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ESTJ Explained: What It Means to be the ESTJ Personality Type

estj personality

Decisive, orderly and dependable, the ESTJ is a pragmatic extrovert with an interest in logistics and technical systems. They are type A personalities who believe in doing things by the book and toeing the line. They seek to be seen as respectable and tough but morally sound. Male ESTJs tend to come across as macho and masculine. The female ESTJs may sometimes feel pressure to try and downplay their assertive qualities but are generally secure with their femininity.

It is estimated that roughly 10% of the population is ESTJ. People of this type tend to be pillars of their community and can be found in many leadership roles such as school administrators, teachers and managers. Even from an early age, ESTJs show themselves to be “take-charge” types. They challenge authority only to test how reliable it is. They prize long term security and structure and these are features they seek in an ideal job. Surveys rank the ESTJ among the top 4 types in college GPA scores. They are also ranked 3rd highest in reporting emotional exhaustion and burnout. ESTJs are concerned with the facts and concrete details of reality. They tend to think and communicate in literal terms rather than symbolically.

ESTJ women in particular have been found to rank among the lowest on measures of creativity. Abstract hypotheticals and theories tend to be treated with pessimism and skepticism. Their thinking tends to fall along black and white lines of logic. Roses are red, violets are blue and that’s that. ESTJs rely on external objective standards to provide the essential order and structure they feel is necessary in the world. They are compelled to create rules and guidelines and are serious about their enforcement. They are procedural and systematic in how they go about the performance of their duties.

Duty of course, is an important word to the ESTJ. Much like the ISTJ, ESTJs take seriously whatever responsibilities they are entrusted with. They tend to be reliable and show a lot of initiative; spearheading projects and carrying out important tasks. They think pragmatically, and are persuaded by evidence and logic. Emotional appeals have less impact on them but that is not to say that they are without compassion. ESTJs are often motivated by achievement and care a great deal about reputation and their standing amongst peers and colleagues.

They aspire to be someone important and desire to be in a position where they can exercise their strategic powers and organizational skills. For ESTJ, there is no substitute for hard work although they will seek to employ the most efficient means possible to accomplish their ends. ESTJs do what works for them and they are not interested in disrupting the working order of an established system unless they are convinced it will work better. However, they are typically not the ones to propose such changes. When problems arise, ESTJs tend to look to the past as a model or point of reference for how best to solve them. ESTJs can employ creativity in their problem solving process, but by and large, they choose the most practical option.

This extends to the people they rely on. ESTJs put their trust in systems and procedures and they don’t trust people who cut corners or try to beat the system in the name of ingenuity. As an extrovert who enjoys spending much of their time presiding over external systems or playing a part in their facilitation, ESTJs are often very busy and industrious. They are always looking for ways to improve themselves and their circumstances which can lead them to enroll in seminars and night classes or listen to instructional tapes. They may continue their education well into their advanced years.

The more intelligent ones can over time work their way up the ranks into prominent positions. They are concerned with building and sustaining foundations and institutions. They are also concerned with the social order and moral codes. ESTJs seek to uphold time honored traditions and standards of quality. They are inclined to become active members of various organizations they think are important to their community. They are vocal about their concerns and seek to occupy positions in which they can affect and enforce policies. In leadership positions, they are comfortable making decisions and giving directives to others. They believe that the powers of authority are both an obligation and a privilege.

In positions of authority, ESTJs believe they are obligated to lead honorably and responsibly but they also expect their subordinates to comply and obey almost without question. They are straightforward and easy to understand because they don’t care to put on a charade or be shy about who they are and how they think. People will generally always know where ESTJ stands on a matter. ESTJs have a penchant for rushing to judgment however, and are often not apt to patiently listen to those who disagree with them. ESTJs will typically feel obliged to participate in formal ceremonies and events and may often do so in an orchestrative capacity. Socially, they are humorous and opinionated and are known for having a lot to say on virtually any subject.

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