Speak Less, Do More – What Introverted Leaders Bring To The Table – Forbes

Speak Less, Do More – What Introverted Leaders Bring To The Table – Forbes

Marissa Mayer
Introverts’ roles within leadership teams have long been misunderstood, and largely underappreciated. This stems from inaccurate definitions and perceptions of introversion, with it being associated with shyness, reclusiveness and even aloofness. The fact is that introverts are equipped with their very own clearly defined skillsets that can help make them unique leaders, and just as effective as their more outspoken extroverted peers. From an early age we are taught that in order to succeed in life we should strive to adopt mainly extrovert behaviours. At school it is always the loudest and most confident students who get the most attention, and are deemed more ‘popular’, while their introverted classmates often go unnoticed, or at worst are ostracized. The sad thing is that it can be difficult for an introvert to embrace their own character and personality because of this, and they instead try to force themselves to be more extroverted.  Biological makeup and urbanization  Studies have shown that these traits come down to our biological and chemical makeup, with a major difference between the brains of introverts and extroverts being the way they react to the neurotransmitter dopamine. The dopamine reward network is more active in the brains of extroverts, ....

The very same event can leave an introvert feeling overstimulated though, and they instead derive their reward from acetylcholine which makes a person feel good when they turn inward. Susan Cain, author of the 2012 non-fiction book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, and all-round authority on introverts, claims that this phenomenon is in part due to the industrial revolution and the consequential increase in urbanization. People who moved from rural areas to big cities suddenly found themselves working alongside strangers, rather than neighbours, and would adopt a more outgoing persona in order to stand out, and ultimately, to succeed.  What do introverts bring to the table? The benefits of having extroverts within a leadership team are obvious. They’re often more confident, outgoing, and seemingly interesting. Surely then, if you want to get stuff done then an extrovert is the woman or man to do it. While this might seem logical, introverts have a wealth of qualities and characteristics that help them lead just as well. Consider how many people with introverted traits have gone on to become renowned leaders, including Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Marissa Mayer, to name just four. ....

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