Introverts as Effective Leaders

I recently shared a story in the Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge newsletter about new research that takes a fresh look at introverts and extroverts as leaders. Also check out this CNN story, “Why Introverts Can Be Great Leaders,” by Eliza Ridgeway, for a tidy summary of the findings; I’m quoted in the story. Stay tuned; I expect to share more about the research soon.

How Introverted Leaders and Proactive Followers Make Hay

With all the recent buzz about introverts, you’d think we were the latest Xbox craze. Despite the longstanding stigmas surrounding introverts, are we suddenly the “in” crowd? Are those of us who listen attentively becoming as accepted—and even embraced—as yesterday’s schmoozers? Maybe not quite yet, but popping up increasingly over the past few years are popular books and major press raising awareness about healthy introversion.

Secrets to Quiet Leadership

In her recent Washington Post article, “Career Coach: Tips for Introverts Who Aspire to Leadership Positions,” Joyce E. A. Russell, Ph.D., dispels misconceptions about introverts and offers concrete guidance to help you get ahead. She draws from her own experience as an industrial and organizational psychologist who coaches executives as well as from my book, Self-Promotion for Introverts®. She also quotes Jennifer Kahnweiler, Ph.D., author of The Introverted Leader, on reasons introverts make great leaders. Happy leading (fanfare and drum rolls optional)!

Shattering Stereotypes of Introverts as Leaders

“Think effective leadership requires gregariousness and charisma?” says Carmen Nobel in her article in the most recent issue of the Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge newsletter. She continues, “Think again. Introverts actually can be better leaders than extraverts, especially when their employees are naturally proactive, according to Harvard Business School professor Francesca Gino.” Nobel presents stereotype-shattering findings from a new study conducted by Gino and her colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School and UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.

How to Negotiate with the Terminator

Can you succeed at negotiating while remaining authentic and advancing your relationship with the other party? How about if you see yourself as the less powerful one? Yes on both counts, according to Lee E. Miller and his daughter Jessica Miller, coauthors of the recently released A Woman’s Guide to Successful Negotiating: How to Convince, Collaborate, & Create Your Way to Agreement. We all need to negotiate to get the compensation, the client, the deal, the workspace, and even the small things we want each day. And we don’t always get to pick our negotiating partners. …

How to Compete with Your Frenemies Close

How competitive are you? Some of us work collaboratively with our colleagues, even if we’re vying for our share of the same bonus pool. Others one-up each another at meetings, keep valuable information to themselves, and jockey – with pointy elbows – to curry more favor with the boss or to seal the biggest deal. …

Sound Like a Boss, Not a Bossypants

I recently had several phone conversations with high-powered leaders—all of whom sounded like high-powered leaders. It wasn’t just what they said (not a word wasted), but also how they said it. Not a frog in their collective throats. Rather than hemming and hawing, umming and erring, each of these leaders, from diverse industries and disciplines, spoke in a strong, confident voice. …

Blame Throwers, Credit Grabbers, and You

Why isn’t getting credit where it’s due the norm in the workplace? How often have you shared an idea that your boss or a colleague has turned around and presented as her own? Then there’s the kind of credit you don’t want: blame. From cubicle to corner office, workplaces are crawling with what Ben Dattner, Ph.D., author of The Blame Game: How the Hidden Rules of Credit and Blame Determine Our Success or Failure, calls credit grabbers and blame throwers. …

Touchstones for Introvert Bosses

Did you know that the head of the Campbell Soup Company is an introvert? Douglas Conant, president and CEO of the company, just wrote a story for his Harvard Business Review blog to help introvert bosses work better in an organization and manage perceptions about themselves. In the story, titled “Are You an Introverted Boss?” Conant shares his personal observations about navigating a leadership role as an introvert. They include finding time to think, remembering that introverts aren’t necessarily as aloof as they appear, and the benefit of touchstones that create a feeling of familiarity and comfort. …

Interview with an Irreverent Introvert

Meet Larry Underwood*, the founding father of Enterprise Rent-a-Car in the Desert Southwest. We’re chatting about his 26-year experience as an irreverent senior corporate manager who some people might be surprised to learn is an introvert.

He doesn’t like meetings. But he likes to make people laugh. He inspires his staff, takes care of his customers, and knows how make an operation wildly profitable. And he doesn’t always go with the flow.
Underwood’s most recent achievement is his book, Life Under the Corporate Microscope, which offers a glimpse behind the curtain from his days at Enterprise.

Here’s how I connected with Underwood. I recently launched my first book, Self-Promotion for Introverts®. A few weeks before my book was even available at bookstores, I found my first customer review on Amazon, which Underwood wrote.