Susan Cain. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop. Talking. New York: Crown Publishing, , pages. Reviewed by Lisa A. Gardner. The more yeses you give, the more introvert you are. Susan Cain says there are no % pure introverts or. PDF | On Jan 1, , Kapil D Regmi and others published Book Review: Cain, S . (). Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking. The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking, Susan Cain.
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9 Best-Loved Stories by Susan Cain. THE. POWER. OF. INTROVERTS .. In researching my book, QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World. That Can't Stop . Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Cain, Susan. Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking / Susan Cain.—1st ed. p. cm. 1. Originally Answered: Where can I download a PDF of Quiet: The Power of In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows.
With her inspiring book, she permanently changed the way we see introverts and the way introverts see themselves. The original book focused on the workplace, and Susan realized that a version for and about kids was also badly needed. This insightful, accessible, and empowering book, illustrated with amusing comic-style art, will be eye-opening to extroverts and introverts alike. About Quiet Power At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. She talks to Asian-American students who feel alienated from the brash, backslapping atmosphere of American schools.
You may be quicker than others to feel sickened by violence and ugliness, and you likely have a very strong conscience. Take what applies to you, and use the rest to improve your relationships with others. Strictly de ning terms is vital for researchers whose studies depend on pinpointing exactly where introversion stops and other traits, like shyness, start. They are answering questions such as: Why are some people talkative while others measure their words?
Why do some people burrow into their work and others organize o ce birthday parties? Why are some people comfortable wielding authority while others prefer neither to lead nor to be led? Can introverts be leaders? Is our cultural preference for extroversion in the natural order of things, or is it socially determined?
From an evolutionary perspective, introversion must have survived as a personality trait for a reason—so what might the reason be? The answers might surprise you. I can vouch personally for the life-transforming e ects of this outlook. Remember that rst client I told you about, the one I called Laura in order to protect her identity? That was a story about me. I was my own first client. The questions were formulated based on characteristics of introversion often accepted by contemporary researchers.
Can you meet them proudly—confidently—without fear? The place: Harmony Church, Missouri, a tiny, dot-on-the-map town located on a oodplain a hundred miles from Kansas City. Our young protagonist: Skinny, unathletic, and fretful, Dale is the son of a morally upright but perpetually bankrupt pig farmer.
He respects his parents but dreads following in their poverty-stricken footsteps. Dale worries about other things, too: He even fears his wedding day: One day a Chautauqua speaker comes to town. The Chautauqua movement, born in and based in upstate New York, sends gifted speakers across the country to lecture on literature, science, and religion.
Rural Americans prize these presenters for the whi of glamour they bring from the outside world—and their power to mesmerize an audience. This particular speaker captivates the young Dale with his own rags-to-riches tale: Dale hangs on his every word.
A few years later, Dale is again impressed by the value of public speaking. His family moves to a farm three miles outside of Warrensburg, Missouri, so he can attend college there without paying room and board.
Dale observes that the students who win campus speaking contests are seen as leaders, and he resolves to be one of them. He signs up for every contest and rushes home at night to practice. Again and again he loses; Dale is dogged, but not much of an orator. Eventually, though, his e orts begin to pay o. He transforms himself into a speaking champion and campus hero. Other students turn to him for speech lessons; he trains them and they start winning, too. By the time Dale leaves college in , his parents are still poor, but corporate America is booming.
Penney, Woolworth, and Sears Roebuck have become household names. Electricity lights up the homes of the middle class; indoor plumbing spares them midnight trips to the outhouse. The new economy calls for a new kind of man—a salesman, a social operator, someone with a ready smile, a masterful handshake, and the ability to get along with colleagues while simultaneously outshining them.
Dale joins the swelling ranks of salesmen, heading out on the road with few possessions but his silver tongue. After a few grueling years selling beef for Armour and Company, he sets up shop as a public-speaking teacher. He asks for the usual two-dollars-per-session salary for night school teachers. But the class is an overnight sensation, and Carnegie goes on to found the Dale Carnegie Institute, dedicated to helping businessmen root out the very insecurities that had held him back as a young man.
Today we have come to realize that it is the indispensable weapon of those who would forge ahead in the keen competition of business. In the Culture of Character, the ideal self was serious, disciplined, and honorable. What counted was not so much the impression one made in public as how one behaved in private. But when they embraced the Culture of Personality, Americans started to focus on how others perceived them.
They became captivated by people who were bold and entertaining. But when the twentieth century arrived, a perfect storm of big business, urbanization, and mass immigration blew the population into the cities. In , only 3 percent of Americans lived in cities; in , only 8 percent did; by , more than a third of the country were urbanites.
In the increasingly anonymous business and social relationships of the age, one might suspect that anything—including a rst impression—had made the crucial di erence. Self-help books have always loomed large in the American psyche. The advice manuals of the nineteenth century were less religious but still preached the value of a noble character. A popular manual called Character: Her virtue, the reader understood, derived not only from her generosity but also from her wish to remain anonymous.
The same author, Orison Swett Marden, who wrote Character: The Grandest Thing in the World in , produced another popular title in It was called Masterful Personality. Susman counted the words that appeared most frequently in the personality-driven advice manuals of the early twentieth century and compared them to the character guides of the nineteenth century.
