Introverted and Extroverted Leaders
I really appreciated Thom Rainer’s post on introverted leadership last week. It’s an excellent post, but it’s only part of the story. If you read this post alone you might think that introverts have to make adjustments in order to lead. Someone may assume that extroverts are natural leaders, but introverts need work.
That’s why I was glad to see a companion post written by Jonathan Alexander on extroverted leadership. Alexander makes some good suggestions.
For instance, Rainer offers this principle for introverted leaders:
As much as possible, I try to have an extrovert with me when I’m in public or group settings. That extrovert can carry the conversation. I can nod my head and smile.
Alexander offers this principle for extroverted leaders:
As much as possible, I need to have introverts on my team to remind me to not talk so much. They also model a quiet interior life that I need so desperately to be better at.
Why do we even need to think about this? Three reasons: it’s part of what it means to bear with each other (Ephesians 4:2). Second, we need to think accurately about leadership. Finally, we need to be aware of our own strengths and weaknesses.
For further reading, I highly recommend Adam McHugh’s Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture
. Both introverts and extroverts need to think about this issue.