There is a great deal of talk about how important it is to hire people who stand out during the interview process, are great at networking and who have a large social network. These outgoing, extroverted people are great to have on your team and can be a huge asset to any company. However, there are also great reasons to hire introverts, who aren't as social and who prefer to keep to themselves.
It's often assumed that extroverts, who have outgoing natures, make the best leaders and are the best choice for management as well. However, new research, led by the Wharton management professor, Adam Grant, shows that introverted managers typically deliver better outcomes than extroverts. The reason is that introverts are more likely to hire great employees and leave them alone, giving them room to run with their ideas. Extroverted leaders, on the other hand, like to be in the middle of things. Whether they are aware of it or not, they have a tendency to micro-manage and push their own ideas rather than take other peoples' suggestions. However, the study found that extroverted leaders do better than introverts when it comes to managing people who aren't proactive and who depend on their leader for inspiration.
This research is just another finding that shows how powerful introverts can be. For one, they are persistent and more likely to look at all sides of a problem before tackling it. In addition, introverts are less likely to be risk-takers. They enjoy solitude, which can often make them more creative.
Even with all of this research, most professional management training books insist on trying to teach introverts how to be extroverts, rather than embracing the differences. As an introvert myself, I think it's time to end the myth that only outgoing people are leadership material.
What do you think? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Which management style do you prefer? Please share your thoughts in the comments.