At a recent talk, I was speaking about how important it is for leaders to be enthusiastic. I believe this is one of the most important characteristics of leadership, and a leader who is passionate and enthusiastic will have many willing followers.
Near the end of the talk, a person in the audience asked for advice on what an introvert could do when it comes to showing enthusiasm. This was a great question and one that is a real challenge for introverted leaders.
There are certainly different leadership styles and some leaders are naturally more charismatic than others. But leaders who are introverts still must show enthusiasm and passion for the team and the mission of the organization. These leaders may rely more on one-on-one conversations, rather than uncomfortable group settings, to convey their enthusiasm to individuals on the team.
But, even so, there still is a need for these leaders to be able to communicate their vision to the whole team. They will have to push themselves to a place of discomfort for the sake of leading the team. The leader must be able to stand up in front of the team and portray the vision of where they want the team to go. They may not do it with great charisma, and that is okay, but they must be able to communicate the vision.
We saw a good example of these different leadership styles in the Big Ten Football Championship game. On one side of the field was James Franklin, the charismatic coach of Penn State; and on the other side was the more subdued Paul Chryst of Wisconsin. Both coaches led their respective teams to the Big Ten Championship game, but each did it with his own style. While Franklin jumps around on the sideline and shows energy to fire up his team, Chryst is more calm and poised. Chryst motivates his players with more one-on-one, direct conversations to show that he cares. I don’t know James Franklin, but he makes it easy to see his enthusiasm on the sideline. I have the pleasure of knowing Paul Chryst and can tell you he gets the most out of his team by showing his players how much he loves the game and cares about them. These two coaches have two very different styles, but both achieve very successful outcomes.
If you are an introverted leader, you may need to find ways that you are comfortable with showing your enthusiasm and passion for your team and its mission. If you are sincere and genuine, your style will resonate with your team. And regardless of your charisma, you’ll motivate your team to championship heights.
Thanks for reading,
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