Why Introverts Can Make Great Leaders

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If you’re the founder of a start-up, there’s a chance you might not be one of those naturally outgoing types that companies typically look for to lead a company. And if that’s the case, it might be a good thing.

According to Laurie Helgoe, author of Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength, there are some circumstances in which an introvert might be an ideal leader — and a start-up might be one of those places. Here’s why.

A start-up is typically full of self-motivated people looking to make a difference. In that case, a leader who’s not afraid to get out of the way and let his or her employees shine might be the best person to be in charge. As Helgoe puts it, “introverts are more effective leaders of proactive employees. When you have a creative, energetic work force, an introvert is going to draw out that energy better.”

Helgoe also notes that teams do best when there’s a mixture of introverts and extroverts, which she calls “crucial for a healthy workplace.”

So if you’re not a “born leader,” but were thrust into a position of leadership because you had a great idea and the business plan to pull it off, don’t sweat it. Be yourself and focus on your own strengths — and take pleasure in watching those around you shine because of it.

Adapted from “You Can Stop Faking It: It’s O.K. to Be an Introvert” by Don Tennant at IT Business Edge.