A few months ago, I took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator questionnaire and discovered, much to my surprise, that I had the same personality type as, among others, Maggie Thatcher and JP Morgan. If the results of the assessment test were to be believed, then the Iron Lady and business mogul and I were ENTJs (where ENTJ stands for extraversion, intuition, thinking, judgment). ENTJs are action-oriented extroverts who make decisions according to intuition and logic rather than feeling.
I didn't give the assessment much thought after that until I came across this graphic on The Washington Post's Wonkblog. I promptly retook the test, and, confirming the previous result, threw my hands up in triumph.
"I guess, I'm not hopeless after all."
ENTJs, I would go on to learn, belong to the subgroup known as the "Rationalist Temperament". Rationalists, according to the Keirsey Temperament sorter, "are the problem solving temperament . . . Rationals might tackle problems in organic systems such as plants and animals, or in mechanical systems such as railroads and computers, or in social systems such as families and companies and governments. But whatever systems fire their curiosity, Rationals will analyze them to understand how they work, so they can figure out how to make them work better." If you like, you can read more about the personality type here and here.
The ENTJ variety of Rationalist, also known as the Fieldmarshal Role Variant, is rare: only 2% of the population is said to have this personality type. Isabel Briggs Myers, co-creator of a personality inventory named after her, called ENTJs "leaders of leaders". Other ENTJs include Napoleon Bonaparte, Julius Caesar, George Marshall, Dwight Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, and Hillary Clinton. Interesting company to be in, to say the least.
According to the Washington Post graph which shows average household earning for each personality type, ENTJs earn much more than the other sixteen personality types.
This got me thinking about a lot of things. For one, I wondered if I was living up to my earning potential, and, if not, who I might be able to screw over. Perhaps a coup d'etat is in order?
On a more serious note, though, having a better understanding what my personality type is has gone a long way in helping me explain why I am the way I am--why, for instance, I am not comfortable in subordinate roles, why I am constantly making lists of To Dos not just for myself, but for those around me (much to the chagrin of my poor wife); why, when helping with, say, an event, I get easily irritated when things are run in a half-arsed manner and am quick take over; why I am obsessed with order and a systematic way of executing tasks; and why I'm am constantly trying to find practical solutions to problems, not only in my life, but in the workplace, neighborhood, city, nation, and world. It may also help explain my penchant for war and mafia movies, the colors khaki and olive drab, and the choice of a confirmation name, based initially not on a saint, but rather an emperor. (Sorry, God.) I am Napoleon I on the island of Elba, scheming for a way off.
I suspect that my father also had the same personality type, or one similar. He was much more of an extrovert than myself, though.