ESTJ personality types are the pragmatic organisers, they like to get 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, A-Z no deviation. The strength of the ESTJ is the desire, and ability, to adopt a decisive stance, take charge and get the job done which makes them 'natural' leaders whom others will readily follow.
ESTJs are built to project manage, which is why they are often found in Operations type roles, quickly weighing up the situation, setting targets and marshalling the resources to make sure the job is done - on time and within budget. The ESTJ has a strong work ethic and this includes loyalty to the cause - whatever that cause is. This desire to get things done may mean that they ignore the niceties, the softer issues as they tend not to be so well-tuned in to how other people are feeling. There is a strong competitive edge to the ESTJ, 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. Formal and structured the ESTJ works best when everyone is clear as to the ground-rules, (the ESTJ will happily create them if they are lacking). Practical planners, ESTJs are factual, accurate, detailed and process driven the ESTJ will bring order, structure and focus to their environment.
Their ability to jump in and take charge can, however, become a weakness as the ESTJ will follow the traditional, tried-and-tested route, and may want to dive in quickly, get their hands dirty and ignore the advice of those who may want to reflect or try a different approach. This can mean the ESTJ will be traditional and often quite conservative in their approach, preferring the known to experimenting or trying a more novel, creative approach so they may not always adapt well to change, and indeed if pushed hard can make formidable opponents to any new order. For the ESTJ change must make logical sense and ‘if it ain’t broke then why fix it?’ ESTJs thrive on order and continuity. ESTJs are traditional and hierarchical, they exude work ethic. Power, position and prestige should be worked for and earned. Laziness is viewed with scorn and the credo is ‘If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!’
The desire to ‘do’ can also make the ESTJ very present focused and 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 as 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. So, the ESTJ may rush in without stopping to consider the full range of options open as their prime focus will be to get on with it and as such they may be difficult to budge. They plan with logic and objectivity, relying on empirical evidence and data rather than emotions. If something needs to be planned, organised followed-through then the ESTJ is the person to do it.
ESTJs are factual, accurate, detailed and process driven the ESTJ will bring order, structure and focus to their environment. Being extraverted, their focus involves organisation of people, tasks, processes, etc which all translates into “management.” While ENTJs enjoy organising and mobilising people according to their own ideas, ESTJs are content to enforce ‘the rules,’ often dictated by tradition or handed down from a higher authority, if a job needs to be done, (‘done’ being the operative word), then leave it to an ESTJ. The extravert side also means they will have little trouble letting everyone know exactly where they stand. They tend to dislike sloppiness or mess and engender order and discipline within projects, teams and situations. Emotional arguments or pleading won’t work as only hard facts and logical reasoning ‘compute’ with the ESTJ.
Linking ‘type’ and ‘careers’ would be easy if it was just about listing specific jobs that perfectly fit specific personalities. However in truth it is more difficult than that as ignores other, more important issues, such as the organisation, the values and the culture, which are far better determinants of suitability than a job title. Also individual jobs vary widely from industry to industry, organisation to organisation and person to person. Therefore our focus on ‘type’ and ‘careers’ will be far more on you: your personality, your aptitudes, interests, likes, strengths and weaknesses and then matching these to the sorts of environments, cultures and norms within organisations that will allow you, given your character, to thrive grow and flourish. We spend a lot of our time at work and so it is important to get these issues right or we could spend a lot of working time unhappy, unproductive and unfulfilled.
The ESTJ will set great store by their strong work ethic, gathering up the people, creating the plan and moving everything towards and agreed and practical conclusion. The do not like working in chaos and in the absence of a plan, the ESTJ will take charge and create one. They will expect, and set, tangible goals that they will work consistently towards with no deviation or shortcuts and indeed the ESTJ will be difficult to knock off the ball once they are running at the goal. They are efficient, reliable and will ensure 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 to deliver, on time, as agreed. The ESTJ prefers using their own experience and ‘the known’ as 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. The ESTJ is detailed, practical, factual, sensible and responsible and they take these responsibilities very seriously and will expect others to do so.
Once they have created and embarked on the plan, the ESTJ may have difficulty changing tack. This is because they have gathered the facts, used common sense to decide how best to achieve and will want to drive for closure. Any deviation from ‘the plan’ can throw them as they get seriously locked into their drive for closure and so they prefer predictability to an ever-changing landscape as it can potentially blow their carefully laid out plans off course. This trait also means they tend not to be innovators, preferring the known and activities that they have had tangible experiences with, so they may not come up with, or indeed even see new possibilities or opportunities. The ESTJ likes to deal in the specifics, the ‘here and now’ and so their focus is on ‘what is’ rather than ‘what could be.’ ESTJs prefer things to be already road-tested so that is becomes part of the ‘known’ world rather than an unpredictable world, which makes them uneasy. Their desire to follow through on what has been agreed, a superb trait at times, can also make them judgemental of others who take a different or more circuitous route and their factualness means they may at times come across as a little harsh as they are direct and outspoken believing that people need to understand the blunt, brutal facts of reality.
