What makes introverts great leaders? What do Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayer, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Warren Buffet, Andrea Jung, Steven Spielberg, and Abraham Lincoln have in common? Apart from the fact that they’re all renowned for contributions to their fields, they’re all introvert leaders.
Does that surprise you? Though you are an introvert, it doesn’t mean you can’t rise to the pinnacle of your industry, manage a large team, and build something that’s beyond yourself. As much as the world applauds and takes notice of extroverts, the world is slowly awakening to the benefits of introvert leadership. According to some reports, over 40 percent of executives describe themselves as introverts. That’s an astounding number considering that introverts were barely considered leadership-material a few years ago. But that perception is changing today, for the following reasons.
Introvert leaders listen
Compared to their counterparts, introvert leaders take time to speak, but listen deeply. They rarely are the first to speak in a room full of people and when they speak it is only to say what is necessary. This works well especially in team scenarios where leadership must be intentional in listening to their team.
Introvert leaders are rarely threatened when others are proactive and have a lot to say. Rather, they listen carefully and are known to be more receptive to suggestions than their counterparts. This encourages an open atmosphere where innovation can thrive.
Introvert leaders build strong teams where each one feels heard and understood. They can easily lead domineering individuals and even those who are timid and introverted like themselves. Their calming presence makes them more approachable and they are the ‘voice of reason’ during intense discussions.
Introvert leaders are deliberate and thoughtful
Introvert leaders are known to weigh the pros and cons of each word they utter and each decision they make more than their counterparts. They rarely react to something they’ve just heard, having mastered the art of tempering their reactions until they’ve had time to think things through. They are never hasty. They’re known to be deliberate and thoughtful in their responses and their decisions. Introverts are also known to spend quality time alone, which often results in better decisions and ideas.
Introvert leaders are also exceedingly observant and notice details beyond what the person is telling them. Introverts are known to make connections to seemingly unconnected things by simply observing and listening carefully. They’ve probably noticed behaviour patterns that have gone unnoticed by others. While this may not lead them to make better decisions, it leads them to make more deliberate ones.
Introvert leaders have deeper connections
Introverts rarely exist on the surface. Introvert leaders are likely to have fewer yet deeper connections with people. When introverts network, they don’t flit from one person to the next. That takes up too much of their energy. They are likely to spend the entire evening in the company of a small group of individuals which results in getting to know them better and forging deeper friendships that last for years. Introverts, by listening well, also build rock-solid connections that are cemented in mutual admiration and respect for each other.
Introvert leaders are inclusive
No person is overlooked by an introvert leader. They are known to draw the best from all members of their team, no matter if they are extroverts or introverts. With extroverts, they temper their exuberance and keep them grounded. With introverts, they draw them out and elicit participation, often to the benefit of the business because introverts only speak when they have really good ideas. Introvert leaders are also more accepting of others’ differences because they know how that feels. This helps iron out many crinkles in their team dynamics that often derail a team’s productivity and positions the team to be focussed on the goals that matter.
Introvert leaders are creative
The ability to think deep helps introverts to be creative too. They observe the nature, people and patterns and apply them to leadership challenges they face and come up with creative solutions.
We have explored 5 reasons why introverts make great leaders.
In conclusion, introvert leaders tend to be strong planners and motivated by long-term goals rather than immediate rewards. Introvert leaders are also motivated by productivity and seldom by ambition. Introverts are known to be highly creative and as a result, make wonderful creative leaders who see solutions in places where others don’t and provide abstract solutions where others can’t. So, embrace your introvert self and learn to leverage the unique traits that make you a better leader.
Author: Johncey George (Coach Johncey, www.coachjohncey.com) is an International Coach Federation certified leadership and life coach, and also a Health and Fitness Mindset Coach, with a corporate leadership experience of over 2 decades. Johncey also coaches introverts to become successful leaders.
The details of Coach Johncey Introvert Coaching Programs are available here: https://coachjohncey.com/leadership-coaching-for-introverts/