Do Extroverts or Introverts Make Better Leaders?


The thinking that leaders are extraverts is not necessarily the case according to an article from The Wharton School. New research shows that extraverted leadership provides a clear authority structure and direction. But pairing extraverted leaders with employees who are proactive may lead to conflict, while pairing the same group of employees with an introverted leader can be very successful.  According to the researchers, in existing leadership research extraversion stands out as the most consistent and robust predictor of who becomes a leader and who is rated an effective leader.  This model however tells little about the situations in which introverted leaders can be more effective than extraverted leadership.

A survey of leaders and employees of a national pizza delivery company found that when employees are proactive, introverted managers lead them to earn higher profits. When employees are not proactive, extraverted managers lead them to higher profits. Mismatched, the personality conflicts can lead to a power struggle, pitting leaders against employees and ending up in a situation known as “status uncertainty.”

Extraverted leaders may feel like their “status is being threatened. They might say, ‘I’m supposed to be in charge here. Let me reassert my authority.’ But the introverted leader … is likely to quietly process the ideas that come up. That leader is worrying less about the ego or image implications of employees taking charge and introducing ideas.”  Interestingly, neither the introverted leaders nor the extraverted leaders showed higher productivity or profitability than the other. The difference was in the pairing of leaders and employees.

Source: RetailWire.com

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About Arthur De Gennaro

My friends call me Art. Welcome to my blog. In this space you’ll find information and comments on the ophthalmology world, the optical industry, the hearing industry and medical practice management. My intent is to provide information you can use to improve your business and your own performance. Please visit often and feel free to join the discussions by leaving comments.

You can learn more about me and my consulting company, Arthur De Gennaro & Associates, LLC by visiting my web site www.adegennaro.com

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January 2011

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