What words would you use to describe a leader? I used to describe a leader as an amazing speaker, confident small-talker, and someone that could grab the attention of an entire room. That’s what we see in movies, right?
The leader clinks their spoon on a wine glass and everyone stops to hear what they have to say. I’ve learned that leadership isn’t always what you see on the outside (or in movies).
Yes, you are the face of an organization/company/team, but you are also responsible for the reputation and well-being of everyone you represent.
Would you want a leader that’s a great speaker but doesn’t have the determination & focus to “walk the talk”? I’ve seen college organizations learn quickly that talk isn’t what leadership is all about. Often the quietest ones will show much more through actions than words.
But of course, there’s elections, speeches, and the dreaded popular vote in student organizations. Will the hardest worker & biggest contributor win, or will the most popular rally up all the votes?
Thankfully, I’ve been part of organizations that know the value of hard work over being a smooth talker. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. But if you dream of becoming a leader and making a change, don’t give up. A big part of becoming a leader is taking risks & learning from each outcome, good or bad.
I know how scary it is to run for a leadership position as an Introvert.
I’d think: What if I can’t make grand speeches? What if I’m not good at networking? I’m too quiet to contribute anything important. I’m not assertive enough to tell people what to do.
I’d beat myself up before I even attempted to create a speech. I kept asking everyone around me if I could do it. Truth is, it didn’t matter whether they said yes or no because I didn’t believe in myself. Do you ever see anyone tell their boss they’re doing a good job? Never! Not unless they’re trying to get a promotion! Being a leader is often a thankless job, so if you want to be one, you need to stop seeking validation from others. It was when I took a leap of faith & just believed in myself that I learned to become a leader.
After years of trial & error, I realized that I could become my own type of great leader. I was shocked to receive feedback from members, mentees, mentors, advisors, and bosses that highlighted all my Introvert qualities: “She listened to me and my opinions” and “She shows that she cares through her hard work and dedication”. The most shocking feedback I received was from my preceptor for a Publix supermarket pharmacy rotation. She offered me a job, in hopes that I may become a pharmacy leader there one day.
I was insecure during my entire rotation because I barely spoke unless I was asked a question. Small talk was never my forte. I appeared shy and unassertive. But her feedback showed me otherwise. She saw a leader in me, and that’s when I realized that others see more in you than you think. Your character reveals itself in more ways than just talking about yourself. If you care and you’re determined, it WILL show.
Just wanted to throw in some Introvert motivation this week! Comment below if you found this helpful 🙂
- Time Management Tips for Career-Oriented Introverts
- How to Not Be A Pushover: A Guide for Introverts
- Networking Tips for Introverts: 7 Reasons to Attend A Conference