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7 Reasons Why Introverts Can Be Great Leaders

7 Reasons Why Introverts Can Be Great Leaders

Most introverts have no intention to lead. But if they are put in the role to lead, they can step up and be great leaders too. Successful leaders such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Barack Obama, Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, J.K. Rowling, and Marissa Mayer are all introverts.

They show that great leaders don’t have to be outspoken or outgoing. They can be quiet and reserved too.

As an introvert, I used to not want to be in the spotlight and used to think that I couldn’t lead others well. But after given opportunities to lead others at work and in college, I realized that I can be a great leader too. Just that I have to lead differently from my extroverted peers and use my quiet personality to my advantage.

Here are seven reasons why introverts can be great leaders too.

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1. They listen more than they speak.

Great leaders listen. They listen to what their team and customers have to say. They find out the problems their team and customers are facing and create solutions to help them. Introverts can be great leaders because they listen more than they speak. They have the patience to listen and collect valuable information from other speakers while they are waiting for their turn to speak.

Introverts also love meaningful conversations. They are more likely to find out underlying problems and important feedback from their team and customers when they communicate with them.

2. They are great followers.

Great leaders are great followers too. They have empathy towards their followers and understand what their followers are going through. They know what is important to their followers and understand how to serve them. Introverts can be great leaders because they don’t mind taking a step back and let their followers lead. Instead of telling their followers what to do and controlling what they do, they let their followers suggest ideas and engage in the decision-making process. This is crucial because someone working at the ground level may have more detailed knowledge than someone looking from the top level at the big picture.

Plus, most introverts have a lot of experience following. They know what makes a good leader or not. When it is their time to lead, they know what to do and what not to do to be effective leaders.

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3. They influence people through action.

Great leaders are good at influencing and persuading others. To get support, they have to sell their vision and make others believe their vision is possible. Some introverts think that they can’t be great leaders because they aren’t good at garnering support and persuading others with words. The truth is introverts don’t have to persuade others with words. They can influence others through their action.

Introverts may not talk much but when they do talk, their words count. Introverts don’t think out loud. They think carefully before they speak. When they say they want to do something, they have already thought it through and are committed to taking action. Being consistent in their words and action helps them gain respect and trust from their peers and supporters. Therefore, they are more likely to have influence over other people.

4. They make time to think.

Great leaders make good decisions and delegate well. They think long-term and outline a clear path for their people to follow.

Introverts can be great leaders because they make time to think. They are mostly independent and not afraid of solitude. Being alone gives introverts a lot of time to reflect deeply, formulate plans and generate creative ideas. They provide clear, strategic direction for their followers and delegate work according to their strengths.

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5. They make followers feel safe.

Great leaders make their followers feel safe and secure. They remove any doubts their followers have and align everyone to a shared purpose. Followers believe and trust their vision.

Introverts can be great leaders because their plans are well thought of. They are well prepared and they process information well. They go deep to the core of the issue and look at different angles to a problem. Followers are most likely to feel safe acting accordingly to their plans.

6. They are less reactive.

Great leaders exude confidence. They aren’t impulsive in taking action. They focus on their overall goals and people.

Introverts can be great leaders because they don’t response immediately. They reflect on what other people say before they react. They keep their cool during high-stress moments. So they are less likely to make impulsive and risky action that will harm their people or organization.

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7. They are strong and resilient.

Great leaders have resilience. When challenges arise, they are able to bounce back quickly and resolve the crises.

Introverts can be great leaders because they are used to being misunderstood. Due to their quiet nature and their need for time alone, most introverts grew up being misunderstood as anti-social or don’t like people. Being misunderstood from a young age helps them develop resilience. So they are not easily discouraged or swayed by naysayers. And they are able to handle challenging situations with persistence.

A Note to All Introverts Who Doubt They Can Be Great Leaders

Be yourself. Be proud of your personality. Being introverted is one of the best gifts you can have. Use it well and be the great leader you can become!

Featured photo credit: Bill Gates / Thomas Hawk via flickr.com

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Yong Kang Chan

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Published on April 16, 2019

How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

When was the last time you did something for yourself?

Whether it was deciding to treat yourself with a little something or travel for some R&R, how often do you practice self-care?

Well, as good as above sounds, there’s a common misconception that many of us have about self-care: that it’s only about indulgence and enjoyment.

However, self-care goes far beyond indulgence. It’s actually about respecting your mind and body, understanding its limits, and being able to take care of every part of yourself, in a holistic way.

And, you really don’t have to go to extreme measures or do anything specific–like meditating or following a plant based diet–in order to practice self-care. You just have to make sure that what you’re doing is in your best interests.

So how can you make that happen?

Below are a few proven methods that will help you become a better version of you. Follow through with these regularly and you’ll be well on your way to living your very best life.

Listen to Yourself

The bulk of self-care is knowing yourself.

This means knowing your body’s limitations, and being in tune with your feelings, emotions and thoughts. So it’s important, then, to know who you are and what you want to do in life, in order to truly say that you know yourself. 

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What is your purpose?

Have you ever thought about this question?

Your purpose doesn’t have to remain the same throughout your life. What you found a purpose in at age 19 would likely be different at age 49.

