The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength
In our outgoing, Type-A business culture, introverts can feel excluded, overlooked or misunderstood, their reticence mistaken for reluctance, arrogance, or even lack of intelligence. And their inconsistent people skills often cause their careers to plateau. But Jennifer Kahnweiler shows that not only can introversion be managed, it can even be a source of strength. Ask Bill Gates or Warren Buffett, two of the leaders she cites as introverts who have developed ways to thrive in a challenging environment.
It is estimated that as many as 40% of executives are introverted to at least some extent. Based on conversations with over 100 of these men and women and her consulting work, Kahnweiler lays out a progressive four-step strategy for succeeding in an extroverted world. She will show us how workplace scenarios offer unique opportunities for introverts to shine as leaders.
Introverted Leader Quiz
Think of your own behaviors and experiences, and for each statement, answer True or False. You can also use this tool to identify introverts on your team.
- I am at a loss for words when meeting new people.
- I feel exhausted when I'm around people too much.
- I am perceived as a “slow thinker.”
- People often ask me “What’s wrong?” when nothing is the matter.
- I have been passed over for work opportunities because I am under the radar.
- I am “talked over" on conference calls.
- I prefer written to verbal communication.
- I would rather study an idea or issue first and then give my opinion.
- I would rather walk on a bed of nails than give a speech.
- I avoid giving feedback to team members.
If you answered True to six or more statements, you may be introverted. Talk with your manager or a coach to determine key areas on which to.
If you answered True to three to five statements, you may be introverted in certain work situations. Identify challenging scenarios (meetings, networking, etc.) and set small improvement goals.
If you answered True to fewer than three statements you may be an introvert who has adapted to your extroverted organization or an extrovert who has adopted some successful introvert behaviors. Consider coaching others on the lessons you have learned.
Click HERE to receive a list of top 10 suggestions for introverted leaders.
Click HERE to listen to webcasts and view links to articles.
Click HERE to view videos...
Dr. Jennifer B. Kahnweiler helps build strong leaders through her highly engaging speaking, training and coaching programs. She is the author of the new book, The Introverted Leader: Building on You Quiet Strength (Berrett-Koehler, June 2009). Called “The down to earth Ph.D.” Jennifer specializes in translating leadership theories into practical approaches and has successfully done this with thousands of professionals.
Dr. Kahnweiler has had key assignments at such companies as Capital One, GE, Turner Broadcasting, The U.S. Department of Education, The Coca-Cola Company and AT&T. The American Management Association termed her a “world class expert.” Jennifer has also consulted in Tokyo with Japanese businesswomen and in Great Britain with senior HR professionals.
She was featured as an expert on the WTBS TV hit show, Movie and a Makeover and drew upon her human resources expertise to co-author the book, Shaping Your HR Role: Succeeding in Today's Organizations (Elsevier, 2005) She was invited to write the first workplace advice columns for AARP The Magazine, SHRM and The Atlanta Journal Constitution blog, which she did for several years.
Jennifer serves on the board of the National Speakers Association of Georgia, is a member of the National Speakers Association and a founding member of the Leadership Executive Circle of the Women’s Leadership Exchange. She is an active member of the Technology Association of Georgia and on the programming committee of the Atlanta chapter of Women in Technology International.
She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her spouse, Dr. Bill Kahnweiler, a professor at Georgia State University. She is also the proud mother of daughters, Lindsey, a pediatric nurse and Jessie, a filmmaker, who, on occasion, take her career advice.
CLICK HERE to read about her new book...
This is Dr. Sally Gelardin with Careerwell Tele-Interviews. Before we begin today, I'd like to remind listeners to press 5* on your phone if you have a question at any point in the interview and directly after this interview to fill out the evaluation form, especially if you would like to earn CEUs. The evaluation form is linked to your call-in email instructions.
I'd like to welcome our speaker today, Dr. Jennifer Kahnweiler. Called “The down to earth Ph.D.” Jennifer specializes in translating leadership theories into practical approaches. Her newest leadership theory and book is about introverted leaders. Jennifer will talk about how introverts can succeed and become leaders in an extroverted world. Go the the Careerwell website, careerwell.org, to see the wealth of information on Jennifer's Careerwell page, including an Introverted Leader Quiz, webcasts, articles, videos, and tips for introverted leaders.
Now, Jennifer, you are one of the most outgoing people I know. I am sort of a mix between extrovert and introvert. I prefer to ask questions than to give answers.
My first question for you is how did you become interested in introverted leaders?
- How did you become interested in introverted leaders?
- What are the typical behaviors of introverts?
- What are 5 hard realities for introverted leaders?
- What are 5 tips you have for introverted leaders?
- Are there more introverted or extroverted leaders and how does that affect organizations?
- Should career professionals adjust their approach to coaching and counseling introverted clients? If so, how?
- What can introverts do to succeed in the job search?
- I noticed on your webstie you have a blog called theintrovertedleaderblog.com. Who makes the best bloggers, introverts or extroverts?
- How can blogging help introverts who are more quiet in temperment?
- Does technology, in general, support introverted leaders? If so, how?
- Could you summarize your tips for introverts who want to become leaders or improve their leader abilities?
Thank you Jennifer and thank you listeners, especially those who tend to be more introverted, for speaking up.
Speaking of speaking up, our upcoming featured speaker for October 8 is Sam Horn, a marketing specialist, who will talk about how to POP! your career so you become the trusted, go-to resource that everyone wants to work with and for.
On October 29, Gary Karp, a corporate trainer on disabilty and employment, will talk about how all human beings have music inside of them and how to bring it out in the workplace. Gary, who runs around the world on wheels (he had a spinal injury when he was a teen), is also an accomplished musician and juggler.
Finally, a special plug for the California Career Development Association, which is holding an environmental careers conference on November 7 at Stanford, featuring leading green career specialists, including upcoming Careerwell speaker Carol McClelland. Carol will be interviewed on January 14 by my Australian colleague, Terry Olsen. If you would like to register, email me at email@example.com and I shall forward to you registration information.
Another notice, the National Career Development Association conference will be held in San Francisco June 29 - July 2, 2010. Proposals are due end of this month. Go to ncda.org for more information.
I look forward to your participation in our next telephone chat. This is Dr. Sally Gelardin with Careerwell Tele-Interviews. Goodby.