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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.

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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.

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

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

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Guest (not verified) says...

An I to would catch that as well. :)

Guest (not verified) says...

Ha!! We are all ESTJs, so likely we all caught that. :)

Guest (not verified) says...

Or an intp. Reading this forum is cracking me up. The estjs are in love with themselves lol. But really that is a good thing overall.

lovely lokaa . (not verified) says...

it worked for mee

Jason Hawkins (not verified) says...

i agree with it because i do like to get stuff done and i work

Guest (not verified) says...

Hi ESTJ. I'm am INTP who enjoys finding like minded people like myself which isn't easy. Being a female INTP is about 2% or so of the planet - the so called elusive. So here I am online to find a decent conversation. I basically harass/and or enjoy talking to everyone - depending on their MB type of course. I am especially drawn to ESTJ's however. In a way quite the opposite. BUT wait. Not completely. I love to shake up the ESTJ's- tradition, order, socially acceptable behavior. How boring. But hey, they are great as the THINKERS. Yes that is the good part. The logic. I say, just take that beautiful sensible logic, authority and confidence, to determine when to take that elevator home at 4:30 like the other slackers to take a walk on the beach. Since you only live once. Yes, that is a fact- you only live once. Too bad for you poor hardworking ESTJ's. Missing out on all the fun, all work and no play. Thats what your MB profile says. I work for the money baby. To stash it away. To be an ESTJ and work for work sake sounds like a death sentence. LOL. Just having fun here, just joking around tonight. :)

ENTJ (not verified) says...

Dude.  Are you drunk?

😂 (not verified) says...

😂😂 high in the sky I'd say 

ESTJ (not verified) says...

I think people mistake our work ethic for 'work for works sake'. It's more that our sense of value in the world is heavily based on what we contribute and how much we can offer during our time on the planet. We have a very strong moral compass and sense of duty that translates into a huge desire to be useful and throw ourselves into getting as much done as we can. We can literally hear the seconds of our life ticking away and get very uncomfortable just sitting around watching TV or not doing anything of value. As if someone will point the finger at us and question why we are 'being lazy'! Although I'm certain childhood and life experience have some impact on types, as all the ESTJs I know either had very demanding parents that expected a LOT out of them or they had bad things happen to them and developed structure and control as a coping mechanism. If you grow up in that sort of environment, then it becomes second nature. I constantly question whether people think I'm lazy and useless, even though I get an insane amount of work done. That ties into my lack of emotional intelligence. I never really know whether people actually like me unless they clearly tell me or praise something I've done (which is more tangible), so working hard and getting things done is something measurable that I can use to say 'well, I've done x, y, z so I'm clearly not THAT lazy and useless'. Other types worry a lot. ESTJs compensate by doing a lot.

You are right that we can be annoying or confusing to people who don't share our machine-like drive to get things done. I've never looked at it from an outside perspective, but I'm sure we come across as too serious and logical for most people (especially emotional/sensitive types). I know I've inadvertantly hurt people in the past with what I considered to be purely factual statements. I don't realise it until much later and always feel guilty, as I don't mean it that way. And unlike thinkers with more laid back personalities, we can be exhausting if we don't develop the social skills in adulthood to act as a buffer. I know a few ESTJs and we have definitely mellowed out with age. We would have all ended up killing each other back in our 20s if left in a room together! So apologies on behalf of all the young and still very blunt and overpowering ESTJs out there!

As for INTPs, my cousin and fiance are both INTP and they are my favourite people in the world! I can be incredibly logical with them without worrying if I'm being too blunt, but they come up with amazing ideas that I can then put into practice. I worked in the same company as my cousin for a few years and we were like the A Team! I love listening to them brainstorm and I don't try to organise them unless they ask for it (which happens a lot), but respect the way they work and WAIT to be asked. I think that is key. Too many ESTJs forget that not everyone is as driven as we are and they try to drag everyone along with them and you can't do that. I've seen it in myself when I was younger and more naive and I've seen it in other ESTJs I know, and it's one of our biggest faults. Once you learn to just focus on organising yourself, you don't upset as many people.

Riley Martin (not verified) says...

I am so happy with my personality it is siiiickkk

Guest (not verified) says...

I need to find a partner that is an estj

not doug (not verified) says...

i have a friend that would be interested

Guest (not verified) says...

Avoid the INFP. They are super intuitive and will eventually resent your relationship behavior.

Guest (not verified) says...

