Jul 06, 13
This book was tremendously inspiring and reassuring, as well as highly disruptive. It's made me question a great deal because almost every job I have requires an enormous amount of extroverted effort and I find myself more and more exhausted by it. I am grateful to understand why this is but also baffled about how to find work that is more in line with natural introverted strengths. I feel a disruptive gratitude, I suppose.
One of the things I was particularly grateful for was the piece on leadership. It has been hard to make peace with myself (and the people around me) around how I lead. The bulk of my struggles in graduate school and immediately after revolved around this question. I kept running into the obstacle of people wanting me to be more forceful, to tell them what to do, to shout, to dictate. I was endlessly baffled, both by this desire in the people I was working with and in my inability to meet their expectations. I was particularly confused about this because in previous years, I had had no such struggles.
After reading Quiet, I get it. It's well documented that introverted leaders lead best with proactive participants and extroverted leaders lead best with passive participants. Now that I know this, I can quit trying to pretend to be an extrovert. It's clear that it's imperative that I choose my groups carefully and this book gives me a great clarity about how to do about that.
Read this book if you identify as an introvert. There's some very useful ways to think about your strengths. Also, read it if you're an extrovert with introverts in your life. It may help you understand your differences. I'm an introvert. My boyfriend's an introvert and some of my best friends are introverts. But my other best friends are extroverts and this book helps me explain me to them in a way that I've never been able to before.
The Quiet Revolution is just beginning and Susan Cain is a fantastic (quiet) spokesperson for it. I am a grateful (if disrupted) fan.