In this episode of the 5 Leadership Questions podcast Todd Adkins and Barnabas Piper are joined by their teammate at lifeWay Leadership, Kevin Spratt, to talk about introverts in leadership and the distinct challenges, advantages, and disadvantages introverts have. Leadership is stereotypically done by bold, outspoken people, but many of the most effective ones are introverts. How do they do it? We answer the following questions.
- What is the definition of an introvert?
- Is introversion a setback in leadership, especially since the stereotype of a leader is bold and outspoken?
- What are the unique strengths of an introverted leader?
- What are the unique challenges of an introverted leader?
- What are some practical tips for extroverts working with introverts and vice versa?
“The stereotype of leadership is being loud, being bold, being expressive.”
“Do people energize you or suck the energy out of you?”
“Extroverts become introverted when they have kids because kids take all your energy.”
“Everybody needs time by themselves.”
“Introverts need to be intentional about reaching out to people.”
“Introversion and extroversion are setbacks if you don’t balance yourself well and have emotional intelligence.”
“3 meaningful conversations matter more than 15 ‘networking’ connections.”
“Introverts should put themselves out there to their extreme because an introvert’s extreme is not going to come across that way.”
“One of the greatest strengths of introverts is to be able to critique.”
“Another thing introverted leaders are better at is observation.”
“If you’re constantly talking you’re only thinking about what you have to say and not what’s going on around you.”
“Critique seeks to find a solution. Criticism says ‘this is stupid.’”
“If there’s a vacuum people will fill it in.”
“An extrovert might get to a buck stopper type of decision too quickly. An introvert might get there too slowly.”
“If you’re an extrovert you need to stop talking and ask questions.”
“It may take more time for an introvert to express what they are thinking and processing.”
“Give information in advance, before a meeting, so people can process before discussing.”
“Introverts need be intentional about checking in on other people’s lives.”
“Because introverts are more reserved its easy for extroverts to think they should step my way instead of realizing I can just as easily step their way.”
“Know the make up of your team and the individual strengths and weaknesses.”
Quiet by Susan Cain
Good to Great by Jim Collins
The Power of Introverts – Susan Cain’s TED Talk