For years, the CEO stereotype has been depicted as more extroverted than introverted. Whenever these figures are portrayed in the media, they’re often viewed as charismatic, able to command a room and armed with a laundry list of accomplishments that touch everything in their lives from an Ivy League education to previous successful work experiences.
But that mythical narrative is starting to change. Earlier this year, The Washington Post reported that a new study called the CEO Genome Project revealed that the most successful chief executive officers are much more likely to be introverts. What’s more, introverted leaders may have more traits in common with extroverts than you’d think. Here’s a look at how these traits can enable them to leave behind their mark.
- Identify key employees that will complement you.
I’m a CEO who also identifies as an introvert. I prefer to work quietly, focus on the task at hand and not be engaged in constant conversation. Consider your behavior in the workplace and then surround yourself with employees that will complement you. If getting everyone motivated is something you struggle with a bit, make sure your employees can help get the team moving in your direction. Trust me — it’s wise to do this irrespective of your personality.
- Embrace change.
The CEO Genome Project uncovered four management traits that ultimately make CEOs successful including reliable performances, reaching out to stakeholders, making quick decisions with confidence and being adaptable to change. Being open to adapting in the workplace ties in with the concept of growth versus fixed mindsets. A fixed mindset is one where the leader believes that you’re either born with “it” or you don’t have it. On the flip side of the coin, growth mindsets are open to expanding their knowledge through learning to further finesse natural and new abilities alike. Change can be tough, but see it as an opportunity to discover more about your business, the team members around you and yourself. Then, embrace it.
- Work hard at being a good communicator.
As I mentioned above, one of the traits of successful CEOs includes reaching out to stakeholders. This requires taking initiative and learning how to best communicate with a variety of personalities. Learning and working hard at being a good communicator is a must for both introverted and extroverted leaders!
The best way to go about doing this is to learn by listening to others. Consider the best ways to communicate with your team according to their needs and personalities and offer a wide variety of avenues for reaching out to you too.
Aside from simply learning how to communicate with others, you might it’s helpful to leverage feedback from your team to find out what you can be a bit better at. Every leader has a shortcoming (or two) of their own, but if you hope to grow, you might be able to find success in your style and leadership approach by learning and training yourself to overcome your weak spots.
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @mycorporation.