“Effectiveness” as a Decision-Maker


First see “How Your Mind Makes Decisions”

Extraverted Thinking (or what we’ve nicknamed Effectiveness) is the part of us that asks, “Does this work?” When systems need to be put in place to accomplish goals, it’s Effectiveness that figures it out. When you see how resources can be managed and manipulated to make something happen, and when you’re determining a cost/benefit analysis, you’re using Effectiveness as decision-making criteria.


“McDonald’s” franchises around the world primarily employ teenagers and other people with limited work experience. Despite this, McDonald’s restaurants remain some of the most lucrative franchise businesses to own. Why? Because they have systems built with such precision that it is almost impossible to mess it up. The systems themselves are so elegant they require very little individual talent to maintain.

Effectiveness-driven people are far more driven by outcomes than personal feelings. In fact, sometimes other people seem like resources to an Effectiveness user, though they aren’t necessarily cold-hearted. Being able to make the tough call is a gift, and Effectiveness understands that personal feelings get in the way of making things happen. They’re willing to be ‘the bad guy’ in order to serve the common good, and many Effectiveness users have been demonized by society in order to the ‘right thing’.

That means considering options that other people find ‘distasteful’. People’s personal feelings are fickle, and clash with each other. So, when it comes decision time it takes a thick skin to make a choice that is bound to offend someone’s sensibilities.

At best, Effectiveness mobilizes large teams of people and resources to accomplish truly remarkable things. CEO positions and the top brass of the military are teaming with Effectiveness users, and nothing is so satisfying to Effectiveness as checking off boxes on their ‘to-do’ list.

At their worst, Effectiveness people can be demanding, unable to deal with an environment they don’t control. Many dystopian novels have been written about worlds which appear to have nothing but Effectiveness ideals, where art and personal expression are stamped down in favor of efficient and sterile systems.

In order to make the best decisions, Effectiveness people should remember a couple of things. First, we’re all individuals. To design a truly effective system it has to take into account some variance for context and individuality. People aren’t simply resources, they’re conscious beings with a need to be expressive. Giving space for this expression is the best feedback mechanism for building better and better systems.

Second, be careful not to mistake efficient for effective. There are times when the most effective choice feels a little counter-intuitive, and be open to other people offering truly inspired counsel. Listen to feedback and be open to handing over control to others. You’re a great talent scout, don’t let that talent atrophy because you’re afraid to give up control.

Effectiveness people tend to have a blind spot in Authenticity.

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Showing 6 comments
  • An Normand

    Is it possible to be ambidextrous in these opposites? I am pretty convinced I am an “I” and a “P” but I keep waffling between the other two: S/N? F/T? Is it because I have developed my co-pilot so well unwittingly?

  • Rachel

    I have a feeling that a lot of those dystopian novels are written by Fi dominants.

    • Jordyn

      That’s honestly a pretty interesting point, and as a dominent Fi user, it saddens me. I might be an outlier here, but I admire Te dominents a lot. They’re the ones who seem to make their environment work to their advantage more than any other type. I prize me idealism and creativity a lot, but the know-how to make my ideas a reality often aludes me. If Fi and Te users could work together, they’d be an unstoppable team of visionaries!

  • Leon

    So this is my opposite type. Everything I am antagonizing about society (the “McDonaldization” of society) may in part be due to a difference in type. I was thinking about your ego podcast, and perhaps since my ego is in Authenticity, I don’t value Effectiveness as much. But I see now those born as my opposite have a polar view from my own. I still see my criticisms of Effectiveness valid, but I will also hear them out about the problems of too many personal considerations.

    • Antonia Dodge

      Holding space for the ‘other side’ is a big part of our own personal development. Effectiveness IS a part of you, it just happens to be a more unconscious, childlike part. (In the Genius System car model, we call it your “3 Year Old.”)

      The easiest way to see Effectiveness as being awesome is remembering that there would be no fire hydrants without the systemizing genius of Effectiveness. Authenticity has a tendency to ‘bucket carry’. Just like Effectiveness needs Authenticity to keep its humanity, Authenticity needs Effectiveness to magnify its impact.


      • Connor

        As an ENFP I’ve found that in times of stress (right now)…I’m tempted to throw those authentic ideals out the window completely…or at least, I feel like it is the co-pilot with ideals that have actually limited my growth that need to be recycled…like the temptation to be excessively harmonious to the point where it is crippling, as well as letting others walk over you when you try too often to give them the benefit of the doubt…do you think this is a good situation to see where the 10 year old takes me, especially if few achievements have gone my way recently?

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