Greetings. Susan Cain's insightful new book Quiet: The Power of Introverts is an important reminder that people and innovation come in all shapes, sizes and personalities. Just because we live in a somewhat "extroverted" society that seems to value extroversion much more than introversion doesn't mean that it is the only, or even the best path, to creating business breakthroughs. In fact, there is a lot of new research suggesting that brainstorming and group work are vastly overrated and growing understanding that some people are far more brilliant–at least more brilliant initially–when trying to solve a problem or to innovate on their own. In other words, there's probably the right time for introversion and the right time for extroversion as part of a process that leads to more compelling results.
So as you begin this week and the new month of May, try to carve out some alone time to explore and wrestle with the biggest challenges you face. Then, after you have done your own best thinking, try to surround yourself with colleagues and strangers who have very different ideas and perspectives. Ideas and perspectives that can help your thinking to reach its full potential.
Introverts and extroverts.
Both essential contributors to the success of our companies and organizations. But only if we are open to figuring out how to leverage the genius in each of them.
We win in business and in life when we understand how to collaborate with people with different personalities. And when we understand the magic of alone time and even quiet.