The earlier guides emphasized attributes that anyone could work on improving, described by words like Citizenship Duty Work Golden deeds Honor Reputation Morals Manners Integrity But the new guides celebrated qualities that were—no matter how easy Dale Carnegie made it sound—trickier to acquire. Magnetic Fascinating Stunning Attractive Glowing Dominant Forceful Energetic It was no coincidence that in the s and the s, Americans became obsessed with movie stars.
Who better than a matinee idol to model personal magnetism? Americans also received advice on self-presentation—whether they liked it or not—from the advertising industry.
These ads focused obsessively on the hostile glare of the public spotlight. Madison Avenue spoke directly to the anxieties of male salesmen and middle managers. In one ad for Dr. But without the help of the right soap, the woman was a social failure. Ten years later, Lux laundry detergent ran a print ad featuring a plaintive letter written to Dorothy Dix, the Dear Abby of her day.
I am fairly pretty and not a dumbbell, but I am so timid and self-conscious with people. Under the restrictive in some cases repressive social codes of the Culture of Character, both genders displayed some reserve when it came to the mating dance. Women who were too loud or made inappropriate eye contact with strangers were considered brazen. Upper-class women had more license to speak than did their lower-class counterparts, and indeed were judged partly on their talent for witty repartee, but even they were advised to display blushes and downcast eyes.
Though shyness per se was unacceptable, reserve was a mark of good breeding. But with the advent of the Culture of Personality, the value of formality began to crumble, for women and men alike. The IC, as it became known in the popular press, was developed in the s by a Viennese psychologist named Alfred Adler to describe feelings of inadequacy and their consequences.
Are you submissive? In the normal process of growing up they learn to direct these feelings into pursuing their goals. But if things go awry as they mature, they might be saddled with the dreaded IC—a grave liability in an increasingly competitive society. The idea of wrapping their social anxieties in the neat package of a psychological complex appealed to many Americans. The Inferiority Complex became an all-purpose explanation for problems in many areas of life, ranging from love to parenting to career.
Everyone had an IC, it seemed; to some it was, paradoxically enough, a mark of distinction. Shyness could lead to dire outcomes, they warned, from alcoholism to suicide, while an outgoing personality would bring social and nancial success. Some discouraged their children from solitary and serious hobbies, like classical music, that could make them unpopular. They sent their kids to school at increasingly young ages, where the main assignment was learning to socialize.
Introverted children were often singled out as problem cases a situation familiar to anyone with an introverted child today. He would pick just one or two friends to play with, and sometimes he was happy to remain by himself. University admissions o cers looked not for the most exceptional candidates, but for the most extroverted. What a glorious feeling, the world is our friend. The rest of the organization men would have to manage as best they could.
And if the history of pharmaceutical consumption is any indication, many buckled under such pressures. Miltown was marketed to men and immediately became the fastest-selling pharmaceutical in American history, according to the social historian Andrea Tone.
By one of every twenty Americans had tried it; by a third of all prescriptions from U. The s tranquilizer Serentil followed with an ad campaign even more direct in its appeal to improve social performance. Of course, the Extrovert Ideal is not a modern invention.
Extroversion is in our DNA—literally, according to some psychologists. The trait has been found to be less prevalent in Asia and Africa than in Europe and America, whose populations descend largely from the migrants of the world.
Similarly, we revere our founding fathers precisely because they were loudmouths on the subject of freedom: Give me liberty or give me death! Even the Christianity of early American religious revivals, dating back to the First Great Awakening of the eighteenth century, depended on the showmanship of ministers who were considered successful if they caused crowds of normally reserved people to weep and shout and generally lose their decorum.
As this disdain suggests, early Americans revered action and were suspicious of intellect, associating the life of the mind with the languid, ine ectual European aristocracy they had left behind.
The presidential campaign pitted a former Harvard professor, John Quincy Adams, against Andrew Jackson, a forceful military hero. A Jackson campaign slogan tellingly distinguished the two: The ghter beat the writer, as the cultural historian Neal Gabler puts it. John Quincy Adams, incidentally, is considered by political psychologists to be one of the few introverts in presidential history.
But the rise of the Culture of Personality intensi ed such biases, and applied them not only to political and religious leaders, but also to regular people. And though soap manufacturers may have pro ted from the new emphasis on charm and charisma, not everyone was pleased with this development.
These students inhabit a world in which status, income, and self-esteem depend more than ever on the ability to meet the demands of the Culture of Personality. The pressure to entertain, to sell ourselves, and never to be visibly anxious keeps ratcheting up. The number of Americans who considered themselves shy increased from 40 percent in the s to 50 percent in the s, probably because we measured ourselves against ever higher standards of fearless self-presentation.
But perhaps the best way to take the measure of the twenty- rst-century Culture of Personality is to return to the self-help arena. Today, a full century after Dale Carnegie launched that rst public-speaking workshop at the YMCA, his best-selling book How to Win Friends and In uence People is a staple of airport bookshelves and business best-seller lists. I thought you were going to faint.
Really bad. Worse, even. You can do better. She spins an elaborate tale about her years as an opera singer, concluding with her poignant decision to give it all up to spend more time with her family. All hands in the room go up. The toastmaster turns to Sheila and asks whether it was true. Sheila comes across as disingenuous, but also oddly sympathetic.
Should we become so pro cient at self-presentation that we can dissemble without anyone suspecting? Must we learn to stage-manage our voices, gestures, and body language until we can tell—sell—any story we want?
