Executive (ESTJ) – Type Description

ESTJ is one of the 16 Myers & Briggs personality types, characterized by extraversion, sensing, thinking, and judging. ESTJs, also known as the “executives” or “supervisors”, are natural-born leaders who thrive in organized and structured environments. They are practical, efficient, and dependable, always striving for excellence in their endeavors. ESTJs have a strong work ethic and sense of duty, and take their responsibilities seriously, whether it be in their personal or professional lives. They are confident and assertive, and they have a natural talent for organizing and delegating tasks to ensure efficient execution.

ESTJs are known for their decisive nature and their ability to make tough decisions with clarity and efficiency. They value rules, tradition and order, and expect others to adhere to them as well. They have a no-nonsense approach to problem-solving and are not afraid to confront challenges head-on. They are confident in their abilities and have a natural talent for leading and motivating others to achieve a common goal. ESTJs are also known for their loyalty and dedication to their friends, family, and organizations, and they will go above and beyond to ensure the success of their team or group.

Cognitive Functions of ESTJs:

To gain insight into the characteristics of ESTJ personalities, it is helpful to understand the dominant and auxiliary cognitive functions that drive them. According to the MBTI system, each personality type has a set of cognitive functions that they use most frequently, which leads to consistent patterns and characteristics. For ESTJs, 

Dominant Te: Extraverted Thinking (Te) function relies on empirical data and understanding of external systems. People who have a dominant Te function are logical and analytical in their approach, focus on objective data, and prioritize rationality over personal feelings or emotions.

ESTJs use their dominant Te to take control and organize the external world around them. This function gives them the ability to make quick and efficient decisions and plans by utilizing all the information available to them, rather than being passive in their approach. It helps ESTJs in finding practical solutions to problems, streamlining processes, and achieving tangible outcomes. 

Auxiliary Si: Individuals who use the Introverted Sensing (Si) function have an organized internal world and a highly accurate memory of past experiences and sensations. ESTJs use their auxiliary Si to create categories in their minds to sort and keep track of important information and data, processed by their dominant Te. By remembering their past successful experiences and following the same strategies and behaviors to recreate those experiences, they are able to create a sense of stability and predictability in their lives.

Due to ESTJs’ focus on these dominant and auxiliary functions, their Intuition and Feeling functions are less developed, which can lead to a lack of intuitive or abstract thinking (Intuition), understanding and expressing emotions, empathizing with others, and understanding the emotional impact of their decisions on others (Feeling).


Like all personality types, ESTJs also have their own unique set of strengths, some of which include the following.

  • Strong leadership skills: ESTJs make great leaders due to their ability to efficiently manage people and resources. Their Te helps them see the best course of action, make quick logical decisions in the moment, and take charge to achieve desired outcomes.
  • Efficient and result-oriented: ESTJs’ Te and Si work in tandem to make them efficient and result-oriented. Their Te helps them analyze information objectively, and identify what works and what doesn’t. Their Si provides them with a structured approach to problem-solving, helping them implement proven strategies for achieving tangible results. 
  • Direct and honest communication: ESTJs’ Te influences their direct and honest communication style. They value logic and rationality over emotions, preferring to address conflicts and issues directly rather than avoiding them, which can lead to effective resolution and progress.
  • Appreciation for rules and structure: ESTJs’ Si contributes to their appreciation for rules and procedures, which are often based on proven methods and past experiences. They are committed to upholding standards and maintaining order by adhering to laws, regulations, and ordinances.
  • Dedicated and reliable: ESTJs’ diligent approach to upholding standards and their unwavering commitment to their responsibilities make them extremely reliable and trustworthy, both in their personal and professional lives. 


ESTJs may have some potential weaknesses that could impact their personal life, relationships, as well as their performance in their workplace. These weaknesses may include the following.

  • Judgmental: ESTJs create mental categories of what is right and what is wrong based on their past experiences (due to their Si) and may be judgmental of those who deviate from these norms. They may try to impose their ideas of morality on others and can be intolerant of different perspectives or lifestyles.
  • Discomfort with emotions: As logical and rational thinkers, ESTJs may find it challenging to navigate or express their own emotions and understand the emotions of others. They have a weak Feeling function, leading to difficulties in connecting with others on an emotional level.
  • Rigidity and inflexibility: ESTJs can be stubborn and resistant to change, often holding firm to their own opinions and beliefs, due to their Si. They may struggle to adapt to new or unexpected situations and can be inflexible in their approach, insisting on their own way of doing things.
  • Bossy and commanding behavior: ESTJs are natural-born leaders with strong organizational skills and a desire for efficiency. However, their assertive and authoritative nature may come across as bossy or overbearing, which can be perceived as controlling or intimidating by others.
  • Struggle with relaxation and perfectionism: ESTJs often have high expectations for themselves and others, driven by their strong work ethic and sense of duty. They may struggle with perfectionism, constantly striving for excellence and finding it difficult to relax or engage in leisure activities.

