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5 Reasons Why Introverts Make Great Business Leaders

5 Reasons Why Introverts Make Great Business Leaders

It is commonly received wisdom that extroverts must make better business leaders.  After all, extroverts are known for being outgoing and gregarious. They seem to make social connections effortlessly. They aren’t known for hiding their light under a bushel.

It seems only natural that they would make good business leaders. They aren’t shy when it comes to making their thoughts known and they seem to have the charisma to get people to follow them. You shouldn’t discount introverts though.

Introverts are commonly thought of as shy and socially awkward. It seems like they are low energy and uninspiring at the first glance.  How could someone like that compete in the boisterous arena of business in today’s climate? Networking is critical. Charm and glib talk seem to rule the day.

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Surely introverts are ill equipped to be good business leaders. Not so fast! Surprisingly, the received wisdom has lately been turned on its head by evidence that shows that introverts actually make superior leaders. In this article we will explore five reasons why introverts are superior to extroverts as business leaders.

  1. Introverts are Humbler than Extroverts

Studies have shown that the trait of humility is more prevalent in introverts than extroverts. While it may not seem like humility is a trait that we associate with business leaders, it is actually quite a good trait for managing people.  Why? Humility is associated with the desire to be of service to others.

That desire inspires business leaders to help their subordinates develop their talents and skills. That is good news for business. You see, when workers feel appreciated they want to continue working for the company. When workers are given the opportunity to grow and develop new skills they provide more value to their employer.

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  1. Introverts Make More Meaningful Connections

It might be true that extroverts are more likely to socialize and make professional connections  They hand out more business cards and get more business cards in return but is that really better  Introverts might be a bit more difficult to get to know and slower to open up to people but, when they do, it is perhaps more meaningful.

Those connections can be even more valuable than a lot casual connections  It is about quality and not quantity.

  1. Introverts Internalize Information Better

What do both introverts and extroverts do when in a group situation? Typically, you will see extroverts at the center of attention (or trying to be) talking a lot. Where is the introvert? Usually they are the one in the corner, quietly observing the proceedings and reserving commentary for when they really have something to say.

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This can make a big difference.  Introverts observe more and internalize more. That can be a big advantage. Observing more means that you understand people better. Internalizing more means that you have a deeper understanding of the facts that you hear when talking to people.

  1. Introverts Often Have Steadier Personalities

Extroverts tend to have big personalities. This translates into having more charm and being outgoing and friendly. It also translates into having bigger tempers. Introverts, on the other hand, often tend to have calmer and more even temperaments. This can be a big advantage for leaders.

People who are introverts might be accused of being dull and low energy but they can also be seen as calm and in control of themselves. That self-control helps them to stay in control in the middle of a crisis and make rational decisions. After all, as the old saying goes, slow and steady wins the race.

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  1. Good Listeners Make Good Leaders

It might seem like the purpose of leaders is to give orders and do all the talking but listening is just as important. Good listeners understand people better. They are more open to other points of view. Extroverts often spend a lot of time extolling what their own views are but less time listening to other people talk.

Extroverted leaders often chafe when they have to lead people who show initiative because they often try to do everything themselves. Introverted leaders are more open to subordinates who show initiative. That is something that gives introverts a big advantage as leaders. They are very effective when they have a team of independent people who are good at their jobs.

To conclude Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, put it this way, “Most inventors and engineers I have met are like me, they’re shy and they live in their heads.They work best when they are alone, and can control an invention’s design. I’m going to give you some advice that might be hard to take: work alone. You’re going to be able to design revolutionary products and features.”

The myth that introverts are less effective leaders than their extroverted counterparts is just that. Leverage your personality strengths to lead your business, no matter what side of the spectrum you fall on.

More by this author

Andreas Jones

Business Growth Strategist, Consultant and Coach.

7 Bio Hacks For Increased Productivity and High Performance 5 Problems Everyone Has With Leadership and How To Solve Them Warning: These 9 Mistakes Will Destroy Your Leadership Effectiveness 7 Traits of Highly Effective Leaders In The 21st Century 5 Reasons Why Introverts Make Great Business Leaders

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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