard by which you can then move forward with an idea. 
  • Put things into motion to the point where you can no longer turn back. File that fictitious business statement, get that business bank account, create that logo, start branding, create that website. These are all points of no return psychologically that prevent backsliding. 
  • Capture your ideas into a journal of some sort and return to them days later to see if you still feel the same fire you did when you first captured it. If it’s 5 days later and that idea still has passion behind it, then it’s worth pursuing in full.
unknown person writing

The ENFP has massive potential to start their own venture and be successful. When they can combine their brainstorming ability with the sometimes frustrating acceptance of a predictable standard, they are able to create sincerely wonderful things.


To book me for an MBTI session or learn more about me, find me here:

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How the ENTJ Should Choose a Career

gray and black wooden chair with fabric cushion

The ENTJ is the most powerful of all the 16 personality types. I say powerful from many perspectives including willpower, determination, communication, and competence. From the outside observer, the ENTJ usually radiates self-confidence and self-assuredness.

I’ve always said that you can put an ENTJ into any role in any company, and within 5 years they will be at, or near, the top. The ability to figure out the mechanisms by which the hierarchy works, and to ruthlessly climb the ladder within that system, is perfectly adapted to the ENTJ temperament.

The issue that I see with every ENTJ I know personally and that I’ve coached, is that there is a massive gap between achievement and happiness. You might just confuse their success for actually enjoying what they do. And for most people, being really successful at what they do usually coincides with enjoying that work.

The ENTJ can easily be miserable at their role and still be a top performer. Aren’t you a bit envious?

woman in purple dress sitting on couch

But time and time again, there comes a point of self-reflection with the ENTJ, where they don’t “feel” like being the best in something that doesn’t matter to them. The ENTJ will conflate their material possessions with inner fulfillment. “Look at my house, car, clothes, and title. I’m WORTH SOMETHING! The money, status, and power.

Mistakenly, they look outside to fulfill what is inside.

This developmental crossroads usually occurs in their late 20s through mid 30s.

What is Going on Here?

The ENTJ functions in a similar manner to the ESTJ in that action, effectiveness, efficiency, and determination are the first considerations for doing anything. 

However, this magnetic pull towards action and effectiveness has its ugly polar opposite which is values, inner alignment, and authenticity. What is important to me? What do I care about? Other Types know this answer instantly, but the ENTJ struggles to give a clear answer. 

person holding compass facing towards green pine trees

My usual go-to question is: “If money wasn’t a factor in your career, what would you do?” This usually gets an answer that reveals their true passions. 

I’ve never struggled so much to get a real answer from an ENTJ. 

What I get is, “I could do X, I could do Y.” This response is not telling me what they want to do or what they value, it’s listing off things they’d be good at. Like I mentioned, ENTJs are often successful no matter the role or company.

It seems like a very small difference between dominating for someone else (random corp ABC) and dominating for yourself.

My question to all the ENTJs reading this article is: “Where can you use your determination, grit, and bulldozing attitude towards something you truly care about?” Only then can you find the right career, mission, and inner fulfillment. 

bull grayscale photo

When this question isn’t asked, the ENTJs foresight, efficiency, and ungodly willpower are sadly used on work that is ultimately meaningless.


To book me for an MBTI session or learn more about me, find me here:

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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.

Simply a Misunderstood genius LED signage

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.


To book me for an MBTI session or learn more about me, find me here:

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Hiring for Cognitive Diversity

silver and black round ornament

Ideal vs Practical us of Personality Type

From the very first days in studying MBTI, you are told that under no circumstances are you to use Personality Type as a gauge of whether someone should be hired for a certain position. To do so would be outright discriminatory and open your company up for litigation– and you would certainly lose. 

But, in all honesty, people tend to develop skills that go with their type. And consider, in the extreme case of only hiring by type, would retention or performance be worse? No. In fact, it will likely improve.

We know from simply being alive that there are certain personalities that work splendidly in a role, as if they were born to do that job. Other people, we couldn’t imagine them lasting 2 seconds in that same role. In this way, we recognize personality exists and that we ALL have gifts that fit certain roles. Not just in a corporate sense, but in the overall societal structure. 

group of people having a meeting

We also have an excess amount of studies showing that certain types cluster in specific fields of study, career, and hobbies. This is another solid data point that shows that personality exists.

