The title may spark a couple of questions:
1) Introverts in Leadership?
2) Journaling in Business?
Yet they are both growing trends, inextricably tied together.
Introverts in Leadership
There is a growing leadership gap in corporate America today. With 10,0000 baby boomers retiring every day and a flood of people leaving corporate America for the autonomy of small business entrepreneurship or freelancing work, most companies are scrambling to rebuild a pipeline of leadership talent for the decades ahead.
Many are leaning on the Diversity & Inclusion revolution to finally match up the talents of people of color and people across the gender spectrum. Others, perhaps unintentionally, are also starting to tap the underrecognized half of the corporate population who claim to be on the introverted side of the personality continuum. All three groups are grossly underrepresented today but can finally claim their rightful place in the talent pipeline and leadership ranks of tomorrow.
But these groups, and specifically the introverted population addressed here, are not merely filling a quantity gap. They are, more importantly, filling a quality or skillset gap. The Command & Control management style of the past has largely gone by the way of the dinosaurs. Companies, customers, and certainly employees are looking for more. There are so many options for customers and employees in the twenty-first century. Companies that don’t meet their needs will struggle for talent and sustainability. Each seeks more transparency, creativity, attention, and consideration.
While all introverts are unique, many share common talents. Introverts are often great listeners who excel in thoughtfully considering the needs of others. Introverts evaluate conditions and possible repercussions before making decisions. Many offer creative problem solving which elevates the quality of decisions and the level of customer satisfaction. Finally, most introverts excel in preparing and planning which ensures a better chance of success.
These traits empower introverts to be great leaders who develop loyal, collaborative teams that are laser focused on meeting customer needs. Yet introverts at times lack the confidence to proudly lead in a more verbose, extroverted corporate culture. Introverts can tap perhaps their greatest, and by definition most prevalent, strength to embrace their talents and lead with confidence. And journaling is a key mechanism to support such a path.
Journaling in Business
Introverts by most definitions, are introspective – contemplating situations, preparing for meetings and events, ruminating at times on past performances, and fretting about future encounters.
The challenge for introverts is not to get so overwhelmed by these voices in our head, but to tap their wisdom and dispel their pains. Journaling is a great vehicle for such an approach. Journaling helps dislodge the thoughts cluttering your mind. By putting them on paper you can then put them in their proper place. Consider these seven topics as a starting point for your list of journaling subjects:
1) Capture learnings which you can reap from past events.
2) Expand on how you can use your strengths to prepare for successful upcoming events.
3) Identify what issues you can and can’t control and focus your energy on those you may affect.
4) Provide yourself with compassion and positive self-talk. Change yourself from a constant naysayer to your best cheerleader.
5) Celebrate your success. Successes are not merely accomplishing a task, but stretching yourself, being authentic, and enjoying the journey.
6) Consider broad career paths that leverage your strengths and passions, not your current job title.
7) Vent about frustrating relations and decipher the source of contention and how to resolve them through future communication.
Abraham Lincoln often journaled and wrote many letters he never sent, yet he reaped the benefits of clearing his mind, gathering his thoughts, and moving forward with clarity.
Journaling is a very personal step. You may choose to journal weekly, daily, or merely as the need arises. Some people journal pages each time and others a brief paragraph. There is no right or wrong way. As one of my coaches once shared, “Don’t get it right, get it written.” The best method is the one that works for you.
I prefer to journal daily to consider what is on my mind. What can I remove as energy-drainers and what can I expand upon to boost my energy and confidence for an upcoming meeting, project, or social?
The time is ripe to hear the call and bring your voice into the meeting room and the board room. Journaling can liberate your mind, provide you with greater focus, and boost your confidence to tackle the challenges ahead while bringing your my leadership talents to the forefront.
For more information:
· The Corporate Introvert: How to Lead and Thrive with Confidence. A new guide empowering introverts to lead their way! www.BeyondIntroversion.com/TCI
· Beyond Introversion website for weekly blogs and resources: www.BeyondIntroversion.com
· Introvert Talent Quiz: https://bit.ly/3fUy1Od
· Introvert Leadership Quiz: https://forms.gle/d9h1n4jPeS3NRTyK8
Author bio: Steve Friedman - When I wrote my memoir, In Search of Courage, I realized that the common thread of introversion I thought was a curse all my life was actually a blessing. For years I wore a mask at work and coped with my stress by sacrificing my health and personal relationships. Now I embrace my own introversion as a toolkit to become a happier me.
My purpose is to help other introverts accelerate the process by which they discover their strengths and apply them to their personal and professional lives. I seek to inspire others to overcome past obstacles and find joy, pride, and confidence in life.
I’ve retired from corporate America and enjoy sharing articles, books, quizzes, and resources through my website, BeyondIntroversion.com. I’m excited to combine my career experiences and my enthusiastic belief in introverts through my new leadership book, The Corporate Introvert: How to Lead and Thrive with Confidence.
If I Knew Then What I Know Now
“I have finally realized, to be happy I don’t need to change myself, I just need to be myself.”