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Introvert Leaders... can that be possible?

We all have unique personalities. We are born with them, and scientists say our personalities are developed at a very young age, some say before three years old and others say before 9 years old.



Our personalities don’t really change after our teenage years, our morals, our beliefs, our loves, our tastes, come to us early in life. We can ‘t really change our personalities, but we can change our behaviors. More on that later.


We are going to explore the Hogan classifications of 8 main personalities in our blog posts.


But today we want to talk about one of the two over-arching personalities that are recognized by most personnel identification and personal growth analytical tools the extrovert and the introvert.


We want to chat about introverts first, because of the role they play as leaders.

An amazing statistic is that only 10% of leaders are introverts. But the impact they make as Introverted leaders is nothing other than a spectacular phenomenon.


Let’s look at a list of introverted leaders just to give you an idea of who I’m talking about.


Some of the most recognized world leaders who happen to be introverts include:

  • Bill Gates

  • Warren Buffet

  • Elon Musk

  • Mahatma Gandhi

  • Eleanor Roosevelt

  • Rosa Parks

  • Albert Einstein

  • Golda Meir (sometimes)

  • Steve Jobs (sometimes)

  • Mark Zuckerberg

  • Steven Spielberg,

  • Sergey Brin (Google)

  • Marissa Mayer (Yahoo), and

  • Peter Thel (Pay Pal)


Is it a coincidence that several of the introverted leaders are in the technical field?


Maybe not, since most introverted leaders are really good at integrated left brain

and right brain activities and left/right brain thinking or brain paths.


Motivations for introverted leaders to become leaders can be summed up in one word – change.


Strengths of Introverted Leaders


Most introverted leaders are driven by the need for a change that supersedes their introverted nature. It can be a visionary change like technology that can change our standard of living or quality of life, technical changes in medicine, technical changes in transportation, technical changes that change our environmental health like clean air, clean water and clean land as well as climate change.


Introverted leaders pursue cultural change with nonviolent paths.


You can see a pattern here that indicates being an introvert doesn’t necessarily equate to shyness or weakness. An introverted leader can be as effective <and in some cases> if not more effective than extroverted leaders.


Introverted leaders excel at sharing responsibilities along with accountability. They generally have little ego and therefore share the lime light allowing their staff and colleagues to shine bright.


Introverted leaders surround themselves with competent, talented smart people.


They are not intimidated by smart, talented effective people. They build incredible teams that can accomplish their goals and obtain the desired end results.


Weaknesses of introverted leaders


They might take longer than necessary to make decisions or review data or statistics to formulate a policy or plan. Can get lost in the details and go down rabbit holes the average person may not follow. May have to be rescued from the rabbit holes in order to make progress for the largest number of people for the greater good.


How do you know if you are an introverted leader?


If you are an introvert, you may discover the leader in you. Some tell tale signs include:


  1. You’re not crazy about being at the front of the line, on stage, leading others, giving speeches, etc.

  2. You may have a visceral reaction to speaking in public ( luckily with today’s technologies you can overcome these reactions more easily than in the past).

  3. You prefer the company of a few people, and

  4. You revel in solitude.


Leaders can’t do anything without staff and teams. All leaders are only as good as their teams.


Delegating doesn’t mean that you are skirting the issue or delegating responsibility to someone who isn’t up to the task.


If you tend to lean towards being an introvert it doesn’t limit your ability to lead. Remember your personality may be determined at a young age, but your behavior can be modified to help you become a strong leader.


Don’t hesitate to find your path to leadership so you can share your vision, inventions, and ideas with your staff and teams. You have an opportunity to make the world a better place to live, for yourself, your family, heirs, friends, colleagues, companies, the environment, and of course, ever present, SPACE.


Change things one person at a time. Improve someone’s life one day at a time.


Make a difference.


Until next time, I’m Nevine Neill and this is the NBPeople blog.