Today I read a very interesting article related to the personality types of leaders … specifically the introverted vs. the extroverted leader. The author is Megan McNeill and is entitled Leadership and Personality: Introverts can Lead, Too. In the article Ms. McNeill says “it makes sense that we often associate effective leaders with big personalities – their voices tend to carry after all. Many of the world’s leaders have been extroverts and it has served them well – their people skills and energy can draw crowds and inspire action.” However she quotes from another article that makes the point that we often “prize leaders who are eager talkers over those who have something to say. A skilled talker isn’t necessarily a skilled leader. If one’s talk of ideas is just that – talk – there can be no real leadership.” Amen say me!
In general, after reading this I began thinking about how important the personality distinction is today … a time when so many are working hard to emerge to the threatening times encountered during the recent 3+ years. Is the ‘talker’ still the one to sell what has to happen or is the ‘talker’ going to be resisted because it’s less than believable? What do those we lead really need and want today … truth? … honesty? … confidence? … and is one personality better able to provide and convey that than the other? The question of what makes for an effective leader is one that I believe has the potential of changing with the times. From the exposure we get to various businesses, I believe that succeeding in the environment of this day blurs the line that might differentiate introvert and extrovert as one being more appropriate or ‘better’ than the other. It ‘s more about every personality type having the ability to facilitate the development of a clearly defined vision, getting the leadership team aligned behind it and doing so in a way that gives all a sense of individual and shared responsibility. Ultimately they must have the ability to work effectively together to make it happen. Regardless of one’s individual personality type, there needs to be talk that really does convey what is important to say. These are serious recovery times and that warrants leaders as effective communicators who instill the desire in others to follow. No time for the stereotypical image of the used car, fender slapping salesperson here!
Do you see it differently? Perhaps another spin? I’d love to read your comment.