The introvert is a fascinating type in business. Many managers are unsure of how to use them effectively: they aren’t front line and center (and in fact aren’t normally comfortable being so) but are often possessed of a quiet, efficient ability to grow, support, and develop whatever division they’re in behind the scenes.
Because of this soft-spoken nature, naturally leadership positions tend to go to the more likely candidate: the extrovert. Unlike the introvert, the extrovert is normally at the forefront of everyone’s minds, and their smooth charisma often charms and dazzles.
More likely than not, however, the introvert that was passed up for that position was likely the better candidate for a leadership role than the extrovert that was chosen.
Why’s that? Read on!
1) They are patient and resolute
With an introvert in the captain’s chair, you can be sure that you have someone that can weather a crisis. They’re naturally used to being ignored or overlooked, and as a result have developed not only the patience to explain their point of view to others but also an ability to weather adversity and rejection. As a result, they are not easily defeated and are willing to take on and grapple with challenging situations that others might not be able to handle for the long haul.
2) They are slow to react
An introvert knows that being impulsive is the worst way to respond. When disaster strikes, often the first thing people look for in a leader is someone to do something immediately- but immediate action often makes the problem worse than it was before.
The introvert keeps their cool in these challenging situations, patiently and calmly assessing their options before they act. This makes sure that they’re picking the ideal course of action that will guide their team through the storm!
3) They are naturally protective
An introvert knows how it feels to be outside of the chosen circle, cut off from support. As a result, they’ll naturally be good leaders and protectors. Anyone under their management will feel comforted and protected, and an introvert will make sure to have a leadership structure that will support and reinforce the people working under them.
4) They think things through
One of the reasons that people lean towards putting extroverts in management positions is, ironically, one of the reasons that they can sometimes steer a company into dire straits- they are often willing to try something without fully considering the consequences, relying on their gut intuition to guide them.
An introvert, however, will normally think things through and be more deliberate. They may take more time to react, but when they do it will be a decision that was well planned. Introvert led companies are often ones with good long-term planning and budget timelines that chart growth through the long-term as opposed to short-term quarterly assessments that can occasionally lack focus.
5) They speak through action
Charisma doesn’t come naturally to introverts, so they’re habitually used to having to prove themselves through deed and not through words. You won’t get any false promises from an introvert- they will get the job done, and done well. That said, however, they are also good at expecting results. Flattery and false praise won’t get you anywhere with them, as they are used to delivering through actions and will expect the same performance from those around them, creating a tighter, more well-knit group.
6) They know when to cede power
Introverts aren’t naturally inclined to positions of power, and so they’re going to be less likely to want to hold on to it instinctively when a better option would be to let someone else take the steering wheel for a little while. When faced with a problem that could be better dealt with by someone else, they’ll normally take the more practical option and let the more experienced or more better equipped person take the reins on that particular task.
7) They are active listeners
Many people are normally listening only to wait until they can speak again. Not so for the introvert- since they naturally are not inclined to seek the limelight, they are well-practiced at listening to what others have to say. In team meetings and even at higher management levels, they will often listen actively and use the suggestions or warnings of others in their plans, making them highly effective at creating solutions that deal with the important matters at hand.
Sometimes the employee that shines brightest or talks the smoothest isn’t always the right choice for the leadership position. Sometimes, though, it’s the one in the back, taking notes quietly and attentively, that will be the best to helm the company or team into its next growth cycle!