ESTP Leadership

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

ESTPs are naturally casual, adaptable and fun-loving leaders. While ESTPs can be extremely task-oriented and focused the situation calls for it, they are leaders who prefer a light-hearted and casual workplace environment. ESTPs prefer independence and will likewise give their team the space they need to execute tasks in their own way.

Leading Self

ESTPs are casual and pleasure-seeking in the approach to their lives. They are most interested in achieving pleasure in the here and now.

They generally do not worry about the future, nor do they allow themselves to be bogged down by things of the past; they can be fully focused in the present and give full attention to it.

In the same vein, they may have problems following through on their personal commitments. They may find it hard to set goals and to complete them, as it is against the ESTP’s preference to forgo present pleasure in expectation of a future benefit. They prefer living fully in the present and enjoying the pleasure that the present brings.  

Setting the Vision

ESTPs are themselves seldom inspired by long-term visions; they are more concerned about practical and immediate problems to be solved in the organization. When setting direction, the ESTP usually talks about ‘today’ or ‘this month’; they believe that the organization needs to be flexible and adapt to changing circumstances in the environment.

Their challenge comes in inspiring others with a big vision that may only be achieved in the long-term. Many people will give their 110% to the organization if they know where the organization is heading in the long run and where their part in that vision is.

Connecting with Others

ESTPs leaders with their fun-loving and casual nature often create friendly and open work environments where people are allowed to have fun in the course of their work.

ESTPs are generally approachable leaders; they are open to suggestions and feedback and therefore their staff are usually not afraid to approach them.

Although ESTP leaders appear friendly and approachable, they are not the best counsellors. Staffs who mistakenly share their feelings with the ESTP leader and expect the leader to understand may find their feelings unacknowledged. ESTPs often will helpfully offer solutions rather than empathize with others’ feelings.

Accomplishing of Goals

ESTPs like to get their hands dirty when executing a task. They prefer to be in the front lines, leading by example for everyone else to follow rather than sitting behind and giving instructions. They are constantly innovating better methods and processes to achieve their task most effectively with the least amount of effort.

However, ESTPs may become too flexible that they are constantly shifting their schedules and deadlines. This will frustrate many people working under the ESTP, especially with the more organized ones.

ESTP Leadership Development

Here are some tips for development:

  • Prepare sufficiently

    You don’t like preparing for meetings or projects; you probably have learnt to just ‘wing’ it most of the time and often and are pretty good at doing so. This, however, may not be true for you all the time. There are many project and tasks that require good preparation and research; You should discipline yourself to do some homework and proper preparation so that you can be better equipped for the meeting or task.

  • Be more sensitive with your words

    Your jokes and humour may sometimes offend others in ways that you do not realize. You need to be careful when they make jokes, especially when it demeans a particular group of people. Also, you should try to be more sensitive when people share their feelings and learn how to empathize with the struggles and challenges of others.

  • Think about long-term implications

    Your comfort with the here and now also means that they may seldom give thought to long term implications. Are the tasks you involve your team with bringing your organization somewhere in the 2 years’ time? How about 5 years’ time? Be careful not to spend too much time fire fighting and end up forgoing long term goals.


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