leadership styles

Myers-Briggs Leadership Styles for Organizational Success 

Most successful leaders have one trait in common—self-awareness. They are aware of their personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. 

You must have seen some leaders leading from the front, challenging the status quo, and taking risks. They have a magnetic personality, drawing everyone in. On the contrary, some leaders prefer to be quiet guides, leading from the shadows. They focus on processes and have a low-risk appetite. 

Our leadership styles have a lot to do with our personality types. But how can you figure it out? The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a powerful tool to determine your leadership style and how it interacts with the personalities of those you lead.

It categorizes us into one of 16 personality types based on our preferences and four key attributes:

  • Extraversion (E) vs. Introversion (I): How we gain and expend energy
  • Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N): How we gather information
  • Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F): How we make decisions
  • Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P): How we approach structure and planning ahead

These personality types serve as a framework for understanding how people in leadership positions perceive the world, make decisions, and interact with others. If you want to improve your leadership skills and become an impactful leader, start by assessing your personality and leadership style. 

Extraversion vs. Introversion: Key difference in personalities

We often describe people as social or introverted based on their interactions within a social setting. Extraversion (E) vs. introversion (I), the first dimension of the MBTI, offers deeper insights into these personality traits. 

Extraverts are social energizers and charismatic leaders. They get a buzz from being around people, brainstorming ideas out loud, and being the center of attention. They also tend to be highly confident in their leadership abilities.

Introverts, on the other hand, are quiet observers. They gain energy from solitude and prefer to process information internally before taking action.

Both styles can be highly effective, but understanding these preferences improves team communication and task performance. 

87% of Extraverts believe they have what it takes to be a good leader, compared to 56% of Introverts.

Ambition Survey, 16 personalities

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Overview of Myers Briggs Leadership Personality Types

Each of the 16 personality types uses different methods to apply their unique qualities at work. Let’s look at the most common leadership personality types within the Myers-Briggs framework:

ENTJ: The assertive leader

Have you ever met someone who is confident and has a plan for everything? They are probably an ENTJ, a powerhouse personality type within the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) framework. ENTJs excel at driving teams toward ambitious goals. 

If you are extroverted, intuitive, decisive, and visionary, you are probably an ENTJ leader. You are likely to thrive in dynamic, result-driven environments.

Strengths of ENTJ leaders

  • Exude charisma and are strategic leaders  
  • Provide creative solutions and innovative approaches
  • Decisive and get things done efficiently
  • Analyze situations and find the most effective solutions
  • Value clear communication and get straight to the point

Challenges of ENTJ leaders

  • Can come across as dominating due to their strong opinions and decisive nature
  • Struggle to understand and address the emotional needs of their team as they remain objective 
  • Their relentless drive and work ethic can lead to burnout if they don’t prioritize self-care
  • Struggle to accept criticism

INTP: The unconventional leader

These leaders beat their own drum, ask a million questions, and come up with ideal solutions. If this describes you, then you are likely to have an INTP leadership style—introverted, intuitive, thoughtful, and analytical.

The INTP personality type involves a unique blend of analytical thinking, intellectual curiosity, and quiet confidence in their ideas. 

Strengths of INTP leaders

  • Constantly analyzes information and seeks out new ideas using a logical plan 
  • Dissect a complex problem with a logical approach and creativity, often coming up with surprising solutions
  • Challenge the status quo and come up with fresh perspectives
  • Value logic and reason above all else, making them objective and unbiased decision-makers

Challenges of INTP leaders

  • Struggle to communicate ideas clearly as they get disinterested soon
  • Great at brainstorming but struggle to take action
  • Find it difficult to understand emotions, both their own and others
  • Recharge their energy through solitude and are hesitant to engage in social interaction

ENTP: The innovative leader

ENTPs are creative and visionary leaders who light up the room with their enthusiasm for new possibilities. 

If you are extroverted, intuitive, thoughtful, and perceiving, chances are that you have an ENTP leadership style. You are analytical, independent, and adaptable.

They are the ultimate idea generators of the Myers-Briggs leadership styles, with an infectious enthusiasm for creative problem-solving.

