The Power of Quiet Leadership

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MITSMR shares a review on a new book by Susan Cain, 

In the Times essay, Cain argues that “the most spectacularly creative people in many fields are often introverted, according to studies by the psychologists Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Gregory Feist.” Csikszentmihalyi is a professor of psychology and management at Claremont Graduate University and Feist is an associate professor of psychology at San Jose State University.
Cain, a corporate lawyer turned author, rues the lack of quiet in our lives and the toll it can take on our productivity and innovation:

The New Groupthink has overtaken our workplaces, our schools and our religious institutions. Anyone who has ever needed noise-canceling headphones in her own office or marked an online calendar with a fake meeting in order to escape yet another real one knows what I’m talking about. Virtually all American workers now spend time on teams and some 70 percent inhabit open-plan offices, in which no one has “a room of one’s own.”

The big safety net for introverts in the workplace? Group interactions that occur digitally. “The protection of the screen mitigates many problems of group work,” Cain writes. “This is why the Internet has yielded such wondrous collective creations. Marcel Proust called reading a ‘miracle of communication in the midst of solitude,’ and that’s what the Internet is, too. It’s a place where we can be alone together — and this is precisely what gives it power.”

This is quite an interesting point as we often associate leaders who are highly extroverted and many naturally introverted people thing they have to take on an extroverted self in order to be effective leaders. I think the introverts are naturally good thought leaders and have very good analytical minds, but are limited by charisma.

Read more of the article here

Check out the book’s website – thepowerofintroverts.com

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