When people think of a great leader, many people tend to think of the stereotypical alpha male or female that can almost effortlessly take over the top job in a company and use their charisma and influence to lead the company to great success quickly.
In accomplishing the many things that are required of a leader, it should be no surprise that the direct, in-your-face approach of extroverted leaders tends to be very effective because of all the constant engagement with those directly involved in carrying out the company’s mission. Overall, this tends to be the kind of leader that companies seek out to fill their top positions.
Conversely, unless their reputations preceded them, executives with introverted personalities that do not exude the same intensity and excitement as the alphas may face a greater challenge persuading and influencing management and labor alike. There’s the idea that someone who isn’t very outgoing isn’t as capable of leading others. With this stigma attached to an introverted leader, this can create a major challenge to win the hearts of the people. Fortunately, there are ways to be effective ultimately.
Author Jennifer Kahnweiler says that introverts need to be mindful to not drift off into too much solitude and neglect building important relationships within the company. They need to keep others informed about what they are doing. In an article written by Forbes Coaches Council, they suggest that introverts leverage their strengths, such as listening and observing, as well as making sure that one’s performance indicates to others that not being extroverted is not a weakness or shortcoming.
Introverts tend to like more personal conversations with people one to one or in small groups rather than addressing a large audience. This can work greatly to their advantage. Victoria Fine writes that regardless of people’s personalities, important meetings ought to have only a small number of people – no more than seven – in her and other experts’ opinions. Due to how we are “wired,” having large groups of people meeting together greatly reduces the effectiveness of the meeting.
In conclusion, introverts face unique challenges, but if the executive truly possesses great leadership qualities, he or she will eventually get everyone on board to help fulfill the company’s vision.