Famous ISTPs

(ISTP Type Description)

ISTP

Miyamoto Musashi

Miyamoto Musashi

Samurai and author of 'The Book of Five Rings'

Musashi: "If you make your opponent flinch, you have already won."

Musashi: "I dislike preconceived thought."

Musashi: "You win battles [by] using a timing which the enemy does not expect."

Musashi: "When you [know] the rhythm of any situation, you will be able to hit the enemy naturally and strike naturally."

Musashi: "Really skillful people ... never appear busy."

Paul Gallagher: "He immersed himself deeply in his practice and limited himself to just a few words."

ISTP

Erwin Rommel

Erwin Rommel

World War II general

Rommel: "Strike at once. You cannot permit unique opportunities to slip by for the sake of trifles."

Rommel: "Mortal danger is an effective antidote to fixed ideas."

Harold Alexander: "He was a tactician of the greatest ability, with a firm grasp of every detail of the employment of armor in action."

Harold Alexander: "[He was] very quick to seize the fleeting opportunity and the critical turning point of a mobile battle [and cared little for] a sound administrative plan."

Albert Kesselring: "He was the best leader of fast-moving troops."

Keirsey & son identify Rommel as ISTP.

More quotes on Rommel

ISTP

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

Founder of Apple along with Steve Wozniak

Jobs: "One of my mantras - focus and simplicity."

Jobs: "I say when something sucks rather than sugarcoat it."

Guy Kawasaki: "If you're a Steve fan, you say: 'He knew how to cut through all the bullshit.' If you're not a Steve fan, [you say]: 'He lacked social graces.'"

Keirsey & son identify Jobs as ENTP.

Jobs' closest childhood friend [Bill Fernandez] identifies Jobs as an introvert.

Why Jobs is ISTP

ISTP vs. ENTJ - Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates

More quotes on Jobs

ISTP

Jack Dorsey

Jack Dorsey

Founder of Twitter

Dorsey: "Expect the unexpected. And whenever possible, be the unexpected."

Dorsey: "My goal is to simplify complexity."

Dorsey: "Making something simple is very difficult."

Dorsey: "I am less interested in ... people ... and more interested in ... topics."

Vanity Fair: "The minimalism of Twitter - each tweet can be no longer than 140 characters - reflects Dorsey's own terseness."

Ashton Kutcher: "What makes Jack magic is his precision. When he speaks he makes every syllable count."

Wired Magazine: "Dorsey boasts a Steve Jobs-like obsession with design and detail."

ISTP

Diogenes the Cynic

Diogenes the Dog

Greek philosopher

Diogenes: "I saw a woman praying in front of an alter with her ass in the air and said to her: 'Look out; Zeus is behind you, too.'"

Diogenes: "Other dogs bite only their enemies, whereas I bite also my friends."

Diogenes: "No one can live with me as a companion: it would be too inconvenient."

Diogenes: "Of what use is a philosopher who doesn't hurt anybody's feelings?"

[Alexander: "I am Alexander the King."]
Diogenes: "I am Diogenes the Dog."
[Alexander: "Ask me any boon you like."]
Diogenes: "Step out of my sunlight."

Alexander: "If I were not Alexander, the great king, I would be Diogenes."

Plato: "He is a Socrates gone mad."

ISTP

Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama XIV

Head of Tibetan Buddhism

Dalai Lama: "As a child I liked to disassemble things; radios, clocks, and the like. I took them apart to see how they worked."

Dalai Lama: "When you look for a teacher you should be very, very suspicious. ... You must test them."

Dalai Lama: "By learning from science ... I believe that Buddhism enriches its own worldview."

Dalai Lama: "Mao was like a father to me."

Richard H. Jones: "The Dalai Lama [has a lot of] enthusiasm for science."

Desmond Tutu: "He has a childlike, boyish, impish mischievousness. And I have to try and make him behave properly, like a holy man!"

ISTP

Ron Paul

Ron Paul

U.S. Congressman (R) and presidential candidate, father of Rand Paul

Paul: "I did not need to be convinced of the merits of individual freedom - for me that came naturally."

Paul: "Freedom is all about taking your own risks."

Paul: "For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be free from government coercion in any form. All my natural instincts ... were inevitably challenged by ... the media and the government."

Business Insider: "Paul doesn't sugar-coat his answers. He doesn't state them in a way most calculated to appeal to his audience."

Unusually for ISTPs, Paul also has Dependent traits.

More quotes on Paul

ISTP

Donald Rumsfeld

Donald Rumsfeld

U.S. Secretary of Defense (R)

Rumsfeld: "I don't do diplomacy."

