Quiet Power: Not Everybody Will Be the Same Kind of Leader

coaching an introvert

Do you coach an introvert or have a really quiet athlete on your team?  Perhaps you are an introvert yourself?

If so, you may want to take a look at Susan Cain’s books, Quiet and Quiet Power.

Quiet reminds us to make room on our teams for the introverted athletes without requiring anyone to change or to be self-conscious.

You don’t need to be loud to have the best ideas. Strength is not correlated to loudness. There’s an amount of light that is best for each person.  Allow the athlete to find and enjoy that light.

There is power is authenticity; power in quiet.

If you coach an introvert perhaps just celebrate who she actually is without judgment or concern.

Look Beyond the Leaders

She also contributed a piece to the New York Times about the importance of followers in an organization.

She makes a compelling case that too often we emphasize the leadership requirements for all applicants and students while ignoring the obvious–not everybody can be the leader.

“Yet a well-functioning student body — not to mention polity — also needs followers. It needs team players. And it needs those who go their own way.

It needs leaders who are called to service rather than to status.”

In the process she asserts by thinking of leadership in only one way we also hollow out the meaning of leadership.

“One young woman told me about her childhood as a happy and enthusiastic reader, student and cellist — until freshman year of high school, when “college applications loomed on the horizon, and suddenly, my every activity was held up against the holy grail of ‘leadership,’ ” she recalled. “And everyone knew,” she added, “that it was not the smart people, not the creative people, not the thoughtful people or decent human beings that scored the application letters and the scholarships, but the leaders. It seemed no activity or accomplishment meant squat unless it was somehow connected to leadership.”

Read the NY Times article:

“Not Leadership Material? Good the World Needs Followers”  (NY Times March 24)

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