No man is an island, but how John Donne would writhe to hear how often, and for what reasons, the thought is so tiresomely repeated. Her honeyed voice rises into one big exclamation point. I nod and smile as brightly as I can. Across the lobby of the Atlanta Convention Center, I hear people shrieking.
I want to know what this ideal self looks like. It seems a strange question: Who carries supper with them from New York City to Atlanta? I look around the lobby. I pick up a couple of bruised apples from the snack bar and make my way to the auditorium.
Greeters wearing UPW T-shirts and ecstatic smiles line the entrance, springing up and down, sts pumping. I know, because I try. They move in sync like backup dancers in a Britney Spears video, but are dressed like middle managers.
The lead performer is a fortysomething balding fellow wearing a white button-down shirt, conservative tie, rolled-up sleeves, and a great-to-meet-you smile. The message seems to be that we can all learn to be this exuberant when we get to work every morning.
Indeed, the dance moves are simple enough for us to imitate at our seats: Tony Robbins bounds onstage. Already gigantic at six feet seven inches, he looks a hundred feet tall on the Megatron screen. It would take another Ice Age to cool this man o. The greeters jump rapturously in the aisles. Tony opens his arms wide, embracing us all.
If Jesus returned to Earth and made his first stop at the Atlanta Convention Center, it would be hard to imagine a more jubilant reception. At the sight of Tony, exquisitely stage-lit to set off his expressive face, they cry out and pour into the aisles rock-concert style.
Soon enough, I join them. Unleashed power comes from high energy, according to Tony, and I can see his point. I really must start doing aerobics again when I get back to New York, I decide. He has a seductive, fast-talking delivery that Willy Loman would have sighed over.
Demonstrating practical psychology in action, Tony instructs us to nd a partner and to greet each other as if we feel inferior and scared of social rejection.
Then Tony calls out a series of artfully phrased questions: Then I remember that Tony is not only a life coach but also a businessman extraordinaire; he started his career in sales and today serves as chairman of seven privately held companies.
He wants us not only to feel great but to radiate waves of energy, not just to be liked, but to be well liked; he wants us to know how to sell ourselves. The report was written in the third person, as if it was to be reviewed by some imaginary manager evaluating my people skills.
It urges us to meet social fear in as extroverted a manner as possible. We must be vibrant and con dent, we must not seem hesitant, we must smile so that our interlocutors will smile upon us.
Taking these steps will make us feel good—and the better we feel, the better we can sell ourselves. Tony seems the perfect person to demonstrate such skills. People with these traits often make wonderful company, as Tony does onstage.
But what if you admire the hyperthymic among us, but also like your calm and thoughtful self? What if you love knowledge for its own sake, not necessarily as a blueprint to action? What if you wish there were more, not fewer, reflective types in the world? Tony seems to have anticipated such questions. The idea is to propel yourself into such a fearless state of mind that you can withstand even 1,degree heat. The evening crescendoes until nally, just before midnight, we march to the parking lot in a torchlit procession, nearly four thousand strong, chanting YES!
Ba-da-da-da, YES! The greeters who manned the gates to the auditorium earlier in the day with high fives and bright smiles have morphed into gatekeepers of the Firewalk, arms beckoning toward the bridge of flames. As best I can tell, a successful Firewalk depends not so much on your state of mind as on how thick the soles of your feet happen to be, so I watch from a safe distance.
But I seem to be the only one hanging back. Most of the UPWers make it across, whooping as they go. But what exactly does this consist of? His superhuman physical size is an important part of his brand; the title of his best-selling book, Awaken the Giant Within, says it all.
His intellect is impressive, too. As a kid, he was a shrimp. Before he got in shape, he was overweight. And before he lived in a castle in Del Mar, California, he rented an apartment so small that he kept his dishes in the bathtub.
The second part of the Tony state of mind is good-heartedness. At one point, Tony talks about the di erent needs people have—for love, certainty, variety, and so on. He is motivated by love, he tells us, and we believe him.
He and his sales team use the UPW event, whose attendees have already paid a goodly sum, to market multi-day seminars with even more alluring names and sti er price tags: During the afternoon break, Tony lingers onstage with his blond and sweetly beautiful wife, Sage, gazing into her eyes, caressing her hair, murmuring into her ear. What would it be like if I were single or unhappily partnered? By now many of them have shopping bags at their feet, full of stu they bought out in the lobby—DVDs, books, even eight-by-ten glossies of Tony himself, ready for framing.
He apparently sees no contradiction between wanting the best for people and wanting to live in a mansion. Indeed, one very thoughtful introvert I know, a successful salesman who gives sales training seminars of his own, swears that Tony Robbins not only improved his business but also made him a better person. When he started attending events like UPW, he says, he focused on who he wanted to become, and now, when he delivers his own seminars, he is that person.
But nowadays we tend to think that becoming more extroverted not only makes us more successful, but also makes us better people. If Abraham Lincoln was the embodiment of virtue during the Culture of Character, then Tony Robbins is his counterpart during the Culture of Personality. Indeed, when Tony mentions that he once thought of running for president of the United States, the audience erupts in loud cheers.
