Introverts, Extroverts, Leadership, and Color Schemes

by Anthony Demangone

A Washington Post article recently discussed introverts, extroverts and leadership.  It is a worthwhile read, if only to teach one about colors.  I’ll get back to that in a moment.

The article argues that leadership is a sales job. Leaders may pitch a product to high level clients, or ideas to a group of colleagues.  Persuasion is an important attribute of leadership.   Following that train of logic, the article looks at a study of sales professionals who were measured along an introvert to extrovert scale. What did the study uncover?

He began by giving reps an often-used personality assessment that measures introversion and extroversion on a 1-to-7 scale, with 1 being most introverted and 7 being most extroverted.

Then he tracked their performance over the next three months. The introverts fared worst; they earned average revenue of $120 per hour. The extroverts performed slightly better, pulling in $125 per hour. But neither did nearly as well as a third group: the ambiverts.


Ambiverts, a term coined by social scientists in the 1920s, are people who are neither extremely introverted nor extremely extroverted. Think back to that 1-to-7 scale that Grant used. Ambiverts aren’t 1s or 2s, but they’re not 6s or 7s either. They’re 3s, 4s and 5s. They’re not quiet, but they’re not loud. They know how to assert themselves, but they’re not pushy.

In Grant’s study, ambiverts earned average hourly revenues of $155, beating extroverts by a healthy 24 percent. In fact, the salespeople who did the best of all, earning an average of $208 per hour, had scores of 4.0, smack in the middle of the introversion-extroversion scale.

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