Among the 16 personality types defined in the Myers Briggs type indicator, 5 of them have been recognized to be highly correlated with success in business and entrepreneurial skillsets. Those types are ENTP, INTJ, ENTJ, ESTJ, ISTJ. These personalities feature the cognitive preferences that are most aligned with traits associated with high achievement and ambition. These types also rank the highest in earned income and each share the Thinking (T) preference. Thinking and judging appear to be the strongest factors involved in executive leadership ability. However, intuition (N) is associated with the ability to envision possibilities and recognize opportunities which are quintessential traits to all successful entrepreneurs.
When we think of great CEOs, legends such as Steve Jobs and Walt Disney come to mind. Many of the world’s most prolific and prestigious tycoons and moguls however, do not belong to any of the 5 types specified above. Oprah Winfrey for instance has been typed as ENFJ, Richard Branson as ESFP, Donald Trump; ESTP, and Larry Page and Sergey Brin are both cited as being INTP. This shows that while certain types possess qualities more condusive to successful entrpreneurship and leadership, it does not mean other types cannot succeed and excel in these areas as well. The MBTI tests for preferences; not ability. Regardless of personality type, it is apparent that all successful entrepreneurs share key strengths that allow them to climb the ranks and become captains of industry.
An abiding compulsion to explore and experiment is an inherent characteristic of entrepreneurs. Great entrepreneurs are also avid learners who constantly seek new information. This drive to acquire more insight allows them gain an edge in the development of better ideas and solutions. Jeff Boss, who is an entrepreneur and leadership coach, stated that “Questions serve as the fuel for creativity; creativity leads to innovation; innovation turns into making products that make you the next mega-millionaire.”
The entrepreneur mindset is an open mind that is willing to entertain possibilities and take risks, testing to see what works and what doesn’t. This attribute is linked to extroverted thinking and happens to be present in the cognitive stacks of ENTJs, INTJs, ISTJs and ESTJs. The prospect of discovery is exciting for them and propels entrepreneurs to venture into uncharted waters to become pioneers and bellwethers in their field. This can be risky but the willingness to take big gambles can payoff in dividends when decisions are guided by sharp intuition and instincts.
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