A person who is an introvert cannot be an effective leader. This myth assumes that leadership requires having a boisterous, outgoing personality. Yes, we may know some leaders who are extroverts, but that does not mean that someone who is more introspective can’t lead others to resounding success.
Are you an introvert? Does the responsibility of being a leader in your company sometimes grate against your temperament?
There are key characteristics of being an introvert that may be working against you as CEO or owner of your company. These tendencies appear to get in the way of doing what a leader needs to do. For example, maybe you hate to “mingle” in social settings, you get irritated with “small talk” and you wish that you didn’t have to preside over meetings. Does this make you a poor leader? Not at all.
A true leader does not have to be the warrior galloping out in front of his troops. He (or she) does not have to always be the center of attention. He does not even need to be the “face” of his company. He only needs to be the “heart.”
Introverts naturally possess many of the strengths and qualities of a leader: They think before acting, are able to see the strengths in others, and can come up with solutions that no one else has thought of. These assets build up a company from the inside out. If introverts apply their natural strengths to each daily challenge and find creative ways to detour around their supposed weaknesses, they will be very effective leaders.
Being an introvert, you are probably very observant, thoughtful and self-aware. You don’t need a committee to decide how to handle problems. You are extremely capable of figuring things out on your own. In fact, you prefer to work alone. Solitude lets you concentrate on details and draw your own conclusions. You would rather wait until you are sure you are right about an issue than voice your opinion before you have had time to weigh all the options. Extroverts, in contrast, are much quicker to express their views and may jump the gun before all the data is in.
As an introvert, you prefer to keep your emotions private, so, in social situations, you come across as reserved, quiet, or even shy. But you aren’t shy. You just are more comfortable one-on-one or in small groups of people you know. In fact, you love getting into deep discussions with people whose opinions you value. Striking up meaningless conversations with strangers? Not so much.