Average Joes Make the Best Leaders, Researcher Adam Grant Says

Extroverts and introverts run greater risks of failing when asked to be leaders

According to Adam Grant, a professor presently working with the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Management, average Joes (i.e. “normal people,” as he calls them) are more likely to be successful as leaders than introverts and extroverts are.

In all fairness, there is little chance that anyone might look into the possibility of labeling introverts as the perfect leaders, yet Adam Grant's findings with respect to how well extroverts have performed when allowed to be in charge of various situations are interesting, to say the least.

Thus, Adam Grant has shown that, although the fact that introverts and leadership do not really see eye to eye is to remain forever true, extroverts and leadership are not a perfect match either.

More precisely, extroverts are likely to perform better than introverts at jobs which involve their managing various situations and keeping a team well under control, yet their achievements are more often than not overshadowed by those reported by ambiverts (i.e. people who are neither exceedingly introverted, nor extremely extroverted).

In order to reach these conclusions, Adam Grant has analyzed data collected from several sales representatives working at a software company, sources report.

By tracking their performance over the course of three months, he found that introverts earned about $120 (roughly €90) per hour, whereas extroverts earned roughly $125 (about €93). On the other hand, ambiverts typically earned $155 (approximately €115) per hour.

Adam Grant suspects that this is because extroverts talk too much and listen too little, while introverts typically do exactly the opposite. In other words, some assert themselves a tad too much, whereas others fail to assert themselves at all.

Despite the fact that this study focused on salespeople, Adam Grant is quite convinced that, since leaders are quasi-salespeople, his findings are perfectly valid when making comments on leadership and those more suited for it.

The bulk of Adam Grant's research is to be published later this year in the journal Psychological Science.

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