There are those who will exclaim that they know an INFP who is a top-level CEO – and undoubtedly this is true,  and this isn’t the argument – and that their anecdote proves something. All it proves to me is that there are outliers within the spectrum of the 16 personality types that fit into niches you’d never expect. We can’t use outliers to deny reality.

My main argument against the ethical use of MBTI is that it should be used as a way to hire better candidates. But not in the way you think. It’s still ethical AND a win for both sides of the transaction. 

And the nuance I want to offer is that I am not advocating for only interviewing those that take a pre-employment assessment and get those 4 specific types you’ve chosen to be a good fit for the role. 

No, no, no. 

I advocate for asking specific type-related questions that would be almost impossible for someone outside that Type to answer without sounding fake, rehearsed, or downright awkward. 

person sitting in a chair in front of a man

But there are two challenges. The first is assuming people honestly report their type. A very close friend of mine has been a corporate recruiter for 15 years, and his company uses an MBTI assessment during pre-screening of candidates. He says over 90% tends to fall into 1 of 4 types, ESTJ, ENTJ, ESFJ, ISTJ. Funny story, and one good example of why the MBTI during pre-employment is going to be skewed anyway. People say what they think a company wants to hear in order to get hired: ”What does this employer want me to score?”

Then there is the second challenge: companies hiring in a simplistic way without attending to blindspots. Someone might think, ‘Mary is our top performer, Mary has ESTP preferences, therefore we should hire more ESTPs.’ Well, a few more ESTPs will likely be fine, even a boon. But what are the blindspots? The team will be brittle. And it will eventually blow up. In real life, every team needs an NT for strategy, an NF for diplomacy, an SJ for logistics, and an SP for tactics. In short, every team needs cognitive diversity.

assorted-color smoke

A good example is hiring for a customer service representative. We know the qualities we would want as a customer and as an employer: empathetic, caring, wanting to help, calm, ability to de-escalate, great listener, etc.  From an MBTI perspective, you would be looking for 4 types: INFJ, ENFJ, ISFJ, ESFJ. 

But again, the idealism we’ve created around the ethical use of MBTI and hiring practices says we can’t just write on the job description: “Must score [these types] to be considered for this role.” So what we do is formulate questions based on our deep understanding of Type and the internal mindset of those Types.

Here are some practical ways you can implement some interview questions that directly use MBTI without directly using MBTI.

For the customer service rep:

  • Describe how you experience empathy.
  • What do you think is the best way to de-escalate an irate customer?
  • What is your goal during a customer service call?
  • Before you answer a call, what thoughts go through your mind?
  • What does it feel like when you solve a problem for a customer?

I am attempting to get to the inner dialogue of the candidate. I am not trying to ask too many questions about ‘how to do it’ but rather the mindset around doing it. My experience when asking ‘how to do itquestions is that you get the ideal response. You get the response that the candidate knows is the right one, whether or not that’s their actual experience of it. 

grayscale photogaphy of man sitting on concrete bench

The way to combat these idealized responses is by completely avoiding questions that can be prepared for.  Questions like, “Name a time when you had to overcome a challenge? How do you handle conflict? Tell me about yourself.” These are guaranteed to elicit canned responses.

Here’s an example of generalized questions that work no matter the role:

  1. What is your philosophy around [select activity]?
  2. Where do you see [select industry] going?
  3. What are the top 3 skills you need to be a great [select role]?
  4. How should people approach you with new ideas?

I propose these types of questions because they are hard to prepare for and lend themselves towards honest, on-the-spot answers. The overall goal is to receive real responses and not those that can be Googled. 


To book me for an MBTI session or learn more about me, find me here:

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​Website – https://www.advisrenterprises.com/

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MBTI Dating App So Syncd Raises $1m

Founders Lou and Jess join me to talk about how their MBTI dating app So Syncd raised $1m in venture funding

Joe Arrigo 

Why are people using So Syncd over something else?

 Jess – INFP 

Yeah, I think it’s a really good question. The vast majority of people are unhappy with dating apps. We knew there was a market for this specifically. And we also saw that there was no better way of matching people. In this day and age when technology is so advanced, why are people matching on the basis of photos??

Lou – ESFJ 

Yeah, the existing dating apps are quite superficial is, I guess, yeah. And then, you know, we have had quite a lot of success! So we had over 470 couples find love our app, and I think that that then helps it spread through word of mouth. 

Joe Arrigo

So it’s 470 couples, and then there are two marriages… 

Lou – ESFJ

Yeah, we’ve had two weddings that we know about. There’s probably more that we don’t know about. Yeah, so these are known success stories. 

