Look at the leaders around you. What do you see? Calm, reasoned individuals who listen and make considered judgments? Or something very different?
The Power of Quiet Leadership
Great leaders are often seen as classic confident extroverts who can speak without thinking, react rapidly, and change tack pretty frequently. It's what best-selling author Susan Cain calls the "Extrovert Ideal." But is this really what we need right now? I'd argue that the crisis of our time need a more considered approach—a quieter one.
偉大的領導者常常被視為典型有自信的外向者，他們可以不假思索的講話，迅速做出反應並經常改變策略。這就是暢銷作家 Susan Cain 所稱的「外向者理想主義」。但這種人真的是我們現在需要的嗎？我會認為我們這個世代的危機需要一個更深思熟慮的做法－－一個安靜一點的領導者。
Let's look at the status quo. Extroverts are over-represented in senior leadership positions. One study found an incredible 98 percent of top executives scoring very high or above average on the extrovert scale. But people aren't on the whole satisfied with their leaders. Could there be a connection between the two?
我們來看一下現況。在高階領導職位中，外向者所佔的比例過高。一項研究發現，難以置信的，百分之 98 的高階管理者在外向性格方面都得到了非常高或高於平均水平的分數。但整體而言，並不是所有人都滿意自己的領導者。這兩者之間會有什麼關聯嗎？
There are lots of examples through history of successful leaders who have taken that quieter approach. For example, Rosa Parks, Mahatma Gandhi, or Bill Gates. Research shows that introverts often bring a great deal to the table. They're more likely to listen and process the ideas of their team and consider those ideas deeply before acting on them. They may be humble and more likely to credit their team for ideas and performance. And because their motivation generally comes from within, they're less likely to compromise themselves—chasing rewards like money or power.
I think we need to re-examine the way our society views effective leadership and whether we really are allowing the space for all team members to thrive. Research suggests that between 40 and 60 percent of employees tend to the quieter, more introverted side of things.
They can often feel invisible in meetings because their thoughtful approach means they have difficulty responding to those common on-the-spot questions.
我想我們需要重新審視社會看待有效領導的方式，以及我們是否真的有給予所有團隊成員成長茁壯的空間。研究表明，有百分之 40 到百分之 60 的員工傾向於更安靜、更內向的一面。他們常常覺得自己在會議中是隱形的，因為他們深思熟慮的作風意味著，他們很難回應那些常見的現場提問。
Many leadership courses can tend to focus on extroverted team activities, such as networking and presentations, leaving quieter people perhaps mistakenly believing they just don't have the qualities of a good leader. An approach that fails to bring out the best in around half of us is not just bad for quieter people; it's a disservice to us all.
Leadership is complex, but in a world of sound bites, sledgehammer tactics, and black-and-white thinking, perhaps standing back and listening can be empowering to leaders and their followers. As the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu puts it, the best leaders are those that talk little. And when their work is done and their aims fulfilled, their followers will say, "We did it ourselves."
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- 「提供有益的事物」- bring something to the table
Research shows that introverts often bring a great deal to the table.
- 「對某事採取行動」- act on something
They're more likely to listen and process the ideas of their team and consider those ideas deeply before acting on them.