As an INFP I must agree on this:-). My mum is a classic ESTJ and boy, did I resent her! She was managing everything (which was great!), but she was criticizing my family members non-stop and made everyone feel bad about themselves. Especially when the INFP is not aware of personality types, he or she will not understand why you care about 'all the little rules' and why you're commanding and trying to fix the people around you. An INFP's conclusion will be that you're 'mean, difficult and controlling'. And, to be honest, we will not respect you the way we would respect an ENTJ, because we INFP's would like our leaders to show us 'the bigger picture', true vision (in our eyes), and not just the set of rules. Every time you take control of a situation with a tough hand, micromanage, or fail to take an INFP's opinion into consideration, it hurts them and they will resent you for it. They will remember the hurtful incidents like an elephant, and they will slowly remove themselves from your life (not with a door slam, but just no contact or they will suddenly tell you that they have found another job and will leave in a month, or they will tell you very respectfully that they will need to take a break from the relationship) However, if you are willing to let down your guard, show kindness and let an INFP know you are only human and not 'always right', they will be the first to support and encourage you and see things from your perspective. Be willing to explain your values and behavior to them. After all, your opinion is just an opinion, not the truth. We have loads of empathy, so it's difficult for us to hold grudges, but INFP's need to be able to see you as a 'real person' and not a 'perfect persona' or 'job title' in order to be able to like, support, respect or love you. INFP's are the natural supporters of people that dare to be humble (because we don't respect society's 'masks' and in our eyes, all people are equal and deserve respect.) We don't understand it when people see themselves as 'more deserving' or 'entitled to a certain opinion' or think their methods and dogma's are the only way to go. If you want your relationship with the INFP to work, you have to show them you can be humble, open-minded and kind. They are not the type to use your weaknesses and insecurities against you. If you treat them as equals and allow them time to form an opinion (they are big-picture thinkers, so they need more time than you to reach a conclusion or to come up with a plan), you will have a loyal friend/supporter/advisor/partner/employee for life....sorry for the extreme long comment, but I felt the need to share this with the ESTJ's on this website, so our personality types (that are each other's exact opposites) stop hurting each other and work together smoothly. No more INFP's that suddenly disappear and no more unnecessary micromanaging of ESTJ's will keep teams and families happy :). 

Guest (not verified) says...

Lol! This sounds like my experience. I'm an infp, my sibling is an dad is a estj. He still treats us like we landed from another planet, he just doesn't understand that our ideas of happiness are totally different from his. He means well, but our childhoods were extremely uncomfortable and he seems to be completely incapable of understanding what he did to cause it. Essentially, he thinks there's something 'wrong' with us both. I've just learned to let it wash over me when he starts trying to dictate, and do my own thing.

Cate W (not verified) says...

Estjs are the worst. People who unfortunately have them as family members love them in spite of themselves not because of themselves.

Wryyyy (not verified) says...

I work with an ESTJ and I'm an INFJ ....I cannot stand them anymore and I feel an INFJ door slam about to happen. 

Infjoy (not verified) says...

Haha haha, good one 

ESTJ (not verified) says...

I think any 'feeling' types will struggle with ESTJs as they we both logical AND extroverted, which leads to a lot of (what ESTJs see as) logical and accurate speech being taken (by the F types) as blunt, cold and deliberately hurtful. Not a good combination, unless both know one another very well.

amina.x.amara says...

if you're a man , then I am the woman for you ! But what is your profile ?

Tanny (not verified) says...

The estj profile for me is almost exactly the way I am. However, on ocassion I am willing to stray out of confirmity.

Ren (not verified) says...

I think it's important to note that it's not "conform no matter what", but "stick to successful strategy unless it doesn't work anymore". That's how I feel about a lot of civil rights issues. If it were working under the present conditions, I'd let it slide, but when our society is pressuring conformity without logical reasoning, then it's time to change.

Guest (not verified) says...

I agree and

jesshorselover221 (not verified) says...

this is good KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!

Doug Carr (not verified) says...

It seems to be right on target with a lot of things. However, I do like my alone time of being an introvert.

Ritche (not verified) says...

The difference between "introvert" and "extrovert" in briggs myers personality is not literal. Think of it as "where you draw your strenght". An extrovert person is always at their best when they are surrounded and supported by others. On the other hand, an introvert person is always best when they are alone - meaning they are most productive when they are alone. Every extrovert would always yearn for "alone time", likewise introverts would always have a point they want to be with other as well (we are social beings). But when it comes to shining spotlights on your strengths and capabilities, introverts tend to be best alone (or working with limited individuals), while extroverts are more successful when they are with others.

Teresa Jean Heupel (not verified) says...

Just because you like alone time does not mean you are an introvert. We all need time away from others to regroup and reframe. :)


not doug (not verified) says...

well doug, i must say if you are an introvert then you simply cannot be an ESTJ. you should concider doing the test again and be honest this time.

Person who’s not a bot (not verified) says...

Actually scientists have recently made a new type called ambiverts which are a mix of both intra and extraverts

Lauren (not verified) says...

I am an ESTJ also and I require a bit of time to myself. My test had me right in the middle of E and I but I lean to the E side more than the I side which gave me an ESTJ result instead of an ISTJ. You can be an ESTJ and still need alone time. 

Sierra Laveau (not verified) says...

Clearly your not an ESTJ if your an introvert. Read the letters sis

not doug (not verified) says...

yeh sis

Les (not verified) says...

Me too Doug! I do like my chill out time where I endulge in things that boost my creativity and make me think about things non-work related. Best example is a stage performer who behind the stage keeps to him/herself, is quiet, reads books in the corner, etc. However once they hit the stage, a change occurs and!

Guest (not verified) says...

then you are probably an istj

Guest (not verified) says...

I feel the same way

Guest (not verified) says...

You may be an ISTJ...

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