ISTJ Leadership

ISTJ Leadership

ISTJs are natural transactional leaders. They are committed, persevering and conscientious leaders who are extremely reliable. They are clear in their communication and the defining of tasks; hence roles and responsibilities are usually allocated without ambiguity.

They deeply respect authority in their lives, and they expect their direct reports to respect their authority within the organisation as well.

ISTJ Leadership: Leading Self

ISTJs live their life with unrivalled efficiency and task-orientation. They set plans, schedules and deadlines and do all they can to fulfil those plans they have set.

They are committed and persevering; whenever they start on a project, they will ensure that they finish the project.

Being efficient, they have mastered some level of routine in their lives to achieve their immediate goals, ranging from health, career or relationships. While they are task-oriented, they also enjoy the personal time alone reading a book or watching the television in their allocated time of relaxation.

ISTJ Leadership: Setting the Vision

ISTJs are not as adept at setting long-term visions. They are more concerned with making small incremental changes to an organisation to its processes and procedures to make the organisation more efficient in reaching its objectives. In communicating a direction, ISTJs are specific and concrete; distributing roles and responsibilities equitably.

However, ISTJs can miss the forest for the trees when they do set a direction. Sometimes, they may be so distracted by the short-term that they do not consider the long-term consequences of daily tasks and actions.

ISTJ Leadership: Connecting with Others

Functional and task-focused, it is not natural for ISTJs to build personal relationships at the workplace. They prefer to project a professional front and expect work to be done professionally. Given a choice, they prefer to work alone and away from interacting with people too much.

Nonetheless, ISTJs will support the team practically and tangibly. They show respect for their fellow managers and leaders and are comfortable not getting the glory for the hard work they’re putting in behind the scenes.

ISTJ Leadership: Accomplishing your Goals

ISTJ leaders find the most efficient methods and procedures to achieve their objectives within the boundaries set by the organisation. They are hard-working and persistent and expect those who work under them to display the same amount of perseverance.

However, ISTJ leaders can be very inflexible about changes in plans or methods once they have decided. They will give others the impression that they are not open to alternative suggestions or inputs. Also, ISTJ leaders may tend to micromanage their staff, especially when they feel the staff is not performing up to par.

ISTJ Leadership: Developing your Leadership

Here are some tips for development:


Think about who’s good at doing what task. Leadership is often about bringing out people’s strengths and enhancing it in a team context. When you can find and value the strengths of individuals, you can make your team far more productive and efficient.


Before you make a decision, do not just think about the tangible factors involved. Think about the intangibles like people’s thoughts and feelings. Did you consider people factors in your decision making? Sometimes you can get the task done but lose everyone else along the way; you want to get the task done AND win everyone over to you in the meantime.


Think about an ideal future that you can lead your team towards. Share that ideal with them and then proceed to break it down into specific steps you must take to get there. Sometimes, winning people’s commitment is about winning their hearts to a dream. If you can do that, people are far more willing to sacrifice for the organisation.

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