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  1. #1
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Default ENFP leaders and executives

    I had a discussion with stypg awhile back about the other ENFPs I worked with. One male and one female, both early thirties and both more emo than me-although we all three have our emo moments.

    He argued that perhaps male ENFPs more more emo stable than females? Or maybe that was me... Anyways, it was hard for me to counter in any way as I honestly know very few ENFPs in real life-or even NFs of any sort. I have been surrounded by NTs since started college, through grad school, and into my career. Once at work there were some "wierd" people-oh wait those are really just not NTs..hehehe

    Now I work with about 40% NTs and 40% ISTJs. Very, very few NFs at all.

    Until recently.

    We now have three ENFP men in fairly high levels of leadership so I thought i would jot down my observations on them so far as I think the common matra is that ENFPs dont make it into leadership positions.

    1-mid thirties, finance/marketing background, moderate Te user but balanced with some NeFi to make him seem sweet, practical, outgoing and very competent. He worked in our industry at another company, just finished an MBA and does portfolio management. The othe day he walked past my dorr, glanced in and immediately asked if I was doing okay-actally no it was a long day. The briefest glance told him this. Also when no one was looking we decided we are going to build a lake out back to sail my mothafuckin boat on. Cause I'm onna boat...Shhhh, NeFi was sneaking out that day....

    2-Mid fifties. Kinda dorky and goofy. Very good understanding of our industry. Is in strategic marketing position. He excels at understanding the "people points" of the organizations he interacts with-they tend to be large and complex. He understands who to talk to and who they influence the companies. Very Big NeTe thinker-superb complement to 9/9. He also shows a tendency to mentor and give advice. However he can be very Te heavy and authoritarian at times. It can be odd to get a nice polite joking email, then see the Te switch come on calling you to task. Very direct and straightforward.

    3. VP of RnD-an engineer-mid fifties. Also a bit goofy and silly. Actually more NeFi however he may be holding Te in check. Long history of RnD/Marketing work, particularly in teaching others how to bridge the customer-marketing-engineering interface. Very smart guy, very aware. The first thing he did was start asking others about his people. However he also comes across very open and very honest, interested in making sure his folks have the chance to grow in thier careers-but can very quicky identify the strategic gaps in the few problems he has faced-and call you on why you did not identify those gaps..

    4. former Big C. A very odd ENFP. My ENTP had to call it as I could not figure it out. This man had a very weak Te. Very poor planning skillls and understanding of operations. Not strategic in the Te sense at all. However he could read and manipulate others profoundly well. Very good at organizing a structure of people to accomplish goals and understanding others strengths and weaknesses. He had a history at his previous company and was well known. People were terrified of him... He seemed so nice...not in a smooth. stylish tert Fe way, but nice with Fi...nice until he had to nicely let you know you were fired, nicely help you pack your stuff, nicely walk you to your car and pat you on your shoulder...

    Just thought I would share as the sterotypes do get old and these guys are interesting to watch...

  2. #2
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ne-Monster View Post
    as I honestly know very few ENFPs in real life-or even NFs of any sort. I have been surrounded by NTs since started college, through grad school, and into my career. Once at work there were some "wierd" people-oh wait those are really just not NTs..hehehe

    Now I work with about 40% NTs and 40% ISTJs. Very, very few NFs at all.
    I can relate to the above.

    What i've heard about ENFP's NOT being in leadership is basically overpromising and then underdelivering. Mean well but get sidetracked by people or other details, lack of adequate followthrough.

  3. #3

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    Assumed or from reality? I tend to not like leading for long periods because I'm naturally more comfortable letting people be free willed, but when I do, I'd call it anything but flaky.
    Freude, schöner Götterfunken Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum! Deine Zauber binden wieder Was die Mode streng geteilt; Alle Menschen werden Brüder, Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

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    Senior Member alcea rosea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ne-Monster View Post
    We now have three ENFP men in fairly high levels of leadership so I thought i would jot down my observations on them so far as I think the common matra is that ENFPs dont make it into leadership positions.
    Many ENFP's have very strong values in their lives and they/us try to live by the values. Maybe the current leadership "culture" does not fit ENFP value system very well and thus it's hard for an ENFP to be a leader that requires values that are against ENFP's values. And the result is that there aren't many ENFP leaders.

    The other thing, at least with me, as a female ENFP. The handling of other people's emotions might be harder than, let's say, for a person with strong T or with primary/secondary Fe. Fi takes emotions very deeply and thus it might be hard for ENFP bosses to handle the emotions of the people they lead.

    I'll have to think about this more....

