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December 20, 2005

eNTj: a kinder, gentler jimbo

In recent years I've been trying something different with my approach to how I do my job at work. The results of several personality tests taken always tell me that I am the "Field Marshal" (eNTj) work persona, meaning that I am a good leader but I do not often look behind me as I'm marching along to ask others how things could be done. Do it my way or get out of my way. Even back in Peace Corps, I was voted "Most Likely to Become Benevolent Ruler of a Third World Island Nation," in my training group graduation class. I'm not kidding.

Past lessons in cooperative efforts have taught me the disadvantages of this approach. Like when I organized an English language summer camp while I was in Peace Corps, perhaps I could have asked the teachers of English as a second language (TESOL) volunteers for help, advice or suggestions. Instead I did it my way, took on too much responsibility, and got a bit overwhelmed. But to a part of my mind, if I involve other people I will lose my absolute control over a situation, which of course would be bad because if it isn't done my way it's not getting done right, if at all.

So lately I've tried to create a "kinder, gentler" jimbo who asks for advice from others and tries to involve everyone in the planning of a task or event. I've also tried to be more sensitive to other's feelings about their accomplishments, challenging life trials (death, etc.), breakups or their personal sensitivites.

This fall at work it was time to get new photos taken of all our staff and faculty. Knowing that people are freaky about getting their pictures taken, I tried to be very sensitive when approaching them to get their pictures taken. Inviting, encouraging, coddling their egos, asking them politely to sit down for a photo session. You get the idea.

From this approach I've re-discovered the facist field marshal at the core of my being, and I now know that I'll never, ever be a counselor or social worker. The staff and faculty cried, they whined, they pouted and then stomped their feet when they were asked so kindly to sit down and get their pictures taken. If only I could turn back time and tell them to shut the fuck up, sit their ass down, get your gotddamn picture taken and do not tell me you do not like your photos because I don't fucking care, I'm trying to get my job done and I need your pixels and that's all I want from you, so go away, OK?

But I didn't say that. I nodded and smiled and kindly asked them to do what I needed them to do. But I'm going to crack soon and then I'm gonna get all eNTj on their asses, just you wait and see.

Posted by jimbo at December 20, 2005 11:23 AM


Funny you should mention this... I was thinking in the shower the other day (where I do most of my thinking for the day) that I wanted to re-take the Myers Briggs and see what I am b/c I forget from the last time I took it...

All I know is that the first letter is a big old E.

Next time you need language help lemme know - I speak a bunch and am getting my master's in ed with a concentration in ESL!

Posted by: TOS at December 20, 2005 4:55 PM

More insightful commentary on personality profiles, if you're interested, can be found here: http://www.personalitypage.com/ENTJ.html - with 3 links to deeper analysis (carer, relationships, personal growth).

Posted by: The Champion Idealist at December 21, 2005 10:27 AM

Being bossy rules. It was hard for me before I became a teacher. I now relish eating the souls of my kids.

I also noticed that we have the same Carhartt jacket. Mine fits me weird though.

Posted by: Paul at December 21, 2005 10:37 AM

Ah, the frustrations of being an ENTJ. All I can add is that I'm a firm believer in "lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way."

Posted by: scory at December 21, 2005 11:08 AM

You, Maggie Thatcher, and Bill Gates, I see from the Keirsey site... I'd say live with it, you martinet.

Posted by: Chris at December 21, 2005 1:01 PM