Leadership Skills and Being an IntrovertBy Lindsay Bell

I know the entire Internet and beyond is sick to death of reading about introverts.

Frankly, I think introverts are getting a raw deal here.

Why the hate?

Why, statistically, do 85 percent of social media big-wigs despise introvert-focused blog posts? {Note from Lindsay: I totally made that statistic up.}

But seriously, we can’t help it!

I’m a card-carrying introvert (ducks to avoid flying tomatoes), and listen, it’s not like I can snap my fingers and change this fact.

Being an introvert has affected my life in myriad ways. It left me dateless for most of my teens and twenties (I know you’re finding this impossible to believe, but it’s true!).

It made it rough for me, growing up, to have confidence in myself and what I could bring to the table—any table.

And work-wise? It made it very hard to develop great leadership skills.

Leadership Skills and Being an Introvert

Nerves of steel? HA! I have nerves of spun sugar.

I laugh at all the wrong times, or make inappropriate joke’y comments when out of my comfort zone.

I literally want to puke at the thought of a confrontation. And, let’s face it, I really don’t have a filter. I’m not a born diplomat, let’s just leave it at that.

Those traits, my friends, do NOT a good leader make!

That said, over the past 10 years or so, I’ve come into myself. Let’s face it. I got old. Being old kinda rocks. Because you just start not caring as much!

My forties have been the best decade of my life (thus far…touch wood). Partly due to leaving a 20 year soul-sucking crap career and starting afresh, partly due to meeting my amazing husband, and partly due to the increased confidence both of those things have inspired in me.

Tricks to Being an Introverted Leader

I’m also learning how to be a better leader. I have been mentored by one of the best, of course, and Gini Dietrich’s infinite patience is a blessing.

Plus, these past few years been actively studying, reading a ton of articles and the like about improving my leadership skills.

That’s why an article from Inc.com caught my eye recently.

Titled 10 Ways for Introverts to Be Seen as More Powerful Leaders, its author interviewed 10 founders and members of the Young Entrepreneur Council.

She lays out their advice on ways us silly introverts can make small changes in order to be heard over the din of all you shouty extroverts out there (Helloooo, Laura Petrolino!).

I’m going to pull the top three that resonated. The ones where I said “A-ha!! I actually do this really well already!!”

Lead By Example: There’s nothing worse than the guy who tells everyone how to act and what to do, then turns around, grabs a coffee, and puts his feet up on his desk.

If you want people to follow, and put their best foot forward, you best be prepared to do the same thing yourself. And then some. A robust work ethic will make up for many, many other faults quirks! Trust me.

Be Yourself: Yup, I got this one. I have tried before, when I was younger, to be someone else, to contort to others’ expectations, and it’s a sure-fire road to disaster. Because, if you’re anything like me, your true self will eventually come bursting out—and usually at the most inopportune moment imaginable.

The other great thing about being yourself? People know exactly which “you” they’re speaking to, at any given moment in time. How can you be a good leader if you’re being a fake? You can’t, that’s how.

Leverage Your Unique Power: If I’ve learned nothing else over my long, long, looooong time in the workforce, I’ve learned this: I know what I know. And I sure as heck know what I don’t know.

I’m exceptionally good at certain things, and really, really suck at others—and I’m open and upfront about both. Gone are the days of trying to “keep up with the Joneses,” work style. Failure is not an option, because I don’t set myself up for it anymore.

Like most people, I can talk myself into a bottomless chasm of “You’re not good enough!” at the drop of a hat. It was uplifting to see which leadership skills I actually already kind of rock at.

I encourage you to read the article, and find which tips touch you personally.

Because, just like there are a bazillion beautiful snowflakes out there, no one introvert is exactly the same as another.

Lindsay Bell

Lindsay Bell is the content director at V3 Marketing, and works in Toronto. A former TV producer, she’s a strong advocate of three minutes or less of video content. She has a cool kid, a patient husband, two annoying cats, and Hank Dawge, a Vizsla/Foxhound/moose hybrid. Ok, maybe not moose.

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