Introvert OR Extrovert: Who Makes the BETTER LEADER?


Extroverts are the best leaders. You have to be a “people person” if you want to lead. Most leaders are extroverts. How many times have you heard these or similar statements? Are such statements true? Maybe, maybe not.

Introverts Can Shine as Leaders, Too

According to The Hidden Advantages of Quiet Bosses, an HBR article penned by Adam Grant, Francesca Gino, and David A. Hoffman, “In a dynamic, unpredictable environment, introverts are often more effective leaders – particularly when workers are proactive, offering ideas for improving the business.”

Indeed, introverts may possess certain qualities that can make them shine as outstanding leaders. LinkedIn writer Rahul Sinha cites countless admired and successful people who are introverts: Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Michael Jordan, Charles Schwab, Larry Page, Steve Wozniak, J.K. Rowling and Steven Spielberg.

5 Introverted Qualities that Make for Effective Leadership

In fact, there are people you’re working with right now who are introverts – and you don’t even realize it. If you’re an introvert yourself, here are aIntrovert OR Extrovert: Who Makes the BETTER LEADER? few qualities that are likely to make you shine as a leader:

  1. You’re a good listener. There are tons of articles out there on why listening is integral to effective leadership, and for good reason: listening well is the foundation for good communication. Here are two articles from Forbes: one on how listening can make you a better leader, and one on why leaders need to “shut up and listen.”
  2. You don’t mind being alone. Some of us get our energy from being around people; others recharge their batteries when they spend time alone. Time spent in solitude gives you a chance to reflect, reason, create new visions for a project, or just rejuvenate so you’re operating at your very best.
  3. You give thoughtful consideration to things. You’re a “wizard of preparation”. According to Sinha, “Thoughtfulness, consideration, and thorough preparation are principles every leader should use. But for introverts, these vital principles come inherently.”
  4. You dig deeper. Here’s another powerful quote about introverts from Sinha, “They are attracted to significant discussions, not insignificant talk.” This also ties into #1 above, listening. Many introverts dig deep: they ask the right questions – and listen well to the response they receive in return.
  5. You’re the King (or Queen!) of cool. Ok, so I threw that in there for some added humor…But really, many of us think of introverts as more reserved and calm with a relaxed approach, which is also excellent for bringing out the best in the people you lead.

Interested in learning more about extraversion and introversion? Check out the Myers & Briggs Foundation.

Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert – or somewhere in between – sign up to receive my FREE Weekly Bold Move for some fresh insights and inspiration delivered right to your inbox.


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