ESTP Credo: "Let's try that"

ESTP Keywords: Fun-loving, Practical, Outspoken, Enjoys 'the crack,' Jumps in, Pragmatic, Action-oriented, in the thick of it, Domineering, Flexible, Nosey, Self-indulgent

The ESTP is the 'committee person,' looking constantly looking for the 'next big thing,' and immersing themselves in social activities with gusto. An ESTP will need such experiences as it through such activities that they best learn and understand. The imaginative, reflective life is not for them, preferring to jump in and see what happens.

The 'P' aspect of their characters means that they are flexible, but this can also mean they become bored by routine, procedures which they see as irrelevant, and impatient with those who say 'let's think about it first.' The ESTP wants to suck it and see and, if it doesn't work, well there will always be another opportunity around the corner.

Supreme optimists, ESTPs will work long and hard on activities which interest them but can switch tack entirely once they begin to lose this interest, and then their energies may become depleted or focused in a totally different direction. The ESTP does not enjoy the constraints of deadlines, schedules or end-dates.

The ESTP is pragmatic, tough-minded and will act on the facts and data, rather than emotion. They don't like to be controlled, need to know they can switch horses in mid-stream and may slide out of obligations, if they get a 'better offer.' If an ESTP does exactly what you tell him, it is only because he wanted to in the first place.

An ESTP will generally be able to switch tasks with good nature and humour, will enjoy interaction and 'the craic.' Being so action-oriented, the ESTP will look to get on with it and may therefore go off 'half-cocked,' without being in possession of all the facts as the excitement and rush of potentially interesting action will spur them on. The ESTP is an excellent champion for the cause, provided someone is checking and can sweep up any debris behind them.

The ESTP sees life through their own very subjective lenses and it is a fun packed, great-tasting adventure with one sensory experience after another. They jump into the ‘next big thing’ without thinking through the consequences so keen are they to immerse themselves in something new.

Strong ‘T’ types the ESTP may often forget to factor in the implications on other people as this new experience is to be grasped immediately and anything that stands in the way may be inadvertently trampled underfoot in the rush. The impulsive nature of the ESTP can see them cut to the car chase, and bring great energy to bear on any new project that captures their interest, but this expedient side can also see them drop the idea once the initial fascination has passed and a new experience is ready and waiting, and ‘this one really is the one…, no really it is this time!’

This need for excitement means the ESTP will learn ‘on the hoof,’ by actually chucking themselves into the experience without thought or planning, and then see what happens. Every new experience is ‘the big one’ and will consume their energies, attention and time until… doesn’t! The ESTP loves to get involved and will be great at enthusing others although their expedient side means that once others have been through several cycles and see how they operate there may be a feeling of ‘here we go again’ and ESTP leaders can create ‘initiative fatigue’ in organisations and staff, with their constant desire to try out new activities, ideas and projects.

The complex, the conceptual makes the ESTP restless, bored and then they will disconnect from the process and go look for something else, often without telling anyone. The ESTP has an attention span which is very short and their energies wane if they think they’re ‘treading water.’ Having to sit and read, or reflect would just not ‘compute’ with the ESTP and so they would move on, swiftly and often leaving debris in their wake. The ESTP may be the ‘first to try it out,’ but then they’re onto the next experience as soon as it becomes predictable, the need for the thrill outweighing anything else. Follow-through isn’t the forte of the ESTP but if the project needs an injection of energy or there’s a last minute hiccup that needs someone to face it out, step forward the ESTP.

ESTPs are spontaneous, active individuals. Like the other SPs, ESTPs get great satisfaction from acting on their impulses. Activities involving great power, speed, thrill and risk are attractive to the ESTP. Chronic stifling of these impulses makes the ESTP feel drained and ready to move on and seek out the next thrill, often without thinking through the consequences.

Some of the most successful salespersons are ESTPs. Strangely, the ESTP often appears to admire and respect anyone who can beat him at his own game. To an ESTP, admission of weakness feels like failure. He admires strength in himself and in others. ‘Shock effect’ is a favoured technique of this character type to get the attention of his audience. ESTPs love to be at centre stage, demonstrating feats of wonder and daring.

These are the ultimate realists. Extraverted Sensors are at one with objects and experiences now, in the only living, important moment that ever really exists. The Sensor is compelled to see, touch, taste, smell and feel all that moves, then move on to the next experience.

In a team situation, the ESTP will bring an urgency to get things rolling - and make sure they happen right now. The ESTP will look to have an immediate and positive impact on the team and as such will be a good catalyst for action, and cutting through anything woolly or ethereal.

Famous ESTPs

  • Henry VIII
  • Jack Nicholson
  • Eddie Murphy
  • John Wayne
  • Clint Eastwood