Posted by: kenwbudd | November 27, 2010

Extraverts Are Not Always the Most Successful Leaders

You may find it difficult to accept but Introverted leaders can be more effective than Extraverts in certain circumstances.

It all depends on who the leaders are managing, according to Grant and co-authors Francesca Gino of Harvard Business School and David Hofmann of the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Their paper, forthcoming in the Academy of Management Journal, is titled “Reversing the Extraverted Leadership Advantage: The Role of Employee Proactivity.”

Extraverted leadership involves commanding the centre of attention: being outgoing, assertive, bold, talkative and dominant. This offers the advantages of providing a clear authority structure and direction.

However, pairing extraverted leaders with employees who take initiative and speak out can lead to friction, while pairing the same group of employees with an introverted leader can be a pathway to success, the researchers note.

This has implications for leaders and managers at all levels who want to improve their own leadership styles.

“If you look at existing leadership research, extraversion stands out as the most consistent and robust predictor of who becomes a leader and who is rated as an effective leader,” Grant says. “But I thought this was simplistic and incomplete. It tells us very little about the situations in which introverted leaders can be more effective than extraverted leaders.”

Read more at www.knowledge.wharton

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