Can introverts be leaders too? What are the characteristics of a charismatic leader? What is the difference between a charismatic leader and a transformational leader? Who exactly is an introvert? How can I be a super manager if am an introvert?
Well, if you are an introvert, you are probably the luckiest person alive. Introverts are known to be great leaders in business, tech, and politics. Here are some real-life world-class introverts who have proved that introverts can be leaders too; Marissa Mayer, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Warren Buffeit, Guy Kawasaki, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates.
According to research, about 50-55% of American males are introverts. When it comes to females, that number is 47-55%. However, most parents push their children to be extroverts i.e. people who need people. In fact, most businesses prefer hiring individuals who are outgoing. The funny part is that most of the most admired and successful people in the past and present are introverts.
Who is an introvert?
An introvert is not a shy person. Yes, he/she has a bit of shyness but is not entirely shy. An introvert feels energized by being alone whereas their energy is drained by being around other people. They are more concerned with the inner world of the mind. They find comfort in thinking and exploring their thoughts and feelings. Here are some signs that you might be an introvert:
· Feeling exhausted after spending time with a lot of people.
· Your idea of having a good time is a quiet afternoon to yourself to enjoy your hobbies and interests.
· People describe you as quiet and find it difficult to get to know you.
· You have a small group of close friends. People think that introverts don’t like people. This is a common misconception because introverts do enjoy having a small group of friends who they are close to.
· When you spend time in hectic environments or activities, you end up feeling unfocused or distracted.
What makes introverts great leaders?
They are better listeners
Unlike extroverts, introverts learn by listening. They listen what others are saying and internalize it before speaking. They aren’t thinking about what to say while the other person is still talking. Instead, they listen so that they can know what to say. They listen to their followers. Introvert leaders can be a liability if their followers are extroverts who like to make suggestions and take the initiative.
They are prudent
Introvert leaders are known to analyze a situation before taking any action. For instance, they will ask ‘is this the right thing to do?’, before investing or taking any action. However, extroverts are more concerned about the rewards. They are risk-takers. Recognizing how you are predisposed to decision-making is the best way to improve.
They are very creative
Being alone is the best catalyst for creativity. This is why introvert leaders bring in creativity to the leadership table that extrovert leaders don’t have. Extrovert leaders are more likely to get frustrated when faced with a tough problem than introvert leaders. Introvert leaders take their space and time to come up with the most practical solution possible.
They can handle uncertainty
Introverted leaders are not very sensitive to external rewards hence they can work with little information. They are more likely to persist in finding solutions that aren’t initially apparent.
They demonstrate some humility
Humility is the ability to acknowledge mistakes, knowledge gaps, imperfections and limitations. It’s not that extroverts aren’t humble, but introverts have a better sense of their abilities and achievements.
How to become a super manager
It’s not easy to become a super manager within a short span of time. You need to learn from your work and real life experience. You must also make continuous efforts to learn more from other experienced managers.
If you want to know how to be a leader when you are an introvert, here are some tips:
Listen to your employees
A democratic leader will always listen to what employees are saying. On the other hand, an autocratic leader will keep employees away. This may cause employees to react negatively to any changes in the company. Therefore, listening to your staff’s feedback will help you manage the work of your team members effectively.
Come up with the best leadership style that suits you
Don’t be very task-oriented – don’t want to get things done. Try being people oriented. Focus on making your employees feel happy to be at work. However, you shouldn’t focus too much on pleasing your employees as you might not achieve the desired results.
Motivate your employees
The main reason why employees leave a particular company is that the job is boring and easy. Therefore, you should try your best to motivate your employees and promote their talents. For instance, you might design challenging but interesting jobs by setting high goals and lead them to achieve these goals.
Set clear goals and evaluation standards
To avoid being considered as a micro-manager, you need to set clear goals for your employees. This will help you manage effectively as there will be no need of monitoring your employees’ work progress every day.
Charismatic leaders vs. transformational leaders
A charismatic leader is a leader who has a vision and has the will to take personal risks to achieve their vision. They are more sensitive to what their followers need and have unusual behaviors. They are born and not made.
Transformational leaders, on the other hand, inspire followers to transcend their own self-interests for the good of the company. They are capable of having an extraordinary effect on their followers. Transformational leaders pay attention to needs and concerns of individual followers. They provide vision, promote intelligence and can change an employee’s awareness by helping him/her to look at older issues in a new way.
Four ways to be yourself and be a charismatic leader
A charismatic leader is one who has a powerful personality and has the ability to motivate and inspire people. You don’t have to own many qualifications to be a charismatic leader. As an introvert, here’s how you can be charismatic:
· Double down on your strengths as a strategic thinker and a listener.
· Plan your meetings around your ability to do well in small groups.
· Find that unique brand of charisma that’s only within introverts.
· Take time to recharge. Be alone for some time.
There are many characteristics of a charismatic leader that can make introvert managers connect with people. Observe your environment and listen, then analyze what was said and speak in that order.
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