Notes from the leadership journey!

“The Power of Introverts”

TED is a great place for ideas and inspiration. And, as a communicator, I like to watch them to inspire me to be a better communicator. In fact, I’ve recently started watching TED Talks while walking on the treadmill (at least once a week) as part of my strategy to grow as a communicator. TED Talks generally last 18 minutes or less.

This week, I watched Susan Cain give a great talk based on her new book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. You can watch the video here: The power of Introverts. This is a message that both introverts and extroverts need to hear!

Here are some quotes that particularly struck me …

Solitude matters, and for some people it is the air that they breathe. And, in fact, we have known for centuries about the transcendent power of solitude. It’s only recently that we’ve strangely begun to forget it.

Citing the role of solitude in major religions, Cain suggests, “no wilderness, no revelations.” In fact, one of my favorite verses is Luke 5.16: “But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.”

At the end of her TED Talk, Cain offered some calls to actions. She said, “Stop the madness for constant group work,” both in workplaces and also in schools. I totally agree! Cain notes, while students need to learn to work together, they also need to learn to work on their own. The trend in seminars and conferences we’ve attended is to include more small group discussion time. Frankly, when I spend a lot of money to attend a conference, I’d rather listen to the presenter(s) than chat with others in small group discussion. A little is okay, but too often, it’s overdone!

Cain also challenged listeners, “Go to the wilderness … have your own revelations.” Cain suggested, “We could all stand to unplug and get inside our own heads a little more often.”

The world can be a very noisy place. With the astronomical growth of social media in the last decade, it’s harder than ever to find solitude. And yet, the need for solitude is as necessary as ever!

Great advice from Susan Cain!

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