MBTI: Leonardo- ENFJ


ENTJs are similar to their introverted cousin, the INTJ, in their desire for some form of power and control. But unlike the INTJ, the ENTJ prefers to work with his employees as he also gives the orders.

It’s a similar deal with their feeling cousin, the ENFJ, though their orders are more suggestions and their goals aren’t usually as business minded. So while Leonardo may be running the toughest group of turtle mutants in New York, his personality explains a lot as to why he doesn’t run it with an iron fist, but a convincing word.

It always struck as strange when I was a kid that Leonardo played a similar role to the turtles that Cyclops does to the X-men; a stoic, always doing what’s right, the “boring” one, always fighting with the rogue of the team… Yet Cyclops reveled in a kind of straight faced-death stare while Leonardo always seemed to be a bit on the softer side. He wasn’t especially cold in his orders and almost seemed to tell the others what to do simply because Splinter told him to.

The voice actor for the 1987 cartoon, Cam Clarke, as well as the film’s version, Brian Tochi, and other voice actors to have played Leonardo have all voiced him with earnest intent and unrelenting enthusiasm that TJ types don’t really convey. Leonardo’s mission is to obey Splinter, lead the turtles, save New York, get no credit.

Here’s a video as a reminder. It’s an entire episode though, so just skip around to get an idea. Or get lost in your childhood, whatever.

This is all kept in mind that the original ninja turtles were all psychotic and didn’t seem to have many differences to speak of when it came to personality. They had their mission and they carried it out.


In a really sick, brutal way. Let’s see them put that in the new movie!

But when they’re personalities became more defined, Leonardo was carved into the role of “leader.” His commitment to the team and to Splinter is usually reserved for more TJ types but Leonardo is always given a tone that implies his duty goes past just doing his job.

ENFJs are thought to be a great combination of dutiful student and lover of things artistic, both can combine to make a great leader- one that can lead as well as really understand the bigger principles of what makes a truly great leader, be it commiserating with your fellow man or just wanting the best for the people you’re leading with no secret intentions of tossing them to the side when their purposed has been fulfilled.

And he's great at Slaps!

And he’s great at Slaps!

In national sample, greatest work environment satisfiers are “People I work with,” “Opportunities to use talents,” “Opportunity to learn,” “Job security,” “Amount of responsibility,” and “Opportunity for societal contribution. Their least satisfying rewards were “Promotions” and “Salary.”

So we’ve got a type that loves people, using their talents, responsibility, and isn’t at all motivated by financial gain but rather a chance to use their gifts and work with people. Like all Idealists, ENFJs are a highly spiritual type, with ENFJ actually being ranked number one for “Belief in a higher power” in a national sample.

Do mutant turtles dream of mutant sheep?

Do mutant turtles dream of mutant sheep?

Leonardo’s work goes much deeper than the usual “C’mon, team! We’ve got to work so we can go home on time!” His goals and ideals have all come from his teacher, but he really believes in the goal of ridding the world of the Foot Clan for mankind’s betterment; a species that doesn’t even know they exist in the first place.

A ENFJ friend of mine used to argue with her sister when they had a curfew in their younger days. The sister would ask their parents if they could stay out later. Even when the parents said yes, the ENFJ would argue that they were going home at the original time, feeling that for their parents to bend their own rules, respect would be lost, and the hierarchy would have no meaning.

The rules weren’t just rules for the sake of telling them what to do, the ENFJ felt they had a specific purpose, for reasons of safety and respect. So while others are looking for every way they can bend authority’s rules, the ENFJ is keeping the rules sacred even when the authority that created the rules wasn’t.

Possibly one of the most famous aspects of any incarnation of the Ninja Turtles franchise is the rivalry between Raphael and Leonardo. Raphael is a belligerent jerk and Leonardo is stuck-up dictator of a leader.

Bow to your sensei. BOW TO YOUR SENSEI!

Bow to your sensei. BOW TO YOUR SENSEI!

With their respective types being complete inverts of each other, functionally, it makes sense that while Leonardo would see Raphael as a hot-headed cry baby that can’t do anything unless it’s going to result in a near-death experience. No, that’s not cool, strategically.

In turn, Raphael would see Leonardo as a good-two shoes that always does as he’s told and gets into others’ business without being asked. This isn’t entirely untrue of ENFJs. As we’ve gone over with other ENFJ articles, they have a tendency to smother much like their Sensor cousin, the ESFJ does. Their Fe and Ni are extremely useful in helping others see the best in themselves but like any other type can be, especially Extraverted types, they’re so used to using their strengths that for their talents to be unasked for is something they can have a hard time understanding and accepting.

So while Raphael could take a chill pill, Leonardo could still learn something about himself too.

Except not here, because this is great.

Except not here, because this is great.

4 Responses to “MBTI: Leonardo- ENFJ”

  1. What types are Casey Jones and April O’Neil? I see Casey as ESTP but I don’t know about April.

  2. Taylor, do you think in the new film Leo is portrayed as ENFJ? I’m pretty sure I’m an INFJ, but I REALLY relate to Leonardo.

    • Taylor Says:

      It’s tough to say in the new one. All the turtles come across as their usual selves, especially Donatello whose nerdiness was maximized. But Leo seemed to be more of a presence than as fleshed out as the others. One noticeable thing about him is that (including the new movie), they always give him a more friendly sound to his voice rather than stern and rigid, so ENFJ could still fit.

      But remember that anybody can relate to any type, so if he’s ESTP or INFJ, you can find similarities one way or another. So an ENFJ relating to an INFJ or vice versa is easy to see.


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