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article ESFJ Myers Briggs

6 Reasons Why I Think ESFJ Types Make Terrible Leaders

Not every person is suited for positions of leadership. Leadership qualities can be taught to some extent but certain types like ENTJs are just born with it.

I’m an INTP who is independent to a fault but not particularly interested in playing leader. I rather focus on my own personal projects which are completed largely by myself.

Recently, I have been contemplating the Myers-Briggs type of a certain person, a manager I’ve worked under. This person irritated me immensely and I’ve concluded with great certainty that they were most likely an ESFJ. Since ESFJs are the polar opposite of INTPs, it was no wonder why this person annoyed me so much.

What irked me most was the incredible lack of sense displayed by this person. If this is typical of all ESFJ then I would go so far as to say that these folks do not belong in any captain’s chair. With that said, here are 6 reasons why I think ESFJs are not suited for leadership.

Disclaimer: I’m basing this on my observations of one person so if you are an ESFJ and feel this is misrepresentative of your type, I apologize.

  1. ESFJs have a critical thinking deficiency.

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    Because of their underdeveloped Ti and Ne, ESFJs have a limited capacity for the analysis and critical thinking required for assessing problems and devising solutions. They rely on their introverted sensing to address most issues, which is practical but useless for unique unprecedented problems that require a new, creative approach.

  2. ESFJs lack vision and creativity.

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    As a judging type, ESFJs are organized, excellent planners and this is a valuable trait in management. However, unless they develop their Ne and Ti, this type is not adept at drawing abstract information from the external world to form new ideas and concepts. They are trend followers and tend to only echo what is popular. They are what Gilette Burgess would describe as a bromide to the INTP’s sulphite. They are typically cliche in both their taste and thinking.

  3. ESFJs are superficial and glib.

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    ESFJs have little interest in intellectualism and abstract theories. Consequently, they likely will never develop a strong set of core principles achieved through their own personal analysis. They instead adopt an artificial and shallow idea of ethics from others without truly understanding the theory and basis behind it. Because of this, they will be inconsistent in their application of principle and may be caught in acts of hypocrisy. They prefer to focus on social life and popularity. People and relationships are their bread and butter and they love small talk. To that end they will resort to manipulation and pushing the right buttons to maximize their likeability in the eyes of others.

  4.  ESFJs lack authentic objectivity.

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    It seems that the ESFJ’s have a proclivity for political correctness. Leaders need to be objective and fair but ignoring unpleasant truths and pretending they don’t exist for the sake of avoiding controversy and staying on the safe side of glib PC rhetoric is disingenuous and craven in my humble opinion.

  5.  ESFJs are petty and manipulative

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    Apparently, when an ESFJ is crossed by someone, they will resort to a number of emotional manipulations. They will stir the pot (the sneaky way) using jealousy to pit one person against another. For instance, by lavishing praise or exaggerated favor on someone to engender contempt in another. They also play victim or portray themselves in a dishonest light to impress others. They are not above shameless and meritless boasting.

  6.  ESFJs rely too much on rules

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    The Si function in these folks causes them to adhere to tradition and customs in a way that inhibits growth and risk taking. As a guardian type they are well-suited in position as a whistle blower or administrator. However, real leader types like ENTJs use thinking and intuition and do not restrict or limit themselves with stodgy protocols.  As a leader, ESFJs do not place much importance on backing their decisions with salient reasoning but instead rely on the superficial appearance of authority to justify themselves.

 

Despite my criticism, I actually do appreciate ESFJs. I just think they lack certain character traits for general leadership. They really do have some good and admirable qualities and I do not deny their people skills. Compassion and enthusiasm are among their strengths. I just feel that perhaps they are better suited in a moral support role such as an adviser or adjutant administrator. That’s not so bad, is it?

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  • 2 comments

    1. Michelle de Beer

      Absolutely love this!
      ENTJ in disguise as INTJ.
      Married to an ESFP, who sometimes tests ESFJ.

      Yeah, I know I’m fucked, no need to rub salt in the wounds.

    2. ELLIOTT

      I am in the opposite position. INTP running a business in charge of multiple ESFJ’s. You are spot-on, but in my opinion, understated.

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