ENTJ Functions: The Role of the Executive’s Functions in Daily Life


The ENTJ, one of the 16 Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality types, is a natural leader and an extrovert who generally knows what they want and how to get it. So, how does the ENTJ personality type function within and contribute towards society?

The ENTJ is Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking, and Judging, and each of these traits contributes to an individual who is a pragmatic, natural born leader. The ENTJ is adept at finding their place at work and in relationships.

This article will take you through the ENTJ characteristics and how they influence the way an ENTJ functions in society as they interact within individual relationships, at work, and in the community at large.

The Cognitive Functions of an ENTJ Personality

The four primary functions of ENTJ are Extraverted Thinking, Introverted Intuition, Extraverted Sensing, and Introverted Feeling. The dominant function, extraverted thinking, is responsible for the ENTJ’s bold and methodical style, while the other functions are responsible for the subtler characteristics of an ENTJ.

Here, we will cover how these functions determine and distinguish an ENTJ’s behavior. People who are identified as an ENTJ based on the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) tend to exhibit strong, sometimes even overpowering personalities. They are only 2% of the population, making them a rare breed.

They have many positive traits that make them natural leaders, but some of their traits are viewed as obstacles. ENTJs are complex individuals by nature and often misunderstood as they hide their feelings behind their outspoken personalities.

The Four Personality Traits That Make Up The ENTJ Personality Type

The four lettered combination ENTJ stands for the following personality traits:

  1. (E) stands for extraverted versus (I) introverted
  2. (N) stands for intuitive versus (S) sensing
  3. (T) stands for thinking versus (F) feeling
  4. (J) stands for judging versus (P) perceiving

Let’s look at how each of these components of this personality type plays into the whole ENTJ.

E Is For Extravert

The “E” stands for extravert. Unlike introverts who turn inward to recharge, this personality type turns their energy outward towards the rest of the world. These extraverts gain their momentum from interactions with people and by participating in events.

Extraverts love being the center of attention and live for challenges and excitement. Their enthusiasm for life is contagious, so other people are often drawn and look up to ENTJs, making them natural leaders.

Because they need perpetual stimulation, ENTJs become bored quickly. They also have difficulty being alone for too long because they thrive from interpersonal interactions and validation from other people.

Extraverts love to meet new people and adapt quickly to new friends and groups. However, they find it easy to sever ties when the relationship no longer serves their purpose.

N Is For Intuitive

Intuitive personalities rely more on the potential for what could be when focused on an outcome of a situation.

While intuitives rely more on their imagination, this does not mean that they are not practical. They depend on both their physical and mental senses when interpreting a situation or event and predicting an outcome or developing a solution to a problem.

The intuitive mind is perpetually pondering theoreticals and asking “what if?”. Simultaneously, their mind is putting together the pieces of the bigger picture in rapid fire time.

Intuitive people tend to think outside of the box and tend to bring more innovative ideas to the table. But sometimes, this approach appears to be out of touch to others who prefer more practical methods of problem solving.

Intuitive thinkers sometimes make decisions and provide new theories to a situation in a matter of minutes. This can lead to miscommunication and other problems when working with a team.

T Is For Thinker

People with the thinker personality style have active minds and are most stimulated by questioning what is happening around them and thinking about solutions to problems. They also have good memories and retain and recall important information.

A thinker relies more on their mental focus than emotions or feelings. Thinkers are knowledgeable individuals and rely on facts and objective information when they make decisions.

When approaching any situation, thinkers turn to eight intellectual skills in their intellectual toolbelt. They are:

  • Planning
  • Logistical thinking
  • Investigation
  • Gathering data
  • Finding facts
  • Analysis
  • Innovation
  • Creativity

ENTJs pride themselves on being original thinkers and delight in increasing their knowledge and competence through every new challenge they face. They have innate drive to seek solutions for the following intellectual pursuits:

  • Mystery
  • Puzzle
  • Logic and Math Problems
  • Conflict
ENTJs enjoy intellectual challenges.

Thinkers like to have control over the direction they choose when approaching a new problem or challenge. They don’t like to be stifled by the mundane or mainstream ideas of others.

J Is For Judging

People who have the judging personality trait are schedulers and planners. They need to feel in control and have multiple backup plans so they can handle any surprises that come up along the way.

Judgers need structure and predictability, two traits that make them appear rigid. However, judgers can adjust to circumstances as necessary which is why they try to foresee any possible mishaps or roadblocks to overcome.

People who are judgers value the following components whether at work or in life in general:

  • Laws
  • Rules
  • Standards
  • Responsibility
  • Accountability
  • Criteria for success
  • Strong work ethic

Judgers see these components in black and white. They apply these key measures to themselves and also their:

  • Colleagues
  • Friends
  • Family

Common ENTJ Character Traits

The four personality types of the ENTJ result in these pragmatic extraverts donning the following character traits. The table below lists both the positive ENTJ characteristics as well as the characteristics that can create obstacles for the ENTJ.