Strengths of ENTP leaders

  • Constantly buzzing with new concepts and solutions
  • Love to connect with new people and thrive on stimulating conversations. Their quick wit and humor keep things interesting
  • Challenge the status quo and come up with innovative approaches
  • Adjust their communication style to any situation, making them excellent team players

Challenges of ENTP leaders

  • Lose interest easily with routine tasks and details
  • Change focus from one thing to the next, which makes it difficult to complete a task
  • Conflict-averse when conflicts come into play

INFJ: The perceptive leader

INFJs understand people on a deeper level, inspire them to be their best selves, and support causes they truly believe in.

As an INFJ, you are an empath and a visionary. You are insightful and creative, and uniquely able to connect with people and inspire positive change.

Strengths of INFJ leaders

  • Natural champions who connect with team members on a personal level and provide genuine support
  • Value input from others and promote a culture of open communication
  • Strategic thinkers and not just dreamers
  • Offer thoughtful advice and guidance, helping others reach their full potential

Challenges of INFJ leaders

  • Deeply affected by conflict and negativity
  • Overwhelmed by the weight of responsibility and the potential impact
  • Delay in making decisions with so much information to process
  • The desire to do things right leads to procrastination

ISFJ: The thoughtful leader

ISFJs are extremely thoughtful. They try to keep things running smoothly and make everyone feel valued. Often the dependable backbone of a team, ISFJs have a talent for creating a supportive and harmonious work environment. 

Some key characteristics that define you as an ISFJ are sympathetic, committed, devoted, practical, caring, and dependable. 

Strengths of ISFJ leaders

  • Genuinely care about their team members’ well-being 
  • Go the extra mile to make the team feel supported and appreciated
  • Thrive on structure and procedures, keeping projects on track and everyone accountable
  • Remember important information and follow through on commitments
  • Excel at resolving conflicts amicably 

Challenges of ISFJ leaders

  • Prefer established routines and resists new ideas
  • Focus on details and desires to please everyone can make hesitant to make decisions
  • Comfortable working behind the scenes, supporting others, and shying away from leadership positions
  • Dislike conflict and strive to maintain harmony within the team

ENFJ:  The passionate leader

ENFJ leaders ooze charisma, and inspire others to chase their dreams. They are the cheerleaders of the Myers-Briggs leadership framework. They have an infectious enthusiasm and a talent for bringing people together toward a goal-oriented future.

Strengths of ENFJ leaders

  • Use a people-oriented approach and are extremely responsible and resourceful 
  • Create a collaborative and supportive environment and thrive on seeing their team succeed together
  • Able to paint a compelling picture of the future and motivate others to work toward it
  • Lead by example and are known for their strong values

Challenges of ENFJ leaders

  • Take criticism personally
  • Values others’ opinions, which can sometimes make decision-making slow and complex
  • Excel at building harmony but avoid addressing underlying issues to keep the peace
  • Focus excessively on external validation and get discouraged easily if there is no recognition 

Read also: Practical tips on how to master ENFJ leadership style

ISTJ: The detail-oriented leader

This personality type organizes like a boss, follows the rules, and gets things done efficiently.

Factual, organized, logical, pragmatic, intensely focused, decisive, and efficient—if people use these terms to praise your leadership style, you are probably an ISTJ leader.

ISTJs are stability machines of the Myers Briggs leadership qualities, valuing practicality, structure, and getting the job done right.

Strengths of ISTJ leaders

  • Thrive on clear plans, established procedures, and keep everything in its place
  • Remember minute details and historical information, making them reliable sources of knowledge
  • Follow through on their commitments, meet deadlines consistently, and deliver high-quality work
  • Excel at analyzing situations objectively and making sound decisions

Challenges of ISTJ leaders

  • Prefer established routines and resist change
  • Desire for control and a meticulous nature lead to micromanagement
  • Struggle to understand and respond to the emotional needs of their team members

ISFP: The sensitive leader

ISFP leaders are intuitive, create a peaceful work environment, and value artistic expression. As an ISFP, you are the gentle artist of the Myers-Briggs leadership styles. You have a unique ability to connect with people emotionally and promote a collaborative spirit.

If we were to sum up this leadership style in a few words, it would be—compassionate manner, observant, strategic thinking, and realistic.

