The Introverted Leader’s Guide Part 1


Introvert versus Extrovert

I recently read Dr. Marti Laney’s book “The Introvert Advantage”.  Excellent read if you are an introvert, think you are an introvert or an extrovert that leads/loves an introvert.

Only 1 in 3 people are introverts. I’ve known for 15+ years I’m an introvert.  But it’s only been the last 10 years I’ve adjusted my lifestyle because of being an introvert.  Understanding and accepting my temperament helps me thrive in an extroverted world.  With 2/3 of the world being extroverts, many times introverts get caught striving to compete with them and eventually burning out. I strongly believe I can do anything!  But what I’ve learned is that it may be accomplished by different means than my extroverted peers.

Introversion and Extroversion are temperaments.  We are born with it.  It’s not pathological or learned behavior.  There are 3 main differences we differ from extroverts:

Energy Creation

Introverts need to shut down and withdraw to recharge; while Extroverts recharge by being around people.

Response to Stimulation

Introverts are easily overwhelmed by stimulation; extroverts thrive in stimulation.

Depth vs. breadth

Introverts have fewer friends but deeper relationships; extroverts lots of friends and shallower relationships.

I spent years attempting to deepen a relationship with a friend who is an extrovert.  Our conversations were so shallow and honestly never changed in 18 years. Finally I realized there wasn’t much there to get deep with and stopped frustrating myself. I do have deep relationships with extroverts but it takes a lot of work.  They understand all of the above we both compromise to meet each others needs. This true in leading extroverts as well.

Key Points:

  • There are more extroverts than there are introverts (ratio 2:1)
  • Introverts can do anything an extrovert can do, it’s just done differently
  • Lifestyle must be adapted to thrive in extroverted world

Next week: Part 2 – Work/Life Balance for Introverted Leaders

What have you learned about being an introvert? If you are extrovert, what have you learned about leading introverts?