"Before microphones and television were invented, a leader had to stand in front of a crowd and bellow. Now she can tweet a phrase that reaches millions in a flash. Influence was never easier - or more ephemeral." ~Time magazine April, 2012
Could today's digital world be the perfect environment for the introverted leaders to rise? This is a core question my friend and international speaker and executive coach, Jennifer Kahnweiler, asks in her second published book "Quiet Influence: The Introvert's Guide to Making a Difference" (Berrett-Koehler, April 2013).
According to the ole Myers-Briggs, I am just barely an extrovert. I get tons of energy from social interaction with people but I have to retreat to recharge in solitude where I write and think best. Jennifer explains that "introversion is simply about a source of energy" and is very different from shyness which "is a product of fear or anxiety in social settings." I was honored that Jennifer used some of my Next Generation insights in this expansive and uber-relevant book. Here are a few next generation knowledge nuggets from the book.
3 Reasons Why Now Is the Time Introverts Will Rise:
- "Solitude is a catalyst for innovation." You will stand out in this noisy world if you battle for your quiet time and allow your innovative ideas to percolate and then emerge from the depths of your brain.
- "Introverts are thoughtful users of social media and are drawn to social media because it lets them use their strengths and better manage their communication."
- "Think first, talk later." Introverts win when they take the time to communicate clear and concise messages that cut thru today's content clutter. Plus, this social filter could go a long way in escaping career ending social blunders that many people are susceptible to today.
3 Top Points I Learned:
- "Communal Solitude (aka coffee shops): the energy of other people, the forced focus, and the choice of whether to engage in the action heighten the experience of quiet time."
- "Too much quiet time can negatively impact your ability to influence others." I'm guilty by getting paralysis by analysis.
- "Look back but don't stare." When reflecting or thinking and your thoughts begin to recycle then it's time to break the cycle and act.
3 Other Next Generation Learnings in the Book:
- How to make the most of virtual meetings.
- Tips to avoid becoming distracted while listening.
- Using social media to become a thought leader.
Favorite Quote: "The best ideas often emerge in the depths of solitude."
I hope you decide to take a walk on the quiet side.
Question: How do you leverage your quiet strengths for mega influence?