Kara Dioguardi – ENTJ

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Kara Dioguardi broke into the music business as a songwriter with the song “Spinning Around” by Kylie Minogue in 2000. Since then she’s had over 150 songs on platinum selling albums and has gone on to be a successful performer, producer and Americal Idol judge.

Kara is an ENTJ, a type which is fairly rare amongst musicians. ENTJs are dominant, visionary, leader types who are action oriented and have little tolerance for stagnation or incompetence.

They primarily use a process called Extraverted Thinking, which looks for the quickest, most efficient way to achieve a result. Mature ENTJs will often filter their interactions through the lens of “what’s the most effective way to handle this”? So they can be very tactful and/or chameleon-like at times, willing to do what’s necessary for the greater end result. When it’s time to get down to business, however, they will often be uncompromising.

I used to play in a band with someone who’s co-written with Kara. They had a meeting with all the writers on the album and he told me the first thing she said was “I know you all want to write the next Queen album, but I’m here to make money.”

On the topic of songwriting, one of the more reliable ways to differentiate between ESTJ and ENTJ when it comes to music is their creative output. ESTJs are more likely to be performers who only write their own songs a small percentage of the time (ex. Frank Sinatra, Celine Dion). ENTJs are far more likely to write their own music or be accomplished songwriters.

This comes down to the difference in their auxiliary functions. ESTJs use a function called Introverted Sensing. This orients them to what’s constant and reliable. In and of itself, it has an almost opposite orientation to radical or artistic creativity, which, by definition, can’t follow a well established path.

When ESTJs are creative, it’s usually in ways that fit within a reliable structure, so something written by an ESTJ would rarely be something that would appear to the world as exciting and new or the ‘next big thing’. You will almost never see a song by an ESTJ at the top of the pop charts. In the music business they’re more often found on the business side.

ENTJs use a function called Introverted Intuition, which taps into the unconscious and examines information from various angles and perspectives in order to establish hidden connections and meanings. As a result, outside-the-box, creative thinking comes more naturally to them than their ESTJ counterparts. You will rarely see an ENTJ singer who performs primarily other people’s music.

Many ENTJ instrumentalists, however, are highly technically skilled and you’ll see many of them being hired guns for other artists in roles where they’re able to express their technical abilities and share at least some of the spotlight (ex. Steve Vai [Frank Zappa and David Lee Roth] and Jennifer Batten [Michael Jackson]). Ultimately though, they will tend to have a strong creative impulse that they’ll feel the need to express in their own material.