July 25, 2014

Great ideas are often found in quiet places.

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introversion by mattdixon on deviantart.com

Being a participant can be hard for introverts, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t keenly aware of what’s going on around them.  In fact, they may have quietly contemplated the perfect solution.  Unfortunately, since they tend to shy away from the spotlight or simply don’t enjoy working in groups, or perhaps aren’t the sort to step into the leadership role, their good ideas never get heard, or are ignored in favor of lesser ideas expressed by more outgoing & charismatic people.

Insightful introverts, however, have a remarkable characteristic that many extroverts don’t always show – they quietly do what they believe is the right thing to do, without prompting, and without an expectation of reward.  These positive deviants often demonstrate ideal behaviors, but don’t seek attention and, therefore, their great ideas go unnoticed and their efforts go unrecognized.

All of which is bit of a frightening circumstance to contemplate  - that great, near perfect ideas are being implemented, individually, throughout the organization but no one is bothering to actively seek them out.

That’s a problem for management, and not, necessarily, for the individual.  Managers and leaders who do not make themselves keenly aware of the people in their organizations, their habits, and the way they go about their work are missing out on the opportunity to identify solutions to common problems.  And all because their focus is upward and outward, and not downward and inward.

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  • Matt Wrye

    Great post!  It hits home because as an introvert I can relate to it.  Not that my ideas are great but I am always taking it all in and formulating what it means.  Quiet does not mean disinterested or disengaged.

    • http://myflexiblepencil.com David M. Kasprzak

      Thanks, Matt!  I am introverted, too.  I am re-energized by time alone and I like to sit and think.  Other introverts I encounter, especially those who are not just inwardly focused, but also just plain shy, often have great, emotional connections to their work and to those around them – but they do not consider this exceptional since, to them, it is just normal.  Those emotions and quiet, reflective thought habits tend to yield some pretty powerful insights, though.  Plus, since introverts tend to not seek the favor of the crowd, they do come up with some very unique ideas – the kind that challenges the status quo resulting from group think.

      • http://twitter.com/SquawkPoint James Lawther

         David, I enjoyed the post.  As an introvert I think you will enjoy this by Jerry Brito


        • http://myflexiblepencil.com David M. Kasprzak

          OMG this is great!  Yes – this is a big chunk of understanding me, and a lot of the engineering types I work with.  It’s going on the wall.  Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Christian Paulsen

    Great post, David. Introverts spend much more time thinking than many of the rest. Reflection is beneficial for those on the Lean journey ( http://wp.me/pZiRD-1mi ). Still waters run deep.

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