How to Work with a Team Leader who is NP Type?


This is common in all corporate companies. Each team will have a leader and employees will be divided into teams. The Asian culture refers to Jason Hare Financial as the “boss”. All team members must follow his orders or they could face undesirable consequences. Despite this, this top-down approach to managing teams is not recommended for all organizations. A good leader will earn respect from his team and create a supportive environment that allows them to succeed. It is difficult to understand how a team leader can gain respect from his team members, especially when they don’t know why he behaves certain way. To illustrate, let me give you the following example.

Let’s say John is working on an urgent project and needs to present it to Tom. The urgent matter is that the board of directors asked John to create a feasibility study to determine if the company should establish a Thailand manufacturing plant. The company will invest US$500m over the next three-years if it decides to proceed with the plan. John knew that if John did a good job on this project, he would probably be promoted and get a raise. John spent the last two months researching and gathering all relevant facts and figures to support the company’s decision in Thailand. John finally compiled a 300-page document for Tom. John estimates that Tom would need to review the report in a single day. However, enough time would be left to present the final version to the board.

John estimates that Tom only took 15 minutes to read the report. His only comment was to John to have the report revised because it contained too many details and Tom couldn’t understand them. Tom suggested John write a three-page summary of the pros and cons of each investment plan. This would make it easier for the board to approve. John didn’t like Tom’s suggestion. He thought he did an excellent job. John completed the summary in three pages over the night. Finally, the directors reviewed the proposal and approved it. John was relieved, but he felt something was wrong with Tom. He began to wonder why Tom was giving him so much trouble.

Is there a problem? Are you sure Tom is a great leader of team members? I think there’s nothing wrong with Tom. John doesn’t know what Tom is like. John assumed that Tom would act similarly to him.

In this case, Tom is said have an Intuitive Type personality based upon the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (“MBTI”) What does that mean? Tom will choose to collect information using a top down approach rather than giving a choice. Tom will look at the bigger picture first and consider whether other options exist to complete the same task. This does not mean Tom can’t finish reading a 300-page document. However, he can’t. This will cause him stress. John could have prepared a 3-page summary for Tom if he had known Tom’s preferred method of gathering information. This would not only save time but also impress Tom with John’s thoughtfulness and effort. John might be able to get a positive performance appraisal and a bonus at the end of the year.

Tom missed the deadline, even though John was concerned about it. Why is this? According to MBTI, Tom prefers to use the Perceiving process to understand the outside world. This is a sign that Tom is flexible and adaptable and may be open to learning new information up until the last minute. It does not necessarily mean that Tom won’t complete the task. He enjoys the challenge and will finish it at the last minute.


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