How to Become a Great Leader Even if You’re an Introvert
Though it may not seem like it, based on the stereotypes seen in the movies and television, not all leaders are outspoken, bigger-than-life individuals. Operating with swagger, boldly barking out orders, and bossing people around may come second nature to a Drill Sergeant, but these qualities don’t mean much in the overall world of effective leadership. Yes, you can become a great leader – even if you’re an introvert. I’ve worked with all sorts of leaders throughout my Coast Guard career. Some are verbose, self-confident senior leaders who own any room they walk into, and others are unassuming, fly-under-the-radar types. From one extreme to the other, they all have the capacity to be effective leaders. But I’ve yet to encounter a person that we couldn’t develop into a better executive leader – even the most introverted individuals. That’s because true leadership springs from within. It’s a quality – a talent – a learned skill that can be improved under the guidance of a qualified executive coach.
Here are some of the innate qualities that introverts bring to the table:
By their nature, introverts are both reflective and self-aware. They’re thoughtful and tend to keep their emotions in check with ease. They’re not ego-driven, nor do they seek the glory associated with individual accolades for their behavior and decisions. And that makes them vulnerable. Not vulnerable in a sense that they embody weakness – but vulnerable in their humbleness, modesty, and empathetic nature. They have the courage to be themselves while recognizing the value of others and their contributions. People pick up on that, they appreciate it, and they’re naturally attracted to the charisma of a self-assured leader. That’s why I’ll coach that vulnerability is a necessity.
They’re Great Listeners
Introverts never feel the need to be the first one to speak up in a room. They’re naturally good listeners, preferring to weigh decisions after quiet, observant, and intuitive thinking. This trait leads to the development of authoritative knowledge. And knowledge is power, which, in turn, leads to superior decision-making skills. And superior decision-making skill is indicative of exceptional executive leadership.
They Lead by Example
Introverted leaders tend to share in a company’s success and accomplishments, avoiding individual credit and praise in favor of recognizing the collaborative effort of the entire team. They’re the type to hire, then step back and allow top talent to perform. They don’t ask others to do what they themselves would avoid. Leadership such as this inspires a workforce. Employees feel valued, heard, and recognized. It inspires confidence, trust, and ultimately – unbreakable loyalty. When a company operates under these principles, even with an introverted leader, they’ve developed and nurtured the right corporate culture.
Intelligent Leadership Executive Coaching can make you a better leader, regardless of your personality type. Both extroverts and introverts bring their own unique challenges to the practice of improvement, but being the latter does not disqualify you from becoming a better leader. In fact, you may even have an advantage.
Scott Johnson is a master certified coach with Intelligent Leadership Executive Coaching (ILEC), the world’s No. 1 executive coaching platform dedicated to growing tomorrow’s leaders through organizational transformation. In assessing and transforming company cultures, Scott works with organizations of all sizes – from Fortune 1000 organizations to small to mid-sized global entrepreneurial companies. He uses a proven blueprint and philosophy designed to build strong, vibrant organizations. If you truly want to become a better leader that others want to follow, or if your company is ready to reach peak performance, then reach out to Scott for an introductory discovery call.