But does it always make sense to equate leadership with hyper-extroversion? To nd out, I visited Harvard Business School, an institution that prides itself on its ability to identify and train some of the most prominent business and political leaders of our time. The Myth of Charismatic Leadership: No one ambles, strolls, or lingers. They stride, full of forward momentum. They behave the same way inside the social hothouse of the Spangler Center, the sumptuously decorated student center.
Spangler has oor- to-ceiling silk curtains in sea-foam green, rich leather sofas, giant Samsung high-de nition TVs silently broadcasting campus news, and soaring ceilings festooned with high-wattage chandeliers. The tables and sofas are clustered mostly on the perimeter of the room, forming a brightly lit center catwalk down which the students breezily parade, seemingly unaware that all eyes are on them.
I admire their nonchalance. The students are even better turned out than their surroundings, if such a thing is possible.
No one is more than ve pounds overweight or has bad skin or wears odd accessories. The men are clean-cut and athletic; they look like people who expect to be in charge, but in a friendly, Eagle Scout sort of way.
Everyone around you is speaking up and being social and going out. They look at me curiously. Harvard Business School is not, by any measure, an ordinary place. Bush is a graduate, as are an impressive collection of World Bank presidents, U. Between and , 20 percent of the top three executives at the Fortune companies were HBS grads.
The student who wishes me luck in nding an introvert at HBS no doubt believes that there are none to be found. He comes across as a typical HBS student, tall, with gracious manners, prominent cheekbones, a winsome smile, and a fashionably choppy, surfer-dude haircut.
He spends the rest of the morning in class, where ninety students sit together in a wood-paneled, U-shaped amphitheater with stadium seating. The essence of the HBS education is that leaders have to act con dently and make decisions in the face of incomplete information.
The teaching method plays with an age-old question: If you speak rmly on the basis of bad information, you can lead your people into disaster. The HBS teaching method implicitly comes down on the side of certainty.
The CEO may not know the best way forward, but she has to act anyway. The HBS students, in turn, are expected to opine. After he nishes, the professor encourages other students to o er their own views. Many of the students adapt easily to this system. But not Don. He has trouble elbowing his way into class discussions; in some classes he barely speaks at all. He prefers to contribute only when he believes he has something insightful to add, or honest-to-God disagrees with someone.
This sounds reasonable, but Don feels as if he should be more comfortable talking just so he can ll up his share of available airtime. How much class participation is too much? How little is too little? When does publicly disagreeing with a classmate constitute healthy debate, and when does it seem competitive and judgmental?
I have to work on it. Even if you believe something only fifty-five percent, say it as if you believe it a hundred percent.
Nothing at HBS is intended to be done alone. Should he go back to his apartment and recharge over a quiet lunch, as he longs to do, or join his classmates? As the day wears on, there will be more such dilemmas. Attend the late-afternoon happy hours? Head out for a late, rowdy evening? Students at HBS go out in big groups several nights a week, says Don. And sometimes he wonders why, exactly, he should have to work so hard at being outgoing. Don is Chinese-American, and recently he worked a summer job in China.
He was struck by how di erent the social norms were, and how much more comfortable he felt. But that was China, this is Cambridge, Massachusetts. After all, Don Chen will graduate into a business culture in which verbal uency and sociability are the two most important predictors of success, according to a Stanford Business School study.
One line of TV commercials that ran on CNBC, the cable business channel, featured an office worker losing out on a plum assignment. She does not! Other ads explicitly sell their products as extroversion-enhancers.
One Paxil ad showed a well-dressed executive shaking hands over a business deal. Another showed what happens without the drug: Yet even at Harvard Business School there are signs that something might be wrong with a leadership style that values quick and assertive answers over quiet, slow decision-making.
Every autumn the incoming class participates in an elaborate role-playing game called the Subarctic Survival Situation. First the students rank the items individually; then they do so as a team. The point of the exercise is to teach group synergy. Successful synergy means a higher ranking for the team than for its individual members.
The group fails when any of its members has a better ranking than the overall team. And failure is exactly what can happen when students prize assertiveness too highly. He had a lot of good ideas about how to rank the fifteen salvaged items. The ideas that were rejected would have kept us alive and out of trouble, but they were dismissed because of the conviction with which the more vocal people suggested their ideas.
Afterwards they played us back the videotape, and it was so embarrassing. Perhaps it was a low-stakes situation—your PTA, say, deciding whether to meet on Monday or Tuesday nights. But maybe it was important: See chapter 7 for more on Enron. Or a jury deliberating whether or not to send a single mother to jail.
Mills is a courteous man dressed, on the day we met, in a pinstriped suit and yellow polka-dot tie. He has a sonorous voice, and uses it skillfully. This would mean that an awful lot of bad ideas prevail while good ones get squashed. Yet studies in group dynamics suggest that this is exactly what happens. We perceive talkers as smarter than quiet types—even though grade-point averages and SAT and intelligence test scores reveal this perception to be inaccurate.
In one experiment in which two strangers met over the phone, those who spoke more were considered more intelligent, better looking, and more likable. We also see talkers as leaders. The more a person talks, the more other group members direct their attention to him, which means that he becomes increasingly powerful as a meeting goes on.
It also helps to speak fast; we rate quick talkers as more capable and appealing than slow talkers. The students who spoke rst and most often were consistently given the highest ratings, even though their suggestions and math SAT scores were no better than those of the less talkative students. These same students were given similarly high ratings for their creativity and analytical powers during a separate exercise to develop a business strategy for a start-up company.
