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Adrian Malpass

Business Developer (Emotionally Intelligent), The Experience Group

TEDCRED 500+

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Do introverts make better leaders?

Part of what I do is involved in developing emotionally intelligent businesses, leaders and teams.

Having recently seen Susan Cain's video on TED.com on 'The Power of Introverts' and listened to her in a recent radio interview here in the UK, I am increasingly finding my mind occupied by wondering about any link between being an introvert and being a successful leader.

My experience tells me that introverts quite possibly, or even probably, make better leaders than 'extroverts'.

What are your thoughts?

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  • Apr 6 2012: As an introvert myself and from my past experience I have been regarded as a decent-to-good leader. Perhaps, what would lack the most would be the communication matter, as mentioned by Salim, as well as in the human-relationship matter; however, I do believe that introverts communicate efficiently but restricting their communication to exactly what they need, want and barely anything more.
    For example, when I need a colleague to fill a report, I am more likely to make my request in 3-5 words (taking into consideration my mood and my relation with the person), which may sound "robotic" but not exactly rude - I call it a different way to express myself.
    All the projects under my leadership, both individual or in group (which I don't really like, as Susan Cain proved to be common) have been successful - and even some school projects were a massive success (which would not be possible without the special contribution of every member). I am very organized, very detailed and an annoyingly perfection-seeker, as well as very careful regarding human resources, time, motivation and all other issues present.

    To finish up, from my own experience, whether being an introvert or an extrovert does not determine whether we are good leaders or not. My dad is the most annoying-extrovert kind of person, but I have learned a lot with him, and learned a lot with me (for example, that the rarest the compliments, the more special and motivating they become - but they should exist, in the right time and in the right place), despite having very conflictual points with him. He worked in a banking institution for over 25 and was regarded as an excellent leader. There are many traits needed to a good leader, extroverts and introverts just have different leadership and managerial styles, along with different POVs, reactions and ways of thinking.
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      Apr 12 2012: "I do believe that introverts communicate efficiently but restricting their communication to exactly what they need, want and barely anything more."

      With this you put it down to the pure essence. Bravo!
      I am the same (except for the perfection-seeking). ^^

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