Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation
A recent BBC business article commented on how leaders with more introverted tendencies are tending to out-perform their more extrovert business rivals.
This is nothing new and was part of the findings outlined in detail in the book Good to Great by Tim Collins (and his large research team). The book identifies what they term as Level 5 Leaders …people who really excel at the top job and we will return here anon.
Before that though it’s worth pausing to remind ourselves that introversion is about getting our energy from inside us and extroversion is about drawing it in from those around us. My own tendency is towards introversion and the evidence for me is that I can sit happily on my own for long periods when writing a book, lost in my world and continuously productive.
However, 20 years ago my experience was that introversion was seen as a negative leadership trait, because it was assumed that introverts were quiet and shy and therefore somehow too weak and feeble to lead a business into battle. My ongoing and learned research is that this assumption always has been, and remains, testicular. Or to plunder a boating metaphor, a load of rollocks.
What matters is attidude, approachability, grounded thinking and commitment to succeed. Level 5 leaders are desribed as combining humilty with an iron will to drive a project to completion. Humility enables us to listen, make course changes and absorb good ideas from other people. An iron will ensures that we don’t start a fistful of projects and let them drift, which just demoralises people and wastes their time.
A Level 5 leader…to quote the book…looks out of the window when things go right and looks in the mirror when things go wrong. And Collins’ research suggests things go right for introvert-type leaders more often, because they more naturally incorporate the real traits of successful leaders as outlined above.
In the end it doesn’t matter whether we consider ourselves to be introvert or extrovert…what counts is our performance. However, if we are natural extroverts then maybe we could give ourselves a boost by paying attention to the more introverted coaches and colleagues around us, because they really do add value …they may steady our boat and keep our rollocks from getting wet!
Next week: Profits Through Technology
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