well, now, there’s a thing

Yesterday was Day 2 of my ‘Leading in Partnership’ course. I discovered some things about myself. Spurs Fan and the Brother have been laughing ever since.

First of all there was the Emotional Intelligence Self Assessment. I scored reasonably high on self awareness (ha!) and wasn’t remotely surprised that self management was my weakest area. This week I’d been reduced to tears, and fired to rage, so my answers to the questionnaire reflected that. I need to manage myself better. More rest, less angst. That wasn’t really a surprise, but the dip on the chart was stark.

Then we had to consider our leadership style. Huh? The most surprising thing about this course is that I thought I was going to be trained to be a leader, whereas apparently I already am. That notion has taken some getting used to. How could I know my style if I didn’t know I was a leader?

I spent some time considering learning, old jobs, what I was good at, what frustrated me, who’d been influential. Eventually the box labelled “Describe your leadership style” contained two phrases- trying to overcome the dictatorship and inclusive, collaborative, but I’m right. We all laughed at the dictator at the lunch table.

We moved on to the personality test. How do we prefer to communicate and behave? How does that impact on our relationships with others? What are our strengths? What may we need to develop? There were many questions, and then charts to follow and sums to do.  We’d run out of time and I came home to Google what it all meant. I was already surprised; I’d always imagined myself to be a clear introvert, but that’s not what the numbers said. Hmm.

According to the Myers Briggs test, I am an ENTJ type. (Other personality tests are available.)

Extrovert: dominant, outgoing, energetic, communicative

Intuitive: innovative, forward thinking, visionary, bold

Thinking: analytical, objective, rational, blunt

Judging: ambitious, determined, organised, decisive.

Some of this makes sense, but other things just seem bonkers, such as “ENTJs are natural-born leaders. People with this personality type embody the gifts of charisma and confidence, and project authority in a way that draws crowds together behind a common goal. But unlike their Feeling (F) counterpart, ENTJs are characterized by an often ruthless level of rationality, using their drive, determination and sharp minds to achieve whatever end they’ve set for themselves.” No, that doesn’t feel like me.

I read on another bit… impatient, just get it done, enjoy rising to challenges, poor handling of emotions, quick to make decisions, enjoy debate, arrogant, improve systems, like structure and clear guidelines … this could be nearly right after all.

“An ideal organization for an ENTJ values competence and logical thinking, and includes coworkers who are intelligent and ambitious. An ideal job for an ENTJ is one that challenges them to address complex problems with strategic planning and clear goal-setting.” Well, um yeah, that does sound ideal

Remember my thoughts on my leadership style? Get this: “ENTJ leaders are democratic about ideas, and often willing to listen to new perspectives; however, when the time comes to make a decision, they are commanding and unwavering.” The dictatorship is here.


I’m fascinated by this. Before we did the actual test, we did a self assessment and I came out as ISFJ. I must have disregarded the stubbornness and the stroppiness.

This is interesting and a bit of fun, with some learning for me. Nobody is going to employ me or sack me on the basis of a label I got yesterday. The label may be different in 6 months, would probably have been different 10 years ago, and the 15 year old me would have hyperventilated. She could be stroppy and stubborn too, but was too reserved for anyone to notice.

The internet is full of random pieces of information. Apparently Mrs Thatcher, Stalin and Nixon were ENTJs, but I’m focussing on Bill Gates and FDR. And Princess Leia. Pinterest tells me fictional characters follow these personality types too.

But my favourite part of the whole ENTJ exploration was this. Well done that designer. You know me so well.




10 thoughts on “well, now, there’s a thing

    1. ‘Where do you think you are on this scale?’ Really interesting exercise. I wonder how many of the others were as deluded as I was? The Extrovert/introvert scores were close, but I’d never have expected the extrovert to be strongest!

  1. I do think these tests are quite fun and and probably at least primarily true to type. I’ve taken a lot of them and in fact, a Strengths Test just today–at work. No big surprises, but it’s true that some things shift a bit in time. My top five were in a different order than when first taken about 10 years ago. I am an INTJ and I just own it! The advantage I have is that all that “bossy stuff” is better hidden in an introvert. LOL! I knew you were a leader…go for it!

    1. My E&I scores were close and I was amazed that E scored highest. It was a very interesting exercise, reminding me that my ‘right way of doing things’ and ‘common sense’ are preferences and not in fact ‘right’. Who knew? 😉

  2. I only know what you write in your blog, but I am not at all surprised to hear you “labeled” as a natural leader, and I mean that in every best sense. In my experience it feels as we seldom see ourselves as clearly as we think we do. My philosophy on that is that if we are striving so much to “be” something we often overlook what we are. It seems like you spend so much time championing rare diseases, you haven’t fully realized you are leading your nation in a very important and bold sort of way. Perhaps your own illness blinds you some too, feeling too tired to realize what all you have accomplished and how many lives you’ve touched. And finally I think that brings about a point that is very important to me; I believe the best leaders are the natural ones who lead quietly through example and are often too humble to recognize their own skill.

    1. Thank you Janie, I’m very moved by this. I’m inspired by so many folk and feel I’m just muddling along in the background, it’s a bit of a challenge to consider what I’m doing as ‘leading’. But I’m proud to do it, whatever it is 🙂

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