Leaders get paid to make tough decisions.
Now, for introverts, tough decisions are just that: tough. It’s tough making a decision when you know that tomorrow, when you see everyone, they’ll all think you made a mistake, resent what you did, and grumble about how a trained monkey could have done a better job than you.
For extroverts, tough decisions are damn near impossible. Extroverts’ energy source doesn’t come from within, it comes from the flow they have with others. Which means trying to make a decision that puts them at odds with the people they’re “leading” is like trying to make the decision to swear off food. It doesn’t work.
And that right there is the difference between popular people and leaders: popular people need the crowd; leaders don’t. We really see the difference when the chips are down and the crowd demands leadership. At that moment, extroverts pander to the people, giving them what they want, while leaders take care of the people, giving them what they need.
If followers were hungry kids, the extroverts would be handing out candy while the introverts would be handing out vegetables.
And that’s why extroverts can’t lead: they need their followers so much, they’d never risk losing them by suggesting something their followers might not like.
Jason Seiden is CEO of Ajax Workforce Marketing. Ajax amplifies brands by aligning employees' online messaging.