Setting the Record Straight on World Introvert Day: Introverts Make Great Leaders Too

Setting the Record Straight on World Introvert Day: Introverts Make Great Leaders Too

The Myers-Briggs Company Unveils Global Data on Introversion in Leadership

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Jan 2, 2020 — In business we cling to many myths that can steer us in the wrong direction. One such myth is the notion that to be a good leader, you have to be an extravert. To celebrate World Introvert Day, The Myers-Briggs Company's research team dove into decades worth of data to uncover some surprising insights about Introverts in leadership around the globe.

Those Preferring Introversion are the Majority, But Not in the Top Brass

From the recent Myers-Briggs global research sample, about 56.8% of us prefer Introversion, while 43.2% prefer Extraversion. Despite the fact that there are significantly more people with this preference, introverts are vastly underrepresented in top leadership. In the US, for instance, only 39% of top executives and senior leaders prefer Introversion.

This trend is even more pronounced in the UK, where on average, 28% of top executives and senior leaders prefer Introversion and 9 out of 10 of people report feeling pressure to behave in an extraverted way. And the UK isn’t even the country where leaders with Introversion preferences are the most underrepresented: in Finland only 23% of leaders prefer Introversion. Notably, Sweden has only 30%, Turkey only 28%, and Peru only 29%.

A handful of countries are more evenly split. In Zambia and Singapore 53% of top executives and senior leaders prefer introversion, followed by Malaysia at 51%, and Russia at 48%.

Furthermore, more than two-thirds of those in leadership positions have Myers-Briggs preferences for Thinking, meaning they make decisions based on impersonal criteria. On the other hand, 57-84% of women have the opposite Myers-Briggs preference for Feeling, meaning they make decisions based on individual values and an understanding of how people are affected. This means with women representing only 24% of organizational leadership globally, an entire perspective on decision-making is largely missing.

How Leaders Can Unleash the Power of Introversion

All leaders want to unlock their team’s full potential, and the approach to unlock potential in both introverted leaders and introverted team members is different than for extraverts. Here are a few tips that can help:

About The Myers-Briggs Company

In our fast-changing world, your edge lies in harnessing 100 percent of your talent – at work, at home, in education, and everywhere in between. Your success and fulfillment aren’t just about what you know, they hinge on your relationships and interactions with others. The Myers-Briggs Company helps organizations around the world improve teams, develop inspirational leaders, and solve the most perplexing people challenges. We empower individuals to be the best versions of themselves by enriching their understanding of themselves and others. As a Certified B Corporation, The Myers-Briggs Company is a force for good. Our powerfully practical solutions are grounded in a deep understanding of how significant social and technological trends affect people and organizations. And with an 80-year background of assessment and psychological expertise, a global network of offices, partners and certified independent consultants in 115 countries, products in 29 languages, and experience working with 88 of the Fortune 100 companies, we’re ready to help you succeed.

+1 800.624.1765 : : The Myers-Briggs Company

Michael Burke
MSR Communications

Melissa Summer
The Myers-Briggs Company