Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘influence



Introverts drive extroverts crazy. Or should I say, extroverts drive introverts crazy?

“… 65% of senior corporate executives viewed introversion as a barrier to leadership…” (HBR)

The blank stare:

The scariest thing about an introvert is the blank stare that comes over their face when they’re thinking. It looks like displeasure, dislike, even disdain, to an extrovert.

Extroverts are noisy thinkers. They think while they talk. Introverts get quiet.

Introverts intimidate extroverts. It seems like they’re disinterested or resistant when they’re just thinking.

Tips for navigating introversion and extroversion:

  1. Be sensitive to a tendency to over-value extrovert leaders.
  2. Introversion and extroversion aren’t strengths and weaknesses. It’s who you are. (what that means?)
  3. Expect disciplined thought from introverts.
  4. Leverage the listening skills of introverts. Talk less and listen more if you’re an extrovert.
  5. Gather spontaneous ideas from extroverts.
  6. Give introverts time to think things over. A blank stare means they’re thinking.
  7. Extroverts enjoy public praise. Introverts often shun the limelight.

Suggestions for introverts:

I see different numbers for the ratio of introvert to extrovert. But extroverts tend to run the show.

  1. Give yourself recharge-time. Schedule and protect alone-time.
  2. Express your need to think. “Let me think that over. I’ll get back to you tomorrow.”
  3. Stretch your collaboration muscles. Avoid dropping final answers on unsuspecting victims.
  4. Beware of frustration and bitterness. People may disappoint you because YOU haven’t expressed what you want.

Introvert advantage:

In a dynamic, unpredictable environment, introverts are often more effective leaders – particularly when workers are proactive, offering ideas for improving the business.

Such behavior can make extroverted leaders feel threatened.

In contrast, introverted leaders tend to listen more carefully and show greater receptivity to suggestions, making them more effective leaders of vocal teams. (Adam Grant, Francesca Gino, David Hoffman)

What suggestions do you have for introverted leaders? extroverted leaders?

What dangers should introverts/extroverts be aware of, when it comes to their natural tendencies?

Note: the same cliche that I heard many times on extrovert and introvert, as if situations and conditions are not major factors in our current behaviors



The way you treat others is the chief culture building influence in your organization.

Lousy leaders act like individual contributors. Incompetent leaders can’t see the impact of their attitudes, words, and actions.

Newton said, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” (Was he being general to that extreme?)

The relationships you enjoy, for example, begin with you.

When you focus on weaknesses and ignore strengths, others build protective walls.

Adversarial leaders invite conflict.

Passive leaders create anxiety.

Teams don’t practice accountability until leaders follow-up and follow-through.

When you confront tough issues with kindness, others have tough conversations with greater confidence.

3 shifts that expand influence:

#1 Shift from who is right to what is right.

In one sense, leadership isn’t personal. The issue is the issue. It doesn’t matter who comes up with solutions. The person who screwed up last week might be this week’s genius.

#2. Shift from talking-at to talking-with.

Engagement requires “with.” The more you talk “at” the more you lose “with.” Talking-with requires humility, honesty, curiosity, openness, and forgiveness.

  1. Humility acknowledges the perspective and strengths of others.
  2. Honesty explains issues without hidden agendas.
  3. Curiosity asks, “What do you think?”
  4. Openness listens and explores. Defensiveness is the end of innovation.
  5. Forgiveness gives second chances after responsible failure. Honor sincere effort. Don’t punish ignorance.

#3. Shift from right and wrong to better.

Most issues are solved with progress. It’s about next steps, not moral imperatives. Stop judging so much. Start cheering more.

Complex issues have more than one answer. Their answer is better than yours, even if it’s not quite as good, because they own it.

Bonus: Shift from punishing to learning.

Treat responsible failure as a learning opportunity and risk is easier. But treat people like tools and you propagate self-serving attitudes.

Carol Dweck says the #1 quality of a growth mindset is learning from failure.

What shifts expand a leader’s influence?

What behaviors short-circuit a leader’s influence?

Technical skills, power and influence

When a new technology arrives, it’s often the nerds and the neophiliacs who embrace it.

People who see themselves as busy and important often dismiss the new medium or tool as a bit of a gimmick and then “go back to work.”

It’s only a few years later when the people who understand those tools are the ones calling the shots.

Because “the work” is now centered on that thing that folks hesitated to learn when they had the chance.

And so, it’s the web programmers who hold the keys to the future of the business, or the folks who live in mobile.

Or it’s the design strategists who thrive in Photoshop and UI thinking who determine what gets built or invested in…

There’s never a guarantee that the next technology is going to be the one that moves to the center of the conversation. But it’s certain that a new technology will. It always has.




March 2023

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