Why Introverts Make Great Entrepreneurs

first_img More of our Members in the Media > The Wall Street Journal:Imagine a typical entrepreneur.A quiet, reserved introvert is probably not what first came to mind. Aren’t entrepreneurs supposed to be gregarious and commanding—verbally adept and able to inspire employees, clients and investors with the sheer force of their personality? No wonder the advice for introverts who want to be entrepreneurs has long been some form of: “Be more extroverted.”Now, though, business experts and psychologists are starting to see that guidance is wrong. It disregards the unique skills that introverts bring to the table—the ability to focus for long periods, a propensity for balanced and critical thinking, a knack for quietly empowering others—that may make them even better suited for entrepreneurial and business success than extroverts.…Adam Grant, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School , and his colleagues found that when employees were proactive, introverted leaders generated better performance and higher profits than extroverted leaders did.Why? Extroverts are better at leading passive employees who need a lot of direction, says Dr. Helgoe. “But if you have a very creative, self-motivated staff, introverts are better at channeling that talent and staying out of the way—listening, taking in ideas, helping employees shine.”…Finally, in a 2009 study looking at how introverts and extroverts approached an “effortful task,” Maya Tamir, director of the Emotion and Self-Regulation Laboratory at Boston College and Hebrew University in Jerusalem, found that extroverts sought a happy state while completing the task, while introverts preferred to maintain a neutral emotional state.“The introverts’ happy space is a quieter space with less interruptions,” says Ms. Buelow. “They won’t have that overstimulation.”Read the whole story: The Wall Street Journallast_img

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