As for leadership, Te does NOT offer a natural advantage, other than it is the current fashion in leadership, leading to such disasters as No Child Left Behind, "downsizing" that in fact hurts the bottom line (google the recent studies on this), corporate politics that destroy collaboration, etc, when it is left unchecked by the equally rational gifts of the Feeling function. There is more evidence that Feeling types have opted out of those environments, rather than being "unsuited" for leaderships, leaving the Te's to their own demise...
Let's make three categories.The mistake folk typologists frequently make consists in assuming that a good leader can only be a Te type or a sociable person can only be Extroverted. They fail to understand the fact that there are many reasons why a person is sociable or a good leader, the fact that they may be a Te or an Extroverted type is just one very small contributing factor. In fact, it is insignificant enough for us to assume that individuals of radically different types could have the same virtues.
- Theorists--those who have read the theory of type and fit itinto their own mental models, or adjusted it via their own analysis. They probably haven't applied the theory in ways that allows them to test its effectiveness in makign constructive use of differences beyond perhaps personal relationships
- Folk typologists: people who have read a lot of the internet sites or been through shallow workshops ( the kind where a month later they say, "I think I'm ESPN but I don't remember much beyond that"). They've internalized stereotypes or misconceptions such as "F's are wishy-washy" or "I'm a Perceiving type so I'm always late" or "S's aren't creative." I admit that unfortunately this includes many trained type practitioners who never went beyond the introductory course or challenged their own stereotypes.
- Theory-based practitioners. These people are well-trained in the theory but more importantly, are out there using the theory with real people as licensed counselors or therapists, spiritual directors, management consultants, educational consultants, etc. More important, they're constantly comparing what happens in the real world with the theory, seeing if they can "build a better mousetrap." They have other tools in their kit besides type, because...if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail...So they might use reversal theory, appreciative inquiry, guided imagery, critical incident analysis, strategic planning, experiential learning....all kinds of things depending on the needs of the individuals or the group
Neither theorists or research-based practitioners will make these mistakes. For example, executive coaches who use type are often masters at helping people of any type make the most of their strengths in leadership AND at positioning their actions to most influence those who need evidence that a different style of leadership is effective.
I don't use the term MBTI at all--the MBTI is merely a self-reporting sorting tool to help people recognize their natural preferences for gaining energy, perceiving the world, and coming to judgments. The theory recognizes the preferences as innate, but also recognizes that culture, environment, family, career, education, etc., modify the expression of the preferences and the ability to develop one's preferences. Having a preference does not mean one has conscious control over it or uses it effectively. The theory does not purport to explain everything but merely to describe normal differences among normal people (which is perhaps one of the biggest arenas in which Myers and Briggs, whose typology before they read Jung was based on reading of biographies of well-developed people and the individuals with whom they interacted, differed from Jung whose early typology was based on his clinical practice) and was formulated to help people make better decisions, communicate more effectively, and be more open to the possibility of the painful process of individuation.In this respect the study of typology from the perspective of temperament becomes important. It defines type as a mere natural tendency rather than a solid personality trait. If you define MBTI as a combination of character profiles, people will be inclined to assume that their type is something immutable and fundamental to the very essence of their being. I admit that this is not evidence of a fault of MBTI itself but rather of the interpretive error that people make, however, it is desirable to rely on a system that is less prone to misunderstandings that cause multitudes of people to be maligned and marginalized on a basis of a certain personality trait that appears to establish the limitations of their abilities but actually does not.