A well-known study out of UC Berkeley by organizational behavior professor Philip Tetlock found that television pundits—that is, people who earn their livings by holding forth con dently on the basis of limited information—make worse predictions about political and economic trends than they would by random chance. And the very worst prognosticators tend to be the most famous and the most con dent —the very ones who would be considered natural leaders in an HBS classroom.
The U. Army has a name for a similar phenomenon: Stephen J. Gerras, a professor of behavioral sciences at the U. You can stop a conversation with it. It is a very powerful artifact of our culture. We are similarly inclined to empower dynamic speakers. Someone seems like a good presenter, easy to get along with, and those traits are rewarded.
Well, why is that? Marino described what happened next: Some technical guy comes in with a good idea. The people who made it through these boards were not the people with the best ideas. They were the best presenters.
Some were quick and impulsive, while others studied the situation and took forever to come to a decision. We tend to overestimate how outgoing leaders need to be. He has to give big speeches, and he does, and he looks calm. Many of these guys are, actually. Not all of them. But an awful lot of them. In his in uential book Good to Great, Collins tells the story of Darwin Smith, who in his twenty years as head of Kimberly-Clark turned it into the leading paper company in the world and generated stock returns more than four times higher than the market average.
Smith was a shy and mild-mannered man who wore J. Penney suits and nerdy black-rimmed glasses, and spent his vacations puttering around his Wisconsin farm by himself.
Asked by a Wall Street Journal reporter to describe his management style, Smith stared back for an uncomfortably long time and answered with a single word: But Smith, unmoved by the crowd, did what he thought was right. As a result, the company grew stronger and soon outpaced its rivals.
Asked later about his strategy, Smith replied that he never stopped trying to become qualified for the job. When he started his research, all he wanted to know was what characteristics made a company outperform its competition. He selected eleven standout companies to research in depth. Initially he ignored the question of leadership altogether, because he wanted to avoid simplistic answers. But when he analyzed what the highest-performing companies had in common, the nature of their CEOs jumped out at him.
Every single one of them was led by an unassuming man like Darwin Smith. Those who worked with these leaders tended to describe them with the following words: The lesson, says Collins, is clear.
We need leaders who build not their own egos but the institutions they run. So what do introverted leaders do differently from—and sometimes better than—extroverts? One answer comes from the work of Wharton management professor Adam Grant, who has spent considerable time consulting with Fortune executives and military leaders—from Google to the U.
Army and Navy. Grant told me about a wing commander in the U. Air Force—one rank below general, in command of thousands of people, charged with protecting a high-security missile base—who was one of the most classically introverted people, as well as one of the nest leaders, Grant had ever met.
This man lost focus when he interacted too much with people, so he carved out time for thinking and recharging. He spoke quietly, without much variation in his vocal in ections or facial expressions. He was more interested in listening and gathering information than in asserting his opinion or dominating a conversation.
He was also widely admired; when he spoke, everyone listened. But in the case of this commander, says Grant, people respected not just his formal authority, but also the way he led: He gave subordinates input into key decisions, implementing the ideas that made sense, while making it clear that he had the nal authority.
This meant delegating some of his most interesting, meaningful, and important tasks—work that other leaders would have kept for themselves.
Why did the research not re ect the talents of people like the wing commander? Grant thought he knew what the problem was. First, when he looked closely at the existing studies on personality and leadership, he found that the correlation between extroversion and leadership was modest. And personal opinions are often a simple reflection of cultural bias.
Grant had a theory about which kinds of circumstances would call for introverted leadership. His hypothesis was that extroverted leaders enhance group performance when employees are passive, but that introverted leaders are more e ective with proactive employees. In the first study, Grant and his colleagues analyzed data from one of the five biggest pizza chains in the United States.
They discovered that the weekly pro ts of the stores managed by extroverts were 16 percent higher than the pro ts of those led by introverts—but only when the employees were passive types who tended to do their job without exercising initiative.
Introverted leaders had the exact opposite results. When they worked with employees who actively tried to improve work procedures, their stores outperformed those led by extroverts by more than 14 percent.
Unbeknownst to the participants, each team included two actors. The introverted leaders were 20 percent more likely to follow the suggestion—and their teams had 24 percent better results than the teams of the extroverted leaders. When the followers were not proactive, though—when they simply did as the leader instructed without suggesting their own shirt-folding methods—the teams led by extroverts outperformed those led by the introverts by 22 percent.
Grant says it makes sense that introverts are uniquely good at leading initiative-takers. Because of their inclination to listen to others and lack of interest in dominating social situations, introverts are more likely to hear and implement suggestions. Having bene ted from the talents of their followers, they are then likely to motivate them to be even more proactive.
Introverted leaders create a virtuous circle of proactivity, in other words. This line of research is still in its infancy. But under the auspices of Grant—an especially proactive fellow himself—it may grow quickly. The popular press, says Grant, is full of suggestions that introverted leaders practice their public speaking skills and smile more. They may want to learn to sit down so that others might stand up. Which is just what a woman named Rosa Parks did naturally. For years before the day in December when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus, she worked behind the scenes for the NAACP, even receiving training in nonviolent resistance.
Many things had inspired her political commitment. The time the Ku Klux Klan marched in front of her childhood house. The time her brother, a private in the U.
