This is my personal user manual. For context, see the accompanying blog post.

My MBTI type: INTJ

My StrengthsFinder top 5 themes:

  1. Discipline
  2. Learner
  3. Individualization
  4. Focus
  5. Analytical

My style

  • I measure my contribution to the organization in terms of value created, not time spent in the office. I keep odd hours, but I strive to be working every moment I’m here and often work outside the office.
  • I love organization and order. I plan out every minute of my workday, and I keep my workspace tidy.
  • I am a process-oriented thinker. I’m always asking myself “How will this actually work?”
  • I love building systems and learning new things. I maintain an elaborate productivity system that keeps my life in order, and I cannot function without it.
  • I am a big believer in attention management. I don’t keep my email client open, I often turn off WiFi, and I frequently make myself physically unavailable in order to maintain focus.

What I value

  • Efficiency and punctuality are extremely important to me.
  • Personal and professional growth are central to my worldview. Learning and improvement make me feel alive. Stagnation depresses me.
  • One of my personal credos is “strong opinions, loosely held.” I strive to be quick to change my position when I’m shown I’m wrong.
  • It’s helpful for me to know the “why” of a policy—it helps me buy in.
  • Though I’m not always thinking about the emotional side of things, human relationships are very important to me.

What I don’t have patience for

  • I’m frustrated when someone commits to an outcome and does not follow through.
  • I believe meetings are often unnecessary and are sometimes misused as a way to motivate people to complete the work they agreed to at a previous meeting. When meetings are necessary, I appreciate it when they start on time, end on time, and stick to the agenda.
  • I’m turned off by the sentiment, “This is the way we’ve always done it,” because I see challenges to the status quo as necessary for organizational growth. If the old way is the best way, it will stand up to scrutiny.

How to best communicate with me

  • Please give it to me straight.
  • I love constructive criticism. I’m always trying to get better, so please tell me how I can get better.
  • I really like to help others, so don’t hesitate to ask!
  • Appeals to emotion often do not resonate with me, and I’m working on that. I’m always open to a well-thought-out argument, however.

How to help me

  • I struggle mightily with asking for help, but I’m grateful to get it.
  • Making big decisions is hard for me. If I’m vacillating, it’s okay to point it out.
  • I’m a perfectionist, and my standards are sometimes unreasonably high. If I’m being too picky, let me know.
  • I sometimes prioritize organizational needs over the emotional needs of the people in the organization. Please tell me if I’m failing to consider the human side of a situation.
  • I sometimes think technology is the answer to everything. I appreciate reminders that technology is just a tool, not a panacea.

What people misunderstand about me

  • I have ADHD, and I often shut my door or work outside the office in order to concentrate. Please don’t mistake that for me being distant.
  • I’m fairly private but wish I weren’t. I am trying to be more open.
  • I am an introvert who sometimes seems extroverted. While I often seek solitude, I also deeply value human connection with my coworkers.
  • I can seem inwardly focused, but I love helping others. If you need a hand, please tell me. I’ll be glad to help.

Last updated January 12, 2020