Personality Test, Leadership and Management

“The most accurate personality type test you can find”.

It’s the phrase written today on a friend’s wall in facebook with the link to a personality test on Quistic.  Curious to see if it’s true I’ve decided to try it… the answer I received is this:

I’m an ENTJ.

It seems that each letter has a general meaning:
“Types that like making decisions (J’s) and types that keep their options open (P’s).
Types that like details (S’s) and types that look at the forest instead of the trees (N’s).
Types that choose based on emotion (F’s) and types choose based on logic (T’s)
Types that talk a lot because they think out loud (E’s) and types that talk less often because they think before they speak (I’s).”

The profile says that ENTJs are natural leaders. It’s not because I find cool to have received such answer (there are many other profiles and all have their strengths and weaknesses) but I find the answer quite accurate taking many points of my personality… Then I don’t think one person is exactly only one profile type and that all people can be resumed to the 16 profile types found on the site, but I’m not a psychologist…

From this result I started to think about leadership and management and how the first is different from the second. What are really leadership and management ? Not all managers are leaders, but a manager who is not a leader can be a good manager ?

For me it depends… it depends in which environment we are managing what and who. Today in the creative economy we speak about knowledge workers and I think being a good manager in such environment requires to be also a leader.

With the rise of the knowledge worker, “one does not ‘manage’ people,” Mr. Drucker wrote. “The task is to lead people. And the goal is to make productive the specific strengths and knowledge of every individual.”

– from “what-is-the-difference-between-management-and-leadership


7 Responses to Personality Test, Leadership and Management

  1. johannes says:

    A great manager may very well be an INTJ. A leader must not be ENTJ. The best managers I have had were great listeners, not great talkers. What’s your experience?

    The creative economy is about a coaching and a leadership through vision. A manager? Coach. CEO? Visionary.

  2. Davide Noaro says:

    Hi Johannes,
    thanks for your comment. About the psycological test, as I said, I don’t think one is only exactly one profile. I think we all have caracteristics of other profiles as well, but let’s check what the site says:

    The INTJ is reported as “scientist” ( not as a coach. The profile coach is ENFJ so it has the “E” part as well inside… (

    Honestly I think the distinction I copied from the site between “E” and “I” shouldn’t be taken as exclusive and strict…

    If we forget the pshycological test, I agree with you that a good manager must be able to listen to others, but for me this it’s included in what I consider an effective leadership.

    I think leadership is also about emotional intelligence, social pshycology, etc. If you have to inspire and guide others as a leader so that people feel motivated and engaged how can you do that without understanding people ? How you can bring people to their full potential without knowing what motivates them ? Simply you can’t! So leadership is also understanding people and listening to them, and I agree that it’s fundamental. For me it’s inside leadership. Coaching is a way to come to these results. In this sense a leader is also a coach, but a coach is not necessary a leader.

  3. Hi Davide,

    Your requirements disqualify most leaders I have come across..
    Leadership in my opinion does not require bringing people to their full potential.

    But let’s look at your original question:
    What are really leadership and management ? Not all managers are leaders, but can a manager who is not a leader be a good manager ?

    So what is a manager to you?
    What is a leader?

    To me a manager is someone who helps people reach their full potential. People development.
    To me a leader is someone who inspires people to reach a certain goal. Vision and direction.

    Using coaching you don’t need to inspire people for them to reach their full potential. Each person provides their own inspiration. So I would say that a good manager does not have to be a good leader.

    That said, everyone benefits from leadership skills – even if only in their personal daily tasks – so a manager who is a good leader will likely be a better manager.

    Example: I do not expect my manager to provide vision or even direction but I do expect my manager to enable and develop me to reach full potential.

    Example: I do not expect my VP to enable and develop me to reach full potential but I do expect my VP to provide a vision and direction.

    Basically I’d say leadership is about getting people to work towards a single goal but management is about making people better at getting there..

    Ok so that’s about 10 different ways to say the same thing, what do you think?

    • Davide Noaro says:

      Hi Johannes,
      I think we are saying more or less the same things but with some slight differences.
      I take each phrase it will be easier to check our point of views

      About Manager:
      “A manager who is a good leader will likely be a better manager”.
      We agree.

      “A good manager does not have to be a good leader”
      Maybe it’s not required but for me it should have also leadership because I consider that “providing vision and motivating” people helps (really helps). And I see “providing vision and motivating” them more as part of leadership skills.

      “To me a manager is someone who helps people reach their full potential. People development.”
      I agree if not alone, otherwise it’s the description of a coach not a manager.
      –> What do you think a Manager is other than “people development” ?

      About Leader:
      “To me a leader is someone who inspires people to reach a certain goal. Vision and direction.”
      I agree

      “Leadership in my opinion does not require bringing people to their full potential.”
      I agree. It doesn’t require it but for me leadership other than inspiring people is also about motivating them. This is why I said before that potentially a leader helps people to reach their potential. I saw this associated to motivation of people. You are motivated so you potentially reach your potential to reach that vision.

      I think it’s not easy to strictly define leadership (just as example: and skills often overlap between roles…

      • Hi Davide,

        It is an interesting discussion and I think your question really summarizes the key :
        ” What do you think a Manager is other than “people development” ?”

        Actually in my opinion – and experience in some companies – the manager does just that.

        The matrix organization is an example:
        In a matrix company, the operational concerns are typically managed by the team, led by a PO and supported by a scrum master. The organizational, people concerns are managed by the manager. Motivation is provided by common goals and individual challenges, not by the manager. It’s not even the manager setting those goals or challenges, but he does play a key role in making them reachable and enjoyable.

        At H&M a manager is typically responsible for the employees within a function, (maybe 20-40 employees).

        I like the Spotify model though, it’s more like a 3 or N dimensional organization. So yes let’s get used to managers with just one concern, but you might need several ones 😉

        At Red Hat Sales I have a manager who can set priority – not the ideal solution in my world. Actually the manager part of it needs some work, in practice its more of PO for us (or pimp as we call him :).

        I’d like to avoid trying to define leadership generally, that’s why I provided my own definition. And also why a manager isn’t a leader by definition (but can be, just like anyone else can have a skill).

        Basically the bottom line is: manager is a role, leadership is a skill. The only real management skill (in my opinion) is understanding people. Leadership is great anywhere, also for managers. And while a leader can help people reach their potential through enthusiasm leading to motivation it is indirect and can be done more efficiently by understanding people.

      • Davide Noaro says:

        Hi Johannes
        thanks for your comment. I think in Management there is also a notion of achiving goals through people… not only people development, but maybe depends also on how the organization is structured (agile, etc.)

        I found a course on on “Fundamentals of Management” where there is an interesting video about Management and Leadership…

        Managers and Leaders what’s the difference?

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