The time a black eighteen-year-old delivery boy was framed for rape and sent to the electric chair. Parks organized NAACP records, kept track of membership payments, read to little kids in her neighborhood. She was diligent and honorable, but no one thought of her as a leader.
Parks, it seemed, was more of a foot soldier. It was a November afternoon in , and Parks had entered through the front door of the bus because the back was too crowded. The driver, a well-known bigot named James Blake, told her to use the rear and started to push her o the bus. Parks asked him not to touch her. She would leave on her own, she said quietly. This was no small decision.
Not only because she was a devout Christian, not only because she was an upstanding citizen, but also because she was gentle.
The phrase became a rallying cry. Its power lay in how paradoxical it was. Parks took her time coming to a decision, but ultimately agreed to sue. She also lent her presence at a rally held on the evening of her trial, the night when a young Martin Luther King Jr.
Nobody can doubt the height of her character. Parks is unassuming, and yet there is integrity and character there. She su ered insomnia, ulcers, and homesickness along the way.
She met her idol, Eleanor Roosevelt, who wrote of their encounter in her newspaper column: Other papers photographed the boycott leaders sitting in front of buses, but Parks was not invited to sit for these pictures. On the day the buses were integrated, she preferred to stay home and take care of her mother. Moses, for example, was not, according to some interpretations of his story, the brash, talkative type who would organize road trips and hold forth in a classroom at Harvard Business School.
He spoke with a stutter and considered himself inarticulate. And when God revealed to Moses his role as liberator of the Jews, did Moses leap at the opportunity? Send someone else to do it, he said. I am slow of speech and tongue. Moses would be the speechwriter, the behind-the-scenes guy, the Cyrano de Bergerac; Aaron would be the public face of the operation.
And he did all this using strengths that are classically associated with introversion: Cecil B. But we should. The book of Exodus is short on explication, but its stories suggest that introversion plays yin to the yang of extroversion; that the medium is not always the message; and that people followed Moses because his words were thoughtful, not because he spoke them well. If Parks spoke through her actions, and if Moses spoke through his brother Aaron, today another type of introverted leader speaks using the Internet.
But consider for a moment a modest, cerebral man named Craig Newmark. Short, balding, and bespectacled, Newmark was a systems engineer for seventeen years at IBM. Before that, he had consuming interests in dinosaurs, chess, and physics. Yet Newmark also happens to be the founder and majority owner of Craigslist, the eponymous website that—well—connects people with each other.
As of May 28, , Craigslist was the seventh-largest English language website in the world. They join singing groups. They confess their affairs. Newmark describes the site not as a business but as a public commons. After Hurricane Katrina, Craigslist helped stranded families nd new homes. During the New York City transit strike of , Craigslist was the go-to place for ride- share listings.
Guy Kawasaki an introvert? Does not compute. Perhaps social media a ords us the control we lack in real life socializing: They welcome the chance to communicate digitally.
The same person who would never raise his hand in a lecture hall of two hundred people might blog to two thousand, or two million, without thinking twice.
The same person who nds it di cult to introduce himself to strangers might establish a presence online and then extend these relationships into the real world.
What would have happened if the Subarctic Survival Situation had been conducted online, with the bene t of all the voices in the room—the Rosa Parkses and the Craig Newmarks and the Darwin Smiths? What if it had been a group of proactive castaways led by an introvert with a gift for calmly encouraging them to contribute? Might they have reached the right result? No one has ever run these studies, as far as I know—which is a shame. Decisiveness inspires con dence, while wavering or even appearing to waver can threaten morale.
But one can take these truths too far; in some circumstances quiet, modest styles of leadership may be equally or more e ective. One showed a haggard executive looking at a chart of steeply falling profits.
It sits on a sprawling, acre campus in the former desert and current exurb of Lake Forest, California. Unlike Harvard Business School, it admits anyone who wants to join. Families stroll the palm-tree-lined plazas and walkways in good-natured clumps. Children frolic in man-made streams and waterfalls. Sta wave amiably as they cruise by in golf carts. Wear whatever you want: This campus is presided over not by nattily attired professors wielding words like protagonist and case method, but by a benign Santa Claus— like figure in a Hawaiian shirt and sandy-haired goatee.
With an average weekly attendance of 22, and counting, Saddleback Church is one of the largest and most in uential evangelical churches in the nation. Evangelical leaders have the ear of presidents; dominate thousands of hours of TV time; and run multimillion-dollar businesses, with the most prominent boasting their own production companies, recording studios, and distribution deals with media giants like Time Warner.
Saddleback also has one more thing in common with Harvard Business School: I consult a signpost, the kind you see at Walt Disney World, with cheerful arrows pointing every which way: A nearby poster features a beaming young man in bright red polo shirt and sneakers: Give tra c ministry a try! Like HBS, evangelical churches often make extroversion a prerequisite for leadership, sometimes explicitly.
A senior priest at another church confesses online that he has advised parishes recruiting a new rector to ask what his or her Myers-Briggs score is. He discovered his introversion as a junior at Claremont McKenna College, when he realized he was getting up early in the morning just to savor time alone with a steaming cup of co ee. He enjoyed parties, but found himself leaving early. He took a Myers-Briggs personality test and found out that there was a word, introvert, that described the type of person who likes to spend time as he did.