  5. #5
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Most bureaucrats are STJ's. What is the opposite of that: NFP. You also won't find many high level FP leaders either, be they ENFP, ESFP, ISFP, or INFP.

    When I get more time I'll re-peruse parts of Kroeger and Theusen's "Type Talk at Work" plus some other people's "Worktypes" and report back what I come across

  6. #6
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    I would argue that is you asked these guys-are you a feeler or a thinker? based upon the simple MBTI, they would say they are thinkers.

    However they are using a lot of Te in combination with Ne to solve the problems, so are not ENTPs. The jungian functions are a better way of looking at the issue.

  7. #7

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    Most ENFPs are thinkers, they just aren't thinkers when it comes to MBTi. Just to point out that though the two words look the same, they refer to different things. One is a category in a careers test on personality types, the other refers to being intellectual. Amazing isn't it! I think they call it a homonym.
    Freude, schöner Götterfunken Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum! Deine Zauber binden wieder Was die Mode streng geteilt; Alle Menschen werden Brüder, Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

  8. #8
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    Some of the most thoughtful business owners in my community are ENFPs. They're the ones most likely to consider social entrepreneurship and setting up their businesses in the more disadvantaged parts of town.

    I think ENFPs aren't usually executives of major corporations (we'll leave that to the ENTJs) but are more likely to innovate and change business practices.

    The more interesting question could be: How many ENFPs do you see being attorneys? or doctors? I'm guessing there are more ENFPs in business than in those professions. We'd be good at business because Ne puts our fingers in the wind. We have a natural knack for being in the Zeitgeist. Delving into details and slogging through years of a residency? Ne says, no thanks.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Tiny Army's Avatar
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    Man, why in hell would you put an ENFP in charge of anything? We're good at predicting crises and making plans but shit at following through with them and we completely crumble under actual stress.

    ENFPs: consultants (ideally freelance because fuck if we can even handle schedules, deadlines and standard work hours) not executives.
    Anger is also a feeling.

  10. #10
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    I disagree about ENFPs being 'bad leaders'. You see an over-representation of ENFPs being leaders in the community organizing and volunteering kind of world (which I'm familiar with, ENFPs practically fall from trees!), just as you might see an over-representation of SJs in government. Certain types of organizational structures and goals just draw different personality types with different needs.

    I don't necessarily think ENFPs have to be horrible at keeping track of things or follow through - I think it's also a growth process and maturity thing. Because anyone regardless of type has to learn how to get it and keep it together to get through school, succeed at work, pay their bills on time, etc. You find ways to cope (my manager at one job made me get a book on mastering Outlook dear lord so I could schedule things proficiently).

    ENFPs are capable of being extremely responsible and being big picture thinkers and good people organizers - I know for myself and from seeing others in action ENFPs are capable of running a smooth sailing ship.

    I do agree though that the real strengh of ENFPs is more of motivating/starting and revamping/refreshing orgs and ideas. And delegating - which is the art of finding what people like to do and are good at and letting them do it.

    Consulting I think would be preferred by ENFPs as well as ENTPs. I really don't like being in an office 9-5 when I don't have to. I can be very efficient - I like to knock out my work and be done with it. I prefer working in the field to an in an office.

    ENFPs probably also are likely to become leaders in the founder/entrepreneur kinda way and then find a person or enteprise to manage and expand the business. ENXPs have a lot of skills necessary to be good entrepreneurs.

    Also, I know for myself that I never saw myself in 'business', I had zero interest in economics or finance. I never saw myself amassing great wealth - it was never a goal. I just wanted to to be comfortable and assumed that I would be. I always saw myself in media, another creative field, or elected government (poli sci major!) I'm not sure if that is typical for ENFPs or it's more a 'me' thing. Now that I'm older I have enough work experience to know that I'd rather work for myself, work in a creative field and have a project to project kind of work life or else be super active and feel I'm able to directly effect my world (which is why I've always been drawn to politics).

    I did have a consulting job (where you are basically an account director and sell white papers) where I got paid well, but it was really not very activating or inspiring. I saw my future career path and the 'best I could be' if I were to succeed and I had zero interest. I could not fake the funk. I did not care what my pay check was or that it was a nice white collar job in a nice office downtown.

    I do know other suspected NFs who went into finance/consulting and love it, though.

    Also, I disagree about not liking to 'tell people what to do'. In my day to day life it's one thing, but once I volunteer myself or get elected to do a job I take it seriously and I have no problem directing people. I do pretty well in organizational structures, I very clearly separate personal from professional.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

    "I'm outtie 5000" ― Romulux

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