There is a common misconception that you need to be an extrovert to be a great leader. To be more direct, there can be a stigma that introverts cannot be inspirational leaders.
I plan to challenge that perception and burst that bubble in today's letter.
Many of the common attributes of introverts are things that people are looking for in leaders.
It is true that one of the challenges for an introvert is that they can go unnoticed. So, when it comes time for annual talent reviews, succession planning, and promotion they can be forgotten or missed. However, if we look deeper and more closely, we will start to see the leadership attributes, qualities, and behaviours we seek in the more reserved and introverted teams.
Being introverted doesn't have to mean being a loner.
Being an introvert means socializing can be exhausting for you. Maybe you're not nervous or shy at all. In fact, many introverts like to socialize, as long as it makes sense. Some people are even mistaken for introverts or extroverts. But because it will eventually wear you out, you may want to avoid extra social time as much as possible.
Introverts are just that kind of people. Such a person feels more at home in a large group. Introverts are often mistaken for shy or insecure loners who fear being with other people, but that's not the case. Introverts get their energy from being alone and socializing. Lacking an understanding of the nuances between introversion and shyness, most people avoid using the words "leader" and "introvert" in the same sentence.
Being an introverted leader can be successful.
Contrary to what many people think, introverts with these three unique skills can make great leaders. Being more introverted and quiet is beneficial at work. Introverted leaders listen to their employees, clients, and customers. They also think deeply about team goals and challenges and develop thoughtful solutions and ideas. Introverts in leadership roles often let others shine and recognize their own achievements. How has introverted leadership affected your career?
There are many rumors about introverts and their leadership qualities. While these may seem harmless at first, learning introverted leadership can be beneficial to everyone from directors to managers who want to help employees reach their full potential across their organization. A guide for everyone. Here are some misconceptions worth reconsidering.
Introverted leaders need to develop unique skills.
Another important leadership skill associated with introversion is information processing. Decision-making becomes difficult when organizational problems are more complex. Faced with tough decisions, strong leaders must be able to analyse large volumes of relevant data and determine the most prudent course of action.
In this environment, your employees develop the confidence to tackle complex projects and generate ideas to solve complex problems. This approach allows you to support their great work without feeling the pressure to lead and be inspiring like an extrovert.
So, what is the call to action here? For executive leaders looking at succession planning and promotion, look deeper than the surface. Take an honest look at the attributes you are looking for in a leader and assess everyone (Introverts and Extroverts) through that lens.
For introverts that are leaders or aspiring leaders, learn to play to your strengths. Yes, there are moments in time when you may need to step out of your comfort zone, present in front of a group, or do a little self-promotion to ensure you are seen. However, for the most part, you will be best served by showing up as your authentic self and allowing your superpowers to emerge.
Always remember that everyone wants to feel included, to be seen, to be heard, to feel like they matter, and to have opportunities to learn and grow. By holding space for people to flourish, practicing being the last to speak, and deeply listening to your team, you will create theaves environment and culture most crave.