The ENTP personality type is characterized by Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking, and Perceiving personality traits. People with ENTP preferences are assertive and outspoken. They are independent, creative, and enthusiastic.
ENTP types enjoy debating. They love going back and forth with friends and colleagues, sharing and testing their innovative ideas. ENTPs are happy to break the mold with their visionary thinking. They refuse to be constrained by norms.
The ENTP personality type is common among the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types. 8.2% of the population are ENTPs.
ENTPs are notoriously unorthodox. They thrive in environments that encourage debate and creativity. Naturally rebellious, ENTPs will happily challenge the status quo and advocate for honest and transparent discourse. For ENTPs, nothing is so sacred that it can’t be questioned. They are happy to stress-test cultural symbols and organizational norms.
ENTPs are excellent and persuasive orators. They are innovative and great at strategizing. ENTPs are filled with energy, and their charismatic nature means they find it easy to bring others on board.
People with the ENTP personality type love to brainstorm and engage in blue-sky thinking. They are open to new possibilities and innovative solutions. ENTPs are less interested in the practical details of idea implementation. They can find it challenging to focus as they are swept up in the excitement of another bold idea.
Knowledgeable and articulate, ENTPs like to be seen as the expert. They perform better in teams where autonomy is valued, and bureaucracy is kept at a minimum. They shine in high-risk environments that require quick and ingenious thinking.
Their rational approach to challenges means they're comfortable in uncertain work environments. They are always happy to propose a new way of doing things. Because they feel the need to be busy and occupied, they do well in high-demand roles and fast-moving industries. They don't particularly like tedious and repetitive tasks.
ENTPs prefer face-to-face communication. There’s more room to debate and tackle problems in traditional work settings. ENTPs will likely give up a convenient remote position for a demanding post at the office.
Like all of us, ENTP personality types have intrinsic traits that influence their motivation for working in a certain way and within specific work environments.
At F4S, we’ve identified 48 unique traits that influence motivation and energy levels. Understanding these traits can help you choose job roles, cultures, and workplace environments that will enable you to thrive.
These preferences are intrinsic. But we don’t always have the luxury of finding a workplace or way of working that exactly matches our needs. Coaching can help you build skills and resilience when you need to perform in a work environment less suited to your preferences.
Our 8-week coaching program, 'Increase EQ', can help ENTPs develop their emotional intelligence. This helps them become more aware of the feelings and sensitivities of others. This can support them in building the effective working relationships they need to drive their radical ideas forward.
ENTPs are very much independent thinkers, even when working in big groups. When it’s time to share ideas, they value being heard by others. Having colleagues listen to them is important to ENTPs. This is especially true when their solutions can seem radical or unconventional. If they feel unheard, ENTPs aren't afraid to stubbornly reiterate their point of view.
People with the ENTP personality trait are passionate and energetic communicators. They will seek out different opinions and happily engage in debating the pros and cons. This helps ENTPs formulate and organize their ideas.
ENTPs rally against convention. Their infectious enthusiasm attracts others to get on board with their bold schemes. They’re big-picture thinkers who rely on their colleagues to turn their ideas into actionable plans.
To get the most from an ENTP colleague, allow them the space for innovation. Engage them in brainstorming sessions or when you’re looking for a fresh approach. If you need them to focus, set clear boundaries to help them channel their energy productively. Choose your battles when trying to enforce rules or rigid working practices.
ENTPs love mental gymnastics. They can find success in any career that's challenging enough to pique their interest. Like all the personality types, ENTPs can be found in a range of careers and industries.
ENTPS love experimenting and untangling tricky problems. Careers in science and technology can be a great fit for ENTPs. Analysis and research roles also allow them to solutionize and propose new approaches.
Top career matches for ENTPs include:
ENTPs can be sub-categorized into assertive or turbulent identities. These identities affect all of the four elements that make up an ENTP personality type.
Within the constraints of their overall type, assertive identities tend to be less perceptive but let go of worries more easily. Turbulent identities tend to be more sensitive to the feelings of others. But they can become overwhelmed worrying about things outside their control.
These two sub-categories bring a little more nuance to elements of the ENTP personality type. All ENTPs are innovative and adaptable, with strong communication skills. ENTP-As are more self-assured than ENTP-Ts. Both identities are bold and provocative, but ENTP-As tend to respond less negatively when they themselves are challenged. ENTP-Ts may become defensive when their position is criticized and may find stress more difficult to deal with.
ENTP-Ts are more self-reflective, however. Social approval is more important to them than ENTP-As. This means they are more sensitive to the feelings of others. This can support them in finding compromise more easily. It also allows for healthy professional development and opportunities for growth.
Given these nuances, let’s look at how some of the career choices explored above might suit the two identity sub-categories:
ENTPs thrive in careers that enable them to push boundaries. People with the ENTP personality type want to use their rebellious nature to effect positive change in the world.
Some science and healthcare roles are extremely well-paid. The salaries for psychologists can vary, but the average comes in at US$165,000. Political scientists can earn US$122,510, and engineers US$115,470.
The analytical skill of ENTPs can also lead to some higher-paying roles. The average base salary for management consultants is US$99,360, and for business analysts, it’s US$80,768.
Other highly-paid options include:
At F4S, we think a little differently about strengths and weaknesses. We believe that strengths and weaknesses are often situation-dependent. We prefer to look at what motivates you vs. what drains your energy. These elements might overlap with what Myers-Briggs describes as strengths and weaknesses, but not always.
For example, perhaps (like many ENTPs) you love to challenge the status quo. You enjoy pushing the boundaries to help others expand what they believe is possible. You enthusiastically debate ideas and stress-test current ways of thinking.
