Academic journal article Journal of Marketing and Management

Perception of Introverted Leaders by Mid to High -Level Leaders

Academic journal article Journal of Marketing and Management

Perception of Introverted Leaders by Mid to High -Level Leaders

Article excerpt

Introduction

It is well documented in U.S. culture that the perception of a successful leader is one with extroverted, charismatic, outgoing personality traits (Zaccardi, Howard, & Schnusenberg, 2012). One may envision Bill Clinton, former U.S. President, Steve Jobs, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Apple, Inc., Muhammad Ali, boxer, and many other charismatic figures throughout history. The purpose of the study was to provide further research in the area of introverted leadership and connect positive traits of introverts to desirable leadership roles. This qualitative research study investigated mid to high-level leaders' perceptions of introverted leaders. By looking at introverted leaders from the view of other leaders, information can be noted that could not be found by evaluating the perception of introverted leaders by the general public. The rest of the paper is structured as follows: Literature Review section reviews existing literature. Problem Background section clearly states the problem this study addressed. This sections is followed by detailed Methodology, Data Collection and Analysis, and Findings sections.

Literature Review

It is well documented in U.S. culture that the perception of a successful leader is one with extroverted, charismatic, outgoing personality traits (Zaccardi, Howard, & Schnusenberg, 2012). One may envision Bill Clinton, former U.S. President, Steve Jobs, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Apple, Inc., Muhammad Ali, boxer, and many other charismatic figures throughout history. It is well-known that many believe that CEO's of companies need to be able to command attention from their followers, inspire others through their bigger than life personalities, communicate their vision to large crowds, and be able to exude confidence in any social situation. The distinction between introversion and extroversion is clear and supported by the research of Carl Jung, renowned psychiatrist (Jung, 1971).

Carl Jung (1923) described these personality types, but stated, "One can never give a description of type, no matter how complete, which absolutely applies to one individual, despite the fact that thousands might, in a certain sense, be strikingly characterized by it" (p. 33). Jung cautioned that psychological typology is a way to describe and understand human behavior in a general sense but one must be cautious not to discount individual differences and uniqueness. He also encourages one to look at how humans can compensate and adapt to situations despite personality traits. When we are careful to consider the adaptability and uniqueness of humans, we are able to learn a great deal about human psychology. Jung described introverted versus extroverted characteristics seen in children from a very young age in terms of temperament and how they see the world.

Jung (1923) described this development as an "innate" process, which can be seen in children from a very young age (p. 33). He described extroverted children as those who: (a) quickly adapt to their environment; (b) give attention to objects; (c) are concerned with their relation and affect upon objects; (d) have a lack of shyness towards objects; (e) have a trust of objects; (f) develop quicker than introverts and have a lack of fear; (g) perceive quickly, but haphazardly; (h) risk themselves by pushing undertakings to extremes; and (i) have a sense that everything unknown is appealing.

In his description of children characterized as introverts, Jung believed that: (a) they are reflective and thoughtful; (b) they have a pronounced shyness; (c) they have a fear of unknown objects; (d) they have self-assertion towards objects; (e) attempt to master objects in relation to themselves; (e) regard the unknown with distrust; (f) outside influences are met with emphatic resistance; (g) will not submit to rules that they do not understand; (h) want answers to questions in terms of names, meanings, and explanations which provide subjective security objects; and (i) the world is the inner world, its' subject based on relationships to objects. …

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