Abraham lincoln introvert

The surprising reasons why introverts make exceptional leaders

Many people associate leadership with extroversion. That never-met-a-stranger, vocal, high-energy, Type-A stereotype is just one type of leader. The fact is, good leadership comes in many shapes and sizes – and personality types.

Some may think that extroverts are the natural leaders. But the unconvinced may be surprised to learn that some of today’s most successful business leaders are introverts. Consider this list: Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayer and Elon Musk. Yep, all introverts.

Historical leaders who were introverts include Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, Rosa Parks and Mahatma Gandhi. Not a shabby bunch at all.

The truth is that businesses need both types of leaders. Here’s why introverts can make great leaders.

The historical and social context of introverts

It’s interesting to evaluate leadership types in the context of recent history: Fifteen to 20 years ago the U. S. workplace generally associated leadership as character, trust and integrity, which are values more closely tied to the quiet dignity of introversion.

More recently, businesses switched to thinking of leaders as the more vocal, charismatic motivators, or the traditional extrovert. Regardless of your corporate culture, it’s vital to promote both types of leaders to harness the strengths of both personality types.

It’s important to note that other countries perceive the leadership of introverts and extroverts differently than businesses in the United States. If your company operates in other countries, your gregarious, assertive extroverted leaders may not fit well with cultures that value a quieter, more reflective style.

The listener and thinker

Two of the key traits of introversion, listening to others and quiet reflection, can make them good at leadership. After all, it takes a listener to gather customer feedback and employee observations, and a critical thinker to put together common elements that may result in a new business opportunity.

When a customer or employee is unhappy, the introvert is more likely to listen in-depth before a rush to judgment, which helps the unhappy person feel heard. Yes, sometimes quick action is necessary, but in today’s complex world, a well-thought-out response may be the better option.

Yes, your sales force may be more heavily populated with extroverts. But that doesn’t mean an introvert can’t be great at sales. An introvert who listens well and pays attention to subtle clues may be better at sales than you’d imagine. Listening thoroughly is likely to make a customer feel understood and appreciated, which is always good for sales.

Not necessarily shy

Introverts possess a variety of skills that can make them good business leaders, particularly in businesses that value innovation and entrepreneurship. We’ve already mentioned critical thinking and listening skills. Introverts also tend to excel at written communication, outside-the-box-thinking and problem solving.

Introverts aren’t necessarily shy or quiet or bad at public speaking. Those are myths. However, your introverted employees may need a bit of coaching on why breaking out of their comfort zones is good for the company and their careers.

For example, technical fields such as engineering tend to draw more introverts. When your lead engineer, Tom, turns team manager, you may have to encourage him to engage in more face-to-face coaching than comes naturally.

Introverts on the management track may also need to be reminded to actively advocate for their employees, something extroverts tend to do better. Remember that much of good management technique can be learned and must be taught to extroverts as well as introverts.

Training opportunities abound

Extroverts, brace yourselves. Today’s all-digital, all-the-time environment means that young people entering the workforce tend to communicate in a more introverted fashion. They’re accustomed to highly individualized social interaction and communicating by text, social media and email to get and share information. This change, already seen in workplaces that hire millennials, points to training and development opportunities.

Your younger managers may need extra coaching on the value of face-to-face communications, what types of messages are better delivered one-on-one, and when to use email versus a meeting to deliver news.

When considering the leadership qualities of your team, remember: extroversion versus introversion is simply a matter of how a person handles stimulation. Extroverts gain energy from interacting with others. Introverts gain energy from quiet reflection and isolation. Both personality types can be equally creative, passionate and articulate leaders.

So, don’t overlook the quiet ones in the corner. They may harbor just the leadership qualities your company needs to succeed.

Whether you hire introverts or extroverts, you need to create a strategic plan for workforce growth. Download our guide How to Develop a Top-notch Workforce That Will Accelerate Your Business today.

Lincoln The Introverted Leader - Jennifer Kahnweiler

by Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, Ph.D.

