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10 Reasons Ambiverts Are Wonderful Leaders

10 Reasons Ambiverts Are Wonderful Leaders

The Ambivert straddles the line perfectly, between extroversion and introversion. A fascinating hybrid of the outward extrovert and inward introvert, they are poised and ready at any given event, and are un-fluffed by any situation that may require a more extroverted, or introverted stance. The advantages to being an ambivert are as numerous as the many lists that make up all the great things about being an introvert, or an extrovert.

However, the difference here being that no one group is dominant in the ambivert; each side compliments the other. There are many extroverted vs introverted warrings going on, so we thought we’d give a nod to the wonderful ambiverts out there who help to keep the peace and remind us we are all simply wonderful!

1. They are intuitive

They are aware of subtle changes in people, tone and environments. Intuitive, like the introvert, the ambivert is well positioned to notice when something is up, but like the extrovert, will offer to discuss any underlying issues with the individuals or groups of people, and work with them to work it out.

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2. They are inspiring

Both introverts and extroverts can see themselves reflected in the ambivert and so are inspired and influenced, rather than turned off, by their attributes. An introvert will turn away from an extroverted leader who is far too brash or loud, or who intimidates them, and the extrovert will find no inspiration in an introverted leader who tends to come slightly unstuck in social situations, or who the extrovert feels is unable to take charge.

3. They are assertive

They are not afraid to speak up, and how. Strong, direct yet respectfully aware whilst commanding that same respect, the ambivert is a true leader in every sense. A perfect mix of confidence, self-assuredness and quiet strength.

4. They liaise like a pro

Different clients and contacts require different approaches in communication. An extrovert may put off an introverted contact if they come on too strong, and the introvert may appear anti-social to an extroverted investor looking for a people-person. Ambiverts are adept at adapting to any situation, and are able to rise to the occasion without having to play out of range.

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5. They don’t fake it

There’s nothing like an introvert being told to act extroverted, or an extrovert constantly being asked to “tone it down” to throw a spanner in the works. An ambivert has the clear advantage here as they can get on with the task at hand without worrying which of their many personalities need to come out and play. They are free to just be and navigate perfectly, the murky waters of prescribed conduct, and have no problem being themselves in all situations. And because they’re not having to pretend to be something they’re not, they are less likely to experience burn out.

6. They delegate according to strength

Ambiverts make excellent managers as they are well aware of the strengths of both personality groups and play to those strengths accordingly, in order to get the best and most efficient results from their workers. Want someone to wine and dine clients all week? The extrovert is your call. Need someone to read and review that new book over the weekend? The introvert is your go to. Everyone’s happy!

7. They wrote the book on networking

Send them into the lions den that is the networking room, and they’ll come back with hundreds of new leads and 100 new confirmed clients for you to work with, and possibly keys to a new yacht! They’ll be the highlight of the room, and when it’s time to wine down and recharge, they’ll know when to bid adieu, and leave the room on a high. Fist pump!

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8. They don’t play favourites

With a balanced personality and a more balanced outlook on life, they show no favouritism to one side, and therefore are fair in their dealings. You won’t get the bully-boss who only picks on the introvert, or the boss who runs a mile from their extroverted employees. They are approachable to all, and not an anomaly. They’re not in the business of asking you to be more “out there” or calling you “anti-social”. They see, and know all too well both sides of the coin.

9. They make excellent peacekeepers

In a world that has gotten far too used to bashing opposing personality types, ambiverts are the cool and calm hippies of the world. They’re all about keeping the peace because they understand that no one personality type is better than the other. They are the mediator, refusing to speak ill about either. To the ambivert, each personality is pure gold and we should just all respect each other and get along!

10. They get you

A confidant, who embraces your personality and encourages you is someone anyone would be glad to follow. There’s no having to explain or convince or apologise with the ambivert. They understand who you are. You’re free to just be, which builds confidence, which in turn makes you a confident and competent worker. And that’s always a good thing.

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Featured photo credit: Luo Ting/Jonathan Kos-Read via imcreator.com

More by this author

Patricia C. Osei-Oppong

Writer, Poet, Marketer

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The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

It’s a depressing adage we’ve all heard time and time again: An increase in technology does not necessarily translate to an increase in productivity.

Put another way by Robert Solow, a Nobel laureate in economics,

“You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”

In other words, just because our computers are getting faster, that doesn’t mean that that we will have an equivalent leap in productivity. In fact, the opposite may be true!

