How to Become a Great Leader Even if You’re an Introvert
What makes a great leader? Unlike stereotypes portrayed in movies and media, not all leaders are outspoken, bigger-than-life individuals. Operating with swagger, boldly barking out orders, and bossing people around may come second nature to a Drill Instructor, but these qualities don’t mean much in the overall world of effective leadership. Yes, you can become a great leader – even if you’re an introvert.
Think back to those that have had the greatest impact on you – what was it that drew you to these individuals? All of us have more influence than you might think – I’m going to explain why. And how.
Master-certified coaches with Intelligent Leadership Executive Coaching (ILEC) work with all sorts of clients. Some are heads of Fortune 1000 companies whose mere words are capable of rattling the value of their stock price. Others are unassuming, fly-under-the-radar types. From established executives to emerging talent, they all have the capacity to be effective leaders. But we’ve yet to encounter a client that we couldn’t develop into a better executive leader – even the most introverted individuals. That’s because true leadership springs from within. It’s a quality – a talent – a learned skill that can be improved under the guidance of a qualified executive coach.
In celebration of strong-but-silent types, here are just a few traits with massive potential for amplifying your leadership style:
By their nature, introverts are both reflective and self-aware. They’re thoughtful and tend to keep their emotions in check with ease. In order to be a thought leader one must first think! Introverts are not ego-driven, nor do they seek the glory associated with individual accolades for their behavior and decisions. And that makes them vulnerable. Not vulnerable in a sense that they embody weakness – but vulnerable in their humbleness, modesty, and empathetic nature. They have the courage to be themselves while recognizing the value of others and their contributions. People pick up on this selflessness, they appreciate it, and they’re naturally attracted to the charisma of a self-assured leader. At ILEC, we coach that vulnerability is a necessity. It’s among the 50 Laws of Intelligent Leadership and one of ILEC’s 7 Secrets of Intelligent Leadership.
They’re Great Listeners
Introverts never feel the need to be the first one to speak up in a room. Listen>Learn>Lean In. They’re naturally good listeners, preferring to weigh decisions after quiet, observant, and intuitive thinking. Active listening leads to the development of authoritative knowledge while empowering the audience with respect and trust. And knowledge is power, which, in turn, leads to superior decision-making skills. And superior decision-making skill is indicative of exceptional executive leadership. An introverted leader naturally promotes a collaborative workgroup by yielding the floor to others.
They Lead by Example
As Marshawn Lynch says “I’m just ’bout that action boss”. Introvert leaders take action, and avoid a lot of talk. In return they tend to share in a company’s success and accomplishments, avoiding individual credit and praise in favor of recognizing the collaborative effort of the entire team. They’re the type to hire, then step back and allow top talent to perform. They don’t ask others to do what they themselves would avoid. Leadership such as this inspires a workforce, creating a psychologically safe space for the team. Employees feel valued, heard, and recognized. It inspires confidence, trust, and ultimately – unbreakable loyalty. These principles are the foundation of the coveted Best Places to Work, the right corporate culture.
Intelligent Leadership Executive Coaching can make you a better leader, regardless of personality type. Both extroverts and introverts bring their own unique challenges to the practice of improvement, but being the latter does not disqualify you from becoming a better leader. In fact, you may even have an advantage.
ILEC’s proven assessments, techniques, and strategies are designed to unlock your potential – leading to increases in company morale, performance, collaboration, and results. ILEC coaches utilize a proven blueprint and philosophy designed to build strong, vibrant leaders and organizations. If you’d like to develop a strategy that creates loyalty, trust, and optimizes performance, schedule time with me to have a conversation about what’s possible!