Want to save the world? You may be an ENFJ.

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My nonprofit management professor has a theory that the personality type most likely to be involved in trying to save the world is an ENFJ. He demonstrated this by showing the results of a Myers-Briggs test he asks all of his nonprofit students to take every year. Apparently, about 24-25% of the people in his nonprofit classes are consistently ENFJs, even though this personality type makes up only about 2-3% of the country.

I found this fascinating, and may try to see if there is any other research or information about this phenomena out there. I would also love to compare the personality types of people in different volunteer or leadership positions to see what patterns emerge between interests and skills and roles.

To see what personality type you are, check out the Myers-Briggs test online, here. To read what it means to be an ENFJ or any other personality type, check out these explanations.

4 Comments

  1. Derek

    I just completed the test and I’ll give you one guess what the result is… :)

    That’s interesting. Is the Myers-Briggs test recognized as a reliable survey for research purposes?

    Reply
    1. Amber (Post author)

      Ha, I have no idea. I know it’s based on actual psychological research, but I wouldn’t know how far and wide it could be used for other applications. From a purely statistical standpoint though, that many people with certain feelings about public service get the same answers on a test (any test) is interesting.

      Reply
  2. Colleen

    In a class I took last semester, a vast majority of the Public Administration graduate students were also ENFJs (I’m a proud ENFJ as well).

    It makes sense that people who run on public service motivation would have similarities in terms of the Myers-Briggs. To want to change the world, you need a strong empathy bone (making up the Feeling) and a sense of hope (making up the iNtuition). And people who are good at making change and inspiring other people are likely extroverted (and people tend to want to do things they are good at).

    Something interesting? Popular (albeit old school) literature states that ESTJs are the best business managers– and that being a T (instead of an F) is particularly important for business.

    But I believe that the world is changing!

    Reply
    1. Amber (Post author)

      Hi Colleen! Thanks for the visit! While I only implied it instead of saying it explicitly, I am also an ENFJ. :) I wonder, is there any data out there on the personality types of people in different nonprofit roles/staff positions?

      Reply

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