Do We Need All These Rock Star CEO’s??

Seems the trend in the business world is to either get or become some sort of Rock Star CEO. That you need a charismatic leader to charge the troops and “innovate” [1]. That’s all well in good if you are a company that needs investors, must cater to outside shareholders or is in need of a marketing platform. You have a familiar focus of attention, a superficial barometer to look to and check in with from time to time. There is a recurring “someone” who will a splash and mark the company as a strong, defining brand.

 

But does that translate into a well-run operation?

 

Not so much.

 

The call for more introverted leadership is on the rise.

 

From Psychology Today:

Ronald Riggio, writing in Psychology Today, contends “while extraversion is predictive of many positive social outcomes, it may not be extraversion itself that matters. Instead, it may be possession of social skills or competencies that are better predictors of social outcomes.” Riggio’s recent research concluded that when social skills such as emotional intelligence were measured, “extraversion no longer predicted leadership. In short, only extraverts who possessed high levels of social skills were more likely to be leaders (and effective leaders).”

David Rock, in his book, Quiet Leadership: Six Steps to Transforming Performance at Work, cites recent neuroscience research that argues effective leaders should focus on mentoring, empowering and developing people, behaviors that are more consistent with introverts than extraverts.

What does that boil down to? More leaders focusing on others rather than putting the spotlight on them. While being the aggressive, outgoing showman works wonders at a tradeshow, product launch or media junket keeping the trains running on time, getting the most from your people comes from a quieter place.

Nancy Ancowitz, author of Self-Promotion for Introverts, writing in Psychology Today, cites the examples of quiet introverted leaders such as Warren Buffett, Ken Frazier, Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, Charles Darwin, Rosa Parks, Mahatma Gandhi, Steven Spielberg, Carol Bartz and Andrew Jung as widely respected effective leaders.

You don’t have to be the brash visionary that commands the stage to be effective. As always it boils down to how well you communicate that vision to others.

 

Are you an introverted or extroverted leader?

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