Joe Arrigo 

Do you find that there are certain Types that tend to be on the app more than others?

Jess – INFP 

Yes. So we have a lot of INFJs and INFPs.

Lou – ESFJ 

It is funny because INFJs are the rarest personality type.

Jess – INFP 

ESTJ is the rarest type on the app actually. There are quite a few ISTJs, though. There are more introverts on the app than extraverts. 

Joe Arrigo 

I feel like there’s already a stereotype that’s been broken with the dynamic that you two have, which is just Jess is the INFP, Lou you’re the ESFJ. So what is that about? How did you break that stereotype? 

Lou – ESFJ 

Jess is the boss. She’s always doing the talking.

Jess – INFP 

I guess like looking at our lives bigger picture is definitely clear that Lou’s the Extravert rather than me. Like Lou has a massive group of very loud girlfriends. And I spend more time by myself or like with smaller groups of friends or one-on-one. So we are more typically kind of introverted/extraverted. In everyday life, you’d be able to tell.

Women laughing with black background | Women laughing, Girls night out,  Business women

Lou – ESFJ 

I always say I’m really happy being back office. Like, Jess is is so good at being front office. Which is funny being the ESFJ, you would think I’d want to be at the forefront. 

Jess – INFP 

Yes, I have a background, I used to work at an investment bank. So you know, kind of financial modeling and dealing with investors and things like that, I’ve got quite a lot of experience.

Joe Arrigo 

My assumption is that people create apps because something happened to them–they had a horrible experience with dating apps– that they are compelled to make this experience better. What was the catalyst? Was there something in either of your lives that made you create So Syncd?

Jess – INFP 

Yeah, so I’d say that point is so true. I dated someone… an INTJ. And he was Australian. And we actually ended up moving to Australia together.

photo of bear plush toy on pavement

But after a year, things didn’t work out. So decided to take a year off to travel. I started looking into Myers Briggs and compatibility. And it was, you know, in lots of different ways, I was reading things, on Reddit, Quora blog posts, talking to people that I met, etc. And then by the end of the year, I saw such strong correlations. So we kind of we started applying to all our friends and family and family, and you could just see this huge correlation. And I was like, yeah, it works. Let’s do it!

Joe Arrigo 

You’ve posted about this recently on LinkedIn; about the rarity of female companies getting venture capital money. It’s amazingly low. Do you want to speak to that?

Jess – INFP 

I was a bit shocked when we started fundraising! So, last year, 2.3% of all venture capital investment went to all female-led businesses. The bottom line is, it really has to change. And I’ve actually taken on a really exciting additional role as the UK lead for Women in Tech. I’m actually planning on doing a panel quite soon, around this topic.  

Jess Alderson (@jesssalderson) | Twitter

Joe Arrigo 

Yeah! It’s like they’re really scrutinizing the money they give to women. That’s why women-led businesses tend to do better per dollar invested. But I just think in terms of idea generation, that should just have its own merits. 

Jess – INFP 

Yeah, I mean, I think a lot of it is unconscious bias. There was an interesting article in Harvard Business Review saying that two-thirds of the questions that men get asked in fundraising meetings are promotion oriented (excitement, hype, wonderful positivity) 

But then two-thirds of the questions asked to women are prevention-oriented? “What if you miss this target? What if another company does this better?  

And it’s very hard to just email an investor and get them to reply, essentially, to get them to invest.

Joe Arrigo 

What you can talk about in terms of how the app is doing thus far? 

Lou – ESFJ 

We’ve had over 60,000 signups and over 470 success stories, including 2 weddings! When we launched in our first month, we had the same amount of signups we expected in the first year! Yeah, that was really good. 

photo of a man and woman newly wedding holding a balloons

The focus is going to be on the product and the marketing. But really, we’re focusing on finishing the app first, and then we’ll be doing a kind of big marketing push, starting with New York.  

Joe Arrigo 

What is the process for signing up? Are you on the App Store and Android?

Lou – ESFJ 

Yep! So on the iOS and Android App Store, you can download the app, and sign up using your email and the usual things. And then you can either take the five-minute personality test, or you can input your personality Type, if you know it already. 


To book me for an MBTI session or learn more about me, find me here:

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For any MBTI art sold through my Etsy store, I am donating 5% to anti-human trafficking causes. https://www.etsy.com/shop/GhostofJung