Successful leaders are often perceived as having extroverted, charismatic and larger than life personalities.
There is no mistaking the fact many great leaders I have worked with fall into this category.
However it is also true that many are quite the opposite, including one of the best managers I have ever worked for. Some may have called him an introvert and yes, he was never the loudest or most talkative within a group. But when he did speak, it was considered, well thought out and usually made a darn good point.
The difference between loud chiefs and quiet commanders reminds of Aesop’s fable of The Peacock and the Crane.
A PEACOCK spreading its gorgeous tail mocked a Crane that passed by, ridiculing the ashen hue of its plumage and saying, “I am robed, like a king, in gold and purple and all the colours of the rainbow; while you have not a bit of colour on your wings.”
“True,” replied the Crane; “but I soar to the heights of heaven and lift up my voice to the stars, while you walk below, like a cock, among the birds of the dunghill.”
It can be easy to overlook those in our organizations who fail to dazzle us with their ‘bright feathers.’
I have seen ‘successful’ leaders who are not ‘good’ leaders climb the corporate ladder with dexterity. Equally, I have seen good (quiet) leaders be ‘unsuccessful’ – going unrecognised simply because they didn’t fit the mould or shout loud enough about themselves to those that counted.
If you are a quiet leader, don’t try and change who you are. At the same time, don’t allow your quiet demeanor to become a stumbling block to your success.
Instead, be like the crane, and allow your understated prowess to shine through, guiding you to new heights – and inspiring others to fly alongside you.