Time for Quiet Leaders

In a media-saturated culture where business heroes can achieve cult-like status and presidential candidates appear to be auditioning for a television gig and not the office, is it time for quiet leadership? "Why We Need Quiet Leaders" argues that in knowledge-based organizations quiet leaders offer a better signal-to-noise ratio.

The authors argue that extraverted leadership commands the center of attention: being assertive, bold, talkative and dominant, providing and clear authority, structure and direction. However, pairing extraverted leaders with employees who take initiative, are more independent and speak out can lead to conflict, while pairing the same type of employees with an introverted leader, can be more successful. The researchers found in their study that when employees are more proactive, introverted managers lead them to higher profits, whereas where employees are not proactive, extraverted managers are more successful. They concluded that introverted and extraverted leadership styles can be equally effective, but with different kinds of employees.

The "authors" referenced in the quote above are behind this study: "The Hidden Advantages of Quiet Leaders."