INFP Leadership

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

INFPs are passionate and inspiring leaders who believe in making the world a better place. They have keen focus on personal development, both in themselves and in those around them. While usually preferring to stay out of the spotlight, INFP leaders step up when it is a cause they strongly believe in.

Leading Self

INFPs take a laid-back approach to life, having little care or opinion about most things, being very much concerned only about things they are deeply passionate about.   They generally do not like to keep schedules and calendars, only doing it because they deem it necessary.

Despite the nonchalant front, INFPs do have ideals but will only express it only to those close to them.  If INFP believes that the work they do contributes to this vision, they can become very motivated and focused in its pursuit, often demanding excellence and perfection from themselves.

Setting the Vision

INFPs are naturally inspiring leaders because of their ideals. When they share their ideals for the future, they often inspire others even without trying to.

They are deeply sensitive to flaws in a system, particularly flaws that infringe on a human’s rights and values, and can come up with innovative solutions to solve these problems. 

However, INFPs leaders need to take note not to entertain too many of these ideals. Taken to an extreme, they may stretch their team in too many ways and cause them to burn out. INFPs may also tend to focus too much on the long term vision and miss chances to make small incremental changes in an organization.

Connecting with Others

INFPs leaders are encouraging individuals who believe in the inherent potential in every single person. With the same lens they look at circumstance with, INFPs see beyond who an individual is and focus on what they could be. They are also extremely discerning, able to read others quickly and understand what makes them tick; INFPs make great counsellors as a result.

However, INFP leaders may often avoid giving negative feedback even when it is necessary to do so. They may also become too trusting and too accommodating to others’, and may end up giving up their leadership in order to please their followers.

Accomplishing of Goals

INFPs are big-picture leaders who are willing to pursue a vision despite not having a concrete plan all laid out for them. Instead, they prefer to adapt according to the present circumstance and act accordingly. In projects they deeply believe in, INFPs demand perfection from themselves and their team.

However, INFPs leaders do not usually fare as well in execution as vision-casting. INFPs may miss details in execution and may not adhere strictly to deadlines and schedules. These behaviors may frustrate some of their staff who want certainty.

INFP Leadership Development

Here are some tips for development:

  • Look at the bottom line

    Although the vision is noble, but what keeps the vision going is the bottom line. You may focus too much on the intangible value of what you are doing and forgo meeting the requirements of revenue and profits. Make your decisions based on profitability and long term business sustainability as well.

  • Use your authority for the organization

    You may not like the idea of using authority to compel others to perform activities, preferring to use your natural persuasive ability to influence others to follow. However, recognize the use of the authority that has been conferred to you as a leader and use it for good. In other words, you should order people to perform tasks for the organization when necessary; they don’t necessarily have to do it willingly or even agree with you.
  • Learn project management

    One of your weakest areas is your ability to manage schedules, deadlines and work within those boundaries that you have set for particular projects and tasks. Discipline yourself to follow through on the schedules you have set for yourself; you can even hire a secretary or assistant to ensure that you are sticking to them.   

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