Imagine Introverts, then a perfect image of a boy or a girl sitting in a corner, just self-involved in themselves, are formed. But when it comes to leadership, people would say that “Man, it isn’t a joke. How could an introvert lead us?” This myth has pervaded the world for far too long: introverts aren’t cut out to be leaders. There are real-life introverted leaders examples out there that show introverts can be great leaders such as "Bill Gates", "Mark Zuckerberg", and many more.
Human beings are social by nature, and so we associate strong leadership qualities with people who are more extroverted. Besides being confident and engaged, extroverts are also highly competent at bringing people together, and their good judgment is always on display. But if you think introverts aren't equally good--and, in some ways, better--leaders and managers, you've been sorely misled.
“If you’re clever, you can learn to get the benefits of being an introvert.” – Bill Gates
There are some character traits that define introverts and extroverts as two different personalities, and there’s no such deciding factor like who can be the best leader from either.
Extroverts Vs. Introverts
|Recharge by being social||Recharge by spending time alone|
|Enjoy group conversations||Enjoy one-to-one conversations|
|Have more friends but the bonds are less strong||Have fewer friends but with strong bonds|
|Speak More||Listen More|
|Love getting attention||Not interested in attention|
|Get distracted easily||Deep focus for a long time|
|Get energy from interaction in the outside world||Get energy from inside themselves|
|Real-world is the outer world of people and things||Real-world is the inner world of ideas, understanding, and meaning|
|Think out loud, make decisions quickly||Mentally rehearse, before speaking up, and take time to decide|
|Learn by doing, understand life after they have lived it||Learn by observing, live life only when they understand it|
The fact that being an introvert doesn’t mean you’re a loser or socially-awkward but, it just means you need to be alone when others need to be with people.
Leadership is about solving problems and making decisions. You don’t need to be the life of a business party to do either one.
Nobody is a pure introvert or extrovert (most are in-between, or “ambiverts”). But in general, it is estimated that 33%-50% of the population skews introverted. Introverts are just as adept at leading, and in some ways, they have an advantage over their extroverted counterparts. Here are some of the myriad leadership characteristics of introverts that are often overlooked.
How Introverts Can Be Great Leaders?
1. Motivated By Productivity, Not Ambition
The myth that prevailed is that they are not as motivated to succeed as more socially-driven people seem to be. But truth to this misconception is, that they’re simply motivated by different factors, and they measure success by different metrics. The introverted brain is wired differently in which its reward systems are triggered by different stimuli. Instead of recognition and professional advancement, an introverted leader gains more satisfaction from maintaining the team's productivity and high-quality work.
2. Listen When Others Speak And People Listen When They Speak
The ability to pay attention to what others are saying is one of the key attributes of a good leader. The introvert quietly observes the group, listens to every person’s contribution, and will only speak when they have something meaningful to say.
But, an extrovert will speak out loud which is making them the centre of attraction. To speak funnily, there is a difference of thought-cloud, in extroverts, it comes out of the mouth while in introverts it first comes in mind.
It is said that silence is powerful. Since introverts take long to contribute to a discussion when they eventually talk, their speech is so powerful that it impacts significantly on people and this affords them a positive perception. This is mainly because their contributions are always thoroughly thought out and well developed hence valuable to the group.
3. Introverts Are Humble
Humility is not a quality you will find in many leaders. But it is what has pushed many introverts up the chain of authority. It helps them in managing people and makes them want to serve other people no matter their level. Generally, it is observed that a team works more effectively if the leader treats everyone with love and is humble to everyone. It builds a great team that is an asset to the company.
When you are humble, you can welcome new ideas and different suggestions without feeling threatened. They advocate for leaders to assist their team in achieving their goals too. Humility enables introverts to succeed in business and life because they can acknowledge mistakes and accept limitations.
4. Introverts Make Meaningful Connections
I don’t know how much it makes sense but people with a lesser group of people they tend to make more meaningful connections. And all I can think of is that introverts carry this pro point in their bag if compared to extroverts. Extroverts are known for being social and associate quickly with any person in a conference room. On the other hand, introverts can be mistakenly judged to be disconnected from other people or just unable to make personal connections.
This is not true. It is just not easy for them to establish any relationship. Instead, they focus on quality and productivity, thus rendering the process of making connections slow but meaningful. They will take time to open up to someone. But once they do, they establish deep relationships that are always personally and professionally rewarding.
5. Introverts Are Problem-Solver
Problem-solving is the crux of all good leadership, and according to research, introverts typically have thicker grey matter in the prefrontal cortex, which is the area of the brain where abstract thinking and decision making happens. One of the key traits also reflexes to this is that in spite of getting distracted easily they tend to solve the problem more thoroughly.
And because quality work is always the goal for introverts, they don't settle for mediocrity. For example, an introverted leader will be less likely to approve a project if other team members have objections or misgivings. The best leaders aren't always the loudest and most noticeable ones, and the idea that introverts can't make the cut is a dangerously misleading one.
When faced with a problem, an introvert will persist until they get a solution. After all, the ability to solve problems is a bonus trait for any entrepreneur.
6. Introverts Make Decisions With Certainty
Let’s just doing it and making sure to do it, are like two poles on a rod a task. Sometimes extroverts would try to just do it, but that doesn’t go well when you’re in a business field. By making sure of I, doesn’t mean that they are afraid of taking risks, but it means when they take a chance, they would want to be sure of the right approach to do so. Introverts don’t jump to conclusions.
They do not make decisions with hast. They take their time. They think about an idea thoroughly, weigh every option and angle before they act. Great leaders are great decision-makers. It is this ability to contemplate that propels introverts to high heights.
7. Introverts Are Good communicators
It’s easy to misinterpret an introvert’s internal processing as disinterest. But in reality, most introverts are just methodical thinkers. They speak less, doesn’t mean that they are bad at it, but before coming to a conclusion they think before they speak. And, I think that’s a great job to do it before you’re actually thinking to lead someone. Introverted brain-mind works in a manner that they spend a lot of time going over scenarios in their head before actually saying or doing something.
This way of communicating can actually be beneficial in a leadership capacity. Research has shown that introverts use more concrete, precise language when describing things. They may take longer to contribute, but when they do speak up, they make sure their contributions are well-developed and valuable.
In the business world, some of the most successful founders, inventors, investors, and technologists are introverts, including the likes of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Mark Zuckerberg. And you know what, that’s a lot of billionaires and I think introverts can do well what society of presumed of them. But introverts have unique personality traits that can empower them to be exceptional leaders if properly leveraged.
It is not a must for you to be the loudest and highly social person to make a good leader. An introvert’s ability to think before you act can be the strength that lands you a leadership role. Introverts are as good as an extrovert, if not better. Your personal strengths are the key to making a great leader.
If you are an introvert, do not try too hard to be an extrovert. Just be yourself and rely on your strengths.
Do introverts make great leaders?
Introverts are uniquely suited to navigate situations that extroverts can't, and that quiet leadership is often critical to a company's long-term success. Introverts are just as adept at leading, and in some ways, they have an advantage over their extroverted counterparts.
Why is mark Zuckerberg a good leader?
Zuckerberg is considered a leader with intellectual ability because he has built one of the largest and successful global social networks by being a college dropout. Passion: Zuckerberg is very passionate about what he does and has always been fascinated by computers and connecting people.
Can introverts be leaders?
Introverts make great leaders—but lack confidence in their capabilities. Introverts need to be more confident about their own leadership capability. Introverts often don't think they will enjoy leadership roles and so are less likely to go for the top job, new research finds.