Browsing the archives for the introversion tag.

That introversion thing again…

Broader role, Geek 5, Org savvy, Uncategorized

We’ve talked a lot about introversion and how it can impact the career of many geeks.  It is a key part of the Geek 5 risks as part of the resistance to a broader role.  There was also a post about Jennifer Kahnweiler’s book, The Introverted Leader

Dan McCarthy over at Great Leadership just did a nice post on introversion.  It is called “How to be a more approachable, sociable leader“.  He provides many useful tips on how to overcome some introverted tendencies.  I like that he focuses on small, achievable changes – such as setting a goal for how many people to approach on a daily basis.

Several of his suggestions match suggestions from this blog – such as smiling and listening more.  He also talks about the need to do more personal disclosure (appropriate disclosure) in order to build rapport.  Dan also suggests several books related to building relationships and charisma.  I’m not familiar with the books, but they’re probably worth a scan on Amazon.

Check out his post for another perspective and more advice about introversion.

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Resistance to a Broader Role

Broader role, Geek 5

In the last post, we discussed how introversion could affect leadership. Introverts sometimes resist moving into broader roles or taking leadership positions. Resistance to a broader role is one of the Geek 5. There are some other geek tendencies that can also get in the way of career advancement.

It is hard to move from a technical role into a broader role.  It is hard to give up the very skillset that has made you successful.  Over your career, you’ve probably been rewarded for technical accomplishments.  You’ve gotten recognition, kudos and monetary rewards.  It is also familiar, and you are almost guaranteed ongoing success.   It’s hard to move from that comfort zone to a stretch role – such as a leadership position.

Another common point of resistance is not wanting to give up the technical work itself. Moving up the ladder frequently means taking on more management duties and doing less of the technical work. Most geeks are in their line of work, because they are fascinated with the technical details of what they do. They often see the technical work (programming, R&D, analytics, medicine, etc.) as a pure scientific pursuit. Management work, on the other hand, is regarded as bureacratic nonsense.

This is a self-limiting and, frankly, disrespectful attitude.  Management is a tough role.  The challenge is less of a technical nature and more of a people and strategic nature.  A good manager and leader has a hard-won skillset that is part science and part art.  We’ve all seen bad managers, so it is easy to see why they sometimes get a bad rap.  Even so, a good manager can have a tremendous impact on the team and productivity and other accomplishments.  So, broaden your world.  Give management a chance and you may find that the challenges are equally thrilling and sometimes even tougher to master.

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