Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts


Do you identify as an introvert and extrovert? I’m an ESFJ, meaning I’m not an Introvert, and I definitely find myself getting energized from being in a social setting.

What I took away from Susan Cain’s talk is how she viewed things from a very different perspective than I normally do. I’m interested by Introverts, they’re more reserved than myself, a lot more soft spoken, and you should definitely listen to what they have to say. Startups & Entrepreneurs often have to be the loudest people in the room, I mean how else are you suppose to get attention, but maybe we need to step back for a second and evaluate things differently.

My biggest takeaway from this talk were her 3 calls to action in the end.

Stop the Madness for constant group work
To me this is saying to allow for critical thinking as individuals instead of having to always act as a group. In school and in the work place, people need to be able to work on their own, something she stressed as being just as important (if not more important) for the extrovert as the introvert – allowing for deep thought to flourish.

Go to the Wilderness
Have your own ability to think critically. Unplug and really get inside your own head once in awhile.

Look Within
Assess what is inside of your own personal suitcase. Grace the world with your energy, joy, and passion. Extroverts are much more willing to share these, but Introverts should feel open to reflect on what they bring to the world as well.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I could definitely benefit from getting lost in my own head a little more. With everything so readily available we’re bombarded with all sorts of stimulus, and maybe we need to give ourselves just a little bit more quiet time to reflect and process the world around us. So go unplug and get lost in your own head for a little while. We’ll still be here when you get back.

Want more about startups and entrepreneurship? Join us at TEDxKalamazoo Startups on January 22.

Written By Richard Swenor