At rst McHugh felt good about carving out more time for himself. But then he got active in evangelicalism and began to feel guilty about all that solitude. He even believed that God disapproved of his choices and, by extension, of him. Since when is solitude one of the Seven Deadly Sins?
Contemporary evangelicalism says that every person you fail to meet and proselytize is another soul you might have saved. It also emphasizes building community among con rmed believers, with many churches encouraging or even requiring their members to join extracurricular groups organized around every conceivable subject— cooking, real-estate investing, skateboarding.
So every social event McHugh left early, every morning he spent alone, every group he failed to join, meant wasted chances to connect with others. He looked around and saw a vast number of people in the evangelical community who felt just as con icted as he did. He became ordained as a Presbyterian minister and worked with a team of student leaders at Claremont College, many of whom were introverts.
The team became a kind of laboratory for experimenting with introverted forms of leadership and ministry. They focused on one-on-one and small group interactions rather than on large groups, and McHugh helped the students nd rhythms in their lives that allowed them to claim the solitude they needed and enjoyed, and to have social energy left over for leading others.
He urged them to find the courage to speak up and take risks in meeting new people. A few years later, when social media exploded and evangelical bloggers started posting about their experiences, written evidence of the schism between introverts and extroverts within the evangelical church nally emerged. There are probably quite a few [of you] out there who are put on guilt trips each time [you] get a personal evangelism push at church.
In a universal church, there should be room for the un-gregarious.
Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture. He argues that evangelism means listening as well as talking, that evangelical churches should incorporate silence and mystery into religious worship, and that they should make room for introverted leaders who might be able to demonstrate a quieter path to God.
Religious leaders from Jesus to Buddha, as well as the lesser-known saints, monks, shamans, and prophets, have always gone off alone to experience the revelations they later shared with the rest of us. When nally I nd my way to the bookstore, McHugh is waiting with a serene expression on his face. With his short brown hair, reddish goatee, and sideburns, McHugh looks like a typical Gen Xer, but he speaks in the soothing, considered tones of a college professor.
We head to the main Worship Center, where Pastor Warren is about to preach. With its sky-high ceiling crisscrossed with klieg lights, the auditorium looks like a rock concert venue, save for the unobtrusive wooden cross hanging on the side of the room. A man named Skip is warming up the congregation with a song. The lyrics are broadcast on ve Jumbotron screens, interspersed with photos of shimmering lakes and Caribbean sunsets.
Miked-up tech guys sit on a thronelike dais at the center of the room, training their video cameras on the audience. Did Tony base his program on megachurches like Saddleback, I wonder, or is it the other way around?
Pastor Warren takes the stage. As the service wears on, I feel the same sense of alienation that McHugh has described. McHugh, as if reading my mind, turns to me when the service is over. There was no emphasis on quiet, liturgy, ritual, things that give you space for contemplation. Greeters, the informal atmosphere, meeting people around you—these are all motivated by good desires.
At a place like Saddleback, you can start questioning your own experience of God. Is it really as strong as that of other people who look the part of the devout believer? Is it any wonder that introverts like Pastor McHugh start to question their own hearts? He does so because he wants to spare others the inner con ict he has struggled with, and because he loves evangelicalism and wants it to grow by learning from the introverts in its midst.
But he knows that meaningful change will come slowly to a religious culture that sees extroversion not only as a personality trait but also as an indicator of virtue. A cold and drizzly evening in Menlo Park, California. Thirty unprepossessing-looking engineers gather in the garage of an unemployed colleague named Gordon French.
They call themselves the Homebrew Computer Club, and this is their rst meeting. Their mission: The garage is drafty, but the engineers leave the doors open to the damp night air so people can wander inside. In walks an uncertain young man of twenty-four, a calculator designer for Hewlett-Packard. Serious and bespectacled, he has shoulder-length hair and a brown beard.
He takes a chair and listens quietly as the others marvel over a new build-it-yourself computer called the Altair , which recently made the cover of Popular Electronics. The young man, whose name is Stephen Wozniak, is thrilled to hear of the Altair. When he was eleven he came across a magazine article about the rst computer, the ENIAC, or Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, and ever since, his dream has been to build a machine so small and easy to use that you could keep it at home.
And now, inside this garage, here is news that The Dream—he thinks of it with capital letters—might one day materialize. To the Homebrew crowd, computers are a tool for social justice, and he feels the same way. But that night he goes home and sketches his rst design for a personal computer, with a keyboard and a screen just like the kind we use today.
Three months later he builds a prototype of that machine. And ten months after that, he and Steve Jobs cofound Apple Computer. He has learned over time to open up and speak publicly, even appearing as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars, where he displayed an endearing mixture of sti ness and good cheer. I once saw Wozniak speak at a bookstore in New York City. A standing-room-only crowd showed up bearing their s Apple operating manuals, in honor of all that he had done for them.
Wozniak identi es that rst meeting as the beginning of the computer revolution and one of the most important nights of his life. So if you wanted to replicate the conditions that made Woz so productive, you might point to Homebrew, with its collection of like-minded souls. You might conclude that people who hope to be innovative should work in highly social workplaces. And you might be wrong.
Consider what Wozniak did right after the meeting in Menlo Park. Did he huddle with fellow club members to work on computer design? Although he did keep attending the meetings, every other Wednesday. Did he seek out a big, open o ce space full of cheerful pandemonium in which ideas would cross-pollinate? When you read his account of his work process on that rst PC, the most striking thing is that he was always by himself.