Rumsfeld: "The best strategists [are] agile enough to adjust course if and when new and surprising information requires it."

Rumsfeld: "Certainty without power can be interesting, even amusing; certainty with power can be dangerous."

[On his secretary calling him a son of a bitch:]
Rumsfeld: "She had a point."

Weekly Standard: "He's got a well-earned reputation for blunt talk."

Richard Nixon: "Rummy is tough. ... He's a ruthless little bastard."

ISTP

Yulia Tymoshenko

Yulia Tymoshenko

Prime Minister of Ukraine

Tymoshenko: "It's no use trying to intimidate me. ... I [have no] sense of fear."

Tymoshenko: "If [an] opposition is strong, the aggressor will retreat. If [an] opposition is weak ... then [the aggressor] will go as far as [conditions] allow."

Tymoshenko: "[An] aggressor can only be stopped by a ... force which the aggressor cannot overcome and knows that he cannot overcome."

Tymoshenko: "[My opponents are] bureaucrats wasting time in the state office."

Financial Times: "Up close she is dazzling [and] humming with ... animal vitality. ... She is on top of her game."

The Observer: "[She] is a ... political opportunist with no fixed ideas."

ISTP

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin

President of Russia

Putin: "One should never fear threats. It's like with a dog. A dog senses when somebody is afraid of it, and bites. The same applies [with humans]. If you become jittery, they will think that they are stronger."

Putin: "Only one thing works: Go on the offensive. You must hit first, and hit so hard that your opponent will not rise to his feet."

Putin: "Judo is not just a sport. It's a philosophy. [And] it's not for weaklings."

[His wife:] "[Putin] described himself to me: Not a talker, can be pretty harsh, can hurt your feelings - not a good person to spend your life with. [Then] he said, 'I propose we get married.'"

Keirsey & son identify Putin as ISTJ.

More quotes on Putin

ISTPs in popular culture

ISTP

Miles Davis

Miles Davis

Jazz musician

Davis: "I ain't scared of nothing or nobody."

Davis: "I ain't going around trying to be tough. ... I just say what I think, and that bugs people."

Davis: "When [people] look in my eyes [they] see no fear."

Davis: "I have nothing to say that's bullshit. So when I hear bullshit, I can detect it. ... [And that's why] I can't be on none of those television shows."

Davis: "I get sick of how a lot of [people] write whole columns and pages of big words and still ain't saying nothing."

Rolling Stone: "He can be blunt and honest where others [would be] more diplomatic. ... [He has a] brutal frankness."

ISTP

Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa

Singer-songwriter

Zappa: "The most important thing to do in your life is to not interfere with somebody else's life."

[Arguing against censorship of swearing:]
Zappa: "I think if you use the so-called strong words you get your point across faster and you can save a lot of beating around the bush. Why are people afraid of words?"

Zappa: "A cigarette, to me, is food. Tobacco is my favorite vegetable."

Zappa: "[I knew a girl who said:] 'We're going to burn these buildings, we're going to bomb this, bomb that. ... I want to change things, I want to help America.' I suggested to the girl that she would be more effective in bed with an executive from a large company."

Joel Rose: "By all accounts, Frank Zappa was a perfectionist who liked to keep a tight grip on his business and his art."

ISTP

Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick

Filmmaker

Kubrick: "'Explaining' ... has no value except for critics and teachers who have to earn a living."

Kubrick: "The truth is that I've always felt trapped and pinned down and harried by [conceptualizing] questions. ... If the work is good, what you say about it is usually irrelevant."

Kubrick: "If you get involved in any kind of problem-solving in depth on almost anything, it's surprisingly similar to problem-solving anything else."

Kubrick: "[I learned photography] step by step by myself without anybody really helping me."

Bruce Mait: "Stanley Kubrick [has] been described as incredibly detailed, controlling, obsessive and focused exclusively on his work. [These are] phrases that [also] crop up frequently in stories about Steve Jobs."

ISTP

Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood

Filmmaker and actor

Eastwood: "I felt the less [my character] said, the stronger he became and the more he grew."

Eastwood: "I don't pretend to understand losers. When I read a script about a loser I think ... they seem to want it that way."

Eastwood: "Leave everybody alone. Let everybody else do what they want. Just stay out of everybody else's hair."

Eastwood: "Sometimes if you want to see a change for the better, you have to take things into your own hands."

Eastwood: "[I'm] bored of all the political correctness."

