The Fine Art of Clarifying Type by Dr. Linda V. Berens
These two types can often look very much like each other.
Same Interaction Style. What makes them look so much alike is the In-Charge™ Interaction Style. Both of these types want to get things accomplished and get that achievable result as quickly as possible. They have a fundamental belief that it is worth the risk to go ahead and decide and trust they can take care of anything that comes up. They tend to make quick decisions. For them, there is no such thing as a wrong decision, just one that didn’t work. Both tend to be very Directing in their communications and Initiating in the roles they take with others.
Different temperaments, but much in common. ESTP is a variation of the Artisan pattern and ENTJ is a variation of the Rational pattern. Artisans have a core need for having the freedom to choose the next thing they are going to do with a drive to action and to make an impact, whereas Rationals have a core need for mastery, self-control, knowledge and competence.
The Rational need for competence also resonates with the ESTP. However, for the ENTJ, being competent ahead of doing something is crucial and they will want to understand something completely before they go ahead and act. The ESTP, on the other hand, will be more likely to quickly grasp the essence of something and then go ahead and take action, gaining competence as they go. When hearing descriptors, they may interpret competence in terms of their love of skillful performance.
Roles: Both temperaments have a preference for taking Pragmatic Roles so the freedom to choose the next action resonates to both types, as autonomy is the hallmark of pragmatic role taking. Pragmatism means doing what ever it takes to reach a goal, often ignoring rules or social norms. For the ENTJ, that freedom is around devising and getting others to follow a strategy. For the ESTP, that freedom is more often about the necessary tactical actions to get something accomplished.
Language: The temperament differences come in noticing their use of language, with the ESTP more likely to use language that describes things tangibly and the ENTJ language describes things conceptually.
Interest: Also note that ESTPs easily tune in to other’s motives and ENTJs are much more interested in structure than motive.
Cognitive Dynamic Differences. The cognitive dynamic pattern for ENTJ is Te, Ni, Se, Fi, with extraverted Sensing as relief role (tertiary) process and they often engage in quickly reading the external environment and are drawn to act on and shape that environment. This can easily look Artisan as they respond and adapt to what is going on, especially enjoying some of the more exciting Se activities. The ESTP pattern is Se, Ti, Fe, Ni; with Ni as the aspirational role (inferior) process. This can make them quite tuned into future payoffs and quite optimistic about what will happen in the future. They often get a sense of what is just around the corner and then want to seize the opportunities.