Don’t be fooled into thinking that you have to choose one.
Let me start by sharing that Carl Jung the noted Swiss psychiatrist who popularized the concept of introvert or extrovert never intended this to be measured on one continuum where your strength in one meant you were weaker in the other. I think it is a disservice to you and your leadership style to force your personality to be defined primarily as an introvert or an extrovert.
I have connected with over 1,000 entrepreneurs at The Startup Factory and I can share with you that leadership style is a complex and multi-variable beast. Layer in time of day and situational circumstances and this much is obvious–your leadership personality can be switched from introvert to extrovert like a light switch.
So, if great leaders channel different aspects of their personality when needed, is there one trait that every introvert must have in order to be successful?
Yes! I believe that every leader must have the ability to effectively communicate their vision in public.
Though no one would ever classify me as an introvert–I have plenty of introverted moments and these moments manifest themselves when in large groups of people (like a conference). Public speaking is different and is something that has come late to me. After hundreds of public speeches, I was totally freaked out when asked to do my first Ted talk. As you know, Ted talks have a special tone and rhythm and I wanted to capture and frankly nail that as well as tell my story about co-founding MapQuest.
Are you an introverted leader who is still defining your leadership style? Remember, you are not 100% introvert or 100% extrovert, don’t get fooled into thinking that you need to choose one and then define your leadership personality around that decision. You are both and great leaders find both when needed. But, all great leaders can speak in public. Get started now.