The first time I was asked to be a leader was when I was a kid playing follow the leader. I would only lead for a few seconds and then call out someone else to lead. I hated the pressure of everyone looking to me for direction. I would break away from the crowd and go on my own to play something else.
Now as an adult, I realized I had the same reaction when it came to leading at work. When I was promoted, I hesitated and thought, “Me?”
Some say you’re born a leader, for me I wasn’t going to focus if I was or not, I needed to learn how to lead. I was given a task and now I had others looking to me for answers.
Read books, lots of them. Reading books about leadership, personality types, working in the work place, and biographies is like having a really deep conversation with people who are super successful. I recommend: 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leaders, Relevant Magazine, and Quiet; The Power of the introvert.
Listen to Podcasts. If you sit down at a computer all day, listening to Podcast like, This American Life, Snap Judgement, Graphic Designer Podcast, NPR Ted, This is Your Life by Micheal Hyatt, Relevant, RadioLab and so many others, you will hear stories and interviews that will give you such insight about life and people.
Ask questions When it came to asking clients questions, I was afraid I was bothering them. I had to tell myself I’m not bugging them, the information they are giving me is for their project. Think of your questions before hand and ask when you have their full attention.
Listen to the team. The old school way is my way or the highway. For my personality, that wasn’t working well. After reading Quiet; The Power of the introvert, I learned listening to my team’s suggestions wasn’t a sign of weakness but that introverts can thrive with proactive workers.
Listen to Feed Back. Hearing feed back about your work performance can be hard but in the long run, it can help you. I grow most from feed back.
Watch your Thinking. We grow up believing so many lies about our self. The more we are aware of them, the faster can stop them from holding us back from leading with confidence.
I know it’s easy to let the Carismatic extroverts take over but the world needs more introverted leaders.