Eastwood: "Whether you like it or not, you're forced to come to the realization that death is out there. But I don't fear death."

Keirsey & son identify Eastwood as ISTP.

ISTP

Daniel Craig

Daniel Craig

Actor

Craig: "What's ... fantastic about Bond stories ... is that ... it's about danger, but good danger. ... [It's] somebody who's saying 'fuck you' to risk, 'fuck you' to dying."

Craig: "There's a perfect Bond movie out there and I'm going to [make] it if it kills me. Which it might. I have to be that way about it."

Craig: "I've never really had a desire to do Shakespeare. ... For me, it's just too many lines."

Craig: "I can't do [talk shows]. ... I don't have those pat things to say."

ISTP

Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford

Actor

Ford: "[I don't give] enough information so that [people] ... absolutely know who they're dealing with."

Ford: "I wanted to be a forest ranger. ... At a very early age, I knew I didn't want to do what my dad did, which was work in an office."

Ford: "I enjoyed carpentry, and it was very good to me for 12 years."

Ford: "I could take Sean Connery in a fight ... I could definitely take him."

ISTP

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise

Actor, was married to Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes, dated Penelope Cruz

Cruise: "Nothing ends nicely, that's why it ends. ... Talk is over-rated as a means of settling disputes."

Cruise: "I took a lot of chances in my life."

Rob Lowe: "[He] has an almost robotic, bloodless focus and an intensity that I've never encountered before. ... He's zeroed in like a laser." [Upon meeting Cruise in 1982.]

ISTP

Christian Bale

Christian Bale

Actor

Bale: "If everyone really knew what a jerk I am in real life, I wouldn't be so adored in the slightest."

Bale: "[Whatever you want to do] - just do it! Don't talk about it, get on with it."

Bale: "I never want to feel that I'm playing it safe."

ISTP

Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson

Actress

Johansson: "I think my head's on pretty straight, and I'm pretty realistic about things."

Johansson: "I've never been the girl who thought of the big [wedding] dress, the big ceremony. I'm more low-key than that."

Woody Allen: "Scarlett is one of the few people who always tops me. Whenever I say something amusing, she always manages to say something quicker - and funnier - than what I've said."

ISTP

Ellen Page

Ellen Page

Actress

Page: "As a kid I didn't know who actors were except maybe Julia Roberts or the dinosaurs in 'Jurassic Park'. They were great!"

Page: "I don't dream about my wedding at night. I'm not one of those people."

Page: "When we're growing up there are all sorts of people telling us what to do when really what we need is space to work out who to be."

ISTP

Kristen Stewart

Kristen Stewart

Actress, dated Robert Pattinson

Stewart: "I feel like I have nothing to say on [talk] shows."

Stewart: "I'm really comfortable with dudes."

Stewart: "I have a bit of an authority issue."

Jodie Foster: "[Kristen] keeps it all wrapped up. Just the way she shows up ... and says hi and sticks her hands in her pockets. She's the cool girl on the block."

Ted Casablanca: "[Kristen] is a free spirit who is a risk taker [and] a bit of [a] daredevil."

ISTP

Demi Moore

Demi Moore

Actress, was married to Bruce Willis and Ashton Kutcher

Moore: "[People] over-intellectualize and over-analyze, instead of just letting things be. Life isn't always easy, but it's simple."

Moore: "We have to continue to be willing to take risks so that we don't get too safe."

Moore: "To reach out for help [is] a weakness."

The Observer: "Her screen persona always has something indestructible about it. ... She was never a victim."

The Observer: "She looks right at you ... and she's not afraid."

ISTP

Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg

Rapper, student of Dr. Dre

Snoop Dogg: "I'm not scared of reality, and I'm going to bring it to you."

Snoop Dogg: "If it's flipping hamburgers at McDonald's, be the best hamburger flipper in the world. Whatever it is you do, you have to master your craft."

Snoop Dogg: "A lot of people like to fool you and say that you're not smart if you never went to college, but common sense rules over everything."

ISTP

Phil Ivey

Phil Ivey

Poker champion

Ivey: "I'm cold-hearted at the poker table. ... If we're playing poker I'm trying to bust you. It's just that simple."

Ivey: "I have patience when I need to have patience ... [and] I'm able to adjust."

ISTP

David Blaine

David Blaine

Magician and endurance artist

Blaine: "I love doing these stunts [because it's] an adrenaline rush - like a guy who rides big waves or jumps out of airplanes. [That's] what I'm looking for."

Blaine: "I think if I was afraid of death I wouldn't be able to live my life."

