The Eight Function-Attitudes In Depth

Extraverted Thinking (Thinking Executive)

Extraverted thinking is primary for ESTJ and ENTJ types. It is secondary for ISTJ and INTJ types.


Extraverted thinking is the part of our psyche that logically organizes our outer environment in order get tasks done.

As a thinking function it:

  1. Uses criticism as a means to improve.
  2. Is impersonal in approach.
  3. Is mechanistic in that it is about how things work rather than about people.
  4. References logic: Uses logical concepts, models, theories and principles.
  5. Strives to be impartial when dealing with people.

As an extraverted deciding function it focuses on:

  1. The external world.
  2. Breadth of application.
  3. Standards & rules.
  4. Organizing.
  5. Action - getting things done.
  6. Verbal expression.
  7. Emphasizes quicker implementation in the name of efficiency over accuracy.

Extraverted Thinking’s main focus is to accomplish tasks that are tangible and visible in nature. To this end it:

  1. Asks, “How can I control the outer world (people, things, events, places) to get tasks done?” Many of the great builders and industrialists in ancient and modern times have used Extraverted Thinking to accomplish impressive feats. Some examples include the building of the pyramids, the first mass produced automobile by Henry Ford, putting a person on the moon by NASA, and Elon Musk’s current success with Tesla, Bill Gate’s recent success with Microsoft, and Jeff Bezos' success with All of these accomplishments required massive amounts of planning, coordination of tasks, and organization of people in the service of a single-minded purpose.
  2. Is mechanistic in approach. Everything and everyone becomes a tool for task completion. For more than any other function, the means are a way to an end.
  3. Is empirical in approach. Uses data gathered from the sensory, physical world as a base for performance measurement and in the quest for knowledge. It tends to ignore data that cannot be quantified.
  4. Is reductionist in approach. Uses sequential and binary (yes/no) logic to create order, reliability, and simplicity. In this way, Extraverted Thinking is much like computer programming. It also provides the roots of the scientific method in the Western world.
  5. Measures and monitors everything related to task completion as part of the effort to control and regulate. It likes to expose data in spreadsheets and planning documents so it can be used as objective and measurable facts.
  6. Regulates process, the steps toward completion, in an orderly, sequential fashion.
  7. Begins with the end in mind.
  8. Makes plans and then makes contingency plans.
  9. Uses standards & rules to control and regulate task completion.
  10. Goes about being impartial by means of distributive fairness: Giving equal shares to all.
  11. Likes to think out loud, in diagrams, charts.
  12. Has a position on almost every topic based on known facts.

Additional characteristics

Extraverted Thinking is the part of us that says things like:

  1. Get ‘er done.
  2. Let’s get going.
  3. Follow the directions/plan/rules.
  4. What gets measured, gets done.
  5. What’s the score?
  6. Let’s do the math.
  7. Be prepared. It’s the motto of Extraverted Thinking.
  8. Let me tell you what I think. You usually know where you stand with someone who leads with Extraverted Thinking.


  1. Getting stuff done (big things and lots of little things).
  2. Following directions and rules.
  3. Creating rules, standards, structures that optimize task completion.
  4. Meticulous, detail oriented, orderly.
  5. Math & engineering.
  6. Planning & Managing tasks.
  7. Energy.
  8. Willpower.
  9. Confidence.

Working with people who prefer Extraverted Thinking

  1. Identify and explain rules directly (provide clear direction).
  2. Focus on task completion.
  3. Articulate steps of the plan in the right order.
  4. Explain where things are going.
  5. Provide any relevant data.
  6. Honor accomplishments.
  7. Let them know where they are in the process.
  8. Let them know where they stand in a quantifiable and specific way and explain specific steps toward improvement if needed.
  9. Be direct, even blunt, detailed, and specific in communications. Spell it out. Don’t infer.

Brain insights from Dario Nardi

Extraverted Thinking Brain
Dario Nardi says the following about Extraverted Thinking types (ENTJ & ESTJ), “They enter a mentally stimulated “zone” state when they can continually make decisions, complete projects, and organize to complete a goal. They are hard workers, determined and single-minded in their approach.”

In addition, Extraverted Thinking types tend to focus on four primary regions in the brain for quick and sufficient solutions. These regions are T3 (right ear) for hearing, O1 (right back of brain) for seeing, C3 (inside brain by right ear) for recalling, and Fp1 (left front) for deciding.

The INTJ and ISTJ types will focus more on implementing ideas and less on quick decision making. They will also pay more attention to vocal cues and are more visual.


“The truest wisdom is a resolute determination” - Napoleon Bonaparte

“Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.” - Henry Ford

“It’s OK to have your eggs in one basket as long as you control what happens to that basket.” - Elon Musk

“The way to become rich is to put all your eggs in one basket and then watch that basket.” - Andrew Carnegie

“I am results-oriented.” - Bill Gates

“I’ve always believed that people should be judged on the basis of actions ... and not just what they ... claim to stand for.” - Hillary Clinton

“You never have to guess where you stand with me.” - Courteney Cox

“Gates believes everything can be ... reduced to essentials and rearranged into a logical sequence that will achieve a particular goal.” -Stewart Aisop on Bill Gates

“Trust is good. Control is better.” - Vladimir Lenin

Try Extraverted Thinking

  1. Identify a goal for yourself. What do you need to do first to accomplish your goal? What do you need to do second? What else do you need to do?
  2. Think of something you need to do. Create a checklist that shows what needs to be done to make it a success.
  3. Describe the steps needed to tie your shoes.
  4. What is the most efficient way to organize your clothes?
  5. What is the best way to organize a group of people to help someone move?



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