As a steadfast fan of “Peaky Blinders,” I find myself continually captivated by the enigma that is Mr. Tommy Shelby. This man is the embodiment of the ENTJ personality type on a good day…and, more frequently, a bad one.
Now, to those unacquainted with the world of Myers-Briggs, let me break it down for you. The Myers-Briggs personality system introduces us to 16 distinct personality types. The ENTJ is one of those types.
So, what exactly does ENTJ stand for? ENTJ is a fascinating concoction of four distinct traits: Extraversion, Intuition, Thinking, and Judging.
Tommy Shelby an Extrovert, How Does That Make Sense?
In the modern world, extroversion has typically become associated with being social, outgoing, and talkative. However, in the world of Myers-Briggs, extroversion is associated with having an external focus. An extrovert is someone who looks to the external world first, who takes action more quickly. Many ENTJs aren’t as fond of chattering with people or attending big social gatherings as they are of working on tasks, projects, and goals. Their extroversion is tied to a thinking process called Extraverted Thinking. This means that when ENTJs are “extroverting” they’re doing so by organizing plans, looking for empirical evidence, strategizing, and delegating to get a job done. So while Tommy Shelby certainly isn’t a chatterbox or a social butterfly, his focus is clearly on what’s happening around him and how to think quickly in the moment to strategize his next move.
What are some other common characteristics of ENTJs?
ENTJs are often characterised as being assertive, blunt, and driven individuals. They’re the ones with a purposeful stride, a master plan, and an alarmingly calm demeanor in the face of chaos. Have you ever looked at a terrifyingly efficient person and wondered how they do it? They might just be an ENTJ. They’re naturals at strategic planning, and their intuitive minds allow them to foresee potential obstacles, concoct solutions on the fly, and keep their eye on the end goal.
15 Times Tommy Shelby Exemplified the ENTJ Personality Type
“I Think, Arthur. That’s What I Do. I Think. So That You Don’t Have To.”
Let’s dissect this quote a bit, shall we? “I think, Arthur. That’s what I do. I think. So that you don’t have to.” This quote encapsulates the ENTJ mindset well. Tommy isn’t just saying he’s the brains of the operation (although he totally is, let’s be honest). He’s also laying bare the modus operandi of the ENTJ: to strategize, to plan, and to shoulder the cognitive load so others don’t have to. ENTJs are known for their ability to absorb information, analyze situations, and devise strategic plans. They’re the “Directors” of the world, leading the charge and making the tough decisions so that everyone else can go about their day in blissful ignorance of the mental warfare raging in their leader’s head.
“I Have No Limitations.”
Of course, no human is without limitations. But ENTJs like Mr. Shelby don’t let a little thing like “limitations” slow them down. Rather than being confined by the shackles of reality, ENTJs are known for their ability to think beyond the boundaries of what’s currently possible. They don’t see limitations as roadblocks; they see them as challenges to overcome. It’s as though they’re constantly trying to build the Tower of Babel — always striving to reach new heights, to create something unprecedented, to sculpt the future according to their vision. It’s not about disregarding reality, but about reshaping it.
“I’m a man of ambition. You can’t have ambition and survive without being a little dangerous.”
This quote quite poignantly highlights a quintessential ENTJ trait – the fear of inaction far outweighs the fear of risks. ENTJs, like our dear Mr. Shelby, are driven by a relentless desire to make things happen, to take charge, to convert ideas into concrete results. They don’t just sit around, idly pontificating about what could be or should be. No, sir. They’re out there, storming the ramparts, paving the way, making hay while the sun shines…and when it doesn’t.
ENTJs are armed with a potent combo of Extraverted Thinking and Extraverted Sensing. The former propels them to organize, strategize, and systematically make their way towards their goal. It’s like having a cerebral GPS that’s continually recalculating the most efficient route to the destination, considering all variables, and making necessary corrections on the fly.
Then there’s Extraverted Sensing, which is all about immersing in the present moment and responding to immediate realities. It’s like having a built-in radar for opportunities and risks, and a readiness to take swift action. ENTJs use this to seize chances that others might miss and to leap boldly into the unknown.
“I’m a businessman. I’m a capitalist. And capitalists provide products people want and need.”
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Are all ENTJs capitalists then?” Well, not necessarily. While not all ENTJs are capitalists, they do tend to thrive within such a system. They know how to harness the power of supply and demand, turning what people want and need into a profitable venture. Plus, their mind naturally gravitates towards metrics, return on investment (ROI), and numbers. They love the game of money-making – the strategy, the planning, the thrill of seeing their ideas come to fruition. So, while Tommy Shelby’s business endeavors may be a tad more… shall we say, unorthodox… than most, the underlying ENTJ principles hold true.
“I’ve been accused of being a lot of things, inarticulate ain’t one of them.”
Another thing that sets ENTJs apart is their remarkable knack for directly and confidently articulating their vision, plans, and intentions. They have the unique ability to break down complex ideas into understandable chunks, and then convey these ideas in a compelling manner that motivates others to action. They aren’t merely content with having a vision – they feel a burning need to share it, to rally the troops, to create a shared sense of direction. This is why ENTJs are often seen at the helm, steering the ship towards their planned destination.
