Does extroversion determine confidence, leadership and presence?
Ten founders and members of Young Entrepreneur Council offer their best advice for quieter leaders, below.
1. Partner up with a tiger.
Steve Wozniak was timid, but Steve Jobs was loud–think about successful partnerships that balance each other out. This doesn’t mean giving away half your company to someone else, but definitely partner with a mentor or someone who has no problem with approaching strangers and leading discussions, even if it’s someone you occasionally do live events with that isn’t involved in your company.–Rob Fulton, Exponential Black
2. Only lead when needed.
Leadership is a battle-worn, earned trait. I’ve learned as an introvert to let your A-players do their work, and stand up to say something when they need to be led. Always trying to give direction can feel like micromanagement to intelligent, driven individuals, but being there in times of need while providing direction can help your team respect your words more.–Kenny Nguyen, Big Fish Presentations
3. Lead by example.
Maybe you aren’t the most charismatic speaker, but that doesn’t mean you can’t lead effectively. The old adage “actions speak louder than words” is very relevant in the business world. Having your employees see the amount of passion and skill that you put into work can inspire them just as much as a rousing speech or polished presentation.–Brian Honigman, BrianHonigman.com
4. Be yourself.
5. Schedule meetings instead of attending networking events.
In business, introverts generally shine in smaller meetings rather than at networking events. If you want to catch up with your clients, co-workers, colleagues, etc., suggest a meeting or lunch rather than catching up at a big event. An introverted person is going to shine more under those types of circumstances, and you’ll get more quality time and undivided attention.–Cassie Petrey, Crowd Surf
6. Be conscious of your body language.
Body language is a very powerful tool. In fact, you can trick your body into believing that you are a confident extrovert. Standing in a “power pose” for approximately five minutes can alter your entire demeanor. Want to evoke power? Believe you are powerful. Stand like you are powerful. Open yourself up to all situations without fear or hesitation. Believe and act that you are, and you will be.–Ranan Lachman, Pley
7. Focus on being effective, not powerful.
I’m not sure many introverted leaders feel pressure to or see value in becoming more powerful. Leaders should concern themselves with becoming more effective. As an introvert, I find myself having to be more mindful when I’m saying too little or letting my viewpoints get overshadowed by more extroverted colleagues. It’s less of a power thing and more of a way to influence and effectively lead others.–Chris Cancialosi, GothamCulture
8. Leverage your unique power.
Anecdotally, I know many introverts who do not say much in social settings, but when they do say something, it is incredibly meaningful, absolutely hilarious, or both! Introverts should leverage that power over their audience to show that what they do have to say or do is valuable and fitting for a capable leader.–Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep
9. Express your ideas.
Sometimes introverts are not as comfortable presenting their thoughts and ideas in front of large groups, but a great leader should inspire people. I think the key is to actively find ways to comfortably express your ideas to your team. It could be a written email, blog post, or even a talk.–Randy Rayess, VenturePact
10. Utilize your existing skills.
As any leader does, we all have to utilize our skills and experiences to the best of our advantage. Introverts typically remain calm under pressure, listen intuitively to their team, and apply an analytical approach to problem solving. These traits make them powerful leaders today.–Mina Chang, Linking the World
This post was originally published in December 2014 on Inc.com. TheYoungProfessionalGroup.com takes no credit for the work of the author.