The Myth of the Charismatic Leader

When you hear the word “leader,” what images pop in your head? Often it’s the gregarious, outspoken, energetic, showman, whose personality seems larger than life – someone who is able to rally and motivate employees with their words. But what if you are not gregarious, outspoken, or a master presenter? Can you be a leader that others will follow?

According to the new book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, a reserved leadership style may have its advantages after all. For one, an introverted leader works better with a driven, proactive team because their style encourages initiative-takers to offer suggestions. Since an introverted leader is a good listener and not interested in dominating social situations, they are more likely to hear and implement the ideas without the need to put their own stamp on each suggestion. As a result, proactive team members are even more likely to provide additional suggestions for improvement since the leader is receptive to ideas.

So, as you think about leaders in your own organization, don’t discount those individuals that are more likely to listen rather than talk. They may be just the people your pro-active, go-getters need.

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