When we think of great leadership, we usually think of an outgoing individual who commands attention when they enter a room. But introverted leadership can be just as effective. Individuals who are quiet and sometimes even awkward in a crowd may not fit the usual mold of successful leadership, but they bring their own strengths. In my work as a leadership coach, I work with many introverted leaders. Once they learn to tap into their strengths, they’re some of the most effective leaders. Here are some of the reasons why:
Introverted leaders gain strength outside the spotlight. The extrovert-introvert divide isn’t about personality—it’s defined by how people gain energy. Extroverts are energized by the presence of other people. Introverts, on the other hand get energy from solitude. The ability to recharge with time alone is a great strength for introverts. It makes them well suited to focus on the important work of research, planning, and decision making.
Introverted leaders know how to command attention. When an introverted leader needs to deliver presence, they can leverage inner traits that give them quiet but strong confidence. A perfect example is an introverted leader I coach. He’s usually very quiet, but when he does speak, his words carry a deep-seated conviction that inspires people to genuinely admire, respect and follow him.
Introverted leaders have gifts of perception and depth. Extroverted leaders are animated and expressive. Just as they draw energy from the external world, they expend it on others. Their charm and enthusiasm naturally draw people to them, but it’s sometimes hard for them to move beyond the superficial. Introverted leaders, though, don’t need to be demonstrative or talkative. They observe, analyze and give themselves the space to understand what’s happening before they respond. They’re naturally deep thinkers, and that benefits their leadership greatly.
Introverted leaders tend to have a quiet strength that inspires the people around them. They’re proof that you don’t need to be gregarious to be a great leader—you just have to know what you’re doing.
Even if you don’t think of yourself as an introvert, you likely have some tendencies in that direction. Most people fall somewhere between the two extremes—one quality or the other may be dominant, but both are present. So wherever you fall on the scale, you can find ways to cultivate the strengths of introversion in your leadership.
Lead from within: Introverts are especially effective leaders for an organization that has a creative and energetic workforce, because they draw out that energy even more.
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After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
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* This article was originally published here