Why Introverts Make Strong Leaders

BY Kathy Crosett
Featured image for “Why Introverts Make Strong Leaders”

Have you been letting job opportunities slip by because you don’t think you have the right stuff? As an introvert, you might believe that only gregarious individuals, like those with a strong D component based on the DISC theory of human behavior, can truly lead people. Nataly Kelly will tell you to stop selling yourself short.

Emphasize Strengths

Too many potentially good leaders don’t rise to the management ranks because they don’t think they can pull off the assignment successfully. It may help to know that the results of one study found that “publicly traded companies run by extroverts averaged a slightly lower return on assets (2%) than those run by introverts.” That’s strong proof that introverts can and do succeed as leaders. Team members may not notice these kinds of leaders, because introverts don’t spend a lot of time advocating for themselves in an organization.

Introverts, by their nature, often bring the kind of leadership traits that an organization needs. Expect them to be thoughtful and to have considered a problem from every angle. They’re also the leaders who will focus on an ‘inclusive culture.’

Work on Weaknesses

As an introverted leader, it’s important to be aware of what you’re likely to avoid, especially if it’s to the detriment of the organization. It’s easy to be intimidated by silver-​tongued speakers, especially when if your own tongue ties itself it knots when you have to give a presentation. And maybe the thought of having to host a dinner with clients terrifies you. Can there be anything worse than having to schmooze for two hours? 

You can work on these weak spots. Be especially mindful of them as you build your team. Try to hire individuals with traits that complement yours. In that way, you can delegate some of these tasks you don’t enjoy. At the same time, you’ll be helping a team member broaden their experiences and skill set.