There are a few misconceptions about leadership, especially when it comes to defining the type of personality that makes a good leader. Many people would argue that the best leaders are those with powerful, extroverted personalities. They would reason that leaders need to be assertive and confrontational. While these traits might make for good leaders in some environments, there’s no actual evidence that proves that extroverted leaders are the best leaders. In many cases, the introverts make the most effective leaders, and the reasons for this are deeply linked with the typical extrovert personality traits.
Let’s explore these traits and the specific behaviors that make introverts effective leaders in modern organizations.
Introverts are Highly Organized and Prepared
Some leaders have to train themselves to be organized enough to function at a high level. Introverts have an advantage in this respect, because they are inherently good at preparing for situations and remaining organized. This means that an introverted leader would perform necessary research before a business meeting, or they would learn about the history and operations of a potential business partner or service provider. The result is that they’re always ready to take the most value from any situation or interaction, and transfer the benefit to their teams.
Closely related to this organizational ability, is the ability to remain present in the moment. Extroverted leaders might become flustered and lose their flow when presented with new information or situations that they haven’t had time to analyze. Because introverts come prepared, they are more ready to listen and engage.
Introverts Invest Time in Bettering Themselves
Introverted personality types are often highly introspective. This means that they have the ability to identify their own flaws internally. This is a valuable trait, because it means that introverted leaders are often looking at their skillset, and how to improve it. Doing so is not a drain for these leaders, so while they reflect, they also decompress and restore their energy and motivation.
Introverts Often Display a Cool Temperament
Extroverted leaders are sometimes known as hotheads, because of a tendency to react loudly and emotionally to conflict, setbacks, and other events. Introverts, regardless of what they might actually be thinking or feeling, are more likely to react with a calm and collected demeanor.
This can be hugely beneficial for their organization, because it means that emotional reactions won’t disrupt progress or cause conflict with other leaders or team members. Despite whatever crisis is being experienced, the cool reaction of an introvert can help to calm their teams and ensure that confidence is maintained.
The Deeper Focus of an Introvert Allows for Better Problem Solving
It is sometimes said that the loudest people end up saying the least. When considering that statement in the context of leadership, it might be better to say that the loudest people have the least to offer. Although introverts appear quieter, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t looking deeply into issues and coming up with solutions to existing problems. Introverts prefer to wait until they have analyzed all of the evidence, possible outcomes, and the best course of action. An introverted leader might take longer to provide direction for their team, but this usually means that the plan will be more logical with a better chance of a desirable outcome.
From these four traits alone, it should become fairly evident that introverts do make effective leaders, and there is an argument to be made that they are even more suitable for leadership than their extroverted counterparts. In business, or within any structured group, it is important that introverts are given the chance to let their leadership qualities shine.