Career choice

ESTJs thrive in structured environments that value rules and regulations, set clear expectations, and require strong leadership and decision making skills. Some suitable careers for them include:

  • C-level executives: ESTJs’ strong leadership skills, ability to make tough decisions, and natural inclination towards organization make them well-suited for executive or managerial roles in various industries. They can excel as CEOs, COOs, CFOs, or other C-level executives, as well as managers in different functional areas, driving organizational success.
  • Financial Analysts or accountants: ESTJs’ logical thinking and ability to manage resources make them suitable for careers in accounting. They can excel in roles that require analyzing financial data, creating budgets, managing expenses, and ensuring compliance with financial regulations.
  • Project Managers: ESTJs’ result-oriented nature, combined with their excellent organizational skills, makes them ideal candidates for project management roles. They can effectively oversee projects, allocate resources, set goals, and ensure timely completion of tasks.
  • Government administrators: ESTJs’ ability to create order, coordinate teams, and uphold ethical standards makes them suitable for roles as government administrators or civil servants. They can oversee government operations, enforcing policies, and serving the public interest.
  • Military or law enforcement officers: ESTJs possess a strong sense of duty, affinity towards rules and regulations, and the ability to maintain discipline, all of which makes them well-suited for careers in the military or law enforcement. 

ESTJs may face challenges in careers that lack structure, involve frequent changes, or do not have clear rules and regulations. Creative or artistic fields, counseling or therapy careers that require high emotional intelligence, entrepreneurial ventures with high risk, research or academic fields with ambiguity, and non-profit or advocacy work involving conflicting values or ethical dilemmas may be less suitable for ESTJs.


ESTJs in relationships tend to be very honest and straightforward right from the start. They know what they want and they are not afraid to communicate their expectations and boundaries clearly. They look for a partner who shares their values, interests, and goals. When they find the right person, they put in the effort required for the relationship to succeed, and efficiently manage any issues that may arise along the way. 

While ESTJs may not be the most romantic or emotionally expressive partners, they make up for it with their dedication and stability in the relationship. As a way of showing affection, they often take on the role of a protector or provider in their relationships, striving to ensure that their partner and family are well taken care of. In order to have fun with their partners, ESTJs tend to rely on familiar experiences and activities that they enjoyed in the past, thinking their partners will enjoy them as well.

ESTJ parents may struggle with being overly strict or controlling at times, but they also provide a stable and structured environment for their children to thrive. They often emphasize the importance of education, tradition, duty, and hard work, and strive to instill these values in their children from an early age.

In conclusion, ESTJs are a practical, efficient, and dependable personality type that values structure, order, and tradition. They are natural leaders who excel in management and organizational roles, and have a strong sense of responsibility towards their obligations. While they may sometimes come across as rigid or inflexible, they are capable of adapting to changing circumstances and are always focused on finding practical solutions to problems. All in all, ESTJs are pillars of perseverance and leadership, and their unique strengths make them an essential part of their organizations and communities.

How To Motivate An Introverted Employee

Do you have an employee who gave the first impression that they are a very thoughtful, creative, and smart person?  Even though this person can produce high-quality work from time to time, they seem a bit distant and uncommunicative or even arrogant…

The chances are your new employee is an introvert!  You wish there was a way to motivate them and make that employee more productive and communicative.  The solution is first to understand how and why they are different, to realize that their minds are made-up differently from the mind of an extrovert.  

Introversion versus extroversion:

The basic definition of introversion versus extroversion is that extroverts are more comfortable with and prefer to direct their mental energy toward the outside world, other people, or objects.  In contrast, introverts tend to prefer living in the world of their minds and their thoughts.  When introverts are forced into a team or a very crowded environment for too long, the situation will deplete their energy, and they will become very drained. 

Introverts gain energy from the comfort of their inner thoughts and feelings

Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung (1875 – 1961) was the first to distinguish extroversion and introversion, the two major orientations of personality.  We continue to learn from Jung’s findings and ongoing psychoanalytical research leads to greater understanding of personality types to help managers in the workplace.