In your current situation, think about the different roles that you have – as a working professional, a spouse, a partner, a parent, etc.

Do you feel like you are fulfilling your purpose through any of these roles?

All you have to do is ensure that what you’re chasing is meaningful to you; this will bring focus and motivation as you strive to achieve your goals.

If you have your purpose defined, then that’s awesome! You know what drives you and why.

But, if you don’t feel like you have a purpose nailed down, it’s good to start by asking why.

For example, why are you working in your particular job or industry? If the reason is vague or unclear, then your motivational energy will be the same. In which case, you may find yourself not having a direction for where you’re headed in life.

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If you’d like to learn more about finding your purpose, then I recommend you check out this article:

How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

Seek Out Continuous Education

Now, this may seem less common when you think of self-care, but lifelong learning is incredibly useful and an important component of taking care of yourself.

It’s Super Practical

Lifelong learning is extremely practical these days and does not require as much effort as it may have in the past. Long gone are the days when you could only find information on something by visiting a library. In this day of the internet, anything you can imagine is at your fingertips.

You don’t need to physically go to a learning institution to learn. You can watch Youtube videos to learn new skills, take online courses to earn a degree, and scroll through an endless amount of articles, books and journals from reputable news and informative sites.

When you’re constantly pushing yourself to learn and take up new things, your mental health also improves. Research shows that an active and engaged mind is responsible for diminishing age-related memory loss and improves overall cognitive abilities.

Your Confidence Will Skyrocket

You’ll also have improved self worth as it teaches you to step outside of your comfort zone, which will undoubtedly improve your confidence.

You’ll also connect better with others by expanding your knowledge base. Learning exposes you to a multitude of new ideas and perspectives that you may have otherwise never considered. This also increases your adaptability. Whether it’s at work or just wanting to adapt to society, your peers, and loved ones, life long learning prepares you to take on new challenges.

You’ll Be More Desired in the Job Market

Another obvious reason for continuous education, is that your employability will also increase.

With the ever changing economy, and huge influences from technology, social media, science etc., job descriptions today are moving targets. Assignments and roles change so quickly in response to changing business demands, it becomes a Herculean task to keep a job description database current.

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In years past, stability was a characteristic of the world of work. Procedures, information, jobs, and organizations were established and provided continuity. Education was completed in the first 14 to 22 years of one’s life, followed by a long career occasionally punctuated by short-term job training.

Today, however, jobs, companies, and technology are disappearing and being created simultaneously. To remain current and maintain a competitive advantage in the human capital marketplace, an individual is challenged to continually learn.

People return to school at every age to enrich their skills and knowledge for their current positions. Some even prepare themselves for new jobs or career changes, moving them forward into new opportunities and technology.

We can be assured that we will be challenged to continue to learn new tasks and information throughout our lives. Successful careers belong to flexible, curious learners who are prepared for opportunities because they know themselves and where they make their best contribution. As Peter Drucker, the father of modern management stated,

“Knowledge is choice.”

Lifelong learning also increases social awareness and perspective. To genuinely understand and empathize with others, increase social awareness, and foster strong interpersonal relationships, it’s important to seek out new perspectives. Enhancing the skills that positively impact emotional intelligence can bring even greater happiness and success, both personally and at work; and, this is all part of self-care.

Improve Your Habits (Both at Work and at Home)

Now, the last piece of advice I want to introduce to your self-care regimen, is to improve your habits.

Habits define who you are, and are built up over time. You are what you eat is a great example of this. If you make it a habit to eat foods that nourish your body, rather than make your body feel bad, then you will be much healthier overall.

Good Habits Allow You to Reach Your Goals

Since habits dictate your days and nights, such as waking up every morning to get to work before a certain time, or brushing your teeth before bedtime every night, they play a major role in whether we do or do not reach our goals.

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When you form habits that allow you to progress towards your goals, you’re automatically living a purposeful day, everyday.

Habits Make Your Time a Priority

How do you spend your free time? Do you opt to lounge on the couch watching Netflix passively, or do you engage in activities that support your purpose in life?

It’s natural to waste a lot of time during the day, but fostering good habits will make you set a pattern for how you spend your time and give you the choice of what you choose to spend your time on. By improving your habits, you’ll find that you can be a LOT more productive. When you create good habits, you become more efficient with your time and a lot less is wasted.

This in essence creates an overall positive influence on your life, allowing you to treat your mind and body well, which is why improving your habits are so important to self-care.

Your Well Being Comes First

We live in such a fast-paced society, where we are often so caught up in our work, families, maintaining our social lives, our studies and everything in between. It’s an understatement to say that life can get a little overwhelming at times.

If you’ve ever watched the safety video onboard a plane, you’ll know that they always ask for a parent or adult to put on the safety mask first, before tending to the child. This may sound selfish, but the fact is that if you truly want to ensure the child’s safety, then your safety needs to come first so that you can protect and care for the child without complications from your end.

The same goes for self-care. We need to ensure that our well being is priority, so that we can be the best for the people around us.

Listening to yourself, practicing lifelong learning and improving your habits are steps that you can take to ensure you’re constantly in the best state of mind, alongside the indulgence and rest that you reward yourself with.

Featured photo credit: Photo by Raychan on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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