Which personality types are associated with leadership?

Trick question…  d a morton’s (blog here) comment on my original Personality Types and Leadership post (here) made me realize I hadn’t been clear.  I believe that one’s personality type does not determine one’s leadership potential.  However, there are some tendencies based on my own observations and insights that I’ll steal and pass off as my own pass along from others.

  1. I’ve seen a variety of types succeed in a variety of roles and industries.
  2. Family or closely-held firms tend towards a leadership monoculture…there may be some variety in the lower ranks, but often every leader in such firms is very much like the founder(s). 
  3. I’ll reiterate the insight from my former boss: it isn’t necessarily one’s type that’s important, it is how well one is tune with that type
  4. Extending point three, the most successful leaders I’ve seen understand how to communicate in a way that is true to their style, but with words, gestures, or deeds that resonate with the receiver(s).
  5. Some types naturally want to grab the reins — ENTJ is the most notorious for this — but that doesn’t mean they will be successful.

2 Responses

  1. Firstly, there is no “guarantee” of success that comes from type. Having said that you will find that “clinically” the ENTJ is the number “1” type naturally prone to leadership. Followed closely by ESTJ, ESTP, ISTJ…..and the rest.
    Again, “clinically” each of the 16 types can and do “lead”. It is just the above types have the most instinctive predispostion to do so. In fact, the ENTJ apart from all the rest, “….cannot not lead.” Weather they do it well or not, they do it!

    Hope this helps!

  2. Hi Ken,
    Thanks for the comment…that’s what I’ve heard/seen as well. As a “recovering” ENTJ, I always wanted to grab the steering wheel when my “E” was more dominant (like a lot of folks, I’ve become more “I” over time).


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