ESTJs are built to project manage, which is why they are often found in operational roles. The ethereal or conceptual is not for them; it is about quickly weighing up the situation, setting targets, and marshaling the resources to make sure the job is done on time and within budget. ESTJs have a strong work ethic, and this includes loyalty to the cause—whatever that cause is.
ESTJs are the pragmatic organizers; they like things done and done properly. They have little time for anything ethereal, woolly, or conceptual, preferring facts, figures, plans, and procedures. These are the action-oriented characters who cut to the car chase and move quickly to completion, taking the least circuitous route. Their desire to get things done may mean that they ignore the niceties, the softer issues, and they tend not to be so well tuned in to how other people are feeling. There is a strong competitive edge to ESTJs and a need to assume control, and this can often make it difficult for others to deflect them from their chosen course of action. The ESTJ simply wants to get on and get things done.
The desire to jump in and “do” can also make ESTJs very present-focused, so they may not necessarily appreciate how such present actions may impinge on the future, nor do they excel at predicting or anticipating future trends or forecasting. They are keen to make quick decisions and are built to get to closure as quickly as possible in order to get the job done. ESTJs may rush in without stopping to consider the full range of options, since their prime focus will be to get on with it. As such, they may be difficult to budge from their preferred course of action. However, the word “action” typifies the ESTJ, and if it needs managing (and it’s tough), the ESTJ is the one to call.
• Practical and realistic
• Likes to run things
• Gets things done
• Has no time to waste
Areas of Growth
• Slow down and be patient.
• Recognize other workable solutions.
• Listen more.
• Be open to the “big picture.”
The basic attitude of ESTJs is one of fatalism. Their energies are not directed toward questioning, challenging, and tampering with existing realities; rather, the challenge is one of fitting into and enhancing what is there.
• Work itself
• Opportunity to direct and lead people
• Logical procedures
• Lack of control over time and tasks
• Disorganized environment
• Illogical behavior
To function at their best
Predictability and order. High standards and measurements for success. Tell them what needs to be done; they’ll make it happen.
The ESTJ is outspoken, a person of principles, which are readily and directly expressed. ESTJs are not afraid to stand up for what they believe is right, even in the face of overwhelming odds. ESTJs are able to take the tough decisions, and every single person will know exactly where they stand. This honesty and directness is both refreshing and hard-hitting in equal measure. If you ask ESTJs what they are thinking, they will tell you, bluntly and in minute detail. ESTJs are slightly formal in their communication style and, depending upon how close you are to them, will be factual and clear. They do not really get the subtleties of nuance in communication, and this desire for facts and clarity can mean ESTJs can unknowingly upset people simply by trying to ensure clarity.
ESTJs are built to take charge at work, at play, and in relationships. They are essentially caring and traditional, but they will express themselves with a directness that can at times be bone-jarring. ESTJs don’t really get emotions or anything they see as irrational, and if someone is upset, they will have to translate this into practical issues that they can deal with factually and practically. ESTJs are extremely open and direct, but they don’t really, truly “get” or understand emotions. Everything is translated into facts and data and presented in a logical way that can leave people feeling processed. ESTJs are built to get things done, taking charge, helping and making sure that the plan is stuck to. They may not demonstrate empathy, but they will care in their way, which is practically.
ESTJs are happy with conflict, as they are essentially impervious to their environment. They see conflict simply as an element of getting things done and may not “get” others who are more sensitive. ESTJs want to plan the work and work the plan, in life as well as work. If things are not moving forward as agreed, they will be extremely vocal, as driving for closure is what they’re built for. Direct and factual, ESTJs may inadvertently upset others who are feeling. They see honesty and incredible directness as the same thing, and at times they may project an honesty that is brutal. Conflict is all part of getting things done, and ESTJs will not let it affect them nor harbor ill feelings. “It needs to be said, it has been said, we’re all clear, now let’s move on” would be their motto.
ESTJ at work
ESTJs will set great store by their strong work ethic, gathering up the people, creating the plan, and moving everything toward an agreed and practical conclusion. They do not like working in chaos or the absence of a plan, and ESTJs will take charge and create one if necessary.
ESTJs are hardworking, organized, and like things done properly, having high standards. They prefer clarity, and if there is none, they will create it. This means they will expect and set tangible goals that they will work consistently toward, with no deviation or shortcuts. ESTJs will be difficult to knock off the ball once they are running at the goal. They are efficient, reliable, and will make sure they grasp all the facts to ensure they are clear and will not get it wrong. Then, they are best left alone to manage the project and deliver it on time, as agreed. ESTJs prefer using their own experience and “the known.” They store it all in their pristine filing cabinets inside their heads and will apply these to all activities to bring consistency and a drive for closure, which is inexorable. They are great managers, happy to take the lead—indeed they prefer it—ensuring everyone is clear on what is expected and by when. ESTJs are detailed, practical, factual, sensible, and responsible, and they take these responsibilities very seriously and will expect others to do so.