March 5, 2012

Leadership and Introverts

It’s often said that you need to be strong to be a leader and in order for others to see that strength, you need to show it outwardly. Since almost half of the human population is reserved or shy, we may miss the person who solves problems and creates solutions in solitude rather than on a large well lit stage.

Seclusion is where many of our greatest ideas are born yet we feel we must present them to others with panache. Culture has often favored action over quiet brilliance.

When you think about how you navigate your ideas, they often thrive when you are alone. And that is the same with some of the most lauded people who have created some of the most important ideas in history. Yet something happens when the quiet one shares their ideas with the rest of the team. If the company prefers a bottom line approach rather than a human approach, those ideas may never go any further.

Susan Cain studies introverts and talks about leadership, summer camp, and quiet time in her TED2012 talk.

Kneale Mann

visual credit: TED | Susan Cain
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