In today’s world of massive integration and imperative connections, it’s actually pretty hard out there for an introvert. The overwhelming range of noisy distractions can rock our world to the extreme.
It’s hard enough to be a cool introvert let alone a leader who’s highly inwardly engaged.
Our brains don’t shut off. It’s like there’s another us inside speaking to us ALL the time. It asks questions, strategically analyze problems, comes up with solutions and simultaneously thinks about what’s next.
14 Confessions of an Introvert Leader
At the same time we’re remembering the errands that we need to run tomorrow and what other meetings we still need to schedule. Then we drift off in another direction wondering whether we took our vitamins today.
The mind of an introvert leader is one that is beautifully chaotic, deeply reflective, insanely curious, highly technical and observative. If you’re curious about the inside workings of introverts here’s my confessional oration selling out introverts worldwide.
1. Large Crowds Freak Us Out
Introverts spend so much time alone that when they are around a crowd of people they’re already planning their fast exit. When I say crowd, I mean a group of over 5 people does it for me.
If you ever attend a conference, introverts are the one’s usually sitting closest to the exit or an aisle. Some of my fellow introverts develop major anxiety during this inconvenient time.
2. We Get Impatient
We’re always in deep thought so when someone tries to engage during these moments we can lose it.
Sometimes we’re following a hunch developing some kind of imaginary business road map in our head and that one, “excuse me,” causes us to lose track of it all.
3. Alone Time is Me Time
Introverts are really serious about their alone time. This is the moment that they can be with themselves and reflect. It’s actually something that we love and can’t live without literally. If it was up to an introvert they would make everyday alone time.
4. Loud Noises and Parties Make Me Cringe
Yes this is majorly cringe-worthy. Between the loud music and crowds, it’s enough to turn us introverts off. It actually feels like a surge of electric shock wave running through our entire being scrambling our brainwaves.
This type of over-stimulation can knock us off our game and it takes a while for us to get our mojo back.
5. We Pay Attention To Our Surroundings
We’re very cognizant of what’s happening around us. If there’s dust on your keyboard and lint on your shirt we will pay attention to it. Since we’re an observant bunch nothing really gets past us.
6. Our Minds Work Too Quickly for us to Write Things Down
Our brains work on overdrive at 100 mph without stopping and it makes it almost impossible to write everything down. One question or idea leads to 15 additional questions along with 20 ideas.
All of which will require massive Google research which will then lead to 30 more questions and only 5 solutions.
7. We Are Careful Who We Connect With
Introverts are very picky who they keep in their circle. Especially because the people who we bring in can potentially mess with our inner world. You’ll usually find very high quality people around introvert leaders.
8. We’re A Likeable Bunch
I know it’s hard to believe but we are. Introverts spend so much time being observant that they are usually good at reading people and understanding others. It’s a skill set that we’ve mastered.
9. Books Are Our Lovers
We love books I mean really love books. If there was a way to turn an entire floor into a personal library we would do it. Books are another way for us to get lost in our favorite hobby, asking ourselves curiosity questions.
10. We Can Tire Ourselves Out
This is possible, I do it everyday. The introvert is thinking about so many things that by the end of the day we’re exhausted beyond words. Even in our sleep our mind is still thinking.
11. Socializing & Idle Chit Chat is Draining
These two things probably fall into the pet peeve’s category. We lose interest in social chit chat very quickly but if you engage us in deep conversations we perk up.
Introverts have the capability of following complex processes or idea. Matter of fact deep conversations is the cup of life for introverts.
12. My Phone Hasn’t Rung in Over 12 Years
Surprising as it is, but I can still run a business like this. The loud chirping of an incoming call or a ding on a text and email is very distracting. My solution is to turn off all sound and vibration functions on my phone.
Anytime there’s incoming calls or texts my phone just lights up. If I miss it then I miss it. People have always asked me what if there’s an emergency? In over 12 years I only had 1 major emergency call.
13. We Can Read Between Your Words in an Email
Emails are meant to be quick easy notes passed digitally to get an idea from one person to the next. But introverts can read what you really mean in your emails even if you typed something different.
So make sure you keep it real with introverts even on email.
14. Be Authentic
Introverts have a very keen BS meter, they can spot it a mile away. So make sure you’re being honest with an introvert, they’ll feel it.
We introverts make up some of the world’s greatest minds from Albert Einstein to Tina Fey, Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg. We all value introspective and self reflection. Our minds are our biggest weapon but also our greatest downfall.
When you’re an introverted leader you need to really take care to quiet the mind and fuel it.
Introvert burn out is something that’s real, especially if you are in a leader role. We want to learn everything, ask why all the time and as a result exhausting ourselves out.
But it doesn’t mean that you need to give up your introverted ways and convert to an extrovert. In fact it’s about finding the right balance between both worlds.