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.

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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.

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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. 
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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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