Last week at work we had our annual team retreat. We went to Bottle and Botega in Evanston, a drink-wine-and-pretend-you’re-Bob-Ross type of place, and painted a mountain landscape.
But before we got to the wine and art part, we did a little team building. We all took the 16 Personalities test, and then played two truths and a lie with our results to give everyone a better sense of our personality-based work style preferences and career goals. I took the test three times, and each and every time, I got the same result – The Commander. (Shocking, I know).
The first paragraph of the personality description goes like this:
If there’s anything ENTJs love, it’s a good challenge, big or small, and they firmly believe that given enough time and resources, they can achieve any goal. This quality makes people with the ENTJ personality type brilliant entrepreneurs, and their ability to think strategically and hold a long-term focus while executing each step of their plans with determination and precision makes them powerful business leaders. This determination is often a self-fulfilling prophecy, as ENTJs push their goals through with sheer willpower where others might give up and move on, and their Extraverted (E) nature means they are likely to push everyone else right along with them, achieving spectacular results in the process.
Yes! Efficient, self-confident, charismatic and inspiring. That’s me! I wouldn’t necessarily call myself an extrovert, but I don’t have any hold-ups about being the center of attention, either. At first, I was pretty excited to be labeled a Commander. I mean, the site says Steve Jobs and FDR are also Commanders, and they did some pretty amazing things. End the Great Depression! The iPhone! Just think of what I could do by following in their footsteps!
The I got to the weaknesses. Things like:
- Stubborn and Dominant
- Poor Handling of Emotions
- Cold and Ruthless
And I’m not going to lie, I was a little hurt. I am not cold and ruthless! I mean, stubborn, ok, fine, I’ll admit to that one. But intolerant? Arrogant? Not words I’d usually use to describe myself (and hopefully not the ones that other people would use either).
Then came the final blow. In a google search of ENTJs, I came upon a fun-looking “which Harry Potter character are you?” table based on personality type. I looked further down the columns, until finding my match.
LORD. FREAKING. VOLDEMORT.
First of all, I am definitely not a Slytherin. I like to think I am a Gryffindor, or maybe a Ravenclaw. Most likely the Prefect of the Ravenclaws, so that I can be in charge and Commander-y. But (S)he Who Shall Not Be Named? Way to rub salt in the wound, stupid internet quiz.
Of course, I’m about to go through my first official performance review in my new job (which isn’t exactly a performance review, but a conversation about how things are going and what I want to do to develop myself in my role over the next quarter, but my personality assessment says I take any critique from superiors pretty seriously, and it’s not wrong). So anyway, all that is rattling around in my brain as I’m trying to write my professional development plan is the fact that I AM LORD VOLDEMORT and clearly need to manage any kind of power I find myself in wisely and with care so that I don’t get carried away by my own importance and end up
massacring scores of wizards alienating people.
Since at the moment I only really have power over myself, I then found myself in a bit of a Gollum-style identity crisis, combined with a good dose of imposter syndrome. It goes something like this:
I WANT TO RUN EVERYTHING.
I DON’T KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT ANYTHING TO RUN EVERYTHING.
HELP ME I DON’T KNOW WHAT I WANT IN LIFE.
But at the end of the day, I do know enough about the things that matter right now. I think I’m good at my job, I try to be a friendly and helpful coworker, and I have lots of ideas about what I can do in the future to make my program and the organization as a whole better.
Given enough power, of course.