ESFP Leadership

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

ESFPs are fun-loving, friendly and engaging leaders who are socially adept. They are observant and sensitive to the needs of their followers and will often be the first to spot if someone in the team is out of sorts or needs help. Being sensitive and concerned, ESFPs make very likable leaders.

Leading Self

ESFPs generally live an unplanned life, preferring to take their life one day at a time. They do not like to be tied down by commitments; rather they want to do what is pleasurable and pleasing to them in the moment. They are also not easily bothered by things of the past or things of the future; they put their focus on the present tasks.

Their focus on the present will also mean that they find it hard to do something that is unpleasant, even though that task may sometimes be necessary. They do not like to set goals for this reason. There is nothing they feel they need to achieve, no state they need to reach; the purpose of life is simply to live the present fully.

Setting the Vision

Their spontaneous nature allows them adapt to fast-paced and changing environments well, and their strength is in seeking straightforward, practical solutions to current problems. In the setting of organizational directions, ESFP leaders will invite the input of others and attempt to come up with a direction that takes into consideration all suggestions.

However, they often avoid looking at long-term solutions to current problems and may end up fire-fighting today’s crises without looking at root causes. This is because the ESFP does not speak the language of vision naturally. They are not inspired by long-term goals or big long-term strategies, and therefore they seldom use it to inspire others.  

Connecting with Others

ESFPs leaders are kind and caring individuals who will ensure that their staffs are well-taken care of. They are sensitive individuals who are keenly aware of the practical needs of those around them and will go ahead to meet those needs if possible. As such, people often choose to follow or stick with ESFP leaders because they are very likable.  

However, ESFPs leaders do have to take care not to be too casual or chatty at the workplace as some followers may need the solitude in order to focus on their work. They may pop by a colleague’s desk for a chat without considering that the other party may want to do some work.

In their leadership, ESFPs may also unconsciously favour the more extroverted individuals and undervalue the quieter ones. This is perceived as favouritism from others and ESFPs have to be careful not to do so as it causes a work environment to become toxic.

Accomplishing of Goals

ESFPs are very hands-on leaders; they are proactive in getting down to the task and will often lead by example in this aspect. Their adaptable nature also means that they will be flexible with their deadlines and goals, depending on how circumstances unfold.  

However, they are generally not as skilled in organizing resources and leveraging manpower to achieve goals. They are usually not the best at strategizing how to best use these resources and may end up frustrating their team as a result, due to either wastage of resources or poor execution.  

ESFP Leadership Development

Here are some tips for development:

  • Prepare sufficiently for meetings

    You do not like to prepare for meetings or projects; you prefer to use your resourceful mind and adaptable nature to work, think and speak on the fly. However, this does not always work out. There are meetings or tasks that require you to prepare sufficiently so that you have the necessary foreknowledge to effectively run a meeting or do a task. This is especially important with you as a leader; your preparation shows your seriousness and genuine interest.

  • Give and receive negative feedback

    You may tend to use only positive reinforcement as a form of motivation for your team, but negative feedback is just as crucial for their growth. How do they know that they’re not performing according to expectations unless somebody tells them?

    Likewise, do not take negative feedback from others personally. Take it as a learning opportunity and show appreciation to the other person for their honesty.

  • Learn strategic planning

    Take a strategic point of view toward current day issues. What trends and patterns have emerged in the horizon and how can your organization take full advantage of them? How can you position the organization to make them opportunities?

    If there are problems that the organization is currently facing, take a step back and look at the big picture. Are there fundamental changes in structure or processes that need to be changed within the organization to avoid similar problems in the future?

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