February 15, 2013

I am also lucky enough to have a friend and speaking colleague, Dr. Gene Greissman, who is the author of two books on Lincoln and an uncanny Lincoln impersonator. I asked Gene to share his thoughts on the great man and he shared the concept of Lincoln’s geekiness. Take a look at what he wrote.

Abraham Lincoln Was A Geek

Lincoln seems to be everywhere these days.  A Spielberg movie with Daniel Day-Lewis, repeated references to Lincoln in Obama’s speeches, renewed interest in Doris Kearns Goodwin’s magisterial “Team of Rivals,” and even a ridiculous movie called “Lincoln the Vampire Hunter.”

Naturally I’m pleased.  For almost three decades I’ve told audiences all over the world that Lincoln is the quintessential high achiever, worth studying by anyone interested in career success.  One important lesson we can learn from this magnificent historical figure is the importance of possessing deep knowledge. That’s the reason I gave this piece the title “Abraham Lincoln was a Geek.”

Let me explain. The word “geek” means someone who is immersed in a particular subject to an extreme that is beyond normal. We speak of “sports geeks” or “social media geeks” or “political geeks.” The word always indicates deep knowledge.

And that describes Lincoln beautifully. By the time he became President, Lincoln had already acquired deep knowledge of a specialized field of law: patent law and copyright law. In Illinois, Lincoln was regarded as the lawyer to get if you went to court over a patent infringement.

Besides this, Lincoln also had acquired a deep knowledge of voting behavior. If Lincoln were alive today, he would be giving interviews to the media, and a TV guest on election nights. He had a firm grasp of voting patterns, turnout, and trends.

Here is how Lincoln comported himself the night of the 1860 presidential election. He, along with several companions, spent the evening in the second-floor office of the Illinois & Western Telegraph Company. One of the people in the room–a journalist by the name of Thurlow Weed–described the returns that were coming in as “Greek to me…but Mr. Lincoln seemed to understand their bearing on the general result in the State and commented upon every return by way of comparison with previous elections. He understood at a glance whether it was a loss or gain to his party.”

And here is the way one authoritative biography–Nicolay and Hay–describes Lincoln’s geek-like ability: He was completely at home among election figures. All his political life he had scanned tables of returns with as much care and accuracy as he analyzed and scrutinized maxims of government and platforms of parties. Now, as formerly, he was familiar with all the turning points in contested counties and ‘close’ districts, and knew by heart the value of each and every local loss or gain, and its relation to the grand result. ” Obviously, not just a small-town lawyer at work here.

There’s a fundamental truth for all of us in this account. It’s an achievement factor: If you intend to become a high achiever in any field, you need to possess deep knowledge of at least one thing.Bear in mind that deep knowledge and communication skill need not be mutually exclusive. You really don’t have to choose one or the other. Put another way, it’s important to be able to tell what you know, but it is equally important to know what you tell. 

You can find more articles about Lincoln and Lincoln quotes at Gene Griessman’s websites: www.presidentlincoln.com and www.whatyousay.com.  Check out his live presentations: “Lincoln Live” and “The Language of Leadership.”  For information about a presentation for your organization, call 404-435-2225


is it so bad to sit at home and not talk to anyone

At school, children are taught to do tasks in a group, at the university they have to speak and interact with people a lot, and team skills are highly valued at work.

For extroverts, all this is completely normal, while for introverts it is stress and an extra reason for alarm. However, according to Susan Cain, author of Introverts. How to use the features of your character”, every third person you know is an introvert. In theory, this should tell us that striving for solitude is completely normal and natural, but for some reason society does not think so. We collected the main conclusions from the speech of Susan Cain, in which she talks about the advantages of introverts and why you should not be ashamed of your unwillingness to be a super communicative person. nine0003

Prejudice against introverts is deeply ingrained in our society: a child who prefers to play alone is sometimes judged by peers, and adults push him to be more social. As a result, from an early age we are forced to play by the rules of the world around us, which, oddly enough, is tailored more for extroverts: what are some universities with a large crowd of people or work offices with the open space format worth?0008 .

