Month: August 2020

Your Personality Type Decoded

Your Personality Type Decoded

Know Your Dominant & Auxiliary Functions

Posted on  by Paul Sacco

In my last post, I showed you how to decode your Myers-Briggs personality type to determine the cognitive functions (mental processes) representing your preferences for gathering information and making decisions. See the table below to find out if you correctly decoded your type. In future posts, I will explain each cognitive function.

Remember, that each type represents our preferences and we are capable of using of using all eight cognitive functions. However, because of our preferences, we often neglect to use or develop our other functions. Maturing as a leader involves learning when and how to appropriately use our non-preferred mental processes. For example, when appropriate, thinkers must learn to incorporate feelings into their decisions and feelers might need to incorporate thinking.

Decoding Your Personality Type

Decoding Your Personality Type

Many people know which of the 16 MBTI® types represent their personality preferences. However, did you know that each four-letter type is a code that represents different preferences for gathering information and making decisions? Understanding this code is the key to better understanding your type and that of others.

Using my type, INTJ, as an example, let me show you how to decipher your personality. Whether we perceive information with intuition (N) or sensing (S) is represented by the second letter in each four-letter type. In my case, I perceive using intuition, N. The third letter indicates whether a type prefers to judge (i.e., decide) with either thinking (T) or feeling (F). As an INTJ, I prefer thinking, T.

The last letter in a type tells us whether it is the perceiving or judging that is extraverted.  Since I am an INTJ, my judging function, T, is extraverted. Since judging is extraverted, my perceiving function, N, will be introverted. You might be surprised to learn that you have a preference for both an extraverted and an introverted mental process.

Finally, the first letter in a type indicates whether extraversion or introversion is dominant. Since the first letter in INTJ is an I, introverted intuition is my dominant or go-to mental process.  Extraverted thinking is my preferred secondary process. When I have a problem or goal, the first thing that I prefer to do is to use my dominant introverted intuition to imagine an idea. I then prefer to use my secondary process, extraverted thinking, to judge whether an idea is a realistic and optimal solution.

The sixteen personality types consist of combinations of four preferred ways of perceiving information, and four preferred means of making decisions (see below). We are capable of learning to use any of these processes. Our type simply represents our preferences. As problems become increasingly complex, we must also deploy our non-preferred mental processes.  By learning to do this, we mature as leaders. For example, when decisions impact society, thinkers must learn to incorporate extraverted feelings into their decisions.

As an exercise, determine the preferred mental processes encoded in your four-letter type. If you do not know your four-letter type, I can help you identify it here.

The Four Perceiving Processes:

  • Introverted Intuition
  • Extraverted Intuition
  • Introverted Sensing
  • Extraverted Sensing

The Four Judging Processes:

  • Extraverted Thinking
  • Introverted Thinking
  • Extraverted Feeling
  • Introverted Feeling

Learn about how your Myers-Briggs personality type can help you create strategic business opportunities in my book Strategy Quest.

“Business consultant Paul A. Sacco analyses in great depth the various mindsets needed to create effective goals and strategies for business innovation in STRATEGY QUEST.


How can I learn to think like a visionary?

How can I learn to think like a visionary?

How can I learn to think like a visionary? 

Question: A future leader, I want to inspire change in this world. I imagine that any visionary thinks out-of-the-box, is objective about life, and continually thinks about bettering society. What steps can I take to reach this state?

Answer by Paul Sacco:

You are on the right track. I call this Prophetic Leadership and I am writing a book about this. To be Prophetic you need to want to make a difference and recognize that there must be a better way to fulfill a need. It sounds like the only thing you are missing is a cause and some creative thinking’s skills.

To be prophetic means to see something that others do not yet see, but would value once enlightened. To get there you must be passionate enough about the subject that you are willing to spent a lot of time exploring it and thinking about it….What I call spending time in the wilderness.

And you are right, objectivity is important because you want to understand and challenge your own paradigms so that you can create something new and unique. In your journey, when confronted with a different opinion, try to understand it, even if it upsets you. Also, try to relate seemingly unrelated topics to your cause. Finding analogies can promote creative thinking.

You must learn how put your subconscious mind to work…take your mind off the cause and one day you will have that epiphany or vision you seek. Also, you have to have a clear mind, meaning avoiding alcohol and drugs and getting enough sleep.

To find that cause you must combine your passion and values. By passion, I mean finding what motivates you intrinsically in addition to wanting to make a difference. Keep a diary about what interest you and what captures your imagination….ask yourself what need is being fulfilled and what this says about your values.

Good luck with your journey.

What is Strategy?

What is Strategy?

Strategy is the choice of one of several originally contrived opportunities for achieving a competitive goal. Strategies are custom made for a situation, beginning with the creation of original ideas. Some of these ideas will be judged to be possible. Some of these possibilities may then be judged to be strategic opportunities. The choice of a strategy is made from among these opportunities. To be strategic, a possibility must find the widest margin between risk and advantage.

Finding the widest margin implies that advantage must always outweigh risk. If a possibility is considered high risk, then it cannot be strategic since the best outcome is a high advantage…no advantage. Adopting this possibility is gambling. If an advantage is deemed low, then it can’t possibly outweigh risk, since risk can at best be low and a possibility presenting a low advantage can hardly be considered strategic. What strategists are looking for is either high advantage/low/ medium risk, or, medium advantage and low risk.

There is no way to quantifiably rate either advantage or risk as being either, high, medium or low. Leaders can only debate the evidence and assumptions associated with each possibility and decide.

Intuit Outside the Box

Intuit Outside the Box

As a leader, do you have difficulties thinking outside the box in brainstorming meetings? There are several reasons that this might be the case; however, in this article, I want to explain what is likely your most difficult challenge. This challenge has to do with your MBTITM personality type. Thinking outside the box is a creative process requiring the use of intuition, yet, few business managers have intuition as the dominant function of their personality type.

When faced with any goal, we naturally rely on our dominant functions, and for most leaders, that means using either introverted sensing or extraverted thinking. The problem is that both introverted sensing and extraverted thinking are convergent. Introverted sensors look to their paradigms for a solution, and extraverted thinkers try to linearly converge on a single correct answer.  But thinking outside the box is a divergent activity.

Rather than Thinking Outside the Box, the term Intuiting Outside the box is more aligned with divergently creating new ideas for problem-solving, innovation, and strategy. We can all use our creative intuition, and in fact, might subconsciously use it to defend your dominant thinking or sensing function. For example, dominant thinkers will tend to imagine ulterior motives to those who didn’t follow a logically linear path to a new idea, and sensors will dream-up all kinds of dangers in doing something new.

Learning to use their creative intuition is a skill that leaders can learn. However, the first step is to overcome any mistrust they have of intuition. They must keep in mind that evaluating new non-linear ideas still requires extraverted thinking to select the best ideas and to act as a safe-guard against bad ideas.