ESTPs are action oriented, pragmatic, outgoing and realistic people. They use their quickness and flexibility to find the most efficient route to accomplishing whatever needs to be done. They are lively, entertaining, and fun. They like to be where the action is and participate fully in what is happening. Characteristically, they are direct with their comments and mince no words. They are at their best in situations that require an orientation to the present and a direct, no-nonsense, pragmatic approach.
ESTP children are rambunctious, energetic, and freedom-loving individuals. They do what they want to do when they want to do it. ESTP children like life to be action packed and fun. They stir things up when they find life too boring. They do not like to sit still and are often involved in energy-intensive sports and other activities with their many friends. They seem unfazed by whatever comes along and prefer to hold a challenge or two. They usually enjoy lively activities in which they can use their motor and observation skills to respond quickly to the moment.
ESTP children experience and do things in order to learn about life. They are particularly inquisitive about inanimate things. They like having nice toys, games, and equipment, and take care of these material possessions willingly.
School is important to ESTPs as a place to meet their friends and to be involved in activities, and is less important to them as an educational or academic experience. ESTPs can exasperate their parents and teachers, who appreciate their abilities and want them to apply themselves so as to excel academically. However, ESTPs have different needs and wants. Pleasing themselves is their aim, not necessarily achieving top grades for others. Generally, they want to do things their own way and in their own time, and they are rather direct in telling others what is on their minds.
As teenagers, ESTPs continue to be action oriented. They are likely to be on sports teams or involved in other after-school activities. If they have a part-time job, they use the money to purchase or save for the things they want, such as sporting equipment, clothes, stereos, cars, and college education.
As young adults, ESTPs tend to fall into their careers. If they are mechanically oriented, they may find a career in mechanics; if their friends are going to college, they are likely to go to college; If their friends are joining and armed forces, the ESTP may go along as well.
ESTPs look forward to their independence and are likely to leave home as soon as they can afford to. Being pragmatic types, however, they may find that home, if less restrictions can be negotiated, is a practical and good place to be, because it is cheaper and allows them more money for other important things.
In adult life, ESTPs often focus on work, where they can directly or vicariously experience high risk and high reward. These risks may be physical, intellectual, personal, or financial. They are likely to look for loopholes, special niches, or other unusual opportunities for finding high rewards for the investment of their time. They are willing to play by the rules but only the point of using the rules to help them be or do what they want. They often fill their lives with many activities besides work. They are busy primarily with their families and with friends when they have time.
If and when life becomes too routine for ESTPs, they find ways to jazz it up, either through their own actions or those of others. They may take unusual trips or add to their lives some excitement or big-game hunting. They like life filled with zest. They may choose to retire early so that they can have more time for activities that they consider fun. They enjoy being around others in pursuit of a good time.
ESTPs learn best in situations in which the subject matter applies directly to one of their interests, where the expectations are realistic, and where the explanations are clear. They like observation and hands-on experience, and have little tolerance for theory and material that could be, but that is not currently, useful. Teachers’ comments that knowing certain ideas or theories will someday pay off leave most ESTP’s cold. They want few constraints put on them. They prefer teachers who are entertaining and make learning active and fun.
One of the ESTP’s main strengths is using the five senses to notice what is happening, to find any flaws and inaccuracies that may exist, and to act quickly on them.
At work, ESTPs contribute a straightforward attitude that calls on people to make things happen quickly. They keep things lively and are willing to take personal and organizational risks. They enjoy crises and like to dive right in and skillfully negotiate through them. Because ESTPs notice and remember factual information, they often contribute a realistic assessment of what is actually happening.
ESTPs value a quick response, they operate under the organizational principle that it is easier to beg for forgiveness after committing the act than to ask for permission in advance. The parts of their work environment or homes that are well-organized tend to relate to their interests.
The ESTPs’ final product, event, paper, or other accomplishment may be excellent, but it belies the ESTP process. ESTP’s tend to leave a trail of papers, piles of resources, and messy files and closets, but usually their work is well put together in the end. One ESTP said, “I hate a clean desk. My desk is workable and is organized and categorized as needed.”
