So for the past few months, I've had the rather dubious distinction of serving as a part of my young adults' group leadership at my parish. During that time I have experienced some challenges and troubles that most INTJs never face since they don't usually lead. Why? Well, I'm not entirely sure, but I suspect freedom and an inability to deal with certain people are the prime reasons. But there are other challenges. Let's go over some of them.
1. Relating to Certain MembersAs stated above, INTJs have difficulties dealing with certain people. I have stumbled across such an individual in my group, and for whatever reason, he and I seem destined to be at odds with each other forever. It's not that we necessarily disagree with each other--it's just that we think differently. I like to think along a single track and keep my thoughts within a specific topic. He however will get one thing about the topic stuck in his head that is only vaguely related and digress with a rant. This drives me crazy because, not only is what he's saying off topic and can be said later, but also because I feel as if I have lost control of the situation, and a leader should always be in control.
Another point is that I believe leaders should be able to relate to those "under their command", especially when those people are a part of a church-affiliated group established to foster the Faith. This means the group has to be inclusive, including my leadership, but as we know, INTJs aren't inclusive--we're exclusive. As a result, this comes off as a lack of empathy and an inability to see situations from different perspectives. Therefore, certain members of such a group might find an INTJ leader off-putting, resulting in their departure, which is obviously not what you want in an inclusive, church-affiliated group. So being able to relate to everyone, or at the very least, making sure that they feel like they've been heard and validated, is a boon to a leader in such a position.
2. Perfect PlansIt is well-known that INTJs are suckers for perfection. However, a question we should ask ourselves about this is whether or not INTJs really pursue perfection, or merely what they think is perfection. I raise this inquiry because, as mentioned above, I sometimes feel as though I have lost control of the group which I believe a good leader would never allow to happen. Is that true or is that what I think?
Regardless, the reason why INTJs want their plans to go perfectly is because they have a desire for total control, which relates back to their desire for freedom. That may seem contradictory, the desire for both freedom and control, but in order for an INTJ to have the freedom to interact with the world in the way he wants, he must have the power to do so, which is another way of saying he must be able to control the scenario to allow him the greatest freedom possible.
However, when you start adding other people to the equation, an INTJ's carefully crafted plan begins to fall apart as it doesn't allow for the freedom of others. As a result, INTJs can become upset and demoralized, and the old saying "the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry" seems more like a mocking insult rather than a sagacious comfort.
3. Getting Your Point or Passion AcrossI don't know if it's because INTJs are clumsy in social situations or if it's because we're men of ideas rather than words, but it can be quite difficult for us to get our points or passions across to other people. For instance, our group recently "lost" some members (people are free to come and go as they please). As a result, I asked the remainder of the group what keeps them there, and more specifically, what will keep them there. However, I also wanted to make it clear that if they have any high ideals for the group, then they will need to take action to make sure those ideals come to fruition. However, their response was quite lack luster and I had the feeling I wasn't getting through, which was frustrating.
4. Being Frustrated with Lack of CommitmentWhen INTJs struggle to get their points across, it can result in a lack of commitment from the other parties involved, leaving the INTJ further frustrated. Without complete understanding from everyone, some people will invariably become lost and they won't know what is expected of them, resulting in them not giving their all or even following instructions. This is more or less the last point taken a step or two further, but it's not limited to that. INTJ leaders can just as easily experience this phenomenon anywhere, especially if they own a company and their employees are not enthused about building the company.
Another scenario where an INTJ can experience this is if he has a partner (not a romantic partner). If the partner aspires to the same ideals as the INTJ, or even to higher ones, then it really burns the ass of the INTJ when the partner isn't pulling their weight. This can result in the INTJ burning out as they shoulder more than their fair share of the burden of leading.
5. The Desire to Quit
And finally, we have the culmination of all the problems into one--the desire to quit. This is perhaps the greatest challenge an INTJ can face as a leader. Let's face it, things are easier when the INTJ only has to worry about himself and not others. If he fails, he does so because of his failings, but if he succeeds, he does so because he's worthy of success. When other people are added to the equation, the chances of success or failure are radically altered and outside of the INTJ's control. This may require the INTJ to trust or rely on someone else, which can work out, but we all know which way INTJs think it will go, resulting in their "better not to try at all than to try and fail anyway" attitude.
ConclusionSo, what can be done for the INTJ who finds himself in a leadership position? Well, not much. The best way of avoiding these problems is for an INTJ to stick it out by himself. Unfortunately, sometimes something truly spectacular happens when you choose to bring others into your life. They have their own gifts and they may bring value into a lonely INTJ's life. In the end, being a leader may just be worth it.
I'm sorry it took so long for this to come out. As I mentioned before, holidays tend to screw me up, but also because I wasn't really happy with any specific version of this post. I don't know how many times I edited it, but it's been through the wringer, and even now, I'm not entirely sure it's good.
For next time, I'll cover either the INTJ perspective of religion or the INTJ's relationship to the super villain persona. It should be interesting regardless of what I choose. Until then...
Keep writing, my friends.