However, your organizational culture is traditionally hierarchical. Established processes are prized for their ability to drive productivity. There is less appetite for challenging norms. Any change must be pushed through various committees before it is approved.
In this environment, you feel constrained by process and frustrated by inaction. Your attempts to introduce novel ideas are dismissed. Colleagues have less time for debate and spontaneity as performance is metric-driven. Your strengths don’t end up shining.
Equally, perhaps there is something you love doing, that motivates and energizes you, but you’re not very skilled at it yet. It might not be considered an innate ‘strength’, but you’re way more likely to enjoy your career choice if you can find a job with some elements of that activity.
That said, here are some ENTP ‘strengths and weaknesses’ as listed by MBTI:
Would you like to learn more about MBTI? Help uncover the unique talents of MBTI using our evidenced-based motivational work assessment. F4S is conducting research to build upon the existing understanding of MBTI personality theory. Take our survey.
Our Myers-Briggs personality type offers insight into our likely preferences for how we work and what type of careers we might enjoy. However, it’s important to note that any personality type can be successful across all industries and job roles.
Our preferences may mean certain roles and work environments feel more challenging. But, if you’re highly motivated to pursue a particular career path, there’s no reason you can’t excel.
Motivation is personal and complicated. There can be both internal and external drivers for motivation. Increased self-awareness helps you identify the internal traits that drive your preferences for how, where, and when you work.
At F4S, we recommend starting with our free self-assessment to unlock insights about where your talents lie. This can help you understand how to harness your preferences to create a satisfying and successful career.
Sometimes there are also strong external motivating factors. For example, a lucrative pay packet, comprehensive benefits, or the ability to work from a specific location.
External motivations may result in you working in an environment that jars with your intrinsic motivation. Personal development programs and coaching can help you rachet up the skills needed to excel when working in ways less suited to your preferences.
So, if there is something you’re excited about trying, you should definitely explore it. Even if your MBTI result suggests you might be better suited to something else.
ENTPs thrive in creative, progressive environments. They’re confident in challenging the status quo and aren’t scared of engaging in a robust debate. ENTPs are visionary thinkers and love brainstorming novel approaches to problems. They can lack the appetite to dig into the details, though, and need to rely on colleagues to implement their bold ideas.
Given this, some roles typically have work environments or approaches that may be more challenging for an ENTP person. Remember, this list is just a guideline of job types you might not enjoy or may find draining. It doesn’t mean you won’t excel at them.
The following careers may be less suited to ENTP personality types:
At F4S, we’re fascinated by what motivates people. When considering leadership, it’s important to reflect on these three particular traits:
If you enjoy power and control, you will likely thrive in a leadership role. If belonging is important to you, then a leadership position may feel isolating.
ENTPs aren’t particularly interested in exerting power over others. But, they do appreciate that leadership roles are most likely to offer them the freedom to pursue their ideas. They aren’t overly concerned with belonging. Their love for intellectual stimulation and debate means they are comfortable ruffling feathers.
ENTPs are comfortable in leadership positions as long as the organizational culture suits them. They need flexibility and believe firmly in a meritocracy. ENTPs judge their subordinates on their performance and empower them to come up with their own ideas and approaches. Their creativity, charisma and persuasive communication skills prove inspiring to more junior team members.
People with the ENTP personality type are also happy when they can offer leadership without managerial responsibilities. Roles like strategy consultants, political scientists, and operational trouble-shooters are very appealing to ENTPs.
Traditional measures of achievement don’t hold much sway with ENTPs. They aren’t particularly goal-oriented. One of the appeals of leadership is having more junior team members work on the details and practicalities of their unorthodox approaches. Subordinates will need to adopt the same flexible mindset as their ENTP boss or risk becoming overwhelmed as they flit from big idea to big idea.
Our eight-week development program, ‘Goal Catcher’, can help ENTPs focus on driving through their ideas to completion. This program is personalized to work with your innate preferences helping you to lead with greater effectiveness irrespective of personality type.
ENTPs enjoy a healthy and honest discourse. They don’t understand colleagues who temper their views in fear of rocking the boat. For ENTPs, open dialog generates the most novel ideas and delivers creative solutions to complex problems.
ENTPs’ robust and direct appraisal of others’ ideas can feel insensitive to some. They don’t mean to be harsh, but they won’t sugarcoat their opinions if they can see a better approach. Self-confident colleagues and more mature teams will appreciate the innovation stimulated by non-conformist ENTPs.
ENTPs are strategic, inventive, and adaptable team members. They thrive in flat organizational structures where their contribution is assessed on merit. They appreciate colleagues with similar creativity and a thirst for innovation. Relationships with colleagues who prefer routine and process adherence will prove more challenging.
The most successful ENTPs find a balance between challenging the status quo and nit-picking. They appreciate that colleagues will tire of an approach that constantly finds fault or flits between too many grand ideas.
ENTPs should also take the time to recognize the contribution of colleagues working hard to implement their novel solutions. Considering the practical details is not a strength of ENTPs. Appreciating and acknowledging that strength in others can help temper any friction.
From the English actor Stephen Fry to the Italian polymath Leonardo da Vinci, ENTPs are known for their visionary, unorthodox ideas.
Here are some famous ENTPs:
Editor’s note: Do you recognize yourself in any of these famous people? Are you secretly nodding along, going, “I always thought I was just like Quentin Tarantino?” Whether you are or you aren’t, don’t worry! This list is meant to be fairly light-hearted. It is based on traits and behaviors observed in our favorite celebs rather than in-depth research. After all, it’s unlikely anyone actually put Leonardo da Vinci through an MBTI test!