Introverts: The best leaders for proactive employees

Posted on October 14, 2010 | Author: Carmen Nobel | View 663

We often expect corporate executives to conform to certain extroverted CEO stereotypes: C for charismatic, E for effusive, and O for outgoing.


But then there are the introverted CEOs-—calm, eremitic, and observant — who prefer flying below the radar.


You've never heard of them because they don't like the spotlight. Both types of leaders, the extraverts and the introverts, can be equally successful or ineffectual, but with different groups of employees.


A new study finds that extraverted leaders actually can be a liability for a company's performance, especially if the followers are extraverts, too.


In short, new ideas can't blossom into profitable projects if everyone in the room is contributing ideas, and the leader is busy being outgoing to listen to or act upon them.
An introverted leader, on the other hand, is more likely to listen to and process the ideas of an eager team.

But if an introverted leader is managing a bunch of passive followers, then a staff meeting may start to resemble a Quaker meeting: lots of contemplation but hardly any talk.


To that end, a team of passive followers benefits from an extraverted leader....
Unfortunately, companies that promote only extraverts are natural breeding grounds for the aforementioned ineffectual situations in which extraverts report to extraverts.


Fortunately, the research also shows that it's possible not only to change prevailing attitudes about leadership, but to influence leadership behaviour as well.

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