Leaders Come In All Personality Types
You don’t need to be the most talkative, outgoing person in the room to be a leader. Instead, all you need to do is tap into the innate strengths of your introverted self.
Where would we be today without Wozniak, Einstein, Jobs and Gates? These often quiet leaders invented some of the world’s most well known concepts and products, and yes, they are all introverts. How were they able to take their ideas to the next level and build Google, the theory of relativity, Apple and Microsoft? They led with their strengths.
Introverts naturally have the ability and desire to think deeply about topics, issues and problems. This deep thinking spun into innovation and new ideas.
Really Hearing What’s Being Said
Listening rather than speaking also allows introverts to make great leaders. Introverts prefer to take in information, roll it around in their heads and think about it before responding. While today’s economy moves quickly, the introverted leader is less likely to miss warning signs or overlook key details critical to growth and new opportunities.
Honesty Reigns Supreme
Another key trait introverts share is our desire to do the “right thing.” This isn’t to say other personalities don’t have morals and values, but the core of what drives and motivates an introvert is that decisions be based on facts and that we “do the right thing.” We aren’t in it for fame or fortune, but because it means something to us.
Introverts’ enthusiasm can be contagious and we know how to rally teams around an issue, not because we say so, but because we believe so strongly in what we are doing. We observe the strengths of others and tap into those to help move things forward. We analyze, listen, we’ll do the right thing!
You Aren’t Broken
Once you begin to realize all the strengths you possess, it isn’t a matter of fixing what’s broken but capitalizing on your strengths.
Ben Woelk and Hannah Morgan will present:
an STC Webinar
10 AM EDT (GMT-4)
on October 1, 2013
We’d love to have you attend!
Registration details are at http://stc.org/education/online-education/live-seminars/item/empowering-the-introvert-within?category_id=53
Please use promo code #WS100113.
It is estimated that approximately 30-50% of the US is made up of introverts. So why do we feel so isolated or inferior? It is time for introverts to recognize we possess extremely valuable assets and the world would run amok without us!
What Are the Strengths of Introverts?
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, these are some of the noteworthy characteristics of introverts!
- They prefer to think before they act.
- They need time to formulate ideas in their heads before talking about them.
- They prefer depth over breadth; this is true of relationships and information. An introvert prefers fewer deep and meaningful relationships over hundreds of contacts. Introverts also tend to dive deep into topics they are interested in.
- They are creative (either in solving problems or in the arts)
- They are often good at thinking up strategies
- They make good innovators
- They are humble
- They take calculated risks (based on fact finding)
- They remain calm under pressure
- And most importantly, introverts regain energy by being alone.
Let’s Translate This Into Skills
Not all introverts are the same, but many share these skills:
- Good listening skills
- Analytical skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Strong concentration abilities
- One-on-one communication
You Are NOT Shy
You are not shy or anti-social, but that is how you are often perceived by people who first meet you. You can fix this! And actually, you HAVE to fix this. We live in a society that expects outgoing, gregarious types. But this doesn’t mean you have to put on a fake, over-the-top persona. All you have to do is…
Acknowledge and accept the fact that you may be perceived as shy or anti-social or less than approachable.
It sounds obvious, but some people don’t realize this is how they come across. Own it and take preventative measures. These are the simple and immediate fixes you can implement today:
Smile! When you first meet someone or walk into a room.
Introduce yourself first! Don’t hang against the wall waiting for a familiar face or for someone to reach out to you.
Learn the art and science of small talk! Having conversational currency helps.
Stop Making Excuses! Sure this is difficult, uncomfortable, yucky, and all that, but, self development is part of life. Start stepping outside your comfort zone.
Secrets for Overcoming the Fear of Networking
You know you should overcome your fear of networking. This can be intimidating to introverts who generally avoid social situations. But not all networking has to occur in large groups.
#1. Arrange one-on-one networking meetings instead of attending large events whenever possible.
#2. Research the person you are going to meet so you can create some “small talk” questions for them when you first meet.
#3. If you must go to a networking event, ask someone to go with you! This helps hold you accountable and gives you a “fall back” person to talk to if you must.
#4. Re-energize often. Its ok to spend some time alone!
Rather than try to radically change who you are, leverage your strengths! Yes, we all have weaknesses, but with just a little effort, we can be heard and stand out with the rest of the extroverts!
When Hannah (@careersherpa) and I started partnering on presentations we discovered that we were both introverts (ISTJ and INTJ, respectively) who had a strong interest in sharing what we had learned about becoming leaders. Empowering the Introvert Within: Becoming an Outstanding Leader is our first presentation addressing this topic. We presented at the STC Rochester Spectrum conference in March. We will be presenting at the international STC Summit in Atlanta in May.
We would love to present to your organization, virtually or in person.
Preview our presentation:
Ed Marsh’s review of our Bulletproofing Your Career Online Keynote and Workshop at the STC Philly Metro’s Mid Atlantic Technical Communication Conference in March 2013.
The goal of our discussion was to enable you to arrive safely, with your brand, career reputation, and privacy intact. After attending our presentation, you should understand how to:
- Engage safely online and build a personal brand.
- Not let fear and misunderstanding about social networks and online communication prevent you from interacting.
- Prevent potentially putting yourself and companies at risk.
It is important you remember to continue to monitor your online presence. It takes some time, but schedule a once a month check in to see what needs attention, revising or updating. As we know, the policies, rules, and exceptions can and will change.
Security Guru and Career Sherpa AGREE
Both presenters share tips on monitoring your online presence. The security guru advocates using Google Alerts to track how and when your name appears online. The career sherpa recommends using SocialMention to keep track of how your name is used in social media.
SocialMention and Topsy both allow you to set alerts to be sent via email. These alerts let you know what social network you’ve been mentioned on. Twitter and Google+ are the main networks. Neither will notify you about your mentions on Facebook, LinkedIn or other “closed” networks.
Both the security guru and the career sherpa believe strongly in the value of social networks. The career sherpa encourages you to engage others to widen your network. However, the security guru discourages you from sharing too much information about yourself. He’s concerned that you maintain your privacy.
Career Sherpa’s POV
No matter where you are in your career, just starting out or a seasoned veteran of the cubical wars, you should have a solid LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is becoming a “go-to” spot for people sourcing good talent.
Each social network has its purpose and place. Think of it this way:
LinkedIn is like a professional conference
Facebook is like a backyard barbeque
Twitter is like a cocktail party or bar
Being social is about learning new things and meeting new people! Use tools that will allow you to access information from a single dashboard such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck.
Security Guru’s POV
Make a conscious decision about the information about yourself that you’re willing to share online. Don’t just blindly provide information about yourself that others could use to help impersonate you or conduct identity theft. Information that may seem innocuous can be used by trained identity thieves to build a profile of you; a profile that can be leveraged to gain access to your bank accounts and credit cards. Many credit cards ask you to provide answers to specific questions about you, such as your favorite musician, where you went to high school, etc. Are you providing that information in your Facebook profile?
Welcome to Bulletproofing Your Career Online!
The Security Guru and the Career Sherpa
There are risks, let them be calculated.
What are the 10 key steps to building and securing your online reputation? The security guru and the career sherpa provide their perspectives on how to create an online presence that enhances and promotes your career safely and effectively.
Read our posts, explore the site, and contact us to speak for your organization!