Is there a link between extraversion and success? My wife and I had a discussion this evening about a possible link between extraversion and success. Does having extroverted tendencies lead one to have greater success, in business or in life?
Here’s the questions that we talked about:
- Does being extroverted mean that you’re more successful than if you’re introverted?
- Is there a point at which extraversion is NOT an advantage?
- If someone is an introvert, does this mean that they have fewer opportunities?
- Do introverts need to “fake extraversion” in order to achieve high levels of success?
- Will a person experience more success by faking a personality that they don’t have, or by finding a vocation that suits their personality?
- Will an introvert experience success as a CEO if they fake extroversion?
- Will an extrovert experience success as an engineer by suppressing their extroverted tendencies?
- Should we encourage our children to “develop” extroverted traits (or is this even possible), in order to make them more successful in society?
Here are some of the comments that we had: first, both introverts and extroverts can train themselves to exhibit behaviors of the other type of personality (i.e. an introvert can force him/herself to talk to other people, or to speak in front of a large group of people). Second, personality isn’t everything; both nurture and education both contribute to the success of a person.
Lastly, you could find encouragement in the argument of Bryan Caplan’s book, “Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids.” He says that nurture has very little to do with how kids end up. He concludes that parents should spend less time and energy trying to influence the children’s lives, because if you are mostly normal parents in how you raise your kids, your kids will end up mostly like you. You can listen to a podcast of Bryan Caplan here. You can also watch an interview with Bryan below.
P.S. I realize that the graph above is flawed (as it doesn’t account for the extreme extroverts and extreme introverts that are highly educated). I regret the flaws. There is an anecdotal case to be made that such people do not exist (or, at least, very few exist).
Question: What are your thoughts about extraversion and success? Does extraversion contribute to success? You can leave your comments by clicking here.