Have You Ever Noticed?
Often, it is the loudest person in the workplace that is noticed the most, but have you ever observed a quiet leader? Someone who is quiet and more introverted but has the capacity to stop the room through their observations, insight, and feedback?
What Quiet Leaders Do Differently?
Quiet more introverted leaders have the ability to:
- Sit back and observe the dynamics of people in the room.
- Be better listeners and observers, often noticing what is not being said.
- See what is going on in the room and connect it with what is going on outside the room.
- Lead through example and encouragement, often encouraging less outgoing team members to provide their input.
Karl Moore and Willing Li, Harvard Business Review, "A recent study that assessed the performance of more than 900 CEOs found that people with introverted personalities exceeded the expectations of their investors more often than extroverted ones. Further studies show that while highly extroverted people are 25% more likely to land top jobs, introverts often make better leaders."
What Might Be Surprising to you?
Did you know that some of the most successful people in history have been quiet, introverted leaders? People such as Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Steven Spielberg, JK Rowling, Sir Issac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Michael Jordan to name a few.
“Quietly Powerful leaders have a powerful presence because they are present. They are mindful and not distracted, so they listen intently and speak only when necessary. They connect deeply, often one-to-one, and many have mentor and collegial relationships that have lasted decades. They are present because they are comfortable with themselves, and they have learned to manage their anxieties and focus their attention on others.” Megumi Miki
We Are All So Different
After being in a room full of people it can leave an introvert feeling exhausted and yearning for time alone to collect their thoughts, create solutions and a need to “recharge their batteries." Whereas an extrovert will thrive from being around others immersed in conversation, problem solving and sharing ideas - leaving them to feel reenergized.
Introverts also tend to be wary of self-promoting and as a consequence it is easy for their efforts to go unnoticed. Whereas extroverts are more comfortable sharing their achievements making it more obvious the work they have done. We are all so different to each other, and considering these differences can help to create a positive and harmonious workplace where everyone feels valued and their accomplishments are appreciated.
In the past extroverted leaders have been noticed more and praised more but as time goes on many organizations are realizing the potential of quiet, introverted leaders. Quiet leaders are often less focused on their egos, they are great listeners and can be more persistent in ensuring tasks and projects are completed.
"We don't need giant personalities to transform companies. We need leaders who build not their own egos but the institutions they run."
If you are an introvert, you can successfully pursue a leadership role but remember to share the progress you make and to speak up if you have an idea or feedback, don't keep it to yourself. Be courageous, shine and speak up.
2. Moore, Karl., Li, Willing., “Can Introverts Thrive in “Extroverted” Careers?” Harvard Business Review, January 28, 2021
3. Miki, Megumi., “Quietly Powerful: How Your Quiet Nature Is Your Hidden Leadership Strength.”
4. Cain, Susan., “Quiet. The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.”