Can introverts be great leaders? The answer is, of course, YES. But 67% of introverts I’ve surveyed they are at a disadvantage in business!
A year ago (on Jan 8th 2019) Amazon became the world’s most valuable public company, why is this relevant? I think that being the leader of the world’s most valuable companies means you’re doing something right. Jeff Bezos is (I’m told) an introvert. One of the things he’s done in his company is to hold meetings in written form, which helps him better focus on ideas. How can you get meetings adapted where you work, to better suit introverts and get better results from greater diversity of thinking?
What are the qualities of a good leader?
It’s been a debate for many years, but I generally get answers like:
- Share an inspiring common vision
- Drive towards achieving it
- Motivate and inspire the team
- Understands the detail and the big picture
None of these answers requires extroverts, so why does the leadership myth survive? Have we started to persuade ourselves that extroverts are needed for everything and designed work around them?
Can introverts be great leaders?
It’s not just Jeff Bezos; other introvert leaders include:
- Bill Gates: I guess we could say the leader of Microsoft has done something right!
- Mark Zuckerberg: There maybe those of us who don’t like Facebook, but it’s hard to say he’s not a successful leader.
- Larry Page: Another big tech company, Larry Page is known for his democratic leadership and promoting the ideas of employees. He’s using introvert strengths to help his leadership, are you?
What are introvert strengths?
Leadership doesn’t require extroversion, although it will need you to utilise your strengths which will probably include:
- Great listener
- Great facilitator
- Great at detail
- Comfortable with silence
- Deep thinker
What strengths would you add and how will you use them to be better at what you do, whilst being a great introvert leader?