Tuesday, September 30, 2008

50.7

That's the percentage of introverts in the American population according to the research of the Center for the Application of Pyschological Type. Their study, completed in 2003, along with two other studies conducted independently by other organizations, surveyed over 900,000 people.

This flies in the face of all the old research that introverts make up between 1/4 and 1/3 of the population. CAPT says it's NOT that there are now more introverts in the population than there were previously, it's that the sample size is broader and the study is more comprehensive. The old findings were based on research conducted in the 1960's(!)

This is pretty huge, because the assumption all along has been that the extroverted bias in our culture (and in churches) owed to the majority status that extroverts occupied. But now that we know that introverts are actually in the majority, it only demonstrates our culture's prejudice towards introverted ways of thinking and acting even more.

What's your response? Where do you want to take this?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Listen to Peter Drucker

My wife started an MBA in non-profit leadership recently, and she has introduced me to the writings of Peter Drucker, management guru and a prolific writer. He died recently, but his writings will endure. I love his writing style - it's so understandable and simple that you don't realize right away that you were just exposed to something profound. Here he responds to a question he was asked about the traits of a leader:

"Leadership personality," "leadership style," and "leadership traits" do not exist. Among the most effective leaders I have encountered and worked with in a half century, some locked themselves into their office and others were ultragregarious...some were quick and impulsive; others studied and studied again and then took forever to come to a decision. Some were warm and instantly "simpatico"; others remained aloof even after years of working closely with others, not only with outsiders like me but with the people within their own organization...."

"Some were as austere in their private lives as a hermit in the desert; others were ostentacious and pleasure loving and whooped it up at every opportunity. Some were good listeners, but among the most effective leaders I have worked with were also a few loners who listened only to their own inner voice. The one and only personality trait the effective ones I have encountered did have in common was something they did not have: they had little or no "charisma" and little use either for the term or for what it signifies."

From his foreword inThe Leader of the Future: New Visions, Strategies, and Practices for the Next Era, pp. xi-xii

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Anne Lamott cracks me up

"Seeing yourself in print is such an amazing concept: you can get so much attention without having to actually show up somewhere. While others who have something to say or who want to be effectual, like musicians or baseball players or politicians, have to get out there in front of people, writers, who tend to be shy, get to stay home and still be in public. There are many obvious advantages to this. You don't have to dress up, for instance, and you can't hear them boo you right away."

Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird, p xiv

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Additions

I've added links to some of my favorite introverted articles and books to the sidebar. I'm especially fond of the Atlantic Monthly Article and the Christian Standard article, and my favorite books on the topic are The Introvert Advantage and Henri Nouwen's book The Way of the Heart - which is not a book about personality type but addresses silence, contemplation, and prayer in ways that will definitely resonate with introverts.