Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Making the case for introverted leaders

If you remember the Myers-Briggs personality types, one of the categories is How people focus their attention or get their energy (Extrovert or Introvert). Personally, I've always tested slightly on the "E" side of this personality indicator, although somewhat toward the middle. I'm neither strongly Extrovert or Introvert, but I tend towards Extrovert.

Perhaps you have taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator at some point in your career. If you are like the trend, most leaders tend towards the "E" side, and most technology folks trend to the "I" side. But that doesn't mean that all leaders are Extrovert or all technology folks are Introvert. We are just people, and as such we are all different and contribute in our own ways.

On this topic, Jessica Stillman writes at Inc about 7 Reasons Introverts Make Great Leaders. Stillman shares these aspects about Introverts that help them in leadership:

  1. They're better listeners
  2. They're better prepared
  3. They go deep
  4. They don't mind solitude
  5. They keep their cool
  6. They don't settle
  7. They write more

Jon Rennie via his LinkedIn post expands on Stillman's 7 points, and asks Is it Time for the Introverted Leader? Citing Jim Collins in his book Good to Great, Rennie argues the CEOs of successful companies are not the charismatic, outgoing types but had quiet, almost shy, personalities. In other words, these successful CEOs that made the leap from being good companies to ones that outpaced the market were demonstrably Introvert, not Extrovert.

These leaders demonstrate personal humility and professional will. Rennie concludes Introverted leaders come equipped with significant leadership advantages and, if combined with a deep relentless will to succeed, they can lead companies to remarkable transformations.

If you consider yourself an Introvert or borderline-Introvert, and wish to take the step into a leadership role, free yourself and use your personality type to your strength.
image: One Way Stock

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