Book of the Month: E-Myth and Myers-Briggs

August 11th, 2016
#Leadership&Management, #Culture&HUPPSA

If you're interested in starting or growing your own business, E-Myth by Michael Gerber is a great resource.

In the book, Gerber explains the three personalities everyone has inside them: The Technician, The Manager, and The Entrepreneur. He explains that most people that start their own business are originally Technicians--they are experienced in the day-to-day work of whatever industry they’re in--and one day they decide to try to do it on their own.

The problem is that Technicians can’t run businesses. They need help from their counterparts to step out of the day-to-day and guide the overall direction of the company. The Manager takes one step back and creates strategic plans for employees to follow. The Entrepreneur takes many steps back and thinks about the future, developing a vision for the long-term.

A successful business needs all three personality-types. The question is, which one are you?

Anyone that has explored personality types is familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) system. It is a classification system that focuses along four different spectrums:

  1. Introversion (I) to Extraversion (E)

  2. Intuition (N) to Sensing (S)

  3. Thinking (T) to Feeling (F)

  4. Judging (J) to Perceiving (P)

The result is a quartet of letters describing a person’s personality, for example: INTJ.

So, is there a relationship between the MBTI and E-Myth personalities?


They don’t match up perfectly with each other, but we can make inferences about what traits each of the E-Myth personalities would have.

The Entrepreneur (The Dreamer)

The Entrepreneur is focused on the future. They develop a vision, spend their time creating a strategy, and are not concerned with the day-to-day functions.

They translate well onto the S-to-N (“How do you prefer to take in information?”) and J-to-P (“How do you prefer to live your outer life?”) spectrums. Someone with an “N” personality prefers to imagine possibilities of things and think about the big picture. Someone with a “P” personality prefers flexibility, improvisation, and new situations. Both of these fit in well with a strategic personality.

The Technician (The Doer)

The Technician is focused on the present. They execute the work given to them by their manager, prefer hands-on work, trying to produce as much as possible.

They translate well onto the S-to-N (“How do you prefer to take in information?”), T-to-F (“How do you prefer to make decisions?”), and J-to-P (“How do you prefer to live your outer life?”) spectrums, standing opposite the Entrepreneur in two out of three cases.

Instead of the big-picture-focused “N”, they are the “S”, focused on the reality of things, paying attention to details and practical applications. Instead of the flexible “P”, they are the “J”, focusing on deadlines and step-by-step instructions. The unique case for them is their “T” tendencies. A “T” makes decisions by using logic, is described as reasonable and level-headed. This is the specific trait of the Technician, as they are focused on getting the work done.

This trio of traits shapes them as the executor, the hard-worker.

The Manager (The Designer)

The Manager is in the middle of the two, focusing on translating the Entrepreneur’s strategies into plans for the Technician. They organize, work with others, and create a structure for the tasks that have to take place.

Along the Myers-Briggs spectrums, they are similar to the Technician. They are also an “S”, focusing on the reality of things and practical applications. They are also a “J”, focusing on rules and deadlines and making plans.

The important distinction is along the T-to-F spectrum, or “How do you prefer to make decisions?” Instead of being a “T”, they are an “F”, focusing on making decisions based on how their actions affect others. This is a valuable trait of a manager. Their trio of traits makes them the planner and group organizer.

So what does this look like?

Based on images from a Wikipedia article on Myers-Briggs and a slide from a presentation on E-Myth, we can match each of the E-Myth personalities to MBTI traits. The result is below!

Myers-Briggs and E-Myth

One interesting conclusion is that the E-to-I spectrum (“Are you outwardly or inwardly focused?”) is not aligned with any specific personality. This means that it does not matter if you are Extroverted or Introverted--you can be a great fit for any of these jobs. What matters is the rest of your personality, such as how you work or what kind of information you focus on.

The MBTI personalities with stars associated with them means you align closely with one of the E-Myth personality. So an ISTJ is an Introverted Technician or an ENTP is an Extroverted Entrepreneur. These personality types are perfect for those who run their business with a management team--you can focus on your strengths and work with those who compliment yours with the alternative personality types.

The ISTP, ESTP, INFJ, and ENFJ personalities did not align closely with any one personality. Instead, they were 1/3rd of each (plus an “E” or “I”). This type of personality is perfect for those running a company on their own. You can tap into each aspect of your personality as it is needed, and you should be able to do each job well.

If you’re a specific MBTI but you need to take on the role of a E-Myth personality, do not worry! Most professionals believe that your personality traits are fixed from birth, but people can develop habits that go against these innate tendencies. This can happen as a result of your environment, or if you want to change something you do not like. The key is becoming aware of your personality and putting yourself in the position to make the most of it.

Keep your eyes open for more on E-Myth, coming soon!
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