Stacey* is a high achieving leader of breakthrough technologies in Silicon Valley. I fell in love with her confident, straightforward style on first contact when receiving her to the point emails on decisions and facts, without fluff or condescension. I knew my client would like her. They did. And she was hired to break through new ground for a legacy digital leader.
In our first 100 days coaching session, she guided the conversation to motivation and focus during the new remote working environment.
Her brain was adrift, unfocused and she sounded troubled, so I asked, ‘Stacey, by the way, are you ENTJ?’. Her reply, ‘Yes’. Remote working can be an ENTJ’s kryptonite. The urgency on creating a personalized system was a priority.
ENTJ’s are regarded as commanders in the Myers Briggs scale where only 1% are women. ENTJ’s are born to lead the mission, and need a team around them to deliver, so it’s crucial to adapt – fast.
Stacey was aware that working remotely with a distributed team would impact her. She admitted going into the job fully cognizant of the challenge, but nothing had prepared her for its reality.
For any extravert remote worker, here’s your first 100-day plan:
Creating a new norm
Stacey was used to the Silicon Valley VC environment when new versions of the consumer PaaS needed to be updated elegantly and without error, to avoid risk of customer and social media suicide. Going from that type of pressure cooker environment to a new remote role without on-site team momentum was a culture shock to her.
This cut throat environment was Stacey’s daily norm, and she needed to adapt and create her own battle plan by publicly putting her stake in the ground and claiming her territory. She needed to put plans together for management and engineering buy-in without someone above providing the order to keep the army motivated and win the battle by tea time.
Where logic is emotional
An ENTJ’s thinking style focuses on logic and analytics rather than emotions. Though, not quite Spock, this type of person thrives on being able to make decisions in the moment, piecing all the aspects together with teammates to execute, re-adjust in real-time, adapt and strike again. This gives them energy, emotional stability and a sense of success.
For ENTJ’s, develop a daily face-time system with your team that works for you. Don’t wait for IT to take six months developing something that will impact your success. Tell your team how you will operate the battle, what you need, get buy-in and execute.
Get an accountability partner (or partners)
Networking expert, Robbie Samuels is an ENTJ who talks about the Extrovert Privilege on his podcast series. Robbie confessed, ‘Like sharks, ENTJ’s need constant movement, or we’ll die’. Despite being a work-at-home father with a toddler, Robbie is an overachiever with a speaking and networking business, host of a Mastermind group every month, has four accountability partners and hosts various lunches and dinner meet-ups to move himself forward.
Use VR instead of Video Conferencing
Video calling is commonly used for team interactions, but ENTJ Chance Glasco, CCO of Doghead Simulations uses his VR meeting technology to work with his teams in Rio, Orlando, Lisbon, Seattle and Nashville. Glasco said “As someone who is often energized by being around other people, I didn’t find video conferencing to replicate the experience of working with others, so we created the technology to ‘transport’ team members to the same digital location.”
Command something bigger than you
With perhaps an extra two hours every day without a commute, Commanders can now take on a meaningful project to satisfy a major cause. For Stacey, we identified during the Emotional Quotient debrief how she wants to, quite literally, save the world. I planted the seed to meet with Marie Aquilano, the post-crisis reconstruction expert via Skype video, to scratch the big issue itch. As a Commander, it’s up to you to find the right people that enable you to deliver a deep mission meaningfully.
John Doherty, an ENTJ was laid off from a stressful high-tech deadline job in San Francisco and kicked-off his own SEO start-up. Doherty advises building people time into your day, “For me, I stay at home in the morning to get calls out of the way, then I typically decamp to a coffee shop for the afternoon to feel connected.”
ENTJ’s need to be around people, so if you don’t have people in your day – expect a slump. It’s crucial to plan trips to the office when other people might be there, schedule meetings with customers, trips to meet the engineers – pack your schedule to be onsite with the people that will dynamically move you and your mission forward.
Create real deadlines
Stacey was acutely aware of the gap between remote working vs being in the office, “I miss being in the pit with the team until 10:00pm where we’re screaming at each other to get the update out.”
Without a team of warm bodies in the room all focusing on the same deliverable, the energy born from a unified vision and urgency can get lost in a remote environment. For an ENTJ, making real deadlines with the team that look up to you for guidance is crucial for the ENTJ feedback loop for success.
Academics have studied this
Shawn Long, author of Communication, Relationships and Practices in Virtual Work researches and develops best practices on how to work and lead in a virtual environment. Bottom line: A sense of urgency is key to avoid inertia.
Create your own routine
ENTJ Anusia Gillespie, works as Harvard Law School’s Senior Manager of Program Development. She worked for nearly two years effectively influencing the legal profession as a solopreneur offering services to MIT, Boston Associates and the Women’s Bar Association. She shared her process, “I would have heads-down research, writing, admin days two days per week and very active consulting and networking days three to four days per week, typically consecutively. I realized I needed to switch to networking days when I hit a productivity wall at my computer. The only way to recharge and thus refocus was to move into extroverted activities and then come back to it.”
Distributed teams need ENTJ awareness
With more and more companies struggling to find talent that can relocate or commute, technology advancements enable daily work streamlining group meetings, project management and shared resources. It’s imperative new remote hires are provided with support to ensure both productivity and employee retention, so everyone can move FORWARD.
Stacey* has been used to protect client confidentiality, as the author abides by the International Coach Federation ethics and guidelines.