Introverted CEOs

Maybe there is hope for me after all.

It seems counter-intuitive, but introverts and closet introverts populate the highest corporate offices, so much so that four in 10 top executives test out to be introverts, a proportion only a little lower than the 50-50 split among the overall population age 40 and older.

There are many ingredients to success, and one of the most obvious has always been an outgoing, gregarious personality that lets fast risers stand out in a crowd of talent. But successful introverts seem to have mastered the ability to act like extroverts. Some liken it to an out-of-body experience that lets them watch themselves be temporarily unreserved. They remain introverts to the core, and if they don't get down time alone or with family, they feel their energy being sapped.

  • I think that in business, one encounters two basic types of people: those who do the things that are psychologically easiest for them, and those who try to do what the job requires, whether it comes naturally or not. Those in the second category are more likely to succeed.

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps this is how a human being develops.

  • I found it really interesting in the article you quoted that even though extroverts got paid more, it was found that they didn’t do any better at adding value to the company.

    Also the thought that extroverts moved up the corporate ladder quicker, but once toward the top, it got a lot slower.

    One good point to note was the way the two personalities got their batteries recharged. Extroverts by being in a crowd and introverts by being alone.

    Real interesting look at different personality types.

  • Two somewhat related points:

    1) In short, successful introverts have learned how to get in the zone to manage and lead, and they know when to retreat into that quiet, private space to reflect and plan…

    2) Personally, as an introvert, I GREATLY prefer to be managed by another introvert. Why would an introvert want to be… um… micromanaged by an extrovert?