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Adrian Malpass

Business Developer (Emotionally Intelligent), The Experience Group

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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 8 2012: I agree with you Linda but in education they make managers principals and directors not always leaders. The vision is the key and I would like to add that the leader not only holds the vision but should have the skill to impart the vision to the team and others and help them see where they fit within the vision without themselves feeling threatened. Do you agree?
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      Apr 9 2012: I absolutely agree. But sometimes it needs to be metered. Sometimes if you give too much of the big picture it can be overwhelming. I am not sure principles and directors are the true leaders. They seem to be more middle management. But I do not understand education at that level so I may be wrong.
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        Apr 9 2012: In my district they treat the managers as the leaders and teachers are treated as the lowest of the food chain. Even custodians are given more respect than teachers. The leaders come and go if you are talking about superintendents. We are a stepping stone district they leave little districts and move on to higher paying jobs. I teach in an independent study school and they start off any meetings with our staff (all 6 of us) with a threat before we have even been able to introduce the topic. I also lead the school site council and the principal tries to run the meetings and if not her the secretary tries to control it. I must constantly remind them that I am the president of the council and they are parts of the team but not the people responsible for making sure it is run according to the law. It is just the way it is in this district and these are the type of people they promote. It is sometimes a conflict to get things done correctly. I try always to stay positive and cordial but sometimes it takes a lot of effort LOL. We rarely get the big picture and when I do search for it we are reminded that we cannot talk with the directors as there is a military style top down structure in place and we are to follow it. Less leadership and more command and control. That is why I am so big on knowing the big picture so I can explain it to parents and others who ask.

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