How to Tell if You’re an ENTJ vs. ESTJ

ENTJ vs ESTJ blog cover

If you’re reading this post, there’s a high chance that you’re trying to work out if you’re an ENTJ vs. ESTJ personality type. These two types are often confused because they share many of the same characteristics. Both types are ambitious, organized, and decisive. They follow through on their word, and they aren’t afraid to go after what they want.

But there are also some core differences between how these types think and experience the world. In this post, we explore these core differences. If you’re unclear about your type, we hope this helps you.

So here are five differences between the ENTJ vs. ESTJ personality types:

1. Observing the world.

Man running

Despite being similar in a lot of ways, the way ENTJs and ESTJs view the world differently. ENTJs tend to think about the big picture, while ESTJs are more comfortable when dealing with details.

ENTJs have a holistic focus, sometimes at the expense of details. This allows them to use their imagination to see the potential in everything, from people to concepts.

As a result, ENTJs are very future-focused and are often described as “visionary.” They often have a clear, long-term goal that they work toward tirelessly.

ESTJs have a knack for paying attention to what’s around them. They are more likely to see the forest for the trees, so to speak. This is evident in the way they notice small things about people and their environment.

They tend to take a methodical and detail-oriented approach. ESTJs place high importance on verifiable facts and information that is proven.

2. Memory.

Not only do ENTJs and ESTJs take in information differently, but they also differ in the way they remember things. ENTJs tend to remember overall ideas, while ESTJs retain specific details.

ENTJs tend to remember general impressions. This is because they are most interested in the overall idea, the meaning behind something, and the end result. They often don’t remember specific attributes.

For example, they might have a memory of a man in a shop who was rude to them, but they won’t remember what color jumper he was wearing.

ENTJs store information in their memory in a way that is interconnected and easily accessible. This allows them to make connections between different pieces of information they have gathered.

ESTJs tend to have incredible memories of facts and details. They often remember exactly how things felt, smelled, tasted, etc. For example, when asked about a restaurant, they might remember a specific item on a menu that they enjoyed rather than the reason they were there.

ESTJs tend to be exceptional at remembering birthdays and special dates. In fact, it’s almost as if they have a library of memories in their minds that they can draw upon in order to compare present experiences with those in the past.

ESTJs are often very talented students, partly because of their ability to remember detailed information for work or school.

3. Problem-solving.

When it comes to solving problems, ENTJs and ESTJs take different approaches. ENTJs approach problems in an abstract way, while ESTJs have a more linear thought process.

ENTJs are quick to see the potential in a situation, and they’re often able to find creative solutions. This is because they’re able to step back and see different perspectives.

In particular, they’re very good at solving academic and science problems, and they naturally use their creativity to think outside the box. ENTJs have an innate desire to improve systems and processes. Plus, they have a talent for seeing possibilities.

ESTJs are able to find workable solutions by taking a step-by-step approach. They’re patient and they have a lot of endurance, so they’re able to stick with a problem until they find a practical solution.

ESTJs also tend to be very organized, which helps them break down a problem into smaller, more manageable pieces. Similarly to ENTJs, they are usually very good at solving science and numbers-based problems.


4. Practicality.

Both types feel most comfortable when they have a clear path, and they like to have a plan that they can follow. ESTJs are one of the most practical personality types, while ENTJs are more likely to be seen as visionaries.

ENTJs are inventive and can find themselves overwhelmed by their thoughts. This can make them seem impractical at times. They might have a vision for something that is so perfect that it’s unattainable. Plus, they have a deep desire for everything to fit perfectly into their framework of how the world works.

ENTJs can sometimes benefit from having other people around them who keep them grounded in reality because, at times, they can end up getting caught up in their heads.

ESTJs, on the other hand, are usually very practical. They’re often able to see things as they are, and they aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.

In addition, ESTJs are exceptionally realistic, which can be both a good and a bad thing. On the one hand, it means that they manage to stay grounded in the realities of a situation. On the other hand, it can mean that they aren’t always as open to new ideas and possibilities.

5. Communication style.


ENTJs and ESTJs are both direct and efficient in the way they communicate. However, ENTJs have a more abstract communication style, while ESTJs tend to speak in a more literal way.

ENTJs often communicate in a roundabout way and often use metaphors or analogies to get their point across. They aim to make sure that whoever they are talking to understands the overall idea behind what they’re trying to say.

ENTJs have unique insights into the underlying meanings behind things, and they love to talk about them with people who are on the same wavelength.

ESTJs, on the other hand, are more likely to communicate with tangible, concrete facts. They get their points across in a literal way.

In addition, ESTJs often give exact examples of events that occurred in the past. This helps the ESTJ feel like they are being clear. They are naturals at small talk and can feel overwhelmed by too many serious conversations. ESTJs are often to the point when they communicate in a work setting.

ENTJ vs. ESTJ frequently asked questions

So now we have explained the key differences between the ENTJ vs. ESTJ personality types. Even for those who have explored personality types in depth, it can still be hard to tell the difference between these two types.

Let’s now look at some frequently asked questions about each personality to help make it clearer for you.

Are ENTJs vs. ESTJs more organized?

Both types tend to be logical and efficient, but there are some key differences between them that can affect their level of organization.

ENTJs are typically more strategic in their thinking, and they’re often good at seeing the big picture. This can make them better at planning and organizing long-term projects.

ESTJs, on the other hand, are often more detail-oriented. They’re usually good at following established procedures and keeping track of smaller details. This attention to detail can make ESTJs seem more organized than ENTJs, at least on the surface.

However, ENTJs’ strategic thinking can make them better able to see potential problems and plan for contingencies. As a result, ENTJs are often able to maintain a high level of organization, even in chaotic situations.

So, which type is more organized? It depends on your definition of “organized.” If you’re looking for someone who can create a detailed plan and stick to it, ESTJs are probably your best bet. If you need someone who can adapt on the fly and think two steps ahead, ENTJs are likely a better choice.

Do ENTJs and ESTJs have a similar energy?

ENTJs and ESTJs are both extroverts, thinkers, and judgers, so it’s no surprise that they have a lot in common. Both types are outspoken and direct. They’re efficient and are always thinking about the opportunity cost of their time.  

ENTJs and ESTJs are analytical, seeing the world in terms of facts and data. Plus, they’re both highly organized and detail-oriented, needing structure and order in their lives. But there are also key differences between the two types that can affect how they are perceived by others.

ENTJs are often viewed as complex. At times, ENTJs can be viewed as intense, particularly if the people they are with don’t particularly enjoy discussing deep topics. In general, ENTJs are more likely to be seen as visionary.

ESTJs are usually seen as more down-to-earth and practical. They are more likely to engage in lighter topics of conversation. As a result, ESTJs often have a more grounded energy and can come across as more matter-of-fact.

Are ENTJs vs. ESTJs more extroverted?

When it comes to personality types, everyone falls somewhere on the spectrum between introverted and extroverted. ENTJs and ESTJs tend to be the type of extroverts that don’t need huge amounts of social interaction.

But they do like to be out there doing things and achieving their goals. In this sense, their extroversion is generally directed toward pursuing their goals rather than it being about seeing people.

ENTJs and ESTJs are highly independent and can come across as unemotional at times. However, there are some key differences that can help to distinguish between the two types.

In terms of differences, ENTJs are likely to spend more time in their heads than ESTJs. In contrast, ESTJs have the ability to stay present, which can make them appear more extroverted in some ways.  

Final thoughts on ENTJ vs. ESTJ differences

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our individual ESTJ and ENTJ posts, which delve deeper into each personality type. Last but not least, you might also like our post about ENFJ vs. ENTJ differences.

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