On the one hand, communication skills are certainly very important throughout life and are worth acquiring if only for the sake of not being left with nothing; on the other hand, is it worth overcoming yourself every time, renouncing the lifestyle that is close to you in order to gain more contacts, become the soul of absolutely any company, or choose noisy parties instead of a calm, quiet dinner with friends? Not really. By acting in a way that is not natural for us, we risk forgetting who we really are and building our lives around activities and people that are completely not close to us. However, introverts, even if mechanically, still often continue to leave their comfort zone where it is not necessary to do this, but all because of certain stereotypes. nine0009

What's wrong with introverts

The first reason people don't understand how introverts survive is that we don't fully understand how introversion actually works. Some mistakenly believe that it is no different from shyness, although these two traits reflect fundamentally different states of the human psyche. Shyness is the fear of social judgment, while introversion is how we respond to cues from our environment, including interacting with people. Back at 19In the 1920s, Carl Jung said that an introvert is a person who draws energy from within himself, and not from interacting with others. He also said that in fact there are no pure introverts and extroverts, otherwise they would have gone crazy a long time ago, so there is still such a thing as ambiversion, something between extraversion and introversion. But, one way or another, many of us, albeit to varying degrees, belong to one of two types.

Extroverts need a lot of stimuli to feel good, while introverts, on the contrary, are more comfortable being alone

The study also showed that, for example, in the process of communication, as well as in moments of winning, extroverts produce more of the hormone dopamine than introverts. At the same time, the desire to limit contacts does not mean that the introvert will refuse to be part of the team or will not want to do his job, rather, on the contrary: he will approach more responsibly what is entrusted to him, pay attention to important details and complete the task better than the extrovert, which is often (but by no means always) sprayed into several cases at the same time. nine0009

The second reason why introverts are misunderstood and sometimes even condemned is the belief that creativity and productivity are only possible when jobs are tightly clustered. Accordingly, people who find it easier to find solutions and offer ideas when they are calm and alone are perceived as outcasts, and introverted children also become difficult to educate, although they simply do not want to work in a group.

Many teachers describe the ideal student as an extrovert, which is ironic since introverts tend to be more well-read and get better grades. One study confirmed that the prefrontal cortex of introverts is thicker than that of extroverts, indicating depth of thought and a tendency to plan. nine0009

According to Susan Cain, introverts also rarely become leaders, which is not good, because due to the desire to plan work and life in general, they are less impulsive, and therefore not prone to thoughtless risk taking and making emotional decisions. A study by Professor Adam Grant of the Wharton Business School showed that introverts can be good leaders for active and independent workers who do not need to be inspired or motivated to take initiative. An introvert leader can listen carefully and delegate complex interesting tasks to other employees, while an extrovert is more likely to “suffocate” with his presence, activity and unintentional inspiration with his own ideas. nine0009

Or are they okay?

The fact that introverts make up 30-50% of the population already suggests that being less social than other people is not at all ashamed, because it does not affect whether you will be successful in your career or personal life. Mark Zuckerberg, Abraham Lincoln, Warren Buffett and many other world famous personalities positioned themselves as introverts, and Bill Gates once said in one of his public speeches: "If you are smart, you can find advantages in your introversion." nine0008

Charles Darwin spent a lot of time alone in the woods and refused dinner parties with enviable regularity, and Theodor Geisel, known as Dr. Seuss, a children's book author and cartoonist, invented many of his characters while sitting in the backyard of his house in California. He also avoided meeting children who read his books, because he was afraid that he would not live up to their expectations and would turn out to be too ordinary, reserved person for them.

Edition The Hustle interviewed introverts in leadership positions and here is how these people describe their introversion:

"An introvert is someone who prefers isolation... Someone who isn't necessarily asocial, but someone who excels at internal work processes" - David Acosta, co-founder of Rebel PR

"I feel refreshed and rejuvenated when I can spend time in silence on a regular basis" - Dan Purcell, co-founder of Ever in Touch

"Being an introvert doesn't mean you're a loser or socially awkward person, it just means you need to be alone when others want to be with people." - Kevin Pasko, co-founder of Nested Naturals

