How Introverts Can Be Great Leaders

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Here’s an interesting guest post perspective on the strengths that introverts might not realize they have.  And, yes, I’m sure some of the extroverts in our audience might have some counterarguments to share. This post is written by Jacob Shriar, Growth Manager at Officevibe.

I’ll start by saying that I’m an introvert.

Often, I avoided getting into a sales or manager role simply because I thought there was no way that I could handle it. I was convinced that you needed to have that “used car salesman” attitude to be good, and I definitely didn’t have that.

What I’ve learned recently is that you don’t need to be an extrovert to be good in a leadership role. In fact, there are a lot of qualities about introverts that make them great leaders.

1. Introverts Plan Properly

One of the CEO’s that I respect the most is a close family member. One of the things I’ve always admired about him is that every company-wide speech he gives is always made up on the spot. I never understood how he was able to do that. I require much more planning and preparation.

An introverted leader will be good at documenting and preparing employees for whatever they need help with.

2. Introverts Are Attentive

I’ve noticed this about introverts, and it’s something I really respect. When someone is talking to us introverts, they have our full attention.

That’s really just common courtesy, but I find introverts are much better at this. They also usually pick up on social cues and body language much better. Also, the fact that introverts are naturally quiet makes them great listeners.

3. Introverts Push Themselves Harder

Introverts would make great leaders for this reason. It might be because of our insecurity, but we’re very hard on ourselves, and we’re never satisfied, so we always push ourselves to be better and better.

This striving for excellence is a great quality for any leader to have.

4. Introverts Are Less Risky

I don’t know if you would consider this to be a good thing or a bad thing, but personally I think it’s good.

Again, I’m an introvert, so obviously my opinion is biased. I think this is an important quality for a leader to have. I believe that companies should have a vision, and a goal, and stay laser-focused on that goal. That means not deviating and trying new, risky things.

Of course, I know the expression, “No risk, no reward,” but I think it’s important to stay level headed. These days there is a much higher acceptance of failure, and you hear tech startups say, “Fail fast, fail often” all the time. I think we would all fail a little less by staying on course and being patient.

5. Introverts Are Analytical

Introverts are very interested in data and want to measure every last thing. This is an amazing quality to have as a leader because you can’t improve what you can’t measure.

Too many extroverted leaders are over-confident and rely on their gut instincts. This is a terrible way to make decisions.

It can be something as simple as focusing on new employee engagement strategies or planning the next office getaway. An introverted leader is more likely to plan thoroughly for any task with the goal of doing things the right way and analyzing it to make sure it’s the right move.

6. Introverts Are Rational

My favorite thing about introverts is that I feel smarter when I am talking to one. They might be quiet and reserved, but when they do speak, listen up. They’re saying some of the smartest things you’ve ever heard in your life.

One small thing that I notice that introverts do more than extroverts is the pause that they take before answering a question. It’s very subtle, but introverts usually don’t blurt out the first thing that comes to mind. They really take their time when answering a question. If they take a pause before answering, that’s a good sign that a person is really intelligent.

If you’re an introvert worried about being a good leader, I’d recommend reading The Power Of Introverts Manifesto.

Not sure if you’re an introvert or extrovert? Take this quiz here.

 

Your turn: Do you think introverts make good leaders? Let me know in the comments. If you're an extrovert, what's quality makes you stand out? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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