Book Review: The Introverted Leader

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Home > Articles > Book Review: The Introverted Leader

 Book Review: The Introverted Leader

Reviewer: Supriya Ahluwalia | General
December 4, 2012
​​In the business world, one either comes across self-help books that emphasise commercial success or theories to strengthen one’s standing in the marketplace. Dr Jennifer Kahnweiler’s book—The Introverted Leader differs ever so slightly. It focuses on the quiet, organised, and focused individual who seems to know much but keeps being left by the wayside. 

The seemingly reserved are quiet not because they are shy, but because of reflections and discussions that introverts process internally before presenting them externally. Once considered negative, the introvert tag has relaxed gradually for introverts to be accepted as valuable players in the workplace. A book to better understand the introvert’s latent potential is long overdue.

The main point in the book is one’s ability to adapt to change. For an introvert to be successful, they need to divert their energies and adapt to their respective surroundings in order to give themselves a chance to be heard. Much of the book’s information helps the introvert adapt. In some cases, the change works to improve one’s behaviour. Thus is borne the ability to not only better present themselves but also reveal their skills and potentials to peers and managers.

The tips are useful to all readers—introverts and extroverts alike. Extroverts benefit from understanding the introverts’ thoughts and opinions and how they function at the workplace.

The examples used are indicative of a wide variety of situations and issues faced by introverts at the workplace. However, the book does not mention scenarios or situations in which an introvert does not benefit. One can concede that the reasons for unsuccessful introverts could be attributed to explanations other than the natural introversion of some individuals. But it must be emphasised that the author does explain that introversion differs from being shy. 

Kahnweiler shows how introverts can be natural leaders with simplified theories and a step-by-step guide. An example accompanying each repetition highlights the slight variations found in a range of workplace situations. The outcomes of the examples used are realistic. It coaxes rather than forces one out of their introverted shell. Examples of self-help and helping others leverage their positions vary from organisational levels and managerial approaches.

​Dr Jennifer B. Kahnweiler is a professional speaker and executive coach who specialises in developing and coaching introverted leaders of organisations to bring out the best in them. She has been an internal consultant to organisations such as General Electric Company (GE), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), AT&T, Turner Broadcasting, and The Department of Homeland Security. She has had columns in Forbes, the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg Business week. 

Copyright © 2013 Singapore Institute of Management

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