In other words, introversion is not a signal that a person lacks social skills; it is likely that he has them in abundance, but he simply does not want to interact with others as often as extroverts do. Of course, you need to cooperate, otherwise the union of introvert Steve Wozniak and extrovert Steve Jobs would not have arisen, but being alone is very valuable in itself, and for some it is also vital. nine0009

3 tips for introverts and more

Stop forcing group work on people

Effective work can only be achieved by creating an easy and relaxed communication style for each employee. Meeting and sharing ideas, solutions is good for both extroverts and introverts, but by putting too much emphasis on working together, we forget to pay due attention to personal life, freedom and independence. Similarly in schools, we must teach children to communicate and solve problems together, but in the same way we must teach them to think for themselves. nine0009

Be alone with nature

Of course, you don't need to renounce social life and start building yourself a hut in the depths of the forest, but it won't be superfluous to periodically disconnect from the outside world in order to be alone with yourself, your feelings and thoughts. Introverts, who are forced to be more social, need this as much as extroverts: it can be beneficial for any person to pay attention exclusively to themselves and understand what is going on in their own head. nine0009

Don't forget to open up to the world

As a rule, others more or less understand what an extrovert is thinking, dreaming about and striving for, but an introvert lives a completely different life, and often people do not know what is happening to him. Although at this moment an introvert can come up with a completely brilliant idea that will change the world or at least make it easier to work in your company. Therefore, periodically, not necessarily on an ongoing basis, share with people what you like, your decisions and suggestions - because the world needs both the activity of extroverts and the thoughtfulness of introverts equally. nine0009

Open and famous - Money - Kommersant

A chatty three-year-old became a millionaire, and an assiduous A student could not rise above a simple clerk. No wonder: the modern world is ruled by extroverts. Of course, there are exceptions, but introverts, in order to succeed, have to cultivate in themselves the traits characteristic of other psychotypes.

Those who are open to the world are more likely to become rich and famous

Photo: Reuters


Chatterbox is a godsend for salaries

If you hope to make millions and become the CEO of some company, but were not born an extrovert, your dreams are most likely in vain. According to a study by Truity Psychometrics, it is extroverts who most often end up at the top of the food chain. Some of their subtypes earn $77,000 a year, while introverts earn a maximum of $50-60,000.

The reason is simple: if you talk a lot, you can make a good impression - and you will be promoted. Introverts, more restrained by nature, are embarrassed to promote themselves, so they are engaged in the lowest paid job, receiving $ 30,000 a year. We are talking, of course, about the United States, but many of the conclusions are applicable to other countries. nine0009

And yet it's not so simple, extroverts indulge their ego early. “More or less often does not mean that introverts earn less,” says Mikhail Dymshits, CEO of Dymshits and Partners. ".

As always, details matter. Only those extroverts who have cultivated the qualities of introverts (rationality and organization) have climbed to the very top. Wealthy introverts ($60,000) have succeeded because of their commitment to these same qualities. But those introverts who tried to imitate the "talkers" were the losers. nine0009

Ironically, rational and organized extroverts are bad businessmen. This requires exactly the opposite qualities: a well-developed intuition and the habit of solving problems as they come.

One has to come to terms with the fact that extroverts rule the world. According to Susan Cain, author of Silence: The Power of Introverts in a Chatting World, this is due to nature's natural tendency to be positive about people who talk and smile a lot. Even if their ideas don't work. True, there are exceptions to this rule: Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin are all introverts. nine0009

The Land of Long Tongues

The Truity Psychometrics study was conducted in the USA, one of the world's most extroverted and wealthiest countries. But how are things elsewhere, can the cult of communication lead to economic prosperity as well?

"Economy is first of all transactions," says Dymshits.

The modern American economy is based on sales, in which there is no place for introverts. In the Middle East, trade is also the raison d'être. Not surprisingly, in both cultures, the ability to speak and present oneself is highly valued. This can also be explained by geography: Americans and Arabs are immigrants, and extroverts used to go on long journeys. nine0009

However, the ability to talk is not a guarantee of success. This helps America, but not so much for the Arab countries or Latin American countries. Italy, Spain, Greece are quite sociable nations, but also the most heavily indebted in Europe (although the American debt is huge). Even in the same Italy, the more sociable south is a makeweight of the north in economic terms.

