Introverts Can Lead

3 Jun

Thom Rainer, president of Lifeway Christian Resources gives an encouraging, yet realistic look at how he (an introvert) leads this massive organization. He identifies seven ways in which introverted leaders must compensate in order to lead effectively:

1. Compensating for introversion is not an option. Leaders can’t lead without dealing with people in a multitude of settings. If I am not willing to compensate, I should not be a leader.

2. I must practice LBWA, leadership by walking around. I can’t stay confined to the comforts and seclusion of my office. I must be seen by employees. I must be seen by constituents and customers. I must travel to places to develop relationships.

3. It often behooves me to explain to others that I am introvert so my quietness and reticent nature are not misinterpreted to be lack of interest or unfriendliness. On more than one occasion, that explanation has helped people immensely in understanding what I say or don’t say, or to understand better my body language.

4. When possible, I need to keep meetings short. The longer a meeting, the more I get drained. Many employees with whom I work have learned that lesson. I also notice that extroverts tend to organize long and tedious meetings. They enjoy them. I don’t. I really don’t.

5. As much as possible, I try to have an extrovert with me when I’m in public or group settings. That extrovert can carry the conversation. I can nod my head and smile.

6. I need to practice self-awareness constantly. In that regard, I need and have someone I trust to speak to me truthfully. If I appear to be acting like an uninterested jerk, that friend does not hesitate to tell me. It’s painful, but I need to know how others perceive me.

7. I must schedule downtime. If I don’t recharge my batteries often, I become a useless leader. But I can’t succumb to the temptation to perpetuate my downtime. I must return to all of the principles stated above.

Click here to read the entire post. The beginning paragraphs are interesting and encouraging because he describes exactly how introverted he is. It’s good to know I’m not the only one 🙂

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One Response to “Introverts Can Lead”

  1. linda park June 4, 2011 at 9:15 AM #

    #5. Sucky that we’re both introverts. Who’s going to carry the conversation?! not it.

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