Are you an introvert? Me too! Did you know introverts are often overlooked when it comes to leadership positions in the tech world? Introverts are known for being quiet, unassuming, and usually not the first to speak up in a meeting or group. But, looking over introverts as people who can lead is a huge mistake. Some of the best CEOs, leaders, and presidents are introverts!
Often thriving in quieter settings with fewer people, introverts actually possess some unique traits that can make them incredible leaders. A 2021 YouGov survey showed that 52% of Americans said they were more introverted than extroverted. And 12% of Americans called themselves “completely introverted.”
I myself am an introvert and yet am a leader at my job and founder of my own company! So introverts, listen here. I want to share six traits that set you apart from the rest and can make you stand out and excel as a leader!
Six Traits That Can Make Introverts Exceptional Leaders
1. Intelligent Risk-Takers
Introverts often lean on the more conservative side when it comes to risk-taking. This can be a huge asset to the company. Often in tech and as women, we are driven to make decisions by looking at the data – and are therefore more conservative, which is one of the factors that makes us so good at our jobs. To be a great leader, you need to work smart, which means you also need to have a good temperament and stable personality – which is quite common among introverted people!
2. Better Problem-Solvers
Study after study has shown that introverts perform better at problem-solving. When you’re introverted, you tend to process information more carefully than others. This attention to detail often leads introverts to find better solutions than extroverts because they have taken the time to weigh their options.
When it comes to picking someone to be in charge – wouldn’t you rather have the best possible problem-solver leading the team?
3. Deep Thinkers
Introverts often focus on their inner world first, leading them to think more deeply about things than others. This high focus is usually applied to critical areas of an introvert’s life. So if an introvert is in a leadership position, you can bet they will put a high level of focus on the company’s challenges and goals. Often paying strong attention to detail, this level of awareness can be a huge asset to any company, especially in the tech world.
4. Highly Creative
Effective leaders need to be creative with their visions and ideas, as well as with finding solutions to their problems. I’ve often found that the most success comes from being highly creative with how you go about your process.
Most introverts enjoy and are comfortable with solitude. Being alone can actually be a massive stimulant for a higher level of creativity! Studies show that when you’re alone, you can tap into your intuition and vision more easily. When you’re able to be comfortable alone, you often give your mind the freedom to think more outside the box. Being comfortable in solitude gives you time to think and make decisions without any external pressures or stresses – often leading to some of the best ideas.
5. Excellent Listeners
The best leaders listen. Yes, it’s essential to have good communication skills, but listening is one of the vital factors that differentiate a good leader from a great one. Listening comes quite naturally to introverts. I notice even for myself that I often like to observe people and my environment and, therefore, can pick up on thoughts and implications that aren’t said.
When people feel heard and seen, they are often more engaged at work and willing to be team players.
6. Let Others Shine
Most introverts, like myself, don’t crave the spotlight. I remember feeling quite uncomfortable when I first started speaking at seminars since the focus was on me. One of my biggest passions is to lift other women up and watch them shine. Hence why I created DevelopHer.
Introverts encourage the recognition of their counterparts. Rather than steal their employees’ credit, they are more inclined to bring attention to their employees’ good work. They promote the accomplishments of others rather than feel threatened or jealous by them. This kind of leadership boosts morale and creates higher engagement within a team.
Bottom line, if you’re an introvert like me, don’t disqualify yourself from a leadership position. Take this knowledge as you move forward, cherish your unique traits, and use them to pave a path forward in tech!
And, in the meantime, be on the lookout for some new material I’m launching soon that I’m very excited about. If you’re not already a member of the DevelopHer community, check it out here – I highly recommend getting on board asap. Also, you can still pick up a copy of my best-selling book, The DevelopHer Playbook, to get you up to speed on how I paved my career in tech – and how you, too, can achieve success!