Extraverted Leadership Head-Butts Employee Proactivity


It is already established that the way you lead can make your team go quiet. However, it is also well established that extraversion – as in engaging behaviours that put the leader in the centre of attention – is consistently connected to transformational leadership performance.  Is this always true? Well, no, it is particularly true when employees are not proactive. (see Grant et al, 2011).

When employees are proactive, that is they voice ideas, take charge and exert upward influence, extraverted leadership becomes a negative trait.

Isn’t it interesting many or most (?) leaders are intimidated by proactive behaviour of employees (or see it as mere distractions)?

We all like proactive behaviour when it is our proactivity. If you like to improve team performance and you are extraverted, you either find non-proactive team members or you adopt a different, more quiet and receptive style and work with proactive team members.

An easy choice, if you ask me.

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