“It’s not a question of whether we will hurt, or of how much we will hurt; it’s a question of what we will do, and how well we will do it, while pain has her wanton way with us.”
ENTJs, like our favorite sharply-dressed gangster, aren’t immune to feeling pain or frustration, but they tend to objectify their feelings in order to stay on course. Sometimes this is good; there’s a lot to be said for persisting through struggle and torment. Other times, and many times, in Tommy’s life, his ability to avoid his pain and suppress it creates as many problems in his life and the lives of those around him, as it solves.
“You have to get what you want your own way.”
ENTJs, much like our man Tommy Shelby, aren’t ones to take the beaten path. For them, doing things the tried-and-true way is akin to settling for mediocrity. Instead, ENTJs tend to be trailblazers, carving out their own paths and setting new standards in their wake. They have an individualistic streak, and they don’t shy away from conflict or controversy if it means getting what they want.
“I’m not a traitor to my class. I am just an extreme example of what a working man can achieve.”
ENTJs have a tireless dedication to their endeavors that sets them apart. They’re the ones burning the midnight oil, the ones who keep pushing when everyone else has thrown in the towel. They don’t just work hard, they work smart, striving for efficiency and effectiveness in their efforts. At their best, they may be ambitious, ruthless even, but they remain authentic to their core. So, when Tommy says he’s not a traitor to his class, you can wager your last nickel he means it.
“I can f***ing be scared and carry on.”
Let’s be clear about one thing: it’s not that ENTJs, like the indomitable Tommy Shelby, are fearless. Oh no, they feel fear like the rest of us poor, trembling mortals. Sharks, tax audits, overcooked steaks, you name it. What sets ENTJs apart is their approach to dealing with fear. They use it as fuel to power them through their fears, to take action despite it.
“When you plan something well there’s no need to rush.”
Extraverted Thinking (Te) and Introverted Intuition (Ni) work together to make ENTJs dedicated planners. The Te function, which is their dominant function, enables ENTJs to structure their environment, set clear goals and organize the necessary steps to reach those goals efficiently. They are attuned to systems, logistics, and contingency plans, always having a Plan B, C and D in their back pocket.
Combine this with their auxiliary function, Introverted Intuition (Ni), and you have a recipe for some serious forward-thinking capabilities. Ni allows ENTJs to perceive patterns, infer potentials, and envision how things will play out in the future. It’s like they can see the dominoes falling before they’ve even been pushed; they foresee consequences, possibilities, and implications. The unique synergy of Te and Ni makes ENTJs exceptionally adept at crafting solid, comprehensive plans that stand up against both present circumstances and future variables.
“You strike when your enemy is weak.”
ENTJs typically know how to exploit opportunity and will not hesitate to take action when they see an advantage. The practicality of this statement, devoid of emotional consideration, reflects the typical ENTJ’s preference for logical reasoning over sentiment. Moreover, it illustrates their confidence in making tough decisions, even those that might not be popular, to achieve their goals.
“Fortune drops something valuable into your lap, you don’t just dump it on the bank of the cut.”
ENTJs can typically translate their observations of the present into visions of the future. It’s like they have their own psychological time machine, constantly projecting them forward to explore possible outcomes and make the most of the present. When they spot an opportunity, they grab it with both hands and never let it go.
“There is no rest for me in this world. Perhaps in the next.”
This statement epitomizes the ENTJ tendency to overwork. ENTJs, like Tommy Shelby, are usually driven by their ambitions and the pursuit of their objectives, often at the expense of their own physical and emotional needs. It is not uncommon for ENTJs to push themselves to the brink of exhaustion in their relentless quest for success, leaving little to no time for rest and relaxation. Tommy is an apt example of an ENTJ who is perpetually exhausted, emotionally drained, and, quite frequently, unhappy. Despite all his achievements and the power he wields, Tommy’s constant state of unrest and his inability to find peace or satisfaction signify an unhealthy manifestation of the ENTJ personality type.
“Do I look like a man who wants a simple life?”
For an ENTJ, settling for ‘good enough’ is never truly enough. This pursuit of excellence can be both a strength and a flaw. It compels them to higher levels of achievement, but it also risks alienating those who can’t or won’t keep up with their relentless pace. It’s a high-wire act, but then again, when you’re an ENTJ like Tommy Shelby, who really wants a safety net?
“A man needs to prove he is better than me, rather than show me his birth certificate.”
For ENTJs like Tommy Shelby, a person’s worth isn’t measured in certificates or titles. Credentials, while often indicative of some degree of competence, are not the be-all and end-all. To an ENTJ, the real proof of a person’s abilities lies not in the accolades they’ve collected, but in the evidence of their competence, the quality of their vision, and their ability to turn that vision into reality. They hold a deep respect for individuals who, regardless of their background or status, can roll up their sleeves and demonstrate an exceptional capacity for leadership, strategic planning, and execution. They prefer action over words, and results over promises.
What Are Your Thoughts?
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Find out more about your personality type in our eBooks, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type, The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic, The INTJ – Understanding the Strategist, and The INFP – Understanding the Dreamer. You can also connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!