Almost no one conducts cross-cultural studies of temperament: matters that are too vague are affected. However, at 19In the 1980s, such an attempt was made by the British psychologist Richard Lynn (University of Ulster in Northern Ireland). Relative to the UK, Jordan, the US, Kuwait, Canada, Lebanon, Australia, Greece, Poland, South Africa, India, Italy, and Sweden were the more extroverted countries in his study. And the latter - to a lesser extent. And more introverted - Ghana, Uganda, Japan, Germany, France, Egypt, Iran, Syria, Turkey and Yugoslavia. Interestingly, Japan also scored highest on another characteristic of psychologist Hans Eysenck, psychotism (a predisposition to psychosis). nine0009

This approach is subject to much criticism. Scientists generally doubt that countries can be divided according to the predominance of extroverts or introverts in them. Most likely, they are approximately equal everywhere. Aggregated data from MBTI test results in the US generally show that there are slightly more introverts there (47-55% versus 45-53%). What differs is the cultural norms, under which both are forced to adapt. For example, in the USA, extrovert parents may well have an introvert child with whom they will not know what to do and even try to treat him. On the contrary, in China, such a child would be admired because he fits into socially approved behavior better. nine0009

But this does not mean that extraversion cannot be innate. How else can. In 1989, renowned American psychologist Jerome Kagan collected 500 four-month-old babies in the Child Development Laboratory at Harvard University. The researchers created harsh sounds and stimuli by observing how babies reacted to them. It turned out that those who cried more than others and twitched their legs at the sound of a bursting balloon have a highly reactive nervous system, and those who didn’t care about these sounds had a low reactive one. Then, in adolescence, these children were tested for sociability, and it turned out that the former became introverts, and the latter became extroverts. nine0009

Recently, Dr. Karl Schwartz continued this experiment. He found the adult participants in that study and tested the hypothesis again, only now scanning their brains with a CT scanner. It turned out that the brain of highly reactive children in adulthood continued to experience discomfort from external stimuli, although outwardly they seemed to be extroverts. The conclusion from this story is this: you can change your character, but only in a range limited by nature. So extraversion may be innate, but not necessarily inherited. nine0009

What cultural norm has taken root in Russia? Foreigners see Russians as gloomy and withdrawn people, and in public politics, "show" is somehow not accepted here. However, according to Anna Pavlovskaya, head of the Department of Regional Studies at the Faculty of Foreign Languages ​​of Moscow State University, these are rather stereotypes and autostereotypes: “Real history and modern life classify Russia as extraversion. issues. They united not just for work. Grief and holidays were shared among everyone. Problems were solved jointly and publicly - from punishing criminals and restoring girlish honor at a peasant gathering to blaming a cheating husband at a general Komsomol meeting. For a Russian person, the opinion of others has always been extremely important, who said what or even just thought.High fences are not a sign of introversion, but evidence that this is the only way to hide from the watchful eye of the team, to try to hide at least some part of your life from others.An English gentleman will be happy to sip port wine by the fireplace, in Russian culture, drinking alone - Violation of any and all rules. Or take business the Russian way. And here, first of all, the opinion of others is important. On the one hand, a Russian person hides his wealth, fearing gossip, gossip, and even the evil eye. On the other hand, he needs it first of all in order to show off in front of people: an expensive car or a golden toilet bowl, who has worked for what. At the beginning of the 20th century, this was faced during the period of the Stolypin reform. Peasants did not make good individualistic property owners: what is the point of being rich if you live separately and no one sees it?0009

And our introversion is more connected with the categories of "own" and "alien", explains Pavlovskaya: "Let's take the notorious smile: we will not smile at strangers, and in general for a Russian person laughter (smile) for no reason is a sign of something known. And here they will not just smile with their own people, but laugh, laugh, and sometimes laugh with the joy of communication. There is a concept of "individualism", which is obscure to a Russian person. That's why strangers give you as much advice on the street as no classic American extroverts (but and individualists at the same time) never dreamed of, especially if you don't ask them." nine0009

It seems that extraversion does not affect economic prosperity in any way. But personal behavior can really differ.

