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The ESTJ Personality Type

ESTJs are hardworking traditionalists, eager to take charge in organizing projects and people. Orderly, rule-abiding, and conscientious, ESTJs like to get things done, and tend to go about projects in a systematic, methodical way.

ESTJs are the consummate organizers, and want to bring structure to their surroundings. They value predictability and prefer things to proceed in a logical order. When they see a lack of organization, the ESTJ often takes the initiative to establish processes and guidelines, so that everyone knows what's expected.

What does ESTJ stand for?

ESTJ is an acronym used to describe one of the sixteen personality types created by Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers. It stands for Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging. ESTJ indicates a person who is energized by time spent with others (Extraverted), who focuses on facts and details rather than ideas and concepts (Sensing), who makes decisions based on logic and reason (Thinking) and who prefers to be planned and organized rather than spontaneous and flexible (Judging). ESTJs are sometimes referred to as Supervisor personalities because they tend to take charge and make sure things are done correctly.

How common is the ESTJ personality type?

ESTJ is the fifth most common type in the population, and the second most common among men. ESTJs make up:

  • 9% of the general population
  • 11% of men
  • 6% of women

Famous ESTJs

Famous ESTJs include Colin Powell, Judge Judy Sheindlin, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, George Washington, Sandra Day O’Connor, Mike Wallace, and Vince Lombardi.

ESTJ Values and Motivations

ESTJs are conventional, factual, and grounded in reality. For the ESTJ, the proof is in the past: what has worked and what has been done before. They value evidence over conjecture, and trust their personal experience. ESTJs look for rules to follow and standards to meet, and often take a leadership role in helping other people meet expectations as well. They concern themselves with maintaining the social order and keeping others in line.

ESTJs often take on a project manager role at home as well as at work, and excel at setting goals, making decisions, and organizing resources to accomplish a task. The ESTJ wants to achieve efficient productivity and typically believes this is best accomplished when people and systems are well organized.

How Others See the ESTJ

ESTJs command a situation, with the sense that they know how things should go and are ready to take charge to make sure that it happens. They are task-oriented and put work before play. Confident and tough-minded, the ESTJ appears almost always to be in control. ESTJs appreciate structure and often begin to organize as soon as they enter a room. They want to establish the ground rules and make sure everyone does what they’re supposed to.

ESTJs are often involved in institutions: clubs, associations, societies, and churches, where they usually take a leadership role. They typically connect with others through sharing ritual and routine. Social interaction for ESTJs often means following an established tradition to engage with others in a structured way. ESTJs tend to respect and seek out hierarchy. They want to know who’s in charge, and will assign levels of responsibility if none exist. Once a structure is in place, ESTJs typically trust authority figures and expect obedience from people of lower rank.

For more information: The Art of SpeedReading People

ESTJ Hobbies and Interests

Popular hobbies for the ESTJ include building and repairing things around the home, gardening, volunteering, community service, and playing and watching sports.

Quotes About ESTJs

"The ESTJs solve problems by expertly applying and adapting past experience. They like work where they can achieve immediate, visible, and tangible results."

- Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing

"These Supervisors are eager to enforce the rules and procedures, and they can be serious about seeing to it that others toe the mark—or else face the consequences."

- David Keirsey, Please Understand Me II

"As a general rule ESTJs will rise to the top of almost any organization."

- Otto Kroeger, Type Talk at Work

Facts about ESTJs

Interesting facts about the ESTJ:

  • On personality trait measures, likely to score as Contented, Energetic, Prejudiced, Self-Satisfied, and Practical
  • More likely than other types to exhibit Type A behavior
  • Of all types, scored highest in coping resources (with ENFP)
  • Ranked 3rd highest in marital satisfaction among all types
  • Among top four types in college GPA
  • Least likely of all types to think about suicide in college
  • Among most likely to stay in college
  • Among types most satisfied with their work
  • High-ranking personal values include Health, Financial Security, Achievement, and Prestige
  • Overrepresented among bank officers, financial managers, and business owners

Source: MBTI Manual

Are you an ESTJ?

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Check out the ESTJ Discussion Forum

Want to have a more in-depth conversation about being an ESTJ? Head on over to our discussion forum and post your questions, comments, and/or general musings!

Comments

Think and Do (not verified) says...

I have known that I am an ESTJ for a long time.  Most of the sites online hit it right on the head with their descriptions of my type.  Over the last six years I have learned to add empathy and emotion to my character type, and when I took the profile test again I was stunned to find out that I am an even stronger ESTJ now.  I agree with most on this thread that being an ESTJ rocks.  Unfortantely, while we appreciate who we are, it can be very challenging for non-thinkers, non-doers and non-traditionalists to understand and put up with us.  I have dated quite a bit and women love me because I am smart, organized, have my life completely in order, have been in a great job for a long time and generally have my stuff together.  What often happens is that this means the initial months of dating are great, then the woman comes to rely on me more like daddy than their partner.  I would love to meet a self aware, intelligent, action oriented, communicationally up front, high integrity woman who wants to be with me as much as I want to be with her.  We value our time alone, and cherish our time together.  Like all ESTJ's, I am very social, love to engage strangers as much as life long friends and would love to meet a woman who is a compliment to me - not a carbon copy.  Thanks for reading.  

ESTJ (not verified) says...

Be careful what you wish for. I tried dating other ESTJs when I was younger and it was a nightmare! We would just battle for control constantly and both want to be the dominant one in the relationship. And as a woman, it is usually (not always, but as a general rule) expected that you act cute, submissive and at least a bit needy at times. The stereotypical idea of a woman is not the ESTJ. I think it's considered a bit more attractive in men, since ESTJ traits tend to be quite 'masculine' ('can do' attitude, very logical, not very emotional, etc). A lot of men, especially ESTJ types, seem to dislike those traits in a woman. The ESTJ men I dated all had the same complaints... they didn't feel like I needed them (I didn't, I wanted them), they didn't like the fact that I was so independent, and they found me too coldly logical for a woman if we ever disagreed (I think they were used to non-ESTJ types and hated dealing with someone who wouldn't just give in). An ESTJ dating an ESTJ sounds like a great idea on paper, but in reality you just have the exact same problems but now doubled. I do much better with someone who compliments me. The only thing I would really struggle with is a very emotional and sensitive person. I need a logical 'thinker'.

Lozinho (not verified) says...

Is anybody here an ESTJ mechanic or electrician? I was just wondering if  ESTJ's do any good with mechanical stuff since im thinking about studying one of these professions. 

Jdawg (not verified) says...

I love doing mechanical work and have done some electrical work as well.  I think those are great jobs for an ESTJ. 

lozinho (not verified) says...

Thanks for the answer Jdawg! Its always been something ive been thinking about, but since i didn’t find any of it written on truity,  or any estj mechanics on the internet, i was afraid i wouldn’t like it after trying it. Did you work as an electircian? And if you changed job, could i ask you why? :) Was there any difficulties with the personality in this area? Im just curious 💁‍♂️ 

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