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"Often the leaders end up doing a lot of the talking, and not listening to any of the ideas that the followers are trying to provide," says HBS associate professor Francesca Gino, who conducted the study with professors Adam M. Grant of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and David A. Hofmann of UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. Their article, "Reversing the Extraverted Leadership Advantage: The Role of Employee Proactivity," will appear in the Academy of Management Journal next year.
We often expect corporate executives to conform to certain extroverted CEO stereotypes: C for charismatic, E for effusive, and O for outgoing. To wit: Virgin Group chairman Richard Branson, who very publicly flew around the world in a hot air balloon; former General Electric CEO Jack Welch, a guest player on the sitcom 30 Rock; and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, the swashbuckling yachtsman.
But then there are the introverted CEOs—calm, eremitic, and observant—who prefer flying below the radar. You've never heard of them because they don't like the spotlight. Take Peter Rouse, who last week was named interim White House chief of staff, replacing the extraverted Rahm Emanuel. Barely known outside of Washington circles, Rouse is a quiet politician who seems to eschew the public eye, preferring instead to hunker down and deal with problems. Within the walls of the West Wing, he is reportedly known as a "fixer."Read more at hbswk.hbs.edu