New York Times writer Matt Richel wrote in an article for the paper back in 2008 that stated, “Statistical and anecdotal evidence mounts that the same technology tools that have led to improvements in productivity can be counterproductive if overused.”

There’s a strange paradox when it comes to productivity. Rather than an exponential curve, our productivity will eventually reach a plateau, even with advances in technology.

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So what does that mean for our personal levels of productivity? And what does this mean for our economy as a whole? Here’s what you should know about the productivity paradox, its causes, and what possible solutions we may have to combat it.

What is the productivity paradox?

There is a discrepancy between the investment in IT growth and the national level of productivity and productive output. The term “productivity paradox” became popularized after being used in the title of a 1993 paper by MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson, a Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business.

In his paper, Brynjolfsson argued that while there doesn’t seem to be a direct, measurable correlation between improvements in IT and improvements in output, this might be more of a reflection on how productive output is measured and tracked.[1]

He wrote in his conclusion:

“Intangibles such as better responsiveness to customers and increased coordination with suppliers do not always increase the amount or even intrinsic quality of output, but they do help make sure it arrives at the right time, at the right place, with the right attributes for each customer.

Just as managers look beyond “productivity” for some of the benefits of IT, so must researchers be prepared to look beyond conventional productivity measurement techniques.”

How do we measure productivity anyway?

And this brings up a good point. How exactly is productivity measured?

In the case of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, productivity gain is measured as the percentage change in gross domestic product per hour of labor.

But other publications such as US Today, argue that this is not the best way to track productivity, and instead use something called Total Factor Productivity (TFP). According to US Today, TFP “examines revenue per employee after subtracting productivity improvements that result from increases in capital assets, under the assumption that an investment in modern plants, equipment and technology automatically improves productivity.”[2]

In other words, this method weighs productivity changes by how much improvement there is since the last time productivity stats were gathered.

But if we can’t even agree on the best way to track productivity, then how can we know for certain if we’ve entered the productivity paradox?

Possible causes of the productivity paradox

Brynjolfsson argued that there are four probable causes for the paradox:

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  • Mis-measurement – The gains are real but our current measures miss them.
  • Redistribution – There are private gains, but they come at the expense of other firms and individuals, leaving little net gain.
  • Time lags – The gains take a long time to show up.
  • Mismanagement – There are no gains because of the unusual difficulties in managing IT or information itself.

There seems to be some evidence to support the mis-measurement theory as shown above. Another promising candidate is the time lag, which is supported by the work of Paul David, an economist at Oxford University.

According to an article in The Economist, his research has shown that productivity growth did not accelerate until 40 years after the introduction of electric power in the early 1880s.[3] This was partly because it took until 1920 for at least half of American industrial machinery to be powered by electricity.”

Therefore, he argues, we won’t see major leaps in productivity until both the US and major global powers have all reached at least a 50% penetration rate for computer use. The US only hit that mark a decade ago, and many other countries are far behind that level of growth.

The paradox and the recession

The productivity paradox has another effect on the recession economy. According to Neil Irwin,[4]

“Sky-high productivity has meant that business output has barely declined, making it less necessary to hire back laid-off workers…businesses are producing only 3 percent fewer goods and services than they were at the end of 2007, yet Americans are working nearly 10 percent fewer hours because of a mix of layoffs and cutbacks in the workweek.”

This means that more and more companies are trying to do less with more, and that means squeezing two or three people’s worth of work from a single employee in some cases.

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According to Irwin, “workers, frightened for their job security, squeezed more productivity out of every hour [in 2010].”

Looking forward

A recent article on Slate puts it all into perspective with one succinct observation:

“Perhaps the Internet is just not as revolutionary as we think it is. Sure, people might derive endless pleasure from it—its tendency to improve people’s quality of life is undeniable. And sure, it might have revolutionized how we find, buy, and sell goods and services. But that still does not necessarily mean it is as transformative of an economy as, say, railroads were.”

Still, Brynjolfsson argues that mismeasurement of productivity can really skew the results of people studying the paradox, perhaps more than any other factor.

“Because you and I stopped buying CDs, the music industry has shrunk, according to revenues and GDP. But we’re not listening to less music. There’s more music consumed than before.

On paper, the way GDP is calculated, the music industry is disappearing, but in reality it’s not disappearing. It is disappearing in revenue. It is not disappearing in terms of what you should care about, which is music.”

Perhaps the paradox isn’t a death sentence for our productivity after all. Only time (and perhaps improved measuring techniques) will tell.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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