How to Use an Adaptive Leadership Style: Channel Your Inner Introvert and Extrovert


Can introverts lead?

Finally, some validation that introverts don’t have to pretend to be extroverted to get ahead.

In the December 2010 Harvard Business Review article “The Hidden Advantages of Quiet Bosses,” Francesca Gino, associate professor at Harvard Business School, explains how quiet bosses with proactive teams can be highly successful.

Research shows that extroverts aren’t always the best bosses and introverts can be effective leaders. Extroverted leaders tend to do all the talking. With proactive followers, team tasks didn’t do that well with an extroverted leader; however, with proactive followers with an introverted leader, the leader tended to listen.

What can extroverted leaders do? Look at the context they’re in. If they’re in a context where the followers are creative and proactive, leaders should take an introverted leadership style by letting their followers do some of the talking, being receptive to the ideas they are receiving.

Learn learned

  1. Adaptive approach: If you’re in a situation that requires an extroverted approach, try to adapt by being more outgoing or assertive.
  2. Context: Leaders should look at the context they are in such as having proactive followers, then use an introvert style or if followers are quiet, then be extroverted.
  3. Followers: Push your followers by making them proactive.

Should leaders try to change their followers? Find out more from the Can Introverts Lead? video.



  1. Hi Lori,

    this is happy news for introverts 🙂
    Just one question. Where can I read the article “The Hidden Advantages of Quiet Bosses” by Francesca Gino?
    Probably I will have to wait until next month…


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