Cognitive sciences have discovered two main ways that introverted minds are different:

1.    Introverts process incoming information more slowly because they filter information thoroughly before considering the input. Their neural pathway to process information is longer than that of extroverts.  This is because they use the parasympathetic side of the brain, and the pathways are much longer, meaning they need more time for the information to be processed.  Hence introverts can easily become over-stimulated with too much external information from the environment. 

Scientists can detect the differences between introvert and extrovert babies as early as four months old. Extroverts easily take stimulation because the two parts of the brain they use have a much smaller pathway than introverts. This neurological difference explains why extroverts tend to be active and action-oriented, actively seeking out stimulating experiences. While, in contrast, introverts tend to be more idiosyncratic in their preference for a slower and manageable pace.

Scientists can detect introverted babies as early as 4-month old!

2. The second difference is that because the part of the brain used to process information and the part of the brain connected to communication and processing verbal input are quite separated in introverts.  Hence, they can go on for long periods of time without talking or communicating with other people.   Conversely, an extrovert will get the juices flowing, think, and speak at the same time.  They will enjoy brainstorming with other people, thinking and talking simultaneously.  

So, when you know these differences, you can begin to understand why there are behavioral differences between introvert and extrovert team members.  You see, it’s not that your introverted employee is having an attitude or trying to be distant on purpose; it’s just how their brain works.

How to spot an introverted employee

They tend to be

  1. Calm: He or she exudes a calming presence.
  2. Listeners: They tend to listen more than they talk.  This is especially noticeable in a team meeting when they appear more reflective.
  3. Having subdued Dress Style: Introverts tend to dress subtly.  Their clothing is usually understated, preferring dark colors.  They don’t want to stand out too much.  Compare this with extroverted employees who dress in more vibrant, outstanding colors and styles.

In fact, a lot of people think that introverts are a minority in the population.  However, many surveys have shown that introverts and extroverts are actually about 50/50 in a population.

The reason they seem to be the minority is that they don’t compete with the extroverts for attention.  They don’t speak up that much, preferring to think through the information before voicing an opinion.  They’re the silent half of the population! Another possible explanation is that many introverts would put on an “extrovert mask” on social settings to blend in better (even if it’s pretty draining), giving the impression that there are ways more extroverts to the untrained eyes.

Introverts bring unique strengths to the team

Now you know the differences between introverts and extroverts, you can appreciate the unique strengths of the introverted employee:

  • Because they spend more time reflecting and coming up with something that is truly unique, you can expect their work to be more creative and original.
  • You can also expect them to be thorough and meticulous because they think things through and process a lot of information inside their head before they talk about and show the result.   
  • Lastly, introverts have high moral principles.  Most of the time, introverts value their integrity and authenticity very highly.  It’s a useful attribute to balance the team in the workplace, especially against the fast-paced and cut-throat cultures of many workplaces nowadays.

How to motivate the introverted employee

So, how do you as a manager nurture and encourage better productivity and motivation from an introverted employee?  There are four ways you can do it:

1. When you assign them some work or a task, give them a lot of upfront information so they can process it, but then give them space.  There is this golden rule of two to forty-eight hours, depending on the complexity of the task, that works very well with introverts.  Give your introverted employee the time to think through all the input and process the information. In return, they will give you very thorough and very considered work results. 

2.  The second way you can help them is to complement their weaknesses.  Since they are a more reflective and somewhat individualistic employee, you can support them with your own strengths or that of another team member:

For example, you can provide them with social connections to others in the team.  Because it’s usual that introverts find it challenging to initiate social contact themselves, you can quickly introduce them to other team members.  By introducing them to other stakeholders that are relevant o the project, you help them to be able to touch base and integrate into the team.

You can assist an introverted employee by introducing him or her to other stakeholders/coworkers

3. You can assist them by giving clear deadlines and KPI expectations.  Because introverts are so reflective and usually perfectionistic, they are not good with deadlines.  So, you need to be clear regarding when you need the result.   When you have clear KPIs, they are certain of your expectations, and you can best optimize their thought process and creativity.

4.   Lastly, keep your introverted employee motivated.  Once they have finished their work, it’s important to praise the work, but moderately, because they can easily detect unnecessary and superfluous compliments.   So give them the praise that they deserve for their originality and creativity.  Praise them for their hard work and their meticulousness.  This valid, genuine praise will be a sure way to make sure you keep your introverted employee happy and motivated.


When you are aware of introverted characteristics you are better able to manage introverted team members.  Doing so is a case of considering how the different personality types function.  Introverted employees are motivated by receiving information in advance of meetings, enabling them to think about the content prior to the meeting.  Introverts will also think about ideas and get back to you later with their contributions.  A manager who considers personality types of the whole team are rewarded with wider contributions and a happier team.