Who Defines Charisma? The secret is. . .

For personal and business charisma which is better . . . extravert or introvert?

I have a client who is a extremely successful in their market of machining, rolling and forming steel.  Because of their fierce desire to stay off the radar screen of their competitors , they DO NOT want general publicity.

Al Williams, a previous partner/boss was the same.  When we were rolling out No-Name Generics to the retail grocery stores in the late 1970”s he specifically told me to “stay quiet”.   “You will want to brag and show off, but we want others to know about what we are doing until AFTER we have stolen the market share from them.”

So for personal and business charisma, is it better to be an introvert or an extrovert.   It really doesn”t matter.  Why?

Because the customer is the one who assigns charisma.  They are the ones who determine who has this magical je ne sais quoi.   And since 80% of charisma is assigned to people who listen well, it doesn”t really matter if the listener is outgoing or more inward oriented.   In fact, there are a lot of loud, outgoing, obnoxious extraverts who will never be charismatic because they are too busy being full of themselves to stop and hear others.   What IS essential is to listen.

In a recent RSA Short (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUaj7rj6MI8) Susan Cain points out why a partnership between Introverts and Extraverts is key, using the two “Steves” of Apple as her example

The secret to Charisma . . . is to listen, hear and understand.  Your social proclivity to doing that really doesn”t matter.


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