Are Founders / CEO Introverts or Extroverts?
While we’ve been discussing characteristics and habits of founders, we would be remiss to not discuss introverts versus extroverts. The typical founder / CEO is usually portrayed as external, loud, brash, and aggressive. That’s a stereotype we’ve come to know from many of the most famous and visible founders. But founders come in all shapes and sizes including some that are introverts and some that are extroverts.
Of course, it’s easy to notice the founders and CEOs that are extroverts. They’re generally outgoing, gain energy from interacting with people, and are quite comfortable in groups or social situations. The key is that they feed off the energy of being with other people. An introvert, often, generates energy when they are alone rather than in a group. A group setting or social situation is a net energy loss for them. Some introverts are adept in group settings, but it’s frequently hard to spot them because they’re more energized and comfortable when they’re alone.
As we discuss in The Startup Playbook, it’s not the skills, capabilities or characteristics of any one founder that makes a company succeed, it’s the sum of all of those from the entire team. As such, any one person on the team can be introverted or extroverted, as long as the team, as a whole, can fill all the roles and requirements of the company. The more the team is aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses, the more it can take advantage of them. There are numerous situations in the day-to-day life of a company where understanding how your team generates energy can have an impact on their productivity and general happiness in the company. The foundation for making that work is having each member of the team understand the others deeply. When that happens, the abilities and skills of one or another becomes much less important and the team takes over as the guiding unit for the startup.
If you would like to learn more about how to leverage your team better by understanding whether they an introvert or extrovert, grab a copy of our book, The Startup Playbook. This is one of the topics that we discuss to help you better manage your team.