Three Reasons Introverts Can Be Good Leaders
Our society has too narrow an idea of what a leader looks like
Introverts hold a quiet power in the world. Unlike extroverts, who gather energy by being around others, introverts typically prefer more intentional and quiet moments. But, just as it would be inaccurate to characterize all extroverts as outgoing, all introverts are not shy. And just because someone identifies as an introvert doesn’t mean they’re not a good leader, either.
In fact, introverts can possess qualities that make them especially effective leaders, but our society doesn’t always recognize this. In Susan Cain’s book, Quiet; The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, she discusses how American culture minimizes personality traits of introverts, and equates extroversion with success. “We live with a value system that I call the Extrovert Ideal—the omnipresent belief that the ideal self is gregarious, alpha and comfortable in the spotlight,” she writes.
As Cain told Fast Company in 2013, she once believed that, in order to be an effective public speaker and a person people look to for advice, she “[had] to be a super dynamic person.” But after developing more prowess in public speaking, and putting in time to practice, she realized introverts can evolve to meet Extrovert Ideals. Because of their thoughtful nature, introverts have the ability to adapt and grow into a role.
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