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The Myers Briggs of the Capitalist: The ISTJ Don't Live Here No More...

Here's an interesting nugget.  I just took the Myers-Briggs (personality type test) for the first time in about three years.  You always hear that your MBTI can change based on life, career and other changes, but for a period of 6 years (from the first time I took it in 2000, through the last time in 2006 - a total of 4 individual tests), I was a solid ISTJ - it never changed.  Here's a flavor for what an ISTJ is and what the MBTI had me nailed as:

"The one word that best describes Inspectors (ISTJ) is superdependable. Whether at homeMbti or at work, Inspectors are extraordinarily persevering and dutiful, particularly when it comes to keeping an eye on the people and products they are responsible for. In their quiet way, Inspectors see to it that rules are followed, laws are respected, and standards are upheld.

ISTJs are quiet, serious, and earn success by thoroughness and dependability. They are practical, matter-of-fact, realistic, and responsible. They decide logically what should be done and work toward it steadily, regardless of distractions. They take pleasure in making everything orderly and organized – their work, their home, their life. They value traditions and loyalty.

A lot of that was and is true.  The rest of it sounds like classic HR, which I never thought I was from a product produced and delivered standpoint.  One thing is for sure, I've made a lot of my bones with project work that's thorough and dependable.

Anyway, it appears the inspector/ISTJ is gone. I took the MBTI again, and everything's changed since I last took the test in 2006.  It should be noted that I started blogging daily and generally entering the world of social media as a HR Pro in December of 2006, so it makes sense that it's all changed based on my experiences and the way I have to deal with the world these days.  Ready for what I am now?  Here you go, sparky:

"Inventors(ENTP) begin building gadgets and mechanisms as young children, and never really stop, though as adults they will turn their inventiveness to many kinds of organizations, social as well as mechanical. There aren't many Inventors, say about two percent of the population, but they have great impact on our everyday lives. With their innovative, entrepreneurial spirit, Inventors are always on the lookout for a better way, always eyeing new projects, new enterprises, new processes. Always aiming to "build a better mousetrap."

Inventors are keenly pragmatic, and often become expert at devising the most effective means to accomplish their ends. They are the most reluctant of all the types to do things in a particular manner just because that's the way they have been done. As a result, they often bring fresh, new approaches to their work and play. They are intensely curious and continuously probe for possibilities, especially when trying to solve complex problems. Inventors are filled with ideas, but value ideas only when they make possible actions and objects. Thus they see product design not as an end in itself, but as a means to an end, as a way of devising the prototype that works and that can be brought to market. Inventors are confident in their pragmatism, counting on their ability to find effective ways and means when they need them, rather than making a detailed blueprint in advance. A rough idea is all they need to feel ready to proceed into action.

Inventors often have a lively circle of friends and are interested in their ideas and activities. They are usually easy-going, seldom critical or carping. Inventors can be engaging conversationalists, able to express their own complicated ideas and to follow the ideas of others. When arguing issues, however, they may deliberately employ debate skills to the serious disadvantage of their opponents."

So what's changed in my life?  Has to be the blogs and things associated with that. There's no question that starting the Capitalist and writing daily, then starting FOT and building a team of contributors has changed my perspective on the world.  I've had to engage people to a much greater degree, both proactively and when they ask to be engaged, than at any other point in my life.  The branding aspect of the blogs has also made me think about positioning to a much greater degree, and I'm clearly much more entrepreneurial than I've ever been at any other point in my life.

ISTJ to ENTP?  I think it's a good thing.  I doubt I ever return to the ISTJ world.  Maybe I'll just revamp the handbook to stop in and say "hi" to the ISTJ world. 



I took the test back in August and am an ENFJ, I'll take it again at the end of the year and see if anything changes. Interesting read Kris.


Which of those do you feel is the TRUE you? Do you feel ISTJ used to accurately describe you?

Matt Arrigale

Interesting. Out of curiosity, where do you always hear that the MBTI changes based on job changes, etc? I always thought that the entire theory of MBTI was based on the premise that the personality preferences were innate??? I thought that you could develop the other non dominant personality traits, but that the preferences are basically yours to keep...


Well Kris, it almost seems as if you have made a developmental change within the way you process information and the way your perceive the world around you. I'm no specialist, I'm an ESTJ. However, I think it's great you have changed from being an Introvert to and Extrovert. Welcome!


As an INTJ, I'm in the middle of revamping the handbook...not sure how to take that.

social media application developers

I really enjoy to read this awesome blog post.

Gregg Sheppard

This is the first problem with the Myers-Briggs. It assumes that we are either one thing or another—Intuitive or Sensing, Introverted or Extroverted. But personality doesn’t fit into neat binary categories: we fall somewhere along a continuum." - Malcolm Gladwell


Your type doesn't change. But as you get older you use different parts of your type. Read up about the cognitive functions within the ISTJ type and you'll see. You use your primary cognitive function (for you, this is Si) until you're about 13 and then the secondary one (for you this is Te) kicks in. In your late twenties the third one (Fi) kicks in. The when you are in your forties you weakest one (Ne) kicks in. Good luck getting to know about this- it's a lot of fun!

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