This post by Lisa Petrilli, author of ”The Introvert’s Guide to Success in Business and Leadership“ first appeared on C Level Strategies, Visionary Leadership. She has graciously given me permission to make some structural changes and to republish it on my blog.
Leadership Success Comes from Within
My fellow introverts, if you take this pledge and live this pledge in 2013 I promise you by the end of the year your career will have expanded in ways you cannot imagine!
Keep in mind that being an introvert means you get your energy from your inner world of ideas, thoughts, dreams and images instead of from the outer world of people and activities. Being an introvert does not mean you are shy or dislike social situations, although many people mistakenly believe this to be true. Since we introverts get our energy from within, we simply have an innate preference to be alone or in small groups because these environments “feed” us rather than drain our energy. However, we are fully capable of being dynamic, engaging and charming in large groups, we just need to recognize that these situations will drain us of our energy and we’ll need to recharge afterward!
The Introvert’s 2013 Business and Leadership Success Pledge:
1. I will schedule into my work day time to recharge, particularly on days when I’ll be in large meetings or around people who tend to drain my energy.
2. I will be open with my colleagues and boss about my introversion. I will let them know that periodically I will choose to have lunch alone or close my office door for 10 minutes simply to recharge, so I can bring a renewed self to my work. This will not only help me personally, it will make me a more effective colleague and leader, and will prevent my colleagues and boss from mistakenly thinking I’m not being a “team player” when I take time alone.
3. I will ask for one-on-one meetings with my boss and relevant colleagues prior to important/large meetings so I will have time to be aware of, and think through, issues and questions that may come up. This will give me the opportunity to do my own “inner world” brainstorming beforehand so I’ll be comfortable contributing during the meeting and will avoid feeling I’ve been “put on the spot.”
4. Given that my ideas and contributions need to be visible in my organization in order to move up the “ladder of success,” I will find organizationally appropriate ways to ensure this happens. I will make this a priority.
5. I will ask for what I want, even if that means getting out of my comfort zone, because there is great power and possibility when you ask for what you want.
6. Speaking of getting out of my comfort zone, I will get out of it in a BIG way at least once in 2013, knowing I will learn and grow through the process. (If you’re looking for ideas you can do what I’m doing and sign up for a week-long, national ballroom dance competition with 1000 other people in Las Vegas…light-years out of my comfort zone! Or perhaps you’ll choose something a little less crazy. )
7. I will remember that my natural tendency to “think/noodle on things inside my head, and to take a while to respond when others ask me a question, can be misconstrued by my extroverted colleagues as not liking their ideas or not having an opinion. I will be conscious of this so I can be clear that I just need a minute to think through their question. This is particularly important during phone conversations.
8. When I am tempted not to go to important networking events, conferences and business parties I will choose to go anyway, knowing that relationships are a foundation of my success. I will reward myself with quiet, recharging time afterward and will discover that my life becomes richer in the process. (For more tips, see my Introvert’s Guide to Attending a Conference!)
9. I will honor my strengths. My inner world of ideas, thoughts and dreams makes me a brilliant visionary, strategist, creator, innovator and even storyteller. I will tap into all of these strengths this year and appreciate their power!
10. I will, once and for all, stop trying to be someone I’m not! I will stop trying to “get over” my introversion and will choose, instead, to celebrate the vast power it offers! I will stop thinking extroverts are somehow “better” than we introverts, or that they have more fun, and will acknowledge that true success, joy and happiness will come from being more of who I am meant to be!
How will adhering to this pledge increase your leadership success in 2013?