< Back to Insights

Extroverted Leaders: Seven Tips for Success

Last week I wrote about introverted leaders and offered seven tips for success. This week it’s all about extroverts and the things they can do to hone their leadership skills.

Introversion or extroversion is not about how shy or social you are; it’s about how you derive your energy.

An introvert’s source of energy comes from within, from their inner world of thoughts, ideas, and reflections. Introverts direct energy and attention inward and receive energy from reflecting on thoughts, memories, and feelings.

Extroverts, on the other hand, get their essential stimulation from the outer world, the world of people and things. They direct their energy and attention outward and receive energy from interacting with people and from taking action.

Introversion and extroversion are not so much personality traits as preferences for interacting with the world in a way that feels the most comfortable to them. Everybody has both qualities in their personality, the inward and the outward energy, but we do tend to lean consistently one way or the other.

Leaders come in both styles. Neither is right or wrong. Both have advantages and both have challenges.

Are You An Extrovert?

To find out what you are, the Meyers BriggsType Indicator (MBTI) is the gold standard. There are also lots of free resources out there. Sites like HumanMetrics offer free quizzes.

But the simplest way to find out if you are an introvert or an extrovert is to answer these questions:

  • Generally speaking, are you energized by interactions or enervated by them?
  • Generally speaking, where do you focus your attention and energy—outward or inward?

If you are energized by outward interactions you are an extrovert. If you tend to focus your attention and energy outward you are an extrovert. Again, these are general feelings, and everyone has both qualities, but we do tend to lean more one way or the other, and this has an impact on our leadership style.

Extroverts in the Workplace

It’s all about where you prefer to focus your attention and get your energy. In general, 


  • Are attuned to their external environment
  • Prefer to communicate by talking
  • Prefer action over reflection; they can act and respond quickly
  • Work out ideas by talking them through; they speak to think
  • Learn best through doing or discussing
  • Share thoughts freely
  • Are sociable and expressive
  • Extend themselves into their environment
  • Enjoy working in groups

Extroverts are very good at remaining aware of the external environment, maintaining their networks, and taking quick action.

Challenges for Extroverted Leaders

The introversion/extroversion personality preference is important in leadership because it directly pertains to how people relate to other people, especially in terms of communication and engaging with others.

Three of the most important leadership skills are the ability to inspire, motivate, and enable others to act. To do this requires a communication and personal engagement style that promotes a sense of trust and confidence with one’s employees and co-workers.

When most people think of a leader they probably think of an extrovert. But extroverts may overwhelm and intimidate people, make them feel they aren’t being heard, push ideas prematurely, and unintentionally reveal confidences. They like to think out loud, which can lead to problems. Extroverts have to be careful. 

Seven Tips for Extroverted Leaders

Here are some seven tips to help extroverts be better leaders:

  1. Ask yourself, why am I talking right now?
  1. Try to listen more and reflect back what you just heard.
  1. Provide space for other people to contribute.
  1. Ask more questions and really listen. Resist the urge to immediately start providing your opinion.
  1. Tell introverts ahead of time what you’d like to discuss.
  1. Be careful what you say. What you say carries a lot of weight. Too much talking out loud may make you appear indecisive. If you are going to “extrovert” or brainstorm ideas, make sure people know that is what you are doing.
  1. Be careful of oversharing. Not everything needs to be discussed out loud.


The best leaders are those who can inspire, motivate, and enable others to act. You can lead effectively whether you are an extrovert or an introvert. You just need to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of your style, and work on the things that may challenge you. Good luck!


Personality Matters in the workplace! Learn more about assessments and our course options here:

Click Here