Being an introvert does not preclude one from being a manager. But it does raise many challenges.
I started reading management books right out of college. I’ve learned to manage in a minute, to find (and sometimes, move) the cheese, I’ve searched for excellence, studied more than seven habits, figured out my principles, took the road less traveled, and known far more than five types of team dysfunctions.
So what’s the secret? You have to have a plan, and then you have to work that plan. That’s it. Plain and simple.
In this recently released book, author and leadership trainer James Robbins provides an approach to management that is founded in basic principles of motivation, respect, caring, and just practical common sense. This book brings together good practices that, applied regularly, should help anyone improve their management skills.
In the various management roles I have had, I also had a fair amount of individual work to be done. This meant that as long as there were no problems, I didn’t spend a lot of time with my subordinates. I did not coach and help them grow, unless their lack of progress was hurting the team. In retrospect, I know that there was a lot of missed opportunity because I didn’t work closely with employees who were generally self motivated. I could have been a catalyst to even better performance. This would have been good for my company, and good for my career as well.
I am not going to tell you what you should do with nine minutes on Monday (read the book and make your plan!), but here are some things that really rang true with my experience.
- Know your employees well enough to know their interests and their family interests. I did not do this well, and was too focused on work, without adequate appreciation for personal life situations.
- Recognition is important. Even when employees are generally self-motivated.
- Don’t get over-involved – autonomy is important.
- Social bonding should not be ignored – a big challenge for the introvert manager or employee.
- We may not all be inspirational leaders, but we can and should be model leaders.
James is a good storyteller, and brings examples from his many experiences, and not just from the workplace. You may never have climbed a mountain in your life, but you will understand his stories on this topic.
Finally, the book provides some practical approaches for implementing the practices in the book, and also provides online resources. This is not just a book, this is a true resource.
Introvert of not, let me recommend that you take a look at this book, available at Amazon, of course, and in electronic format as well.
Disclaimer: I do not have any affiliate link at Amazon, nor was I provided anything other than an advance copy of this book with no promise to write this review. I just plain LIKED IT!