Wozniak did most of the work inside his cubicle at Hewlett-Packard. He hit a few keys on the keyboard—and letters appeared on the screen in front of him. It was the sort of breakthrough moment that most of us can only dream of. And he was alone when it happened. Intentionally so. In his memoir, he offers this advice to kids who aspire to great creativity: In fact, the very best of them are artists. That advice is: Work alone. Not on a committee. Not on a team.
From to , an era best remembered for its ethos of stultifying conformity, the Institute of Personality Assessment and Research at the University of California, Berkeley, conducted a series of studies on the nature of creativity. The researchers sought to identify the most spectacularly creative people and then gure out what made them di erent from everybody else. They assembled a list of architects, mathematicians, scientists, engineers, and writers who had made major contributions to their elds, and invited them to Berkeley for a weekend of personality tests, problem-solving experiments, and probing questions.
Then the researchers did something similar with members of the same professions whose contributions were decidedly less groundbreaking. One of the most interesting ndings, echoed by later studies, was that the more creative people tended to be socially poised introverts.
As teens, many had been shy and solitary. Why should this be true? Do quiet personalities come with some ineffable quality that fuels creativity? Yet increasingly we do just the opposite. We like to believe that we live in a grand age of creative individualism.
We look back at the midcentury era in which the Berkeley researchers conducted their creativity studies, and feel superior. Unlike the starched-shirted conformists of the s, we hang posters of Einstein on our walls, his tongue stuck out iconoclastically. We consume indie music and lms, and generate our own online content. In this chapter, the author introduces the idea that an introverts heightened sensitivity may enhance his or her capacity to experience empathy.
Do you agree? What about being introverted might enhance empathy? Do you think introverts are better at understanding how other people think, or just how they feel? Whats the difference? Who wins? Evaluate each of them on the introvert-extrovert spectrum. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses in each of their personalities as leaders.
Which style are you more responsive to and why? How much did their leadership style and their introverted and extroverted qualities affect your vote? I feel your pain: Have students rate their capacity for empathy on a scale from 0 to10 see scale below. In pairs, students discuss their self-ratings and how it makes them feel about themselves.
Homework Assignment 1. In your journal, keep track of your empathic responses to a few current situations e. Record how you feel about your ability to empathize and how strongly your feelings of empathy are. Include any judgments you might have about how you think you are supposed to feel as opposed to how you actually feel. But this chapter may contain the first instance where it has been suggested that Buffetts large bank balances may be attributable to his dopamine functioning.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is critical to how the brain orients itself toward and learns about rewards e. Dopamine plays a central role in getting us excited about lifes fruits; it helps us seize the day and just do it. But it can also cause us to become too focused on short-term gains and make it difficult to know when to walk away from a risky deal. Because the sensitivity of dopamine varies from person to person, it can be a risk factor since it encourages actions toward risks and rewards.
Extroverts are very reward sensitive: they tend to exhibit traits like novelty-seeking and impulsivity. That is, they crave new experiences more, get bored more easily, and can act rashlyespecially when they see money on the table. In contrast, introverts are more likely to be threat sensitive, suggesting they are more concerned about avoiding a potential loss than they are about maximizing a possible gain.
Sometimes impulsivity in extroverts can be a good thing, but sometimes it can be problematic. In a simple computer task, participants see random digits 09 displayed and have to learn when to push a button. Pushing a button for a correct number will earn the subject a little money, while a wrong button will cost money.
All subjects learn through trial and error. However, even after the correct responses have been learned, people sometimes make mistakesthey jump the gun. Not surprisingly, this mistake is more common among extroverts, who are a little more impulsive than their introverted counterparts.
The surprising thing is what happens next; when an introvert makes a mistake, they slow down and try to respond more carefully the next time. But extroverts do the opposite and speed up after a mistake. Because they are so focused on getting to the next reward, they have more trouble learning from their mistakes. Interestingly, recent research has shown that these novelty-seeking and impulsivity traits are associated with higher dopamine levels.
In contrast, introverts can be protected from these kinds of mistakes by their high sensitivity to the threat of loss. This is what helps explain Buffetts successhe doesnt get too excited when his investments are going well, and his focus on avoiding losses keeps his exuberance at bay.
Sensitivity to possible rewards can sometimes blind us to the risks involved. Recall an example when you were particularly affected by a potential reward e. What drew you in? Did you act on the urge? If not, what held you back? Individuals who are threat sensitive tend to be more cautious about losses and punishments. How does this relate to the aspects of introversion discussed in prior chapters, including the high- reactive responses to novelty and the increased empathic response?
An important theme of this chapter is that a narrow focus on always increasing ones positive emotions and rewards can have grave negative consequences in certain circumstances. What are situations in your life when experiencing negative emotions e. In reality, however, only bet number 1 is a loser. Bet number 2 breaks even, and the rest are more likely to give money in the long run.
But for most of us, thats not enough. People are wary of taking losses, even when the potential losses are smaller than the potential gains.
This is called loss aversion, and how loss averse you are gives you a good idea whether you are more reward sensitive or more threat sensitive. To bet or not to bet: Consider the following table of bets, listed Each bet has a 50 percent chance of winning and a 50 percent chance of losing the amount in each column.