Who is the best leader, an introvert or an extrovert? In today’s digital age with celebrity entrepreneurship (Gary Vaynerchuk, Kevin O’Leary, the Kardashians) at an all-time high, it is easy to consider extroverts to be the most promising entrepreneurs. Introverted leaders are often misunderstood and undervalued in our mostly extroverted workplaces and cultures. Their lack of seeking attention is often misconstrued as lack of ambition; lack of ability to connect with people; or lack of being able to influence and lead others. There has been much debate of late in academic and business management circles about the best personality type for leadership: extroversion or introversion.
Traditionally, extroverts have been considered the most successful leaders. However, current thinking is that introverts can be just as competent as extroverts in leadership roles. In fact, some of the world’s top business leaders are introverts -think Bill Gates, Larry Page, Steve Wozniak, Katharine Graham, and even Warren Buffett. If you’re an introvert, you already know the world is geared toward extroverts.
According to Psychology Today, between 50-74 percent of the population are extroverts. Even our earliest experiences teach us that we need to be extroverted to get noticed; for instance, which students typically get the most attention in school? Not the quiet, mild-mannered kid sitting the back row, that’s for sure. The same holds true in the “grown-up” world.
Extroverts thrive when they’re around people and activity, and are quick to share their thoughts and opinions on a topic. Introverts, on the other hand, often prefer to be around people in short spurts, and tend to carefully consider all angles of an issue before giving their thoughts or opinions. Which personality type do you think is most comfortable in networking events, business meetings, and large social get-togethers? You got it. During this 15-minute talk, we will discuss the aspects of how to succeed and thrive given this unique temperament. I will share my personal story of entering entrepreneurship as an introverted leader and the strategies I used to follow my own authentic path and thrive.