Who is More Effective, an Extroverted or an Introverted Leader?

The US business culture practically worships an extroverted leader.  They are often viewed as the ones with the “right stuff”.  At minimum, their brand of self-confidence can provide a feeling of reassurance, albeit a false or naive one at times.

The result is that introverted leaders often feel that somehow they don’t have what it takes to be effective, as if their personality was a mismatch for leading companies and solving business challenges.

A recent study by Wharton professor Adam Grant and two colleagues examines and ultimately questions the belief that extroversion is the more valuable leadership trait.

Net, net: It all depends on whom you’re leading.

Introverted leaders earn higher profits when employees take initiative, when they are “proactive”.

Extroverted leaders earn higher profits when employees are not proactive.

In the end, it’s more about the dynamics between the leader and those being led.

It’s not solely about the leader and his/her personality.

Which gets to the heart of what leadership is, don’t you think?

For more info, here’s the link to the Wharton summary article and the associated study by Grant.

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