Susan Cain’s bestselling Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking (2012) investigates how our schools and offices have an intrinsic cultural bias towards extroverts—they’re more likely to be social and enjoy being in high-stimulus environments.
At a business meeting, for example, extroverts hog the conversation, while introverts are often quiet. Extroverts think by talking and arguing, whereas introverts think and process internally.
I worry that there are people who are put in positions of authority because they’re good talkers, but they don’t have good ideas. It’s so easy to confuse schmoozing ability with talent. Someone seems like a good presenter, easy to get along with, and those traits are rewarded. Well, why is that? They’re valuable traits, but we put too much of a premium on presenting and not enough on substance and critical thinking.
Idea for Impact: Don’t miss out on introverted excellence.