Often, leaders are extroverts with lots of charisma and energy. But two related studies from Ohio State University reveal that there are limits to how effective that personality trait can be. The two subject groups included 260 undergraduate students and 337 employees at a large Chinese retail company.
The research found that extroverted leaders tended to be better liked and more sought after for advice, but only up to a point. Leaders who rated themselves very assertive and very warm saw a drop-off in how much they were liked and sought after. The researchers concluded that being too warm and friendly can be overwhelming to others who feel pressured to respond in the same enthusiastic way.
Subjects did, however, see more benefits when very extroverted leaders were seen as looking out for others. The reaction to their high energy was tempered by a perception of genuine interest in the whole team.