Too many extroverts can kill your companyImage via CrunchBase
At some point during one of the party events at the late great 2012 HR Florida Conference, I made a wry, alcohol infused comment about our blogging team being largely composed of very social introverts. While this may seem counter-intuitive, it was true. Our team consisted of the following people:
- Trish Mcfarlane
- Amanda Hite
- Jason Lauritsen
- Lisa Rosendahl
- Steve Boese
- Joe Gerstandt
Personally, I would view everybody but Trish and Jason as being an introvert, yet they are all highly regarded in the world of social HR. Obviously being an introvert doesn’t equal being an unsuccessful networker, or limit one’s ability to effectively speak and communicate. In fact, it’s critical to have the proper balance of introversion and extroversion present in the leadership of any organization.
Check out this example from the website brain pickings, and be sure to watch the video, it’s worth the three minutes.
In this short animated excerpt from Susan Cain’s RSA talk, based on her fantastic book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (public library) and illustrated by the darkly delightful Molly Crabapple, Cain explores how modern society evolved to glorify the qualities associated with extraversion. And yet, rather than being a social handicap, introversion isn’t just enormously widespread but also socially advantageous and necessary. She gives the example of Apple, which we’ve come to associate with the very vocal Steve Jobs — but Steve Wozniak, a sworn champion of the creative value of working alone, was just as indispensable in building the iconic company. The two complemented one another, just like extroverts and introverts would in an ideal world.