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The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength

3.32  ·  Rating details ·  768 ratings  ·  73 reviews
In our extroverted business culture, introverts can feel excluded, overlooked, or misunderstood. But being an introvert doesn't mean you can't be a great leader. Citing examples of highly successful leaders like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, Kahnweiler shows that introverts can build on their quiet strength and make it a source of great power.

After highlighting the common
Paperback, 192 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by Berrett-Koehler Publishers
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Average rating 3.32  · 
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Sep 17, 2010 rated it liked it
The Introverted Leader was written by an author who is an extrovert. She qualifies this fact by stating that her husband is an introvert and so she knows how to deal with us introverted types. Ouch.

The premise of this book is that introverts can learn to be extroverted. They just need to know what to do. Follow step A- meet and greet; step B- get some business cards; before long you are cured, as if being an introvert is something you catch while reading in the library.

Sprinkled lightly are a
Nov 10, 2009 rated it did not like it
From the title, one would think that the author would focus on the strengths of an introvert and how to enhance those in the arena of leadership. One would be wrong. The author seems to think that introversion is the same as pathological shyness and while introverts make good listeners because they apparently don't talk (not true), they should really push themselves to grow out of their terror of speaking in public to become a better leader. Admittedly, I am over-simplifying, but as an introvert ...more
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
In my own work with the DISC behavioral styles, I have found that many people do not value the quiet power of introverts. With society placing value of the outspoken extrovert, The Introverted Leader is perfect for the introverts themselves, as it can help them to tap their hidden strengths and for extroverts to better appreciate what introverts can offer.

The Introverted Leader offers a practical guide that identifies four key challenges for introverted leaders: stress, perception gaps, deraile
Jul 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes, this book is written by an extrovert. Yes, it is also kinda stating the obvious (don't ALL self help books do this?). The whole point is that, rather than floating through life/meetings being overlooked, you need to take some time to evaluate yourself and be prepared to work on your weaknesses. This book gave me a kick in the rear to do that. It provides specific, practical suggestions for how to improve your weak points.

As a young, recent graduate flung headfirst into a leadership role, I
Sep 04, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
This caught my eye at the library so I grabbed it, but it did not turn out to be very good and I abandoned it less than halfway through. Quiet by Susan Cain is much better. A few concerning things right off the bat: the book is by a woman but has a picture of a man on the cover, and the author openly admits that she herself is an extrovert! Basically although it claims to be talking about building on an introvert's strengths, it spends a lot of time dwelling on perceived weaknesses of introverts ...more
May 13, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
Not real impressed with this book; in fact not even going to finish it. Frankley, I'm tired of the 4 P's process the author pushes in this book. Written by an extrovert in a manner I find almost patronizing and condescending, the author uses generic examples of things that felt made up. I'm an introvert, not an idiot. ...more
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There are two major flaws that get this book going in the wrong direction: first, it's written by an extrovert; second, it takes for granted that culture seems to be built for extroverts, such that introverts must necessarily adapt to an extroverted world instead of extroverts needing to adapt any introverted traits. What this ends up being, then, is a sort of waffling piece of "encouragement" that tells introverts they have things to offer but to do so must be willing to adapt to the demands of ...more
Mark Pedigo
Feb 16, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this as part of a bundle, sight unseen. Had I browsed through the book, I don't think I would have tried it.

First of all, the premise is flawed. I hoped that "leader" would have a broad meaning - leading via research, or teaching, or mentoring, or yes, perhaps in the office, or in whatever way you consider successful. But no, it "leader" here is used in the overly specific sense of "corporate leader" (i.e., middle manager, or better yet, executive level). So how many introverts crave th
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Unfortunately a book telling introverts how to succeed at work, written by an extrovert, wasn't overly helpful. I get that she interviewed 100 introverts for this book, but it just didn't quite hit home. I'm not sure that tips like "get to know your team" and "work on your public speaking skills" were all that ground breaking :) ...more
Mar 10, 2013 rated it did not like it
Couldn't finish it. Author admits herself she's an extrovert and the book smacks of "sorry you're an introvert. That will get you nowhere. Here's how to fix it!!" ...more
Samantha Hines
Oct 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Lots of good tips but was a little preachy, being written by a self proclaimed extrovert.
Sunrise (Brit)
40% = 2 Stars

I'm going to write a book about introverts and tell them they can be leaders if they stop being introverted! HA HA - what a trick.
Stephanie Thoma
I found it interesting that this book showcased how introverts can hone leadership skills but also how they can manage up and how extroverts can handle them. A note about the book having sections for extroverts to read to better understand introverts would be useful since it’s redundant to introverts but could be helpful for extroverts.

