Great article here from the Harvard Business Review titled The Hidden Advantages of Quiet Bosses.  Oh, where to begin on this one?  I have seen this thought process play out firsthand with many customers and even in my own career.  In the sales world, extroverts are generally held in higher regard than introverts – that has been my experience.

This same value structure typically plays out in promoting salespeople into sale management roles.  The extroverts often get the position.  However, here is a differing position put forward in the article:

To be sure, extroverted leaders have important strengths. However, they also tend to command the center of attention and take over discussions. In a dynamic, unpredictable environment, introverts are often more effective leaders—particularly when workers are proactive, offering ideas for improving the business. Such behavior can make extroverted leaders feel threatened. In contrast, introverted leaders tend to listen more carefully and show greater receptivity to suggestions, making them more effective leaders of vocal teams.

You can read the different experiments they conducted to learn more about introversion/extroversion (really clever designs).  They do offer up a great summation of what they found:

While it’s often true that extroverts make the best bosses and proactive employees make the best workers, combining the two can be a recipe for failure. Soft spoken leaders may get the most out of proactive employees—so save the outgoing, talkative managers for teams that function best when they’re told what to do.

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