Hey, leadership is not just extroverted male territory. Introverts and women make great leaders too. Some people know this but it bears repeating. This is proven by research. Many cultures, especially in the U.S., are still stuck in an outdated stereotype that leaders are extroverted men. Let’s look at the reality.
I’ve collected some of my favorite resources for effective leadership here. They are based on real-life stories and research, and they happen to be entertaining too. In each case, you can see what actually works.
It so happens that caring introverts are naturally great at the things that really work. Don’t worry extroverts, you can be good at leadership too. We need each other.
We all have natural gifts for leadership and we can all develop our talents even further. I hope these stories help.
In any of the resources here, you’ll gain some inspiration for becoming (or allowing) the kind of caring and effective leader you want to be. These are some of the resources I have shared with my leadership coaching clients. Psst, you don’t have to have a leader title to be a leader.
It strikes me that these are the two classic paths for introverts. And this description helps explain the connection between introversion, shyness, and anxiety.
Of course real life is not so linear as the models below, but this makes a good bite-sized model. I hope you find this helpful.
The Path of Increasing Pain
If there’s no understanding or consciousness of one’s introverted temperament and how our brains work, introversion can lead to anxiety like in this example:
perfectionism and self-judgment
believing the negative stereotypes about introverts
shyness (fear of being seen as imperfect)
avoidance and/or wearing an extrovert mask
increasing fear and exhaustion
anxiety and low self-esteem
trapped in worsening anxiety and burnout.
Ouch, I’ve been on that path. It didn’t have to be like that. Finally I learned about introversion and that made a huge difference.
This painful path is more likely or worsened in cultures that tend to look down on introversion, such as in the U.S. But even in cultures that support introversion, the introvert’s brain is still prone to over-thinking which can lead to anxiety if left unchecked.
The Path of Growth and Ease
If an introvert learns about introversion, this is a more likely path: Continue reading
I think you’d be surprised how much clothing comes up when talking with my career and business coaching clients. What is it about what we wear that seems to have such power over us?
Haven’t you put on a nice outfit and you suddenly feel like a million bucks? (Like The Red-Headed Diva shown in the photo.) Conversely, the wrong outfit can ruin your mood.
Sometimes we pretend we’re “above” that fashion stuff (while we secretly watch makeover shows). Let’s forget about judging or questioning it. Instead, let’s take a lesson from the drag queens who know the power of a great outfit!
Let’s consciously use that power of our clothes for our benefit.
Want to inspire someone to do something new? Want them to hire you, buy something, follow your lead, become more earth-friendly?
Start by drawing a compelling vision of the future outcome.
Or as Simon Sinek says in this persuasive video (embedded below), start with the WHY. Only then will people listen to the WHAT and HOW.
Sinek gives memorable examples of successful persuasion, from Martin Luther King, Jr., to the success of Apple. If these ideas are at all confusing, take a moment to watch this important video. And at least remember this:
[MLK] gave the ‘I have a dream’ speech, not the ‘I have a plan’ speech. ~Simon Sinek
I was filling out my Google user profile and noticed that alongside the blanks for my name and website address is a blank for “Your Superpower.” I love that! And it got me thinking.
What would you put? If you don’t know, it’s worth deciding.