Angela Hucles is a highly successful, self-declared introvert, and so it is very encouraging to see her using this platform to draw attention to the subject of introverted leadership.
A former member of the US women’s national soccer team, two-time Olympic Gold Medallist, and currently the President of the Women’s Sports Foundation, Hucles opens her talk with the shocking statistic that 96% of leadership positions are filled by extroverts and people with extroverted qualities, despite the fact that only 50% of the US population identifies with being an extrovert.
Through telling her own story of how changing team dynamics at the 2008 Olympics led to unexpected opportunities for leadership and success, she illustrates how important it is to open up the space for introverts to step into leadership roles and allow them the freedom to be themselves rather than conform to a misconceived extroverted ideal.
Given the statistics, however, the reality is that we are missing out on introvert leadership qualities and failing to reach our full team potential, whether in sport, work or community. Hucles’ story, eloquently told, demonstrates why it’s so important to level the leadership playing field so that introverts and extroverts are both given opportunities to display their leadership skills.