Throw it all away

There are several key differences between an extrovert and an introvert. The most important thing is the different attitude to risk. Since the former need a lot of stimulation to feel happy, they embark on all sorts of adventures. And a weak perception of external stimuli leads to the fact that extroverts poorly recognize risky situations. They are more likely to get into an accident and become victims of scammers. They make bad traders: they can earn more, but they lose money much more often than introverts. A classic example is Warren Buffett, who describes himself as an introvert: during the crisis of 2008-2009years, he was able to earn just thanks to his conservative strategy.

Another characteristic of extroverts is the desire for quick pleasures. They are motivated by rewards, status, and money, while introverts are motivated by process and meaning. Psychologists, for example, have proven that it is easier for introverts to put off shopping. For example, if an extrovert has received a bonus, then he will most likely blow it away very quickly. An introvert will put it on a deposit and will think for a long time what it is better to spend money on. In the famous Stanford Marshmallow Experiment, students were teased with cookies and offered a double serving if they waited a bit. It turned out that those who were more patient had higher final scores. nine0009

Hence the different attitude to loans, and especially to credit cards. After all, they allow just not to postpone the purchase, but to make it right now. Introverts will think ten times, weigh everything and calculate the risks. However, it is very difficult to prove this hypothesis. According to Aleksey Belyanin, head of the Laboratory of Experimental and Behavioral Economics at the Higher School of Economics, no one has conducted such experiments in Russia. "In my opinion, introverts have more debt," says Dymshits. "They have less income, so there are more risks." nine0009

Another important difference between extroverts is ostentatious consumption. If status is more important to them, then they will buy more expensive cars and richer houses. But even here it is almost impossible to find out the truth. According to Deneg, in 2008 car dealers in Russia froze all marketing research based on depth psychology.

According to Dymshits, there is no difference between extroverts and introverts in the consumption of goods. Another thing is services. “Extroverts go to restaurants not so much more often than introverts as in large groups,” he says. “There are more introverts among regular cinema visitors. They seem to be among people, but at the same time they may not communicate with anyone. There are such differences in drama theaters In general, consumer behavior is much more influenced by characteristics such as gender, age, and income. nine0009

Indeed, it is not worth reducing all behavior to extraversion and introversion - there are many other psychological characteristics that can greatly spoil the picture. “In sales, they are guided by the modality of the hemispheres, and socionic types can say something about the attitude towards the brand,” says Tatyana Komissarova, Dean of the Higher School of Marketing and Business Development NRU HSE. “There is also the Luscher color test. So extraversion / introversion is only a small part, which in itself has little effect." nine0009

Personal Enrichment

In the Truity Psychometrics study, 25,000 volunteers completed questionnaires based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Based on the responses, one of 16 personality types was determined, which was then correlated with annual income.

Types are abbreviated by four Latin letters, each of them characterizes certain features of a person. Couple "extroversion/introversion" ( E xtraversion-- I ntroversion) shows where consciousness is oriented - in itself or outward. Another pair, "common sense/intuition" ( S ensing--i N tuition), can suggest how a person collects information based on facts or intuition (tendency to generalize).

Based on the information received, a person makes decisions, rationally weighing alternatives or relying on emotions. For this there is a scale "thinking/feeling" ( T hinking-- F eeling). The last pair - "judgment/perception" ( J udging-- P erception) - describes how he puts these decisions into practice: he plans and arranges information in advance or acts according to the situation.

Truity Psychometrics found that at the top are the ENTJ and ESTJ types, rational and organized extroverts. As you can see, a well-developed intuition makes it difficult to earn money, but not much. At the same time, extraversion in itself is not a guarantee of high income. "Chatterboxes" who failed to develop TJ skills in themselves get much less. nine0009

Wealthy introverts turned out to be INTJs and ISTJs, that is, they had all the additional characteristics characteristic of extroverted CEOs. And yet they are far behind.

Top extroverts (ENTJs and ESTJs) have lower job satisfaction than ENFJs, ESFPs, and ESFJs. They choose jobs more emotionally (F) and the salary is not that important to them.

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