ESFJ Leadership

This section ESFJ Leadership is about the strengths and weaknesses of ESFJs in leadership and management roles. I also offer some suggestions on leadership development.  

ESFJs are charismatic and facilitative leaders. Being active, warm and gregarious and at the same time task-oriented, they present a good mix of task and people orientation. They do not just consider goals and tasks to be done, but they also actively get themselves involved in the lives of their team members. However, when it comes to working, ESFJs are conscientious, persevering and committed.

Leading Self

ESFJs are very task-oriented people. They have little problem disciplining themselves to achieve goals and objectives in their lives.

They are most comfortable with short term goals; big dreams and visions do not motivate them to action. Short term tasks and things-to-do will far more likely push them to action.

However, ESFJs may not be able to distinguish being effective and efficient. While ESFJs are active and motivated to complete tasks; they may not be effective in prioritizing and strategizing their things to do, mainly because they usually do not have a longer term plan for their life, preferring to concern themselves with the immediate and the practical.

Setting the Vision

ESFJs’ preferred way to setting direction and vision is usually in small, incremental, specific steps. Their visions are usually set in clear, specific steps and presented to their team in unambiguous language. Most people should have little or no trouble understand what the ESFJ leader requires of them.

Their challenge comes often in setting the long-term, inspirational goals. Steve Jobs’ ‘I want to put a computer in every household’ vision is not something that the ESFJ leader is comfortable with. They are grounded in reality, and any vision without a clearly defined plan to get there is simply wishful thinking. However, such visions are often what inspires and rally people. ESFJs will do well to learn this language as well.

Connecting with Others

ESFJs are proactive, caring and encouraging leaders who will step forward to help and meet needs.

They are great servant leaders; when one in the team is facing a crisis, the ESFJ leader will be there to support and care in any way they can. As such, they often win over the hearts of people under their care. 

However, ESFJs sometimes may come across as overbearing as well. Their task-oriented nature may come forth in demanding high standards from others, and often this may lead to the ESFJ micromanaging their team. This behaviour may bring about resentment and unhappiness from the people working under them, especially those who desire independence.

Accomplishing of Goals

ESFJs are very good with logistics; they can organize people and resources clearly and in a planned manner to ensure that all grounds are covered. Project management is second nature to them; and they have little trouble creating back-up plans and setting deadlines. When a task is given to an ESFJ leader, expect them to finish what they started.  

However, ESFJs may not be open to new ways of execution, preferring to keep with old tried-and-tested processes and methods. As such, they may shut out new suggestions for overall improvement.

ESFJ Leadership Development

Here are some tips for development:

  • Delegate your work

    You have a high standard for your work that you may not communicate fully to your team. And when that standard is not communicated, coupled with your desire to avoid confrontation, you tend to take on most of the work yourself. Learn to delegate even if work does not meet your standards; you are helping your team grow in that way too.

  • Don’t judge too quickly

    You may have a tendency to judge someone who does not perform up to par. Learn to withhold your judgement, seeking more information and asking yourself the possible reasons that individual is behaving before coming to conclusions; you may build an even deeper connection with the person this way.

  • Allow disagreements to happen

    Sometimes debates and disagreements on issues can lead to synergistic solutions and mutual growth. Resist the urge to use your authority as a leader to conclude disputed matters and allow some level of disharmony in the discussion. A better solution may emerge from the debate.

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