Do Great Leaders Have to be Outgoing?

Image Credit: Emma Flaherty

Outgoing. For some, this conjures visions of a happy-go-lucky neighborhood dog or the old woman next door who bakes cookies for the high school track team. Still, others picture an academic who spends hours studying in a library or a peer tutor who is the first to offer to help someone with their school work. No matter who you picture, most outgoing people are similar in their interest in others and tendency to be sociable. But does this sociability translate into a natural tendency to be a great leader?

In an attempt to answer this question, this reporter reached out to two leaders from the Woodland student body: seniors, Charles Schwarz, and Hana Bojka.

Schwarz, who has a more introverted personality, displays leadership qualities in the classroom, as a captain of the math team, on the track team, in his Boy Scout Troop, and in everyday life. He is also Salutatorian of the 2019 graduating class.

“The leader of a group doesn’t need to be–and sometimes shouldn’t be–the person with the loudest voice, because traits like integrity, determination, intelligence, and self-confidence are more important aspects of leadership,” argues Schwarz

He adds that he does not consider himself to be an outgoing person, or leader for that matter. However, he does not believe that to be the most important aspect of leadership.

For example, he points to Woodland math teacher Monika Fryc-Gabrys as a successful leader who is not necessarily outgoing.

“With simple dedication and kindness, she has led the math team and our calculus class to success, even through some daunting challenges. She has inspired me personally to better myself and chase my dreams,” states Schwarz.

Bojka, who has an outgoing personality, displays leadership in the classroom, as a captain of the Girls’ Basketball Team, and as the President of the Math Team.  

Differently, she comments that leaders do need to be outgoing in order to be considered “great”.

“The best leaders are outgoing because if they aren’t, they won’t be respected or obeyed.  If a leader is representing something or someone and they are not outgoing, it will be hard for them to.”

For example, she considers Donald Trump to be an example of a great leader.

“I think Donald Trump is a great leader because he acts on what he promises. He is someone who does not care what others think and does whatever has to be done to complete a task. I think that a leader has to be charismatic and independent and that is exactly what Donald Trump portrays.”

In conclusion, it is difficult to say whether a great leader absolutely has to be outgoing. But, Schwarz and Bojka both make it clear that great leaders share a few common traits: self-confidence, determination, and the ability to inspire others to become better versions of themselves.