The ESTP personality type is constantly looking for action, for the 'next big thing,' throwing themselves in social activities, difficult situations and projects with real zest and energy. The imaginative, reflective life is not for them, preferring to jump in and see what happens. Supreme optimists, ESTPs will work long and hard on activities which interest them but can switch tack entirely once they begin to lose this interest. The ESTP does not enjoy the constraints of deadlines, schedules or end-dates so if an ESTP does exactly what you asked them, it is only because they wanted to do so in the first place. ESTPs love to be at the centre stage, demonstrating feats of wonder and daring.
An ESTP will need lots of practical, real-life experiences as it is through such activities that they best learn and understand, and indeed where they are happiest and at their best. The 'P' aspect of their characters means that they are flexible, but this can also mean they become bored by routine, procedures which they see as irrelevant, and impatient with those who say: 'let's think about it first.' The ESTP wants to suck it and see and, if it doesn't work, well there will always be another opportunity just around the corner. Real hard workers, ESTPs will immerse themselves activities which interest them, but they’ll become bored and lose interest if the task becomes more steady state and then their energies will become depleted or focused in a totally different direction. The ESTP is pragmatic, tough-minded and will act on the facts and data, rather than emotion. They don't like to be controlled, need to know they can switch horses in mid-stream and may slide out of obligations, if they get a 'better offer.' An ESTP will generally be able to switch tasks with good nature and humour, will enjoy interaction and 'the craic.' Being so action-oriented, the ESTP will look to get on with it and may therefore jump in without being in possession of all the facts as the excitement and rush of potentially interesting action will spur them on. This makes them excellent champions for the cause, provided someone is checking progress and can sweep up any debris behind them. The ESTP sees life through their own very subjective lenses and it is a fun packed, great-tasting adventure with one sensory experience after another. They jump into the ‘next big thing’ without thinking through the consequences so keen are they to immerse themselves in something new. If the project needs an injection of energy or there’s a big immediate problem, step forward the ESTP. They are spontaneous, active individuals.
Strong ‘T’ types the ESTP may often forget to factor in the implications on other people as this new experience is to be grasped immediately and anything that stands in the way may be inadvertently trampled underfoot in the rush. The impulsive nature of the ESTP can see them cut to the car chase and bring great energy to bear on any new project that captures their interest, but this expedient side can also see them drop the idea once the initial fascination has passed and a new experience is ready and waiting. This need for excitement means the ESTP will learn ‘on the hoof,’ by actually throwing themselves into the experience without thought or planning, and “let’s see what happens.” Every new experience is ‘the big one’ and will consume their energies, attention and time until…er...it doesn’t! The ESTP loves to get involved and will be great at enthusing others although their expedient side means that once others have been through several cycles and see how they operate there may be a feeling of ‘here we go again’ and ESTP leaders can create ‘initiative fatigue’ in organisations and staff, with their constant desire to try out new activities, ideas and projects.
Theories or anything conceptual makes the ESTP restless, bored and then they will disconnect from the process and go look for something else, often without telling anyone. The ESTP has an attention span which is very short and their energies wane if they think they’re ‘treading water.’ Having to sit and read or reflect would just not ‘compute’ with the ESTP and so they would move on, swiftly and often leaving debris in their wake. Follow-through isn’t the forte of the ESTP but if the project needs an injection of energy or there’s a big immediate problem, that is where they excel. Like the other SPs, ESTPs love acting on impulse. Activities involving power, speed, immersion and risk are attractive to the ESTP and supressing these de-energises them. The ESTP may be the ‘first to try it out,’ but then they’re onto the next experience as soon as it becomes predictable, the need for the thrill outweighing anything else.