Myers-Briggs Personality Test–Freaky, But Worth It

I spent most of Friday at TechStars’ Cambridge office, meeting 1-on-1 with the new teams.

I was surprised when one of the entrepreneurs mentioned the Myers-Briggs personality test. She and her co-founders had taken the test and knew each other’s profiles. They accurately predicted mine (I’m what is called an “ENTJ“).

Here are strengths of an ENTJ (from

ENTJs are natural born leaders. They live in a world of possibilities where they see all sorts challenges to be surmounted, and they want to be the ones responsible for surmounting them. They have a drive for leadership, which is well-served by their quickness to grasp complexities, their ability to absorb a large amount of impersonal information, and their quick and decisive judgments. They are “take charge” people.

Here are some weaknesses:

There is not much room for error in the world of the ENTJ. They dislike to see mistakes repeated, and have no patience with inefficiency. They may become quite harsh when their patience is tried in these respects, because they are not naturally tuned in to people’s feelings, and more than likely don’t believe that they should tailor their judgments in consideration for people’s feelings.

Yup, guilty as charged.

I’m a big fan of the test. I first took it at Harvard B-school and, then again, when I left Bain & Company convinced I should go into start-ups (read “How to Get a VC Job“).

Now, I know what you’re thinking: this sounds so freaky.  Admittedly it is, but I’ve found that test works. People’s personal styles do not change much over time, and this test captures accurately and with a lot of data your clear personal style preferences.

Early on in our firm’s life, our team took the Myers-Briggs. Eric is “ESTJ” and Ed is “INTP“.

I like the fact that our team has different personality types. We complement each other. And, when one of us does something that annoys the others, Myers-Briggs lets us step back and see life from the other person’s shoes.

I encourage all founding teams to take the Myers-Briggs. It is a great way to better know each other. If you search on-line, there are quite a few vendors that offer the test on-line.

I wish Obama and the Congressional Republicans would take the test. I think they would get a lot more done!

2 thoughts on “Myers-Briggs Personality Test–Freaky, But Worth It

  1. Another option to consider – one that we’ve found useful is Emergenetics.

    Emergenetics… specializing in analyzing, identifying and leveraging the way people think and behave. Emergenetics works for organizations because all organizations, big or small, are built on people—how they interact and how they work.

  2. Yep, guilty as charged, too. ENTJ, but you probably knew it…I think it goes with the territory, and I too am both a fan of Myers-Briggs and McClelland’s Achievement of Motivation theory–both are coarse frameworks but help teams think about how people work and what motivates them.

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