Why Introverts Make Great Leaders

Introversion and leadership are two things the world does not expect paired together. I consider myself an introvert, but I also see myself as a leader and it wasn’t until recently that I realized others did not see those two qualities as coexistent.

I recently spoke to a woman at a leadership event and she seemed surprised that I said I was a leader and an introvert. Other people I’ve encountered also seem to think that because I’m not a people person, I can’t take on a leadership role.

Everyone has a different take on what they consider the ideal leader, and I think I’ve come up with my own definition of one. A leader should be someone who can lead their group to achieve their goals, whatever the scope of those goals may be. It’s someone who has the motivation, the focus and the ambition to not just complete a certain task, but to push the group to achieve more than it expects.

Introverts are great for such a task because since they get energy from themselves, they don’t get distracted by others as easily, and don’t get swayed by what others want. In a group, the different members will have different perspectives and levels of commitment to its mission, and many times, that can impede the achievement of its goals. Introverts get energy from themselves, and so the energy of the crowd doesn’t sway them much.

Many times, leaders have to break away from the crowd in order to bring change. Change doesn’t happen by following the existing circumstances, it requires standing out, even if people are against you. Since introverts don’t get energy from other people, they don’t get pulled with the crowd much.

Introverts are also great at observing their surroundings and listening to people, even if nobody thinks they’re listening. This is why it is easier for them to create one on one relationships with others, and connect to the members of their group, which creates a sense of loyalty and trust between them and the people they want to lead.

People think introverts lack confidence in themselves, but that is a blatant misunderstanding. Introverts don’t need others to know that they are confident in order to be confident. It doesn’t matter to them who knows their views of themselves or any other topic, because they value their privacy and only award their trust to those who’ve proved they deserve it.

Just because they get energy from being alone doesn’t mean they won’t work well on a team. They reflect on themselves and are constantly working on improving themselves so they can be the best version of themselves. They also constantly reflect on how well their strategies are working and can see how to change them for the best results.

So, don’t discount someone’s leadership abilities just because they aren’t the most talkative, interactive, or bold of a person. They could be watching, listening and planning their conquest of the world while you’re overlooking them.