Leadership: The MBTI Assessment

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality assessment that helps to assess one’s psychological preferences based on a psychometric questionnaire. These preferences were extracted from the typological theories proposed by Carl Gustav Jung writings in his book ‘Psychological Types’. The MBTI focuses on normal populations and emphasizes the value of naturally occurring differences. [1] Also recognized commonly as a behavioral assessment tool, the MBTI uses a combination of 4 letters and each represent a clearly defined attribute.
Altogether, the MBTI test consists of 16 different personality types that will describe one’s personality in alleged detail. The MBTI test has reviewed that I am type ENTJ which covers aspects of being extraverted, intuitive, thinking and judging altogether but in different extents. According to Dr. David Keirsey, he states that a person with type ENTJ is recognized as a ‘Fieldmarshal’ or basically someone who is a natural born leader as agreed by Joe Butt in his article on ENTJ.
He adds that this attribute of Fieldmarshals are a rare breed that are natural at taking the lead, are structural organizers and have an act on devising contingency plans. These collectively form characteristics of a leader who will be decisive and are visionary in setting goals and direction. Having these traits of a leader, Fieldmarshals are expected to take up roles of higher responsibility and will usually take pleasure in them. However their strong devotion to their work may sometimes be a hindrance to their social lifestyles.

Another prevalent characteristic of a Fieldmarshal is the tendency to emphasize on efficiency and are usually intolerant of prodigality. [5 &6] I have to admit that while reading the results and review of my personality type; it felt like a strong confirmation of how I evaluate myself. Most of the traits specified were indeed very accurate such that I am a natural leader. I have come to realize that not only do I have the tendency to lead others but I also enjoy taking responsibility and I feel more comfortable in planning ahead rather than doing things spontaneously.
Being extraverted is also a spot on because I am that person who would walk across the room to get to know someone new and am not afraid to express my thoughts publicly. Looking at the basis of how the personality results were generated, I still do not comprehend how I only scored 1 in the ‘Thinking’ category as I usually make decisions based on facts and logic. Apart from the MBTI test, the Dominance Influence Steadiness Conscientiousness (DISC) test is also another credible assessment tool that provides an effective feedback and rational to help one identify his/her personal behavior and strengths, thus increasing self-awareness.
The DISC assessment is a shorter test as compared to the MBTI and yet yields more specific results from over 19,000 personalized responses and 384 separate behavioral descriptions. [3&4] One other assessment would be the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI) which measures thinking preferences in people. This model functions very similar to the others by incorporating cognitive style measurement. HBDI in short, adapts a concept of determining one’s dominant thinking style based on analytical, sequential, interpersonal and imaginative aspects. [7&4] Paul D.
Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger, who are both recognized experts in personality type and career development, agreed that the MBTI can serve as career counselors to guide and find jobs that are best suited for a person. [8] However the Army Research Institute commissioned a review on this and argued that there is no evidence for the utility of the test and further claimed that the classification scheme is limited and may be an example of stereotyping personalities. Other questions have been raised in David Pittenger’s report of how the MBTI instrument comes up short for what it purports to measure.
Some of which are mainly concerns on the reliability and validity of the results. [9] Considering all that, the objective of the MBTI is somewhat achieved when it helps to facilitate self-awareness which can then lead to self- improvement. With critical feedback provided, one will be able to realize their potential essentially natural leaders, and also to reaffirm one’s focus on their strengths. As discussed, discretion may be necessary to protect one against undue reliance upon the MBTI especially in career choices.

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