The world is divided into two camps, introverts and extroverts, and this categorization defines who we are—at least that’s what we’re lead to believe. If you were to survey a group of average Americans, and ask who would make a better leader, an introvert or an extrovert, hands down you’d find the majority saying extroverts are naturally better at leadership. Time magazine published an article titled The Great Introverts and Extroverts of Our Time and you’d be very surprised to see the list.
The purpose of this blog is to break common stereotypes when it comes to personality types, leadership, and, of course, engineering. Part of this purpose focuses on the goal of helping others grow in their careers and bringing out their true leadership potential. Only two things stop a person from achieving—willingness and knowledge—and I hope to bring the latter to those who already have the necessary drive.
I grew up in the Midwest, studied Computer Science, eventually moved out to New York City, and worked my way up to managing a team of engineers at one of the most prestigious media companies (while pursuing an MBA on the side too). I’m as introverted as it gets. I love to be home, to recharge with my family, to not stand out in a crowd, to be anonymous. Somewhere along the way I learned, however, that confidence and leadership were not a factor of these two personality types. Instead, anyone can be a leader, anyone can learn to assert themselves, and anyone can be just about anything they want to be.
In a recent course I took on the topic of executive leadership, the professor asked everyone to raise their hands if they were extroverts. More than half the class had their hands up, but what surprised everyone were the people who didn’t raise their hands. Some of the most confident and best participatory students were introverts. You could hear people asking many of them in surprise, “you’re an introvert?”
We’ll eventually get there, but for now, we’ll start here.