Despite the widespread opinion that leaders need to be loud and pushy to get people to do what needs to be done, there are other ways to motivate the troops. You, as an introvert, possess nearly all of them. Surprised?
Leading requires you to know the people you are leading. What are their needs and priorities? What motivates them? What are they excited about? To answer these questions, you need to strike up conversations with them at their work stations as well as converse with them in more relaxed social settings, like a picnic or office birthday party. You are comfortable talking to individuals or a few people at a time, so this environment is ideal for prompting your people to open up to you and say what they are really thinking. Set up and attend casual events and outings for each department or office, so that you can get to know your people a few at a time, and they can get to know you.
Leading means encouraging your people to express their opinions and ideas. You know how hard it is for you to express yourself in certain environments. Your employees may also be hesitant to share their ideas and opinions—especially on the job. Social events like the ones just mentioned are great for getting them to open up and say what they are thinking. You want and need their honesty to make your company run at peak efficiency. To get more specifics, pass out a questionnaire every so often so that they can share how they feel about aspects of operations that they are responsible for. Provide space in the questionnaires for them to write in their ideas for solving specific problems. Gathering details like this will enable you to make informed decisions for the future of your company.
Leading others means inspiring them. As a deep thinker, you are emotionally invested in your company. Your own passion can inspire your workers to excel and to dream right along with you. Leading means sharing what excites you about your company and what it can accomplish with the help of your employees. Let them see your passion every once in a while, so that they can be inspired to share your vision.
Being an introvert does not exclude you from leadership positions. Rather, it challenges you to find ways to let those around you, especially those you are leading, not only to catch your passion, but to discover the logic behind it, so that they can become partners with you as you move your company forward.