"I never wanted the crown" -Jon Snow. Reluctant Introverted leaders, and you need to step up
It starts with a boy or girl in great hardship. Usually born into a situation in which they're shunned by society. They must develop strong independence and a tough resilience in order to survive. Suddenly, their day to day survival is interrupted by a huge pattern change, and they learn that in fact, they are the most important person in the universe, they then go on to save the world.
I'm describing the Heros Journey which we've all seen and read a thousand times. Jon Snow, Neo, Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen, Wolverine, Aragorn.
All leaders, yet none have spent their lives shouting from the rooftops, inspiring others with dazzling displays of their outgoing charisma. They probably wouldn't be described as natural public speakers.
What can their character types tell us about who they are as leaders, and how their introvertedness shapes their quiet strength.
From there, what does that mean for those of us who've been standing at the edges of our roll as leaders.
The number one thing thats keeping Introverted Leaders from bringing real impact to the world..
They don't want the responsibility
Taking care of number one has been the priority for so long, the responsibility of leading others, with all their uncertainty, seem exhausting.
When you want something, you just go and get it. Not to say you don't have doubts at times, but it doesn't stop you from just getting your head down and pushing through. Its part of your identity.
So to have people tie a rope around your waist, and be pulled along by you whilst you cut the path ahead and make sure the coast is clear, it seems like too much work to want to get involved with.
But still, you want to, and part of you that's been waiting to wake up knows you need to.
We're getting heavy here, so lets turn on the movie tap again to take some of the pressure off. What defines these characters?
In childhood, they may have faced great hardship. Perhaps born into a situation in which society shunned them for being different. They quickly had to learn independence and resilience in order to survive. Socially, they spent most of their time alone.
They learned to do things by themselves, and can take to new things better than their peers.
They may be described by others as antisocial, due to their low level of trust. They have learned to look out for number one, and constantly reject social intimacy, but this is in battle with their personal magnetism to which people are drawn.
Others want to be lead by them, be like them, be around them.
The leader will ultimately always be drawn to their need to lead. They may shun the responsibility, but this will lead to misery and internal conflict.
In film, this is often reflected by a last minute turn around of the reluctant leader, who decides to abandon the lone wolf persona that has protected them, and step into the vulnerability, but also the rewards of their true calling.
What strengths does an introverted leader bring to the table that are unique to them?
When they lead, it is because of their personal magnetism. They will often have lead by example to get to where they are.
As much as this might make you cringe, people will want to be like you.
I know right, here you were just doing your own thing, and you went and created an example to live by to others.
Take ownership of that. Pride might be something that seems showboaty to you, but you should be proud of yourself. Their is a difference between pride and arrogance.
Things to watch out for
Careful not to fall in love with your own ideas or story
When leadership becomes part of you, especially when you've felt like you've always know what to do, it can become easy to start thinking you're always right.
You may have always been a reluctant leader, but now that you're stepping into your true role and creating impact, you're going to learn even more so that people just don't move at the same pace as you.
Be patient. Meditate. Journal. Sit in your thoughts for a while. Yes, a while, I encourage and challenge you not to find an immediate answer for everything.
Until next time
Yours, as an introvert as a leader, as a man