Society has churned out singular narratives of the life of an introvert. It deems them to be quiet, awkward and generally people who shy away from any form of attention. They are equally thought to find roles in leadership as those that will arouse negatives emotions in them. Such perceptions and many others have left the whole population believing that leading roles are best left of extroverts. They are charismatic, confident, persuasive and more outgoing.
Rephrasing the narrative: what makes an exceptional leader?
Attention tends to get directed toward people with extroverted tendencies. That is primarily because their personalities tend to do that, as their inter-personal skills do come more effortlessly. However, this singer narrative causes us to overlook other virtual characteristics of exceptional leaders. It is not merely about the information shared; it is about the quality of the same.
An extroverted leader at a business insurance firm could be an excellent communicator and struggle with sound strategies. An introverted leader could result in memos instead, but formulate strategies that propel the firm to new heights. Introverts tend to be deep thinkers and are deemed to be better listeners.
The conversations should, therefore, center on the qualities that an organization or entity is looking in a hire. If they are looking for a marketer or the face of the Public Relations department, it makes sense to have someone extroverted. However, if they are looking for a strategist, someone with a track record of analytical thinking and self-starters is better. A fitting example is HR managers; they might not be extroverted, but their ability to foster deep relationships with others and trust is what most look at.
Introverts can learn to exhibit extroverted behaviors
Most people would find it odd to hear of someone famous that is introverted. If the lives of Bill Gates and Isaac Newton are anything to go by, it shows that leaders aren’t born, they are created. These, and many other famed people, exhibit traits of brilliance. Public speaking and enhancing interpersonal relationships are something someone can always learn, but some qualities are specific in introverts.
What matters is the level of one’s self-esteem in their abilities to perform in a given role. Harvard Business Review research and other reputable publications stand by this narrative. It is the quiet and reflective leadership qualities of a person that makes them better suited for fast-paced and dynamic contexts. Meaning is equally a driving factor to any introverts life. In the workplace, it translates to productivity and making connections that foster growth geared for the greater good.