Strengths of ISFP leaders

  • Possess the natural ability to sense the emotions of others and create a supportive space
  • Excel at building a peaceful and respectful work environment
  • Bring a unique perspective and artistic flair to problem-solving, and often comes up with unconventional yet effective solutions
  • Appreciate the beauty in everyday things, which can inspire creativity and joy within the team
  • Value their individuality and don’t shy away from expressing their unique ideas and perspectives

Challenges of ISFP leaders

  • Focusing on harmony and considering everyone’s feelings can make them hesitant to make tough choices
  • Delay decision-making, especially during complex issues
  • Take feedback personally and are sensitive to criticism
  • Face challenges in expressing their own needs and emotions verbally
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Role of Emotional Intelligence in Leadership Styles

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the secret sauce that separates good leaders from great ones. EQ is your ability to understand, use, and manage your emotions. It helps to perceive, understand, and influence others’ emotions. 

While leadership and communication styles differ based on MBTI, strong EQ is also a game-changer for management styles. It helps you:

  • Make effective decisions: With both logic and emotions, you can navigate complex situations with clarity
  • Understand emotions: You can understand your feelings and emotions of other people. It promotes trust and connection within your team
  • Lead effectively: Leaders with high EQ can tap into the needs of their team members, enabling a culture of engagement within the organization

Some MBTI types naturally possess higher EQ. Recent research shows that there are some correlations between the Myers-Briggs personality type’s leadership qualities and emotional intelligence. Here’s a general overview:

  • If you feel deeply (F Type), you are more attuned to emotions, both your own and those of others. It makes you more empathetic, compassionate, and skilled at interpersonal relationships (ENFJ, INFJ, ISFJ, ISFP)
  • Extraverts (E Type) are more outwardly expressive and comfortable interacting with others. You have great social awareness and relationship management skills (ENFJ, ENFP, ESFP, ENTJ)
  • Perceivers (P Type) are more adaptable and open to new information. This flexibility can help you manage emotions and navigate changing social situations. (ENFP, INFP, ENTP, INTP)

Here comes the twist—emotional intelligence isn’t just about understanding emotions; it is also about analyzing them to make effective decisions. Whether it’s diffusing conflicts, making tough decisions, motivating team members, or promoting collaboration, EQ plays a pivotal role in driving organizational success.

Empathy in leadership

Empathy promotes trust, strengthens personal relationships, and creates a more positive work environment. But,  is it also a common trait among Myers Briggs personality type and inspirational leader types? In one word, yes. 

Some Myers-Briggs leadership styles, such as INFJs and ENFJs, naturally possess higher levels of empathy. However, irrespective of your personality type, you can develop and nurture empathy through active listening, perspective-taking, and genuine care for your team members.

Every Myers Briggs leader brings their own flavor of EQ to the table. And the good news? You can develop EQ through conscious efforts in how you listen to and communicate with others! 

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Transformational and Transactional Leadership Styles

Imagine two CEOs—one keeps things running smoothly, like a well-oiled machine. The other inspires their team to dream big and reach for the stars. These are the two main leadership styles: Transactional and Transformational. Most MBTI leadership styles fall into these two broad categories.

Let’s break them down!

Overview of transformational leadership

Transformational leadership focuses on career development, mentorship, and inspiring followers to achieve their full potential. It goes beyond simply getting the job done and aims to create a positive and stimulating environment where individuals can learn, grow, and contribute their best work.

They excel at:

  • Creating a clear, strong vision of a better future and motivating everyone to work toward it
  • Challenging the status quo. They’re not afraid to shake things up and try new ideas
  • Developing their team. They invest in their people’s growth and help them reach their full potential

Overview of transactional leadership

Transactional leadership focuses on an exchange of expectations and rewards. It emphasizes meeting specific goals and objectives through a structured system of incentives and consequences. Transactional leaders provide direction, maintain order, and ensure efficient task completion.