ESTJs are more traditional, factual and detailed types and so are best suited to more established, stable and traditional roles and organisations that value hard work, attention to detail, adherence to known rules and protocols and where they can have tangible outcomes. The ESTJ will need, or will create, consistency and environments where there is constant change or a need for innovation will not play to their strengths. ESTJs are about improvement, sure, but coming up with new ideas is not their best attribute as they excel at bringing order to chaos, bringing process to creativity. Their traditional nature and desire for clarity and fact means the ESTJ will fit best where the norms are clear, the culture is performance driven and where there is a place for everything and everything is in its place. They prefer working with facts, details and the known, where the product or service is tangible rather than conceptual and there are clear lines of responsibility and a planning process. They do not like to ‘wing it’ or take risks without being in possession of the facts and having thought things through.
The ESTJ will be less well suited to environments which are unclear, constantly changing, or which require constant ideas and innovation as ESTJs need structure and predictability (or the facility to create these) and so they prefer the known, no surprises and no deviation. They will operate better with a tangible product or service as they like things they can ‘get their arms around.’ The ESTJ feels safer with processes and protocols as this structure provides the basis and impetus for them to gather up the people, point them in the right direction and drive forward for closure, sticking to the plan and delivering on time and as agreed. A robust, fast paced environment with little ambiguity, the chance to build teams and make them effective and efficient is necessary for the ESTJ to thrive and so an ever-changing landscape where the norms are unclear or there is ambiguity will make the ESTJ feel insecure unless they can change it. Therefore, they make great managers of people and projects but will feel stifled if they can’t make a difference or if they perceive things as woolly or inconsistent.
The ESTJ likes to take charge, understand what needs to be done and then devise a plan, marshal the troops and drive for unambiguous closure. They need, or will create, stability and security. Roles, which actually require complete flexibility or which require constant change, will not be for them. Production Manager, Plant Manager, Project Manager, Health and Safety, Auditing, Administration, Process Control type roles will all suit the ESTJ as they are primarily ‘doing’ roles with an emphasis on managing people and getting the best out of people.
At work, the ESTJ will be the organiser, of materials, of people, of deadlines making sure tasks are planned and coordinated and that everyone is clear what is expected and what should happen next. ESTJs are conservative and predictable with great organisational ability, ensuring everyone is clear where they stand. They like a plan and like people to stick to the plan working towards the known. ESTJS need to know exactly where they stand and what is expected of them and then they will work long and hard to get it done. They dislike anything they perceive as theoretical and will act only on the facts.
The ESTJ personality type is great at turning concepts and plans into practical working procedures and carrying out agreed plans systematically and efficiently. They are conservative, dutiful and predictable with great organisational ability, practical common sense, self-discipline and enjoy hard work, although they may lack flexibility and be unresponsive to new or unproven ideas as the ESTJ prefers the known.
ESTJs bring reliability and a capacity for application to the team. They succeed because they are efficient and because they have a sense of what is realistic and workable. The ESTJ will bring a strong sense of purpose to the team, will organise tasks and manage people and will excel once the group has agreed what is required as they will plan to make it happen.
Although traditional and genuinely caring and family oriented, ESTJs don’t really ‘get’ emotions or anything they’d see as ‘irrational.’ So, if someone is upset they will almost have to translate it from feelings into factual, concrete language that they can understand, something tangible that they can practically address or deal with. This means other people, especially those who need to be understood, might feel a little processed, sure the issue is addressed and the ESTJ was helpful, but it was a little, well, transactional. The ESTJ does not project empathy but they will care in their way, which is in a practical way.
ESTJs are extremely factual and correct so they need, and will create, absolute clarity. They will express themselves with a directness that can at times be bone jarring in its raw factualness, best only to ask an ESTJs view if you really want to have an honest answer, blunt, factual and so detailed. They are strongly principled, in fact a little purist about things, and an ESTJ would never deliberately cause offence, they just tell it like it is, unvarnished and raw, a directness that is either refreshing or brutal, depending on where you stand. ESTJs are serious and formal in their interactions, they don’t get the subtleties or nuance in communication, for them language is a vehicle for clarity, and conveying information, and so an ESTJ can, though unwittingly, upset people.
Because of their formal style, their directness and belief in ‘the correct way,’ ESTJs will have no problem taking tough decisions and standing up for what they believe in. It is never personal, just about the facts with an ESTJ. They have very strong beliefs in what’s right and what’s wrong, and will have no problem expressing these, everyone will know where they stand, the decisions will be made quickly, then ‘we’re all clear, let’s move on.’ No subtlety or shades of grey, nor malice intended.
As an ESTJ is built to get things done, they would see any conflict or disagreement as just simply part of that process. They don’t seek conflict nor want to cause offence as they are too serious and polite for that. Conflict creates the honesty and tension that gets the problem fixed more quickly. Impervious to their environment they also rarely take offence. Once it’s over, for the ESTJ it’s over and they will have a clear plan that they will need to execute, absolutely to the letter. An ESTJ is unlikely to bear grudges or dwell on issues, it happened, we’re clearer now, let’s get it done, would be their thinking.
Choose another personality type to compare side by side the different approaches work, attitudes to conflict and the way they engage with others.