Introverts: It’s The Quiet Ones That Make Great Business Leaders

battle-testedIt is commonly received wisdom that extroverts must make better business leaders. After all, extroverts are known for being outgoing and gregarious. They seem to make social connections effortlessly. They aren’t known for hiding their light under a bushel. It seems only natural that they would make good business leaders. They aren’t shy when it comes to making their thoughts know and they seem to have the charisma to get people to follow them. You shouldn’t discount introverts though.

Introverts are commonly thought of as shy and socially awkward. It seems like they are low energy and uninspiring at first glance. How could someone like that compete in the boisterous arena of business in today’s climate? Networking is critical. Charm and glib talk seem to rule the day. Surely introverts are ill-equipped to be good business leaders. Not so fast! Surprisingly, the received wisdom has lately been turned on its head by evidence that shows that introverts actually make superior leaders. In this article we will explore five reasons why introverts are superior to extroverts as business leaders.

  1. Introverts are Humbler than Extroverts.

Studies have shown that the trait of humility is more prevalent in introverts than extroverts. While it may not seem like humility is a trait that we associate with business leaders it is actually quite a good trait for managing people. Why? Humility is associated with the desire to be of service to others. That desire inspires business leaders to help their subordinates develop their talents and skills. That is good news for business. You see, when workers feel appreciated they want to continue working for the company. When workers are given the opportunity to grow and develop new skills they provide more value to their employer.

  1. Introverts Make More Meaningful Connections.

It might be true that extroverts are more likely to socialize and make professional connections. They hand out more business cards and get more business cards in return but is that really better? Introverts might be a bit more difficult to get to know and slower to open up to people but, when they do, it is perhaps more meaningful. Those connections can be even more valuable than a lot casual connections. It is about quality and not quantity.

  1. Introverts Internalize Information Better.

What do both introverts and extroverts do when in a group situation? Typically, you will see extroverts at the center of attention (or trying to be) talking a lot. Where is the introvert? Usually they are the one in the corner, quietly observing the proceedings and reserving commentary for when they really have something to say. This can make a big difference. Introverts observe more and internalize more. That can be a big advantage. Observing more means that you understand people better. Internalizing more means that you have a deeper understanding of the facts that you hear when talking to people.

  1. Introverts Often Have Steadier Personalities.

Extroverts tend to have big personalities. This translates into having more charm and being outgoing and friendly. It also translates into having bigger tempers. Introverts, on the other hand, often tend to have calmer and more even temperaments. This can be a big advantage for leaders. People who are introverts might be accused of being dull and low energy but they can also be seen as calm and in control of themselves. That self-control helps them to stay in control in the middle of a crisis and make rational decisions. After all, as the old saying goes, slow and steady wins the race.

  1. Good Listeners Make Good Leaders.

It might seem like the purpose of leaders is to give orders and do all the talking but listening is just as important. Good listeners understand people better. They are more open to other points of view. Extroverts often spend a lot of time extolling what their own views are but less time listening to other people talk. Extroverted leaders often chafe when they have to lead people who show initiative because they often try to do everything themselves. Introverted leaders are more open to subordinates who show initiative. That is something that gives introverts a big advantage as leaders. They are very effective when they have a team of independent people who are good at their jobs.

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Andreas Joneshttps://battletestedleadership.com/
ANDREAS is the Founder of Combat Business Coaching, #1 Bestselling author of Business Leader Combat, marketing strategist, business growth expert, advisor, consultant and army combat veteran. Andreas works with small and medium-sized businesses and help them build meaningful businesses so that they can have more profit, fans and freedom. Service in the US Army forged Andreas’s character. It tested him, tested his endurance, faith, and internal fortitude. He describes it as “a trial by fire” and remains profoundly grateful for it. When he finally left the Army he did so with an astute understanding of self-ownership, implementing a vision, and the value in establishing trust and reputation. Jones applied all that he had learned serving his country to a series of jobs, including that of a VP at Sun Trust Bank. Each of his positions have endowed him with the type of knowledge required to start his own business and to provide a workable schematic for others to follow. Andreas has taken his hard-won Army lessons into the world of business, continuing to learn new skills and insight. Each fresh challenge, project or position has helped him grow into the individual he is today.
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Chris Pehura
Chris Pehura

Good read. I see the ideal leader as being able to shift from between introvert and extrovert behaviors and yet stay consistent to their core personality. There is a time to one-up on someone. There is a time to listen. There is a time for swagger. And at all times there is a core personality and core message about who we are that bleeds through everything we do.

Andreas Jones
Andreas Jones

Great points Chris. Thanks for adding to conversation

Chris Pehura

I’ve been in three meetings where extroverts put down introverts because the extroverts claimed the introverts were “dragging their feet” regarding discussions and decision making, when really the introverts were making sure all the bases were covered. In each meeting, no matter what the extroverts did, the introverts refused to be rushed into something without knowing the most basic facts about it. During those meetings I was amazed how angry the extroverts were and how they played out that anger after the meeting.

I agree introverts make great leaders, but they need at least a little extrovert in them to not get pushed around and make sure the right thing is being done.

Larry Tyler

Truly a great Article. I have always been impress more by the quiet leaders.

Kaye Bewley

Thank goodness! Someone has spoken up for the humble folk who make connections rather than break them through their own vain ambition. You raise some good points. However, I do see that you make the connection between a ‘balanced’ personality, rather than being one (intro) or the other (extro). There is a need for people to be able to communicate with all types of people and while an extrovert will less able to understand the ‘quiet’ persons in the company environment, an introvert won’t be able to ‘stand up’ for them. Yes, a person who straddles both with confidence and ‘wisdom to know the difference’ is the best person to lead the pack. Thank you for raising the topic. Interesting. All the best, Kaye

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