Actually, I really enjoyed it. As an introvert in a leadership position myself, I have been wondering how introverts get on in leadership. I found the real life examples encouraging - I'm not alone, and yet people like me can find themselves in positions of considerable influence. I also found it a timely reminder to focus on my listening skills, as a strength. It was also encouraging to read about tips that I have discovered the benefit of already, by trial and error, like "getting your voice in the room", and the whole thing about presence. These really do make a difference. Also being aware of how you are perceived by others is very important.
Like many introverts, I'm not a big fan of networking, so the chapter on this topic is one I will be going back to, I do like her suggestions about preparation.
So a good, quick, encouraging read, with some helpful tips and some good links/references to other material.
The Introverted Leader was written by an author who is an extrovert. She qualifies this fact by stating that her husband is an introvert and so she knows how to deal with us introverted types. Ouch.
The premise of this book is that introverts can learn to be extroverted. They just need to know what to do. Follow step A- meet and greet; step B- get some business cards; before long you are cured, as if being an introvert is something you catch while reading in the library.
Sprinkled lightly are a few little tidbits stating how introverts are better organized and listen to others more. Basically, she works off common stereotypes. In this way, the book provides wonderful insight into what extroverts think about introverts: we are unfriendly, reserved, lazy, and slow. Probably something most of us are painfully aware of on a daily basis.
‘With introspection comes a heightened sense of observation….’ This book is truly an accolade to the introverted person. We are among good stock like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.
Jennifer helps us to navigate our discomfort zone of networking and leadership and explains her 4 P Process: Prepare, Presence, Push and Practice.
She explains that it is imperative for us to know ourselves, build in motivation such as training and see the big picture.
I love her phrasing of ‘If you don’t schmooze you lose’. This is so true and even as an introvert we can make an impact by knowing our purpose, planning what we need and have to offer, ignoring our inner critics and saboteurs and using social networking.
As I read through the book I recognised myself so much so all of the tips and advice really resonated with me.
Groucho Marx said that 90 percent of success is just showing up so it’s time for us introverts to stand up and be counted and get our voice in the room.