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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 26 2012: Interesting that I am reading this topic here after having read an article in HBR on "How Introverts Can Become Better Innovators"
    Francesca Gino from HBS writes, "But compared to extroverts, introverts may be more open to others' creative ideas. Adam Grant of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, Dave Hofmann of the University of North Carolina, and I conducted some research that shed light on this possibility. We asked managers and employees at 130 franchises of a U.S. pizza-delivery company to fill out a survey, and we obtained data on each store's profitability. Managers answered questions about their own personality. Other employees answered questions about their attempts to introduce improvements in job procedures. We found that in stores where employees tried to proactively introduce their creative ideas for improvements, introverted managers led stores to higher profits than more extroverted ones did. In franchises where employees stayed quiet and didn't offer their ideas, extroverted managers led stores to higher profits than more introverted managers did."

    Full article here: http://blogs.hbr.org/hbsfaculty/2012/04/how-introverts-can-become-bett.html

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