Character Strengths Character Weaknesses
Assertive Intolerant
Confident Impatient
Strong verbal skills Stubborn
Outspoken Insensitive
Energized by interacting with others Aggressive
Efficient problem-solvers Arrogant
Organized Forceful
Strong willed Egotistical
Adaptable Views show of emotion as weakness

ENTJ Character Strengths

The ENTJ’s confidence and ability to be assertive are what makes them natural born leaders. They are secure in their knowledge and abilities and know the direction they want to take when approaching a task or working towards achieving a goal.

Powerful verbal communication adds to the ENTJ’s charisma and enhances their leadership abilities. This personality type is known to be both outspoken and to have excellent verbal communication skills.

It should be no surprise that the ENTJ is a gifted verbal communicator as this personality type is extremely extroverted. Interacting with other people energizes the ENTJ and gets their creative juices flowing.

Being able to talk through their thoughts and ideas with others helps the ENTJ to work through puzzles and problems, big or small, with rapid fire efficiency. This extroverted processor needs to work through problems by vocalizing them.

ENTJ Character Weakness

While this personality type has many strengths that make them strong leaders and provocative thinkers, they also have strong character traits that can stand in the way of them working well with others.

ENTJs view emotions and any kind of sentimentality as a weakness, so they hide their own feelings at any cost. This makes them appear to be callous and cold so others may be less likely to trust them or open up about their own feelings around an ENTJ.

Additionally their propensity to be intolerant of other’s ideas and habits, is often a turnoff to potential friends and colleagues. Coupled with their impatience and stubbornness, the ENTJ can be difficult to negotiate with in relationships.

While being outspoken can be a strength as a leader, aggression in the form of blunt and dominant speech and actions can be yet another turnoff in personal relationships or business partnerships. The propensity for aggression often impedes the ability to work with others.

ENTJ Method of Thought

ENTJs, also known as the “executive”,  are rational thinkers who have a talent for identifying problems and being able to see the bigger picture.

Most ENTJs are strategic thinkers, allowing them to approach problems from every angle in order to arrive at the best solution. As learners they like to apply theories and new information to problem solving.

Their propensity for structure and routine make them disciplined scholars who study regularly. ENTJs are quick to process and analyze new information and have strong memories, allowing them to recall information quickly.

In higher education, the ENTJ continues to build on their knowledge base and enjoys applying what they have learned to problem solving. This personality type relies on a combination of:

  • Structure
  • Analysis
  • Intuition
  • Decisiveness
  • Investigation

This helps them find solutions to complex problems.

As outside of the box thinkers, ENTJS prefers abstract and theoretical information to concrete details which helps them to keep an open mind when approaching solutions to problems.

ENTJs thrive on solving problems. Their laser-like focus, along with the ability to plan and map out different avenues from which to approach a problem often leaves them to quick success.

The Eight Career Paths Best Suited For The ENTJ

ENTJ people are planners and schedulers. They have a deep need for predictability and control. Along with being strong leaders, ENTJs are typically attracted to career fields where they can:

  • Be in charge
  • Create a schedule
  • Solve problems
  • Apply analytical thinking
  • Develop and implement strategy
  • Work in teams
  • Focus on the big picture
  • Evaluate their own and others’ work

Common career paths that meet the ENTJ personality’s criteria for a fulfilling job include:

  1. Higher education
  2. Business and program management
  3. Business Executive
  4. Entrepreneurial endeavors
  5. Criminal Justice or law enforcement
  6. Engineer
  7. Mathematician
  8. Sales and Marketing

As thinkers, ENTJs are ambitious by nature and enjoy work that is thought-provoking and intellectually stimulating. Add extraversion to their mental capacity and ENTJs gain momentum from working with a team of highly motivated people.

ENTJs’ logical execution of their grand plans makes them likely to find success in entrepreneurial careers.

They value verbal communication and the exchange of ideas, as long as the ideas are similar to their own when approaching a complex task. They also like to manage groups of people and direct the forward movement of a task or project.

ENTJs need a clear set of criteria by which to evaluate their work and the work of their colleagues. They are motivated by rewards such as:

  • Public recognition
  • Raises or bonuses
  • Promotion

While ENTJs can be inspiring leaders, they can also be difficult to work with due to their intolerance for the weaknesses of others and what they view as ideas inferior to their own.

ENTJs can become impatient when others don’t unquestioningly go along with their plans. Their confidence can become arrogance as they often believe their:

  • Ideas
  • Strategies
  • Plans
  • Skills

are superior to those of others. ENTJs work best with others who share their ambition and competence.

How the ENTJ Personality Functions Within Relationships

ENTJS prefer to think about the future versus being still in the moment and appreciating what is in front of them in the present. Because they are not always thinking in the present, they can appear distant to those who love them.

