When you picture a person with leadership qualities, you most likely see an out-going, boisterous, larger-than-life individual who makes his presence felt wherever he goes. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with these types of leaders, it’s important not to discount those leaders who are more reserved in nature, but still manage to accomplish great tasks. The quiet introvert has many great leadership qualities, including:
1. They are natural analysts
While extroverts are the ones always attempting to steal the spotlight, introverts are content to sit back and watch situations as they unfold. Think of them as the omniscient narrators of a story: they see everything objectively, and because of this, can see from a variety of perspectives. In doing so, they’re able to weigh the pros and cons of any decision extremely well.
2. They manage uncertainty well
As I just mentioned, introverts tend to analyze situations ad nauseam. Although you might think this causes them to hesitate much more than would be considered product, it also means they don’t end up shooting from the hip and choosing whatever action first comes to mind.
They also stick with problems when they don’t initially work out for the best, rather than scrap the project and leave it all behind. Leaders need to be persistent, and introverts have the ability to work through any mistakes they may have made in order to find a successful path.
3. They listen
When a meeting is called, extroverts usually spend most of the time talking, and not enough time listening. Even when they’re silent, they’re usually just waiting for their next turn to speak. Introverts, on the other hand, pay attention to every word that is said at all times. They thrive on hearing other people’s perspectives and learning about their past experiences. In doing so, they’re able to take many different pieces of information into consideration when debating which direction to take the group.
4. They speak seldom, but deliberately
This is not to say that introverts don’t talk at all; they definitely do. But they aren’t the type of people who talk just to hear their own voice. When they open their mouths, it should be a cue for everyone else to get quiet, because they’re going to say something worth hearing. More often than not, people will listen to introverts when they speak, since it happens so infrequently. This gives them the opportunity to know their voice is being heard, no matter how little they say.
5. They’re humble
Introverts are full of humility. They never look to take credit for a great idea, and are never really offended when criticism comes their way. As a leader, it’s important to share accomplishments with the group, rather than boast about all the great things you as an individual did to make things happen.
And there will certainly be times that those under you disagree with your ideas or decisions. Instead of taking it personally, learn from what your team has to say. Sometimes, the difference between being a boss and being a leader is your ability to let others have a voice.
6. They work well alone
Although being a leader obviously requires you to work as a team, you’ll also have moments where you let your team collaborate on a project while you close your office doors to get major tasks accomplished. Introverts are, of course, able to spend long periods of time on their own, which allows them to focus on important tasks until they complete them. Even while crunching numbers and working under deadlines, as long as an introvert can find a quiet place to work alone, he’ll be completely at peace.
Featured photo credit: Close Up of The Thinker / Brian Hillegas via farm1.staticflickr.com