Getting Ahead in Your Career: 5 Leadership Myths That Introverts Should Not Believe
While it is true that being an introvert in our extroverted culture has its challenges, all too many people believe introverts simply can’t get ahead. Introverts can’t be leaders and managers because we like to keep to ourselves. That myth is untrue, as are a few other myths related to that one.
Myth #1: Introverts never reach important leadership positions.
- Reality: Some of our greatest world leaders are big-time introverts like: Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Warren Buffet. Albert Einstein, and Bill Gates. Let’s not leave Obama off this list. I don’t think I need to say more on this one.
Myth #2: Only the biggest schmoozers, loudest and fastest talkers are in charge.
- Reality: We certainly notice those people, but being noticed and being followed are two different things. We think because someone is the center of attention that is equal to people following them. People who are great leaders have vision and enroll others at a deeply personal level. If you have ever heard of quiet diplomacy, behind that is the introverted leader who is doing what they do best – Building relationships one at a time, getting to know and understand others while being able to lay out that vision.
Myth #3: Introverts don’t like to speak in public because they don’t want the attention.
- Reality: Introverts speak when they have a purpose or reason. If that purpose is to educate or inform a group, they will gladly get up in front and clearly deliver. Because introverts do spend time in their thoughts, they usually have quite a bit to say that is profound. Don’t mistake introverts’ silence as avoiding attention – they’re listening and processing. Don’t we all need a few more people to really listen? Wouldn’t it be great to have a boss who paid attention and listened?
Myth #4: Introverts don’t like people; and you can’t lead if you don’t like people.
- Reality: Really? Introverts like people as much as anyone. They don’t always feel a need to inject useless comments or talk for no reason. Granted, that can sometimes be mistaken for not liking people. It doesn’t mean they don’t like people and they certainly can lead people without ‘banter’. Introverts pay attention and listen to what others are saying, which means that they are keenly aware. The introvert leader will have plenty to say when the need arises.
Myth #5: Introverts are slow to make decisions.
- Reality: Decision-making is not the sole domain of extroverts. The speed of decision-making tends to align with other various factors, including the need to analyze information and gather inputs. While introverts may think through things a bit more than their counterparts they can whip through decisions as fast or as slow as the next person.
Understand that no one is 100% introvert or extrovert. We are a mix of both with a bigger dose of introvert. We are continually understanding more and more about this personality type along with strategies for adjusting to our environment. The most important thing to recognize, if you are an introvert, is if you have a goal and that goal is to lead – You can be a success. It takes one to know one. I too, have successfully managed and coached for over 2 decades, as an introvert. If you’d like to learn more on introvert adaptation strategies and other insights to help make you successful, claim your FREE copy of my ongoing newsletter – full of useful, practical career insight. When you do, you also receive a copy of the eworkbook “Should I Stay or Should I Go” Click here to claim your copy: Get your copy of “Should I Stay or Should I Go!”
For more career tips and advice – FREE newsletter and eworkbook: http://CareerMakeoverToolKitShouldIstayorShouldIGo.com/ From Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – Your Career Change Agent from www.nextchapternewlife.com and www.mbahighway.com. And check out Dorothy’s new book, “Career Mapping for Climbing Managers – Planning Your Career On Purpose”. You can find the book in print or Kindle on Amazon.