It Turns Out Introverts Are Better Leaders Than Extroverts for Progressive 21st Century Work


By Daniel Waterborne | The Plaid Zebra

During the 20th century, introverts were social oddities that would hopefully be cured of their awkwardness by team sports or summer camp, or else inside the alcohol-sticky drywall of college frat parties. The 20th century was the age of the extrovert, led by the silver tongues of business moguls, salesman, and politicians. For two centuries Americans had been migrating from wide-open spaces to urban centers, this shift to shoulder-scraping proximity leading to an equal shift in social values. Modern life, including classrooms and workplaces, became designed around constant social interaction. Those who excelled at it became leaders. But as author Susan Cain puts it, “there is zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.”

Related Article: 5 Essential Coping Tips For Introverts In Uncomfortable Social Situations

Harvard researchers, Francesca Dino and Dave Hoffman, discovered that when workers were passive, inside a top-down business model, companies led by extroverts achieved 16 percent higher profits. But in business models where workers needed to be proactive and encourage innovation, extrovert leaders produced 14 percent fewer profits than introverts. As the technological revolution continues to gain speed and change how we work and learn, this is important to note.

Related Article: Why Being An Introvert in Modern Society Is a Gift

According to Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman, extroverts and introverts have significantly different reward centers. Extroverts are drawn to tangible rewards. Six-figure salaries. Corner Offices. Sex. Ten-course meals. Prestige. By contrast, introverts are motivated by abstract rewards, such as the feeling of transcendence or the will to create change. While extroverts prefer to push the boundaries of the external world, introverts prefer to explore the fences of their own minds. This does not mean that introverts are cataleptic creatures without temptation—but rather that they do not measure their worth by their Tinder matches or their bank balance.

Related Article: 5 Ways to Use Being an Introvert to Your Advantage


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7 Reader Comments

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  1.' Pinky Deb says:

    Word sath sath kam

  2.' Mary Breckenridge Thompson says:

    Savannah Thompson

  3.' Caymin Donna says:

    Mitchell Tappe another really good article 😀 x x x Kerry Elise Burns, Emma Swain

  4.' Thomas Chenhall says:

    They always were the leaders. This is why in ancient Chinese government’s they would put the call out to the Sages when a ruler died.

    “What sage or worthy will dare take the throne now?”

    Not democracy, actually. The most adept and advanced sages ALWAYS refused to rule, except perhaps with the exception of Emperor Yao, “the Sage in Yellow”.

  5.' Meredith Smith says:

    Well they will have to leave their houses first…

  6.' Furyiel Perch says:

    I’m an othervert!

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