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Introverts compared to extroverts — general counsel as leaders and their personality styles

The Atlantic, July/Aug. 2012 at 68, has a piece on the leadership styles of introverts and extroverts. According to some recent research, “introverted leaders typically deliver better outcomes than extroverts, because they’re more likely to let proactive employees run with their ideas.” Later, the article suggests that extroverted general counsel, “who like to be at the center of attention,” may feel threatened by subordinate lawyers who take too much initiative (See my post of Feb. 14, 2011: Kronos effect.).

The short piece mentions other powers of introverts. They persist, they take more careful risk, and they are more comfortable with solitude – “a crucial spur to creativity.”

So, a boisterous, rah-rah style, Teddy Roosevelt leading the Rough Riders may not fit so well in a law department (See my post of April 18, 2005: lawyers’ MBTI scores compared to those of the general population; Aug. 21, 2005: lawyers as introverts; and June 11, 2006: Meyers-Briggs and a generational shift toward extroversion.). Many of its projects last a long time, involved risk judgments, and call for thoughtful solutions.

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