top of page

Managing Your Profile

Introverted leaders do not naturally seek or feel the need for the limelight; their self esteem does not depend on public approbation. In many leadership roles that are high profile it is important not only to achieve objectives but to be seen to do so. Introverted leaders may need to make particular efforts to ensure that this happens.


  • achieving sufficient visibility can be challenging - the ‘spotlight’ is often an uncomfortable place for introverted leaders and being in it can drain energy

  • when introverted leaders try to raise their profile, it can be hard to get their voice heard

  • at times it can seem that those who are best at self-promotion achieve career progression more easily

  • many introverted leaders attempt to improve their profile by “acting extrovert”. Some do this successfully for many years, but this is ultimately extremely draining - and over time becomes unsustainable.

What introverted leaders said about the challenges of Managing your Profile

  • “Sometimes I won't push myself into the spotlight; push myself into meeting new people. Ultimately this has had an impact on my standing/visibility.”

  • “Sometimes I feel under pressure to be more extroverted and feel that perhaps you have to show these tendencies consistently to develop in a career.”

  • “Introverted leaders are often high profile ‘in role’ or as experts; extroverts enjoy high profile whenever. I never found high profile to be easy and often stressful. My introversion contributed to this.”

  • “Sometimes I can miss the boat and feel that I should have spoken out so that others hear that I understood and had the same thought process - I think this is the competitive element of my leadership style.”

  • “Introversion has meant that I struggle to get "noticed" in organisations, especially in meetings where the loudest participant gets the most attention.”

  • I have learnt how to 'perform' in a more extrovert way than would be my preferred normal style. I have found this to be good for developing and pushing myself in a way that I might not otherwise do. However, I find it very draining to perform to this level and need 'down time' away from people. I have remained fairly visible, but have not found it that easy to be constantly walking around chatting to staff and clients as I would like. Having to perform in this way day after day, month after month, year after year, is very draining, and I have got to a point in my career where I want a role that fits my personality more closely.”

Positive Approaches to Managing Your Profile

  • managing your visibility so that you can achieve it in relatively short bursts, building in ‘quiet time’ to reflect and re-energise

  • entering into a ‘role’ when there is a need to be visible: this need not necessarily be ‘acting extrovert’

  • ensuring that you have prepared in advance and know what you are talking about when you have to meet groups of people

  • using humour appropriately to relax the tension

  • being prepared to stay out of the limelight until it is the best moment to step into it - this minimises the energy drain of exposure while maximising the value gained from it

  • showcasing the outputs of the team and the organisation rather than trying to boost your own profile in isolation

  • engaging with colleagues on a one-to-one basis - rather than with everyone at once

  • being open about your introversion and explaining what it means.

What introverted leaders said about Managing their Profile:

  • “I find I enter into the role. I have been successful as a classroom teacher and in teams because I am in role. It’s genuine, I’m not ‘acting’, I really express myself.”

  • “I try to find out about the area I am working in, gaining any technical skills even if I don't have to use them. I listen a lot and speak less. I now don't get worried about not speaking in large groups and ask questions individually after the group has disbanded.”

  • “As a CEO I have found it useful to make sure there are diarised opportunities to be seen and to meet people.”

  • “As a coping strategy, I have developed an ability to toss jokes into a discussion (appropriately) and have become known as something of a wit.”

  • “I stay in the background at first which enables me to observe and form opinions. Gradually I find that I become the centre, or the leader, through no intention of mine. This has taught me the value of listening and consulting widely before deciding and speaking.... I am happy to lead visibly and from the front, but once I have set the direction and the group are on course, I prefer to lower my profile and stay out of the limelight although I will step forward if things wobble. This means that I don't suffer from overexposure as I am happy to delegate and watch others run things and develop themselves. If I do take the stage again, I find that everyone pays attention.”

  • “If I think I have something to boast about, although I don't tend to 'blow my own trumpet', it's more commonly communicating the achievements of my team. I tend to get quite creative in ways of 'showing off', for instance we've just launched a short briefing paper for line managers which is colourful, eye catching and informs them of key policy, legislative developments.”

  • “To try and balance - perhaps compensate for - my introversion, by making an effort to engage with others, by being friendly, considerate, listening.”

  • “Planning interventions in major debates so that my organisation’s interests are made visible.”

  • “Being open about my high “I” score, and explaining what that means.”

Back to Top


bottom of page