People often draw the line straight from friendly, extroverted, loud and bold people to leaders. It just makes sense: they form connections easily, they can communicate their wishes and plans easily, and they simply enjoy being around people. This is noticed in very early days, most likely in school. And since we assume extroverts as natural leaders, we by default exclude introverts as potential leaders.
Here’s why that’s wrong:
Introverts will do it for the cause
If you’re an introvert, you really don’t want to put yourself in the center of attention and be the one everyone goes to for help. However, if you are volunteering to be in a leading position, that means you care about a cause or goal so much that you are ready to take yourself out of your comfort zone to reach it. Introverts will be motivated to focus on the goal and work towards it, unlike extroverts who tend to focus on people and reach the goal by building people up to be ready to reach it. Neither style is completely right or wrong, but different situations require different leadership styles.
They are inquisitive and detail-oriented
If you’re not too interested in people and connections, you are probably interested in other things, and most often to a very high degree of detail. People who are introverted often find a passion or a hobby very early on in life and they commit. They show their interest at a very young age, especially if they are included in different centers and courses like Trinity GESE, where their curiosity is nourished and allowed to grow. This same skill is what helps them be great leaders and spot things before they happen. While an extroverted leader might be too consumed by the people they are helping lead, an introverted one will focus on the problem that is at hand and look for ways to solve it.
They make stronger connections
There are two ways at looking at human connections we think in terms of “useful”: one is a connection with a lot of people in different fields with whom we have that “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” mentality, and the other is a really deep, meaningful connection with a small number of people. You can guess which ones an introvert would from, and it can actually be a much better approach than the extroverted way because people won’t want to help you just because you will owe them one, but because they genuinely care about you or your cause. More than that, they might, then, be your megaphone, preaching about how you make deep connections with people, and so more people will know about the work you do without you having to ever interact with them.
Also Read: 15 Leadership Skills for Career Success
No such thing as a quick-fix
Extroverts are great with thinking on their feet – they will come up with a fix for a problem that is quick and simple to do right now, without too much regard for the future stability of the fix. Introverts, on the other hand, are more akin to chess players, and they will sit and think through a problem to find a thorough, long-lasting solution. This is because of two things: firstly, introverts don’t ever settle for less-than-perfect quality, so the results will always be the best. And secondly, they actually Thave the thicker gray matter, which is where decision-making happens. So, they will commit to a problem until they find the best possible solution and then carry it out.
So why aren’t more introverts in positions of leadership?
There are two sides to this story. Firstly, if you want to be a leader, it’s rarely because you’re recognized for the pure work you do. To be a leader, you have to have leadership skills, which are most often communication and people management, both of which are a lot easier to spot in loud, outgoing extroverts, making them the first choice. But secondly, if you are introverted, you were probably not put in leadership roles as a child and you grow up thinking that you can’t be a good leader.
While both extroverts and introverts can be great leaders, we need to remember that extroverts have a much easier time fighting for themselves and that seat, so next time you see an introvert student trying to get to a leadership role – give them the time and listen to their strategy, even if they’re not the loudest person in the room.
About Author: Isabel is a consultant by day and a blogger by night and Mom to twins 24/7. Area of interest includes education, well being, mental health, as well as self-improvement. Considered by her peers a lifetime educator, whose passion is love for education and science.
Social links: https://twitter.com/Isabel_FWilliam