Blaine: "[I use] misdirection. ... [I] throw my opponents off [so they] overlook my possibilities, and [then] bam."

Blaine: "I [refuse] to use trick decks of cards or trick objects ... I do my card effects only with a straight deck."

ISTP

Steven Wright

Steven Wright

Stand-up comedian

Wright: "[My movie is about someone who] is obsessed with ... questions like 'Why are we here?' and 'What is the meaning of life?' and then right before he [dies] he realizes that he wasted his time thinking about this."

Wright: "I love talking about technology. There's so much stuff about that in my show."

ISTP

Woody Allen

Woody Allen

Filmmaker

Allen: "I don't socialize with [my actors] or spend a lot of time talking or lavishing them with hugs and insincere kisses."

Allen: "I'm not an intellectual ... and I'm not a good actor."

Allen: "I'm ... not someone who's ensconced in Kierkegaard or Spinoza, but my [public] image is quite different because of [the roles] I play."

Penelope Cruz: "People ask Woody, 'Do you spend a lot of time with your actors?' In front of all of us he says, 'No - I try to avoid the cast. They come to me with all these strange questions that ... I don't want to answer.'"

Malcolm Johnson: "Woody Allen will never win any prizes for political correctness."

Keirsey & son identify Allen as ISTP.

ISTP

Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell

Judge on American Idol

Cowell: "I prefer to cut through the white lies and the bullshit."

Cowell: "I became 'the obnoxious one,' 'the opinionated one,' or 'the brutal one.' ... In my mind, I'm the honest one."

Cowell: "There's far too much decorum and protocol [in the world]. ... I can't see the point of that."

Cowell's tendency to 'cut through the bullshit' is the same as that of Steve Jobs.

Why Simon Cowell is ISTP

ISTP

Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee

Actor and martial artist

Lee: "Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it."

Lee: "A good martial artist does not become tense, but ready. ... When there is an opportunity, 'I' do not hit, 'it' hits all by itself."

Lee: "There is no other help but self-help."

Keirsey & son identify Lee as ISTP.

ISTP

Rodney Mullen

Rodney Mullen

Skateboarding champion

Mullen: "[I took half a year to] investigate and take apart my stance. ... Now I no longer have one. [My stance] is to have no stance."

Mullen: "There are principles behind [the] tricks. ... Understanding the mechanics involved has led [me to invent] many new tricks."

Paul Rodriguez: "Mullen pretty much innovated ... everything in street skateboarding. ... [He] invented ... just about every modern day flat ground trick that we are doing today."

ISTP

Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher

Actor, dating Mila Kunis, was married to Demi Moore

Kutcher: "I've found that the greatest rewards I've received in my life have come from [taking] on things that scare me."

Kutcher: "I don't believe ... that good things come to those who wait. ... Good things come to those who want something so bad they can't sit still."

Kutcher: "Fail fast. If you're going to fuck up, get it over with."

Kutcher: "I see Steve Jobs as a personal inspiration. I have a similar interest in technology and art. ... I dropped out of college ... and I like to build things."

ISTP

Anna Kendrick

Anna Kendrick

Actress

Kendrick: "[Being] thrown into the deep end ... is the best way to do [something]."

Kendrick: "I'm tired of hearing people rage ... if you don't like 'Twilight,' don't buy a ticket."

Kendrick: "You'd think I would have figured out how to be less of an asshole [by now]."

Kendrick: "I always feel like I'm doing myself a disservice if I [plan ahead] because you never know if [an opportunity] is going to come along at the right moment."

Jason Reitman: "She's witty, smart, and sharp and [can] go toe-to-toe with George Clooney."

ISTP

Jenna Jameson

Jenna Jameson

Adult film actress

Jameson: "I am pretty hardcore - nothing scares me. I'm a guy's girl."

Jameson: "[Everyone] relying on everybody else's judgment is what makes this society so sick."

Jameson: "Scarlett Johansson reminds me of myself when I was young."

About ISTPs

  • Cool, self-contained problem-solvers
  • Strongly linked to the Negativistic personality
  • Somewhat linked to the Antisocial personality
  • More common in men than in women
  • Repress their Extroverted Feeling function, meaning they may find themselves unintentionally giving offense
  • Test: ISTP or INTP?

ISTP Functions

ISTP Functions

1. Dominant:

Introverted Thinking

2. Auxiliary:

Extroverted Sensing

3. Tertiary:

Introverted Intuition

4. Inferior:

Extroverted Feeling


Even more ISTPs

  • We have more notable ISTPs as part of our extended content

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