They are awesome coaches who know how to organize people to get the most out of their team and keep everyone on track. They excel at:

  • Setting clear goals: Everyone knows what’s expected and how to get there. They keep everyone on their toes
  • Rewarding a job well done: They offer bonuses, promotions, and recognition to deserving members to keep people motivated
  • Maintaining order. They set clear rules and procedures to ensure things run smoothly

Now here’s the cool part. Your MBTI can help you understand whether you are a transformational or transactional leader. Here’s a quick peek at how some MBTI types might lean towards one style of leadership position or another:

Transformational leaders:

  • ENTJ, ENFP, INFJ, ENFJ: These types have vision, charisma, and the ability to inspire
  • INTP, INTP: While not always the most outwardly charismatic, these personality types can be transformational through their innovative ideas and ability to challenge the current situation

Transactional leaders:

  • ISTJ, ESTJ: These leaders focus on structure, organization, and clear goals 
  • ISFJ, ESFJ: They show cooperation and harmony and are able to meet people’s expectations 

A strong and effective leader can leverage elements of both styles, depending on the situation.

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How to Make the Most of Your Leadership Style

Now you know all the possibilities of the MBTI leadership style and the importance of EQ. Here are some tips to develop your leadership skills:

  • Identify your natural leadership qualities: Are you a visionary strategist (ENTJ) or an empathetic team builder (ISFJ)? Lean into those strengths and delegate tasks that drain your energy
  • Collaborate with other leadership styles: No one’s perfect! If you’re an ISTJ who struggles with creative brainstorming, partner with an ENTP who thrives on it and pick up skills from them
  • Actively seek opportunities to improve your emotional intelligence: Practice active listening, consider all perspectives when making decisions, work with people who make up for your weaknesses, and practice mindfulness techniques

Use ClickUp to enhance your leadership style

ClickUp is an all-in-one tool that helps leaders with project management, collaboration, communication, and increased productivity. With ClickUp, you can collaborate on documents, brainstorm ideas, and update tasks in real time, promoting a dynamic and collaborative environment. 

ClickUp allows you to tailor your communication and working style based on your MBTI preferences:

  • For the ENTJ strategist: Use ClickUp Goals to define clear project objectives, tasks, key results, and deadlines. You can also create sprint targets or sales targets and share them with your team to keep everyone focused
ClickUp Goals
Achieve goals faster by creating and tracking targets efficiently with ClickUp Goals
  • For the unconventional INTP leader: Visually brainstorm innovative ideas with ClickUp’s Mind Maps. You can add ideas, create tasks directly from the whiteboard, and streamline workflows using drag-and-drop nodes
ClickUp's Mind Maps
Discover creative solutions by connecting tasks and ideas with ClickUp’s Mind Maps
  • For the Supportive Leaders (ISFJ & ENFJ): Streamline project and improve team collaboration with ClickUp’s Docs. You can discuss ideas, define processes, assign tasks, add comments, and do a lot more
ClickUp Docs
Create detailed knowledge bases for complex projects with ClickUp Docs
  • For the organized leaders (ISTJ & ISFP): Try ClickUp’s Task Management features with customizable views to assign tasks and share screen recordings. You can also build a task database for different teams
ClickUp Tasks
Simplify task management and enable transparency with ClickUp Tasks

That’s not all! You can use ClickUp templates to transform processes and flows and make the team more efficient.

ClickUp’s Leadership Team Health Monitor Template helps you stay on top of your team’s performance and growth.

Monitor the overall health of your team with ClickUp’s Leadership Team Health Monitor Template

You can use ClickUp’s Communication Plan Template to ensure a clear and consistent communication plan across your team, regardless of your communication style preference.

Create a comprehensive communication plan with your team members with ClickUp’s Communication Plan Template

The ClickUp’s Communication Plan Whiteboard Template helps you visually brainstorm communication strategies and keep everyone aligned with the most logical process.

Specify the messages you need to spread, who you’re targeting with them, and which channel to use with ClickUp’s Communications Plan Whiteboard Template
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Enhance Leadership Skills with ClickUp

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to leadership. Understand your unique strengths (as revealed by MBTI) and leverage them authentically. You can always adapt to different styles and implement different leadership insights depending ˘on the situation.

The goal should be to become the leader your team needs. You can do this by honing your emotional intelligence and using tools like ClickUp to amplify your impact. Sign up on ClickUp for free to become a great leader!

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