ESTPs prefer occupations that allow flash and dash, ones in which they can respond dramatically with speed to the present needs. If they choose an occupation in which this is not the case, they bring these characteristics to their work. They do not like to be constrained in their activities and generally seek work that gives them a great deal of latitude.
Some occupations seems to be especially attractive to ESTPs: auditor, carpenter, craft worker, farmer, laborer, marketeer, law enforcement officer, sales representative, service worker, transportation operative, and other occupations that allow ESTPs to use their action-oriented sense of expediency.
ESTP leadership style is one that charge readily, especially in crisis. They have a direct and assertive style, and they move ahead without necessarily paying attention to all of the rules. They find the immediate cause of problems and seek immediate solutions. They can react to any given situation, expedite it, and make it work. They hear different sides of the problem, make decisions and keep things moving.
ESTPs love leisure, and they do all they can to maximize their leisure time. They are usually involved in activities, particularly sporting ones, either as players or as spectators. They may enjoy out-of-door, risk-taking activities. ESTPs may collect tangible things related to their hobbies.
ESTPs enjoy spending time in active pursuits, not necessarily needing others but not minding if they are there either. They like to be associated with individuals who have taken physical risks, even if they choose not to do so themselves.
For the ESTP, love means finding someone to have fun with, sharing life’s ups and avoiding life’s downs. When an ESTP sees and intended partner as one with whom many exciting experiences can be shared, the ESTP will use persuasiveness and his or her outward, fun-loving orientation to impress and win the chosen partner. The ESTP may view this as a challenge and may use whatever expedient means are available. ESTPs enjoy falling in love but do so quite practically by finding common ground with their loved one. This companionship aspect, in which activities can be jointly pursued, is important to them.
Generally, ESTPs can be fairly straightforward about the more sensual side of love, regarding it as a major part of life’s enjoyment. They may like parties, and entertainment that has an earthy undertone, seeing these activities as a part of life not to be taken too seriously. For ESTPs in relationships, too much daily routine can feel confining and boring. When this happens, they are likely to”liven” things up by surprising their partners with a second honeymoon, a large or extravagant gift, or some other tangible expression of their love.
When scorned, ESTPs may wallow in their grief for some time, then decide that such behaviour is impractical and therefore cut their losses and move on. ESTPs usually approach the breakup of a relationship with a fairly straightforward and realistic orientation. After they have dealt with the emotional part, it is as if fate has taken its course. It is as though they might say, “The relationship is over. Life dealt me a blow, and it’s time to move on.”
ESTPs are men and women of action. When someone of this personality is present, things begin to happen. The lights come one, the music plays, the game begins. And a game it is for the ESTP, the outstanding entrepreneur, the international diplomat, the conciliator, and the negotiator par excellence. Approximately 13 percent of the general population are of this extraverted, sensing, thinking, perceiving type, and if only one adjective could be used to describe ESTPs resourceful would be an apt choice.
Life is never dull around ESTPs. Their attractive, friendly style has a theatrical flourish which makes even the most routine, mundane event seem exciting. ESTPs usually know the location of the best restaurants, and headwaiters are likely to call them by name. ESTPs are socially sophisticated, suave, and urbane and are master manipulators of the external environment.
ESTPs are uncanny at observing people’s motivations, somehow hypersensitive to minimal nonverbal cues which other types might miss. And they are masters at using these observations to “sell” the “client.” The eye of the ESTP is ever on the eye of the beholder, and all actions are directed toward this audience. Witty, clever, and fun, ESTPs seem to possess an unusual amount of empathy, when in fact this is not the case; rather, they are so acutely aware of minimal signals from others that they are usually several jumps ahead in anticipation of another’s position. And ESTPs can use information gained to the ends they have in mind-apparently with nerves of steel, engaging in what seems to others to be suicidal brinkmanship. Other types may find this exhausting, but ESTPs are exhilarated by working close to the edge of disaster. ESTPs are ruthless pragmatists and often offer the ends as justification for whatever means they see as necessary-regrettable, perhaps, but necessary. Usually, however, ESTPs do not care to justify actions, but prefer instead to get on to the next action.
