When you think of business moguls what names typically come to mind? Perhaps, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, Kevin O’ Leary, or P. Diddy. Well, contrary to popular belief, not all business masterminds are talkative and sociable. Some are extremely reserved and quiet, which can make them perfect for leading the charge and managing progressive and relevant teams.
Introverts have a distinctive trait that sets them apart from some extroverts, and that is they are incredibly observant and thoughtful. Because introverts are highly attentive, they typically make great critical thinkers. Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, author of “The Introverted Leader”, asserts that “Thoughtful, quiet leaders don’t try to dominate the conversation or direction of a team. They are engaged listeners and set the stage for people to step into their strengths.” As an introvert myself, I enjoy observing behavior and quietly figuring out solutions to problems. I have found that in managing my own business, I err on the side of reflection and research. For example, if a client comes to me and is struggling with developing new and engaging on-boarding processes for their employees that will help reflect the culture of their company, it’s up to me to assess the current workplace practices to identify underlying problems and help them establish a plan of action and execute a process that will educate and empower their new hires. Every business is different, and as a leader, it’s up to me to analyze the current climate of the company and ensure that we implement the most effective and innovative solution.
In my opinion, one of the best methods for problem solving is scientific research. Instead of just brainstorming ideas and deciding on the spot about the best way to streamline the on-boarding process, I prefer to test my assumptions by delving into the heart of the company to learn patterns, examine how those patterns impact the company, and evaluate the culture based on best practices. I do this using observation and assessment techniques.
Introverted leaders have the individual responsibility of serving others in an untraditional fashion. We are quiet storms that shake the foundation of typical managing styles. We take the time to think five steps ahead before launching a new idea. Although we may appear reserved or unmoved during company meetings, chances are our brains are churning at 150 mph. We’re assessing possible outcomes, and by the time one person speaks up with one solution we’ve most likely considered that one and concocted 3 more solutions. We may not be the most vocal but we are careful, considerate, and game changers in the business world. Do you have an introverted leader on your team? Why or why not?