INTP Leadership

This section INTP Leadership is about the strengths and weaknesses of INTPs in leadership and management roles. I also offer some suggestions on leadership development.  

INTPs are quiet, analytical, strategic leaders who have a clear vision of the future. Preferring to stay out of the spotlight, INTP leaders often lead or manage out of necessity more than anything else.  They are competent in what they do and they expect the same level of excellence from their followers as well.

Leading Self

INTPs prefer to take a laid-back approach to life, preferring to spend more time in contemplation than in action.

They have very little opinion about everyday things like what to eat, what to wear and so on, but often think deeply when it comes to big ideas or philosophies they are keenly interested in.

They are generally uninterested in keeping schedules and may often find it challenging to follow through on some of their projects that they have initiated. Thus, they may appear demotivated and passive to others.

Setting the Vision

INTPs are visionary leaders. They instinctively conceive a vision for the future that is based on a clear, logical understanding of the current systems and trends.

They are also open to exploring several alternatives and directions for the organization. The followers of INTPs will find them to be insightful and intelligent.

However, INTPs need to learn to articulate this vision well. Often, their insights may be too complex for others to understand and therefore make their visions appear ambiguous or unclear even though it may be very clear in their heads. Also, they may suffer analysis paralysis – considering too many alternatives and ending up choosing none.

Connecting with Others

INTPs leaders generally prefer to work with others on a one-to-one basis rather than in a group. They do not see the need to connect personally with any of their co-workers or team, and therefore may seem aloof or cold. However, they are still very committed to their team; it is just that they are not adept at demonstrating their concern.

Nonetheless, their demands for excellence will sometimes cause them to be critical and sharp in their words when they encounter someone who is performing below par. In general, they use praise very sparingly, believing that criticism is as strong a motivator as praise. This may create distance between them and their co-workers.

Accomplishing of Goals

INTPs are innovative in their execution to achieve goals. They understand that there are more than one ways of accomplishing a task and welcome different views from different people. They dislike hierarchy and prefer to allocate tasks to people that they deem competent. However, such an act may offend and undermine certain people who see the value in a hierarchy.

Also, INTPs may appear passive to their followers too. They prefer the act of strategizing and developing ideas rather than actually executing them. This may frustrate some of the followers who see little point in strategizing and want to get their hands down to work.

INTP Leadership Development

Here are some tips for development:

  • Follow through

    You love ideas and you may spend more time thinking about these ideas than actually making these ideas come to fruition. When you share a vision with your team, develop perseverance to push the idea to completion, even though by then it may not seem exciting or interesting to you anymore. Understand that a completed task, no matter how imperfect, is still better than dozens of uncompleted projects.

  • Learn to be personal

    Your impersonal and introverted nature may appear as aloofness or arrogance to others. People may find it hard to connect with you and work well with you as a result. When you can find time, ask a team member or co-worker out for coffee and share a little about your personal life and learn more about the other person’s life. You will find that for some people, having a relationship with their manager or leader significantly increases their motivation at work.

  • Use realistic action plans to map your ideas

    Your ideas often start out as a theory or hypothesis; however, in the context of executive leadership, you have to take these ideas in your head and break them down in specific, realistic, actionable steps. Although not natural to you, this is the form that most people will understand. When people are clear about their tasks, you will find they are far more effective and motivated to complete it.

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