Are you considering a leadership role? Are you wondering if you’re ready to answer the call? Are you nervous about your abilities and you’re struggling to make the transition? Are you wondering if this is the right path for you? If so, We’ve been there and we feel you!
Standing tall and leaping into leadership is not an easy decision to make, especially not if you’re an introvert. However, if you understand the point of leadership and you have what it takes, you can go on to accomplish incredible things.
Let's talk about the lessons you must learn before you leap into leadership and help you understand if this is the right move for you. We will also provide a few strategies for introverts that will help you find success. Answering the call of leadership can be incredibly rewarding and it’s not something you should dismiss out of hand out of fear of failure.
What exactly is a leader?
When we think of leaders, we often think of someone who can give others direction and mobilize them towards one goal. The characteristics of a leader are important and the impact they have can vary a lot from person to person.
What we want you to understand is that being a good leader has nothing to do with how extroverted or introverted you are. It’s more about the ability to think about the big picture and the capacity to influence others positively so that vision can be brought to life.
Good leaders have a good sense of the state of the world and they can find unexploited opportunities and identify dangers that may be lurking in the dark. That knowledge is key and they leverage it to determine what things deserve their focus and attention.
Leaders are also able to communicate their vision clearly and get other people to see their view so that they are motivated, involved, and inspired to be a part of the effort.
How to start seeing yourself as a leader
Most people don’t think of themselves as leaders because they think of their contribution in terms of the technical skills they bring to the table. People think of themselves as engineers, marketers, managers, etc., but they don’t think of themselves as leaders.
However, when you switch your mindset and start looking at your contributions in terms of being able to guide people towards something new, you will be able to see yourself as a leader.
Making a conscious effort to influence someone or a group of people will allow you to recognize your own ability. It will start to feel like a genuine and legitimate part of yourself, something you’re good at. In turn, you will start to internalize the identity of a leader.
What you need to learn about leadership
If you want to leap into leadership, you must learn a few important lessons about it. The first thing you need to understand is why you want to be a leader to begin with? Instead of thinking about it as the next logical step in your career, you should really look inside yourself and determine what being a leader means to you.
Everyone’s path to leadership and motivations are different, but it’s definitely a commitment and a craft. You will learn a lot about yourself based on the path you decide to take on the way to answer the call, trust us!
The second thing you need to understand is that leaders need other leaders. If you don’t have someone to turn to, leadership can be lonely and more challenging than it needs to be. Having a leader is not about reporting to someone, it’s about having a soundboard and someone who provides support when you need it most.
Having the support of someone who knows what it’s like to be in leadership will allow you to develop your own fortitude and commitment. Not to mention they have so much useful insight! Having access to that will get you through the rough parts of being a leader.
Lastly, you need to understand that leadership takes practice. It’s a craft that you will continuously develop and that’s very rewarding, but it’s a big commitment. As a leader, you are in the position to provide the support others need to realize their potential. With that in mind, you must learn to connect with all kinds of people, identify what makes them tick, and be approachable.
10 leadership tips for introverted people
Being introverted or shy doesn’t mean you can’t be a good leader. Sure, it makes it a bit tricky, but you know how to get things done and you know what you’re doing. What you need are a few strategies to help you manage your shyness and even leverage it to create your own approach to leadership.
1. Learn to manage your stamina
If you’re an introverted person, you have to push yourself to be involved with your team. However, you won’t be able to do that if you don’t learn how to manage your stamina and energy throughout the day. Burning yourself out will make you even more withdrawn, so don’t overload yourself and always make time for reflection.
2. Choose good role models
In the previous section, we mentioned how important it is to have a leader to turn to for support. You must choose good role models and communicate with them about what you feel is holding you back when you’re having a rough time. Talking about the behaviors that you admire from your leaders will give you insight into how you can emulate them and become a lot more comfortable in your role.
3. Have one-on-one encounters with people
It’s not a secret that introverted people do a lot better in one-on-one scenarios. If that’s the case for you, meet with people one-on-one so you can build your comfort level. Soon enough, you will be able to feel comfortable in group settings. Additionally, one-on-one meetings will help you empower people a lot more effectively and build trust.
4. Develop your skills daily
As we mentioned before, being a good leader requires practice because leadership is a craft