Why Introverts Make Great Leaders

Did you know that Nelson Mandela was an introvert?

And he was a powerful leader that brought about considerable change.

Yes, Nelson Mandela led the emancipation of South Africa from white minority rule and served as South Africa’s first black president. The world revered him and he became an international symbol of equality and dignity.

And he was from all accounts an introvert.

Yes, Mandela even described himself as a “serious-minded introvert”.    Yet, he is a shining example of a powerful and productive leader.

Leadership is not all about talking and issuing commands.  In fact, research shows many times over that introverts are more effective leaders in complex and unpredictable settings.   Introverts are more often than not, uniquely suited to navigate situations that extroverts can not and are many times critical to a company’s long-term success.

Do you consider yourself an introvert?

4 characteristics of introverts that prove valuable in leadership roles:

  1. Motivated by productivity, not ambition – an introvert is more often satisfied by maintaining or increasing the company’s productivity and high-quality of work.
  2. Build meaningful connections – introverts may not openly converse in large groups, but they are great at developing deeper, more meaning conversations in a one-on-one setting.
  3. Don’t get easily distracted – introverts are better able to tune out noise and concentrate. 
  4. Solve problems with more thought and consideration than in haste – introverts are less likely to make snap decisions and they are more likely to consider the overall goal and quality of the “product” or the effects of the decision.

Be proud of your thought process and look at how your specific characteristics can benefit a project, team, company or client. Know your worth and never be embarrassed to market your skills that will help the other person.

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