ESTPs are energetic thrillseekers who are at their best when putting out fires, whether literal or metaphorical. They bring a sense of dynamic energy to their interactions with others and the world around them. They assess situations quickly and move adeptly to respond to immediate problems with practical solutions.

Active and playful, ESTPs are often the life of the party and have a good sense of humor. They use their keen powers of observation to assess their audience and adapt quickly to keep interactions exciting. Although they typically appear very social, they are rarely sensitive; the ESTP prefers to keep things fast-paced and silly rather than emotional or serious.

ESTP in the Population

ESTPs make up:

  • 4% of the general population
  • 6% of men
  • 3% of women

Famous ESTPs

Famous ESTPs include Donald Trump, George W. Bush, Winston Churchill, Mae West, Eddie Murphy, Bruce Willis, Madonna, and Evel Knievel.

Motivating the ESTP

ESTPs are often natural athletes; they easily navigate their physical environment and are typically highly coordinated. They like to use this physical aptitude in the pursuit of excitement and adventure, and they often enjoy putting their skills to the test in risky or even dangerous activities.

The ESTP's focus is action in the moment. They are engaged with their environments and solve practical problems quickly. ESTPs are excellent in emergencies, when they can apply their logical reasoning to situations where immediate action is necessary. Long-term goals are less interesting to the ESTP, who prefers to see tangible results in the moment.

Recognizing the ESTP

The first thing you notice about the ESTP is likely to be their energy. They’re often chatting, joking, and flirting with friends and strangers alike. They enjoy engaging playfully with others and amusing everyone around them with their irreverent sense of humor. They tend to keep people on their toes, never quite knowing what the ESTP will poke fun at next. ESTPs are unabashedly gregarious with people, but their interest in individuals may not last long; they are more likely to work a room, having a laugh with everyone, than they are to engage in depth with any one person.

ESTPs are comfortable in their physical environment and always looking for some action or activity. They tend to be the most naturally coordinated of all the types and are often found playing sports or engaging in various physical activities, especially ones with an element of danger. They are the stereotypical “adrenaline junkies” and may be found skydiving, motorcycle racing, or enjoying other extreme sports.

For more information: The Art of SpeedReading People

ESTP at Work

At work, the ESTP is motivated to solve logical problems in the moment. ESTPs have a solid grasp of the concrete realities of a situation and a good sense of the resources at their disposal. Because they understand the facts of the present, they are often able to quickly see a way out of difficult situations.

The ESTP relies on past experience to choose the best approach for the situation at hand. ESTPs are concrete and hands-on, and have a kinetic sense of how things work. Although ESTPs may have trouble envisioning abstract ideas, they are flexible in their approach: if something sounds logical, they are usually willing to give it a try.

ESTPs often choose careers that take advantage of their athleticism, their mechanical skills, or their ability to negotiate their physical surroundings. They tend to prefer objects to ideas and often like a tangible product. They may have trouble sitting still and often avoid being stuck behind a desk.

ESTPs like a job that is a bit unpredictable, and offers them some fun and adventure throughout the workday. They want a job which allows them plenty of flexibility to solve problems on the spot, without pressure to follow set procedures or plans.

ESTP on a Team

ESTPs are enthusiastic participants who enjoy identifying resources and moving dynamically through problems to find practical solutions. They’re often great in a crisis, when their flexibility and action orientation makes them a clear head in the crowd. They may act as the voice of reason and will often point the group toward using available means to take immediate action.

ESTPs often want to keep interactions fun and casual on a team, and may have conflict with team members who are overly serious or insist that things be done a particular way. ESTPs prefer to keep things open-ended and flexible, and colleagues who want to lock into a plan may find resistance from the ESTP, especially if the ESTP does not see immediate, concrete benefits to the proposed action. They do best when they’re allowed to solve problems in their own practical, no-nonsense way, without a lot of imposed structure or rules.

For more information: What's Your Type of Career?

ESTP as Leaders

ESTPs are eager to take charge, especially in a crisis situation. They are energetic and persuasive, and read others easily to adapt their approach and move the group toward their own point of view. Blunt and assertive, ESTPs readily offer their opinion without much attention to office politics or personal reactions.

ESTP leaders seek efficiency and trust what they’ve seen done before. They sometimes struggle with long-range planning; they may have trouble visualizing the future and prefer to solve problems as they arise. They want action and movement, and will engage enthusiastically with their teams to produce immediate results.