Planner Personalities

What is the most common personality type for strategists?


Isabel Briggs-Myers and Katharine Briggs

I recently asked 100 planners and strategists to fill out this personality test:

This is what I found out.

The most common personality was ENFP. The Campaigner. Just over 20% of planners are ENFP. Whereas ENFPs are about 7% of the total population.

They tend to see life as a big, complex puzzle where everything is connected – but unlike Analyst personality types, who tend to see that puzzle as a series of systemic machinations, Campaigners see it through a prism of emotion, compassion and mysticism, and are always looking for a deeper meaning.

It seems about right that Campaigners are the most common type in this campaign industry.

Personality types

The most common trait was Intuitive. 93% of planners have it.

Intuitive individuals are very imaginative, open-minded and curious. They prefer novelty over stability and focus on hidden meanings and future possibilities.

But, don’t be down heartened if you are one of the select few ObServants. Use your personality to your advantage. Strategy needs to get from abstract to action. And Observant individuals possess the strength of understanding the practicalities of the strategy.

Observant individuals are highly practical, pragmatic and down-to-earth. They tend to have strong habits and focus on what is happening or has already happened.

The results are almost the opposite of the population. Planners tend to be found in the rarer personalities. INFJ is the rarest of all personalities and yet is the 5th most common personality amongst planners.

pop v plan

Three personality types weren’t counted at all; ISFP, ISTP and ISTJ. Introverted Observants are the rarest of all strategists.

The personalities can be split into four groups; Analysts (NT), Diplomats (NF), Sentinels (SJ) and Explorers (SP).

Over half (56%) of planners/strategists are diplomats.

Diplomats focus on empathy and cooperation, shining in diplomacy and counselling. People belonging to this type group are cooperative and imaginative, often playing the role of harmonizers in their workplace or social circles. These traits make Diplomats warm, empathic and influential individuals, but also cause issues when there is a need to rely exclusively on cold rationality or make difficult decisions.

And just under 40% are analysts.

These personality types embrace rationality and impartiality, excelling in intellectual debates and scientific or technological fields. They are fiercely independent, open-minded, strong-willed and imaginative, approaching many things from a utilitarian perspective and being far more interested in what works than what satisfies everybody. These traits make Analysts excellent strategic thinkers, but also cause difficulties when it comes to social or romantic pursuits.

Personality groups

The two largest groups in the population are the smallest amongst planners.

pop v plan group

Whilst the intuitivists dominated, there were more even splits elsewhere. Extroverts v Introverts fought it out, 51:49. Not a clear a result as 52:48.

Extroverts v introverts

I myself am a debater. ENTP.

Apparently, 86% of debaters like to annoy people just for the fun of it. I can attest to this.

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