Introverted leaders: brief notes from my Telegraph Festival of Education 2016 Talk
Last Friday I delivered a talk at the Telegraph Festival of Education about the benefits that introverts can bring to school leadership. Here are some brief notes.
I don’t tend to do powerpoint for these kinds of talks and they are designed to be experienced rather than read but here are some notes and resources that may be of use.
In Jung’s view, introverts and extroverts compliment each other and can help broaden their outlook and use new perspectives. He saw both types and their traits as important and valuable – Sylvia Loehken, Quiet Impact, page 9
Five typically introverted traits which can be used as strengths that were explored during the talk were:
- Quiet passion
- Caution/reserved nature
- Observation and ability to notice what others may miss
- Independence/ self sufficiency
The books that I quoted, in the order that they were featured in the talk, were
- Quiet Impact, Sylvia Loehken
- Do/purpose/Why brands with a purpose do better and matter more, David Hieatt
- High Challenge, Low Threat, Mary Myatt
- Quiet; The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking, Susan Cain
Quotes from school leaders that I read were from interviews that I have conducted for a book that I’m writing. The working title is ‘The Unexpected Leader’ featuring successful school leaders who don’t feel they fit the traditional mould. It will be published by Crown House in 2017 but I have to finish writing it first.
A resource which I forgot to mention, which is especially useful for creating space and quiet for reflection is meditation. Personally, I’d recommend the Headspace app which provides daily guided meditations of 10mins so can fit into a busy day.
The most important thing for leaders of all types is to be really clear about our purpose and aims
I think you have to centre whatever you are passionate about. You have to really, really interrogate what you think. It makes you sure that what you are passionate about matters and you will find the confidence to defend it. – CN, School Leader that I have interviewed.
Enjoy your Sunday fellow introverts, make sure you create some time and space to recharge. Remember that our contributions are valid and if you are somewhere where they aren’t, there are other places where they will be.