ENTJs In Friendships

In friendships, ENTJs function as the leader of the pack. They tend to decide whom they want to pursue friendships with. Rarely does the ENTJ pursue a friendship with someone just because they work with or live near them. They must have mutual interests.

ENTJs need friends who are interesting and enjoy going out and doing things. The executive enters into friendships with people who like them are:

  • Interesting
  • Intelligent
  • Engage in challenging activities

The executive is the friend in the group who:

  • Decides
  • Plans
  • Schedules

They want to make sure that events turn out how they want them to and don’t trust others to make plans that will satisfy them.

The executive tends to get along and communicate well with other intuitives and thinkers. They also tend to enjoy spending time with other extraverts. ENTJ personality types function best in friendships with the following personalities:

  • ENFP
  • INFP
  • INTJ
  • Fellow ENTJs

How The ENTJ Functions in Romantic Relationships

The “executive” ENTJ likes to take the lead in their romantic relationships just as they do in all areas of their lives. And just like other parts of their lives, they bring every ounce of energy into their relationships.

During the initial phase of attraction, the ENTJ approaches their potential partner much as they would any other project, with an analytical mind. They are dedicated to finding someone who is interesting and an intellectual equal.

Once they decide to pursue a relationship, ENTJ personalities continually find new ways to impress their romantic partners and show their affection. These maneuvers are not spontaneous, but well planned, with every aspect thought out to the finest detail.

The executive brings charisma and imagination to every area of the relationship, including the bedroom. This personality appreciates predictability in their sex life while looking for ways to ensure that it stays exciting and interesting for both parties.

One of their relationship weaknesses is their discomfort with their emotions and those of their partner. They need to make an effort to acknowledge and understand their partner’s feelings.

ENTJs also need to work on identifying and feeling more comfortable with their own feelings. However, ENTJs are direct when they communicate, so their romantic partner will usually know where they stand with the executive.

Also, because their minds are usually working over time thinking about solutions to problems at work or improving things in the home, ENTJs need to make a conscious effort to be present in the moment with their partners.

If the ENTJ feels like the relationship is not going anywhere, they will end it suddenly, leaving the other party wondering what happened. ENTJs have no qualms severing ties and moving on to the next relationship.

ENTJ does not function well with people who are emotionally needy. They thrive in a relationship where the other person is:

  • Confident
  • Emotionally stable
  • Reliable

According to the MBTI, the personality type most compatible with the ENTJ is the INTP, which stands for:

  • Introvert
  • Intuitive
  • Thinking
  • Perceiving

These two make a great pair because introverted INTP is happy to let ENTJ take the lead. This personality type is also an intuitive, and a thinker, so they have enough in common with the ENTJ intellectually to hold the executive’s interest.

The ENTJ Parenting Style

The executive personality has high expectations for themselves and they hold their offspring to those same standards. They see their children as reflections of their own success and expect them to rise up to the same level.

While they can be demanding, ENTJs are not bad parents. However, as with their other relationships they need to consciously work on listening to their children and understanding their feelings and needs.

The ENJT personality makes up about 2% of the population, so the chance that their children are also ENTJs is slim. Children with ENTJ parents differ from them in that they are typically:

  • More sensitive
  • Needful of more empathy
  • Less rational
  • Less analytical

These traits can make effective communication between ENTJ parents and their children difficult. The ENTJ parent will engage in discussion with their children about roles and expectations in the family, but they will always have the final word.

ENTJ parents are strict and expect their children to be thoroughly:

  • Responsible
  • Obedient
  • Respectful
  • Communicative

These expectations can be difficult for young children to live up to and the ENTJ parent needs to exercise patience as their children search for ways to appropriately express themselves and their needs.

ENTJ parents are extremely devoted and will go to great lengths to meet their child’s needs and ensure their happiness and success.

At the same time, the ENTJ parent can be extremely rigid and controlling. With their older children, they need to be able to determine when it’s time to loosen the reigns, and allow their child some control over their own choices and schedule.

When the ENTJ starts to hand over control of their child’s life to the child, they allow the child to:

  • Grow mentally and emotionally
  • Develop coping skills
  • Develop decision making skills
  • Solve problems

Children of ENTJ parents will be grateful for their parents’ trust and confidence in their ability to negotiate their way through the world. Their parent will most likely be the first person they turn to when they need advice.

Summing Up The ENTJ Personality Functions

The ENTJ personality tends to be larger than life. ENTJs are not afraid to take up their space in the world and make their presence known. Without ENTJs we would not have dynamic and charismatic leaders in government, businesses, and other organizations.

ENTJs are happy to lead others to achieve their vision. They are big-picture thinkers who can approach problems from various angles and evaluate each possible solution before implementing the best one.

ENTJs are also educators and enjoy imparting knowledge to others whether it be their friends, co-workers, partner, or children. Without the ENTJs, we would not have the innovations and creativity that make our lives so much richer.

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