ESTP’s are outstanding as initiators of enterprises that bring people together to negotiate. They make invaluable itinerant administrators who can pull troubled companies or institutions out of the red very quickly, and with style! They can sell an idea or project in a way no other type can, but won’t follow through on the tedious administrative details of a project. This characteristic often causes ESTP’s to be unappreciated for the extraordinary talents they have, for people lose sight of the idea contributed and focus on the details left undone, becoming critical of ESTPs’ weaknesses rather than appreciating their strength. Few enterprises which are institutionally based use ESTP’s as they should be used. When they strike out on their own, however, they do not always succeed, for their unwillingness to bother with follow-up details may cause an otherwise excellent project to fail. ESTPs need to be sure they have someone who will take care of follow-up if at all possible.
If the promotional, entrepreneurial capabilities of ESTPs are used to constructive ends, an institution is fortunate for their presence. If their desire for excitement is not met constructively, however, these energies may be channeled into destructive, antisocial activities such as those of the confidence rackets-counterfeiting, bad-check artistry, safe-cracking, and swindling. A movie of the early 1970’s which caught this use of the ESTP’s talents was ‘The Sting’.
ESTPs live in the immediate moment and as mates lend excitement-and unpredictability-to the relationship. The ESTP mate is usually extremely attentive in public and smooth in social rituals. They carry on amusing repartee, and laughter surrounds them as they recount from their endless supply of clever jokes and stories. Charm radiates from ESTPs. Nothing is too good for their friends, although family responsibilities may, at times, be given second priority. The ESTP’s mate may in time come to feel like an object-the female a chattel and the male a negotiable commodity. Deep commitments do not always occur in the lives of ESTPs, although they are always popular and know many, many people by name. Relationships usually are conditional, and the condition is the consideration of what the ESTP has to gain from the relationship. Anything gained, however, is shared freely and generously with the mate. The unexpected gift, the impulsive trip to Paris, the extravagant surprise at Christmas-all these an ESTP brings to a mate. Fun, excitement, laughter, and that element of unpredictability are characteristic of their relationship. The ESTPs have a low tolerance for anxiety and are apt to avoid or leave situations that are consistently filled with interpersonal tensions. ESTPs are usually somewhat of a mystery to their mates and to others. Few people comprehend this unique personality. ESTPs themselves understand well the maxim, “He who travels fastest, travels alone.” Still, ESTPs are not likely to be lonely for long. ESTPs meet life with a hearty appetite for the good things of the world, searching out excitement, perhaps as a warrior, an athlete, an adventurer, or as a professional gambler, but always seeking the thrill of courting Lady Luck in one fashion or another. A theme of seeking excitement through taking of risks runs through the lives of ESTPs.
At midlife ESTPs may want to work at consolidation of resources-emotional and economic. Long-term planning on the part of ESTPs may well destroy the essence of their strength-the impulse-but ESTPs may want rationally and logically to seek out a partner who will follow through on details, who will stabilize projects undertaken, and who will conserve the ESTP energies. ESTPs may want to work at developing a few, deep relationships even though these cause an ESTP entrepreneurial restrictions.
The relative rarity of the ESTP’s opposite on the intuitive side, INFJ (about 1 percent compared to the ESTP’s 15 percent), means that such matings will be quite infrequent, as they should be. Imagine an oracle married to a wheeler-dealer! We should, however, be mindful that, whatever our own political beliefs, our more spectacular Presidents (J.F. Kennedy, L.B. Johnson, T. Roosevelt, F.D. Roosevelt) were ESTP “promoters” without peer. It would be a fascinating study to check on the temperament of their wives to see if any married their oracular INFJ opposites.
The seemingly correct-and, we can assume, attractive-choice is the ISFJ “conservator.” Such complementarily should work out rather nicely, especially if the promoter is male and the conservator is female.