It’s merely a trite to emphasise the importance of leadership in the growth of any organization. Leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. Many businesses have a lopsided vision for what a leader should be – outgoing, gregarious and an expert networker. Introversion is seen as a hindrance to leadership. ‘Leadership is not the forte of introverts’ is an appalling myth prevailing in the world of business. Well-known introverted leaders like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Sergey Brin, Jeff Bezos and more on the list have already proven that introverts have what it takes to become successful leaders. Organizations can reap benefits by harnessing the special qualities of introverts in the dynamic business world.
First categorized by Carl Jung in the 1920s, an introvert is most commonly defined as someone who gets his or her energy from alone time rather than socializing like their extrovert counterparts. Introverts are typically introspective, quiet but not necessarily shy, and observant.
Introverts may not be active in a larger group but they have a knack for creating meaningful and deeper connections with the employees and clients in a one on to one setting. The genuine relationship-building helps the leader to implicitly motivate employees to produce better output and earn employee loyalty.
Listening skills are the greatest assets of introverted leaders. A calm, attentive manager creates a comfortable atmosphere for his or her employees to open-up their grievances and provides constructive suggestions. Introverted leaders do not try to dominate any discussions or conversations by bombarding employees with their own opinions and views. Instead, they just set the stage and support employees to come up with their action plans. Creating such a healthy atmosphere will encourage employees to take initiative.
Introverted leaders do not get distracted easily. Since they draw energy from within, they can easily mute the noise around them and focus on their tasks completely. Achieving maximum productivity and higher-level quality is always the goal for introverts and thus never settles for mediocrity. Introverts focus on details and nuances of the tasks. This adds sophistication to the work done.
Problem-solving is the crux of the leadership function. Introverts are less likely to make snap decisions. They take informed decisions after analysing the problem thoroughly and considering every possible solution.
The best leaders are always not the loudest and noticeable ones. The quiet traits of introverts can help build a compassionate and innovative workplace. In 2001, The Campbell Soup Company appointed Douglas Conant as it’s CEO to combat the crisis it was facing. He was not a typical leader. Instead of trying to copy his extroverted colleagues, Conant practised introverted leadership. He led with a style that fit who he was. He made it his mission to acknowledge his employees’ efforts and respect their time. This improved Campbell’s culture and the numbers were fixed. Instead of trying to become an extrovert, one can leverage his or her introvert traits to bear fruit. There is no hard and fast rule for good leadership. Anybody capable of influencing individuals to realise the collective goal of the organization passes the test.