When we think of a successful leader, our minds tend to think of someone who is good at communicating, personable, and lively. These qualities usually coincide with people who tend to be extroverted. In the business world, there is the notion that to be successful, you must be extroverted and be able to sell yourself along with the company. We never expect the introverts to be able to lead effectively. We don’t realize that introverts possess qualities that many extroverts don’t; this can sometimes can make them just as effective at leading. As the author of the book The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength and Quiet Influence, Jennifer Kahnweiler stated, “They just lead with quiet confidence.”
These are some qualities that make introverts great leaders:
- Patient -Introverts think before they act, because they like to be fully prepared before they bring anything to the table. They weigh all their options before jumping to any conclusions. All of their hard work and preparation in whatever they are doing, reduces any anxiety they might have; so you know they’ll make the right decision.
- Imaginative – Introverts have the tendency to always think outside of the box. Extroverts can be just as creative, but when introverts are left alone they can cultivate interesting solutions. They allow themselves to take the time to evaluate the best possible solution to their problem.
- Quiet – Extroverts are known to talk a lot, but that isn’t always the best quality to have as a leader. It is more valuable to be a good listener and respond accurately to the followers. Sometimes is better to sit back and let the group decide where to take the discussion.
- Calm – Introverts always exude the 3 Cs: calm, cool, and collected. This can be a crucial asset in times of a crisis. With the amount of preparation that they do it allows them to remain calm and confident under pressure. These qualities also make them approachable to other people.
- Independent – Introverts embrace solitude, so if you have an introvert as a manager or boss, you usually won’t find them constantly breathing down your neck. Not only do they appreciate their independence, but they’ll also allow you autonomy with your own work.
Forbes Magazine documented that 40-percent of executives have described themselves as being an introvert. Some people who have identified themselves as introverts are Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Charles Schwab, Avon’s CEO Andrea Jung, and Eleanor Roosevelt. This isn’t to say that extroverts don’t make excellent leaders, as well. Sometimes, though, it’s beneficial to embrace introverts as the leader of choice.