Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Introverts Can Lead
Listning to HBR's Ideacast, I heart Douglas Conant, former CEO of Campbell's Soup and author of Touchpoints, explain his strategies for turning around several companies. The final question he answered was around his character his being an introvert. He explained that the manner in which he finally was able to overcome this trait was by openly acknowledging that he was an introvert and encouraging his team to invite him into a conversation and not wait for him to engage. It was a powerful moment when he was able to embrace this aspect of his personality and leadership style. Once he acknowledged openly his bent toward introvertism, he conversely became less of an introvert. Once again this reminds me of my comments yesterday about leadership styles. All styles of leadership can be effective. The loud, gregarious, and extrovert is probably the most common leader style that we think of when we picture the quintessential leader. However, quiet, reserved, and even introverts can lead. What is more important is integrity, thoughtfulness, clear thinking, collaboration, and courage.