- Carl Jung defines introversion as energy being generated within the self (and extroverts energize w others)
- introverts prone to the perception gap, bein
Leah Markum
DNF: approx. 20%

Yup, I'm going to have to agree with a bunch of people here: this isn't about introversion...or leadership. I'd say it's more about an extrovert assuming quietness equals introversion, shyness, lack of social skills, and lack of professional assertiveness, and the leadership equals a combination of organization (as in due diligence in skills taught in school) and broad sociability. I particularly appreciate how extroversion assumes presence and attentiveness, but some of the leas
Aug 03, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I rarely ever not finish a book, but this was one of those times.

I may have developed a bias the minute she said she was an extrovert, but the entire time I listened I was annoyed and frustrated. The title of this book feels misleading, and all of a sudden her suggestions and comments felt like every other well-intentioned extrovert I know telling me to get out of my shell.

Instead of playing off of introverted strengths that would help in leadership she focuses on ways for an introvert to act ex
Steven Hart
It is a good book about leadership, but the title is misleading.

The title lead me to expect a unified approach to leadership from an introverted perspective. In reality, this is a book about organizational leadership in practice. There is no discussion of theoretical matters such as "What is a good leader?" Rather, the book is practically oriented, focusing on how to tackle various matters of leadership within an organization using the central paradigm of the four P's: prepare, presence, push, a
Dec 20, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-just-can-t, stoopit
Patronizing and Pedestrian.

Don't bother with this book. It was disappointing to read that the author is a self-proclaimed extrovert, but evidently knows ALLLLLL about introverts because her husband is one. I didn't appreciate Kahnweiler's implication that introverts aren't firing on all cylinders, or that her flimsy "data recording" included "conversations" she had with just 100 people--including hallway chats. How does a so-called researcher validate pedestrian data? The book is patronizing to
Tara Custer
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great overview of why and how introverts think and lead the way they do. I personally benefited a lot from learning on how to build from my quiet strength. Leaders who have mentored me have always said I have a quiet strength that others are attracted to. This book confirmed many of the thoughts going through my mind and my actions. I highly recommend this title to anyone who like me is looking for ways to learn and grow as an introverted leader.
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, nonfiction
This book had some good tips, but overall the 4 Ps process got so detailed it was hard to remember what step you were even in, plus some of the tips were really really patronizing. (Introverts aren't stupid!)

The fact that it was written by an extrovert who seemed to be operating off stereotypes of introverts was part of the problem. And I really felt like she was more trying to get us to change, rather than actually operating out of our "quiet strength" like the book title said.
Catie Carlson
This title started to get better the more I read into it, but it was slow. For a while, it seemed the author just wanted to praise my introverted self for being so thoughtful but then giving generic advice without action. While some introverts may be thoughtful but not great problem solvers, for me, I was irritated because my struggle is not self-awareness or problem-solving but the pathways to resolutions. It did get there, but I almost abandoned ship before I got there.
Apr 01, 2019 rated it liked it
While the book is well written, easily understood and makes some excellent points throughout, it feels like the author is attempting to teach introverts how to become or at least act like extroverts in a business setting. As a self described introvert I find many of.the tactics to be tough to implement in my own work.
K.J. Cartmell
This book relays practical advice for introverts for succeeding in the business world and dealing with extroverts. The book assumes the introvert is already in a leadership position. Kahnweiler mentions that introverts are often overlooked for promotions because of extrovert bias in hiring decisions, particularly for leadership positions. She does not give any advice on how to overcome that bias.
Mike Saunders
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book to see the growth path for introverts.

It informed much of my thinking in this article on the difference between extraverts and introverts
I thought this book was very helpful when it comes to make yourself known at a business like job. However, I think the four P's that the author brings up in each business like situation overlap each other which makes it redundant.

I give the book a 3.7 rating.
Robert Shaw
But great. Seems to start ok with differences between introverted and extroverts. After promising to show how to build on the strengths of introverts it instead seems to show how they can become more extroverted.
Read with my ears. Need to revisit with my eyes, many worthy ideas and tools to make the introverted life less complicated in an extroverted world.
Bri Major
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
While this isn't my favorite book on leadership and introverts it did give some helpful practical ways to push yourself last yourself. ...more
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
nice techniques for anyone to use to be less socially backwards
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
General: If you are already somewhat experienced in the adult world, this book will not have any new revelations for you, but it may help reinforce what you should focus on or how to interpret things. Do not expect any great secrets here or any words of wisdom on how to quickly become successful. However, for a new adult, unfamiliar with how they sit in the scheme of things this book could give them the confidence they need in the working world to fit in.

Recommendation: Only if you are a very lo
Elyse Snow
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic read for anyone who is a manager or leader and knows they are introverted. Direct and easy to follow.
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Jennifer B. Kahnweiler is an international speaker, executive coach and author who specializes in developing and coaching introverted leaders. She holds a doctorate in counseling and organizational development from Florida State University.

Her latest highly anticipated book, The Genius of Opposites: How Introverts and Extroverts Achieve Extraordinary Results Together (Berrett-Koehler, August 2015)

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