Introvert Leaders, Still Water Runs Deep… Can Introverts be better Leaders?

book quiet by susan cain focus on introvert leaders

Introversion is commonly viewed as a barrier to leadership, as in this society we represent leaders as outgoing, bold, and alpha vs soft spoken, quiet, and mellow. But that’s a cliché. Introversion is not a barrier to leadership. Organizations need introvert leaders for their specific skills.

“We don’t need giant personalities to transform companies. We need leaders who build not their own egos but the institutions they run.” Susan Cain, Quiet.

Introvert or Extrovert, what does it mean?

stimulationIt is how we respond to stimulation. Just like our gender, it is a part of our identity. Extroverts crave a lot of stimulation (being in the spotlight or surrounded by a lot of people…). By contrast introverts feel the most switched on in a quieter environment. About 40% of people are introverts.

Introverts are often wrongly considered as ‘shy’. Being shy is being afraid of the judgement of others, which is a personality trait not necessarily linked to introversion.

The power of introvert leaders:

“In a dynamic, unpredictable environment, introverts are often more effective leaders—particularly when workers are proactive, offering ideas for improving the business”. (Harvard Business Review)

Introvert Leaders create a virtuous circle of pro activity

virtuous circle“Introverts are uniquely good at leading initiative-takers. Because of their inclination to listen to others and lack of interest in dominating social situations, introverts are more likely to hear and implement suggestions. Having benefited from the talents of their followers, they are then more likely to motivate them to be even more proactive.”

Introvert Leaders are wiser at decision making

collect informationExtrovert leaders, even with little information in hands, tend to make quick decisions and tend to take risk more recklessly. On the contrary, introvert leaders will first collect more information before making decisions. This is why companies with introvert leaders were less affected by the 2008 financial crisis, having invested their money less precariously.

Quiet Susan Cain_this sheep is orangeQuiet, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

In her book Quiet, Susan Cain gives a thorough analysis of our world dominated by extroverts and pays tribute to soft talents of great leaders like Eleanor Roosevelt, Bill Gates, Rosa Park, Gandhi, Moses… She reminds us not to confuse schmoozing ability with talent. We definitely need more introvert leaders, join the Quiet Revolution!

It is more difficult for introverts to attend networking events as breaking the ice is not a natural skill. If you are an introvert leader, I recommend you to read my recent post 5 tips to break the ice at networking events.

If you liked this post, spread the word, make sure to share it!

On This Sheep is Orange, I regularly write about Women in Business & Leadership. If you want get inspired by female leaders and learn new skills to be remarkable in the workplace, simply enter your email below and follow the blog.

Become Orange, Follow the blog !
Join the community of like-minded Women in Business & Leadership who are receiving the monthly blog newsletter.
This blog is a passion, not a business. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else and you can unsubscribe anytime.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.