Can an Introvert Lead?
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Can an Introvert Lead?

In a world of extroverts, can an introvert really be a leader?

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Can an Introvert Lead?
Brooke Lark

Being an introvert in leadership roles can be a tad intimidating. Leadership means managing people, lots of meetings, and very little alone time: an introvert's worst nightmare, right? Well, it sort of is.

Contrary to popular belief, being an introvert doesn't mean that you want to spend all of your time alone or with limited contact with large groups of people (though some may enjoy that, they don't accurately represent the majority).

Being an introvert means that you rest and relax when you are alone and able to unplug from those around you. Introverts tend to find peace individually instead of seeking it out with others (like an extrovert would do).

That being said, an introvert does not always like being alone. In fact, as an introvert speaking on introverts, I enjoy being around people, especially people that I love. I just need an hour or two a day to myself to keep me sane.

So what does this have to do with leadership?

Because of this misconception of introverts, people tend to value extroverted characteristics over introverted ones. People also tend to want to see leaders with extroverted tendencies. So what happens when an introvert becomes a leader?

Introverts can be leaders (I know, I've done it), and we can do a good job in the position too. When an introvert is in a leadership role, they may have to manage their time a tad more strictly than an extrovert, to make sure they have alone time budgeted into their daily schedule, but other than that there aren't too many differences.

Of course, introverts may tend to be quieter in the lounge/ break room than an extrovert, but when they are wearing their "leader" hat, they can and likely will take charge of the situation.

Introverts can be exceptional leaders. In fact, they have a special skill that very few extroverts have: introverts can encourage and support other introverts. In any given organization, company, or group there are bound to be a few introverts that like to walk the line between the shadows and the spotlight. Sometimes it takes another introvert to get them to step forward and try out a new role or take on a new goal.

The introverts of the world don't get enough credit for all the hard work they do. It's time we start acknowledging the fact that just because a leader looks different doesn't mean they are a bad leader.

So, to my fellow introverts everywhere, you don't have to sit back and avoid positions because it is traditionally held by an extrovert. Take a chance and try out a leadership role, you just might like it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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