Though we don’t need one more thing to disagree upon, the perennial assumption that extraverts are the best leaders endures. Really, there is no need for a contest here; we need both kinds of leaders, and both can be effective with certain kinds of followers.
Whatever our personality type and whether we are a leader or a follower, leadership by example is a powerful thing. But since our heads turn more naturally toward the louder voices (and introverts can have these) and the most extravagant deeds, it is easy to undervalue the quiet examples of everyday goodness.
To be sure, Joseph is an example of quiet goodness. He had to set aside pride to face a questioning public when Mary showed up with a baby bump. But even before the dream in which God told him to marry her, Joseph had decided to divorce her quietly.
I admire this! Somehow Joseph had the strength to set aside pride, hurt feelings, disappointment, and shame. This cocktail of emotions often sets us off toward retaliation and punishment. But here we see remarkable restraint — an example of quiet leadership.
What stories do you know of people who refuse the make a big deal out of their good deeds, or who refuse to make sure folks are aware of sacrifices they make? Have you seen people who, by their quiet demeanor, can move the needle away from volatile to calm?
Possessing this quality of quiet leadership that does not seek its own grandeur will take a lifetime of spiritual weightlifting. And like all the spiritual disciplines, the chance of success is increased when we practice it in community, where we encourage and help each other to grow into everyday goodness.