Introverted Executives Find Ways to Shine

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That’s the title of an article in last week’s Wall Street Journal. The article introduces introverted leaders like Doug Conant, the much-celebrated chief of Campbell Soup (whom I wrote about here) and Tim Miller, the CEO of Rally Development Software, whom I interviewed for my book.

Tim has many impressive qualities — smarts, humility, and determination among them — but I was especially impressed by his ability to be introspective — to look deep within himself for the right answers to strategic issues. From this process he gains the courage of his convictions. Tim embodies the advice of one of my favorite quotations, from Emerson, on solitude and leadership:

“He who should inspire and lead his race must be defended from travelling with the souls of other men, from living, breathing, reading, and writing in the daily, time-worn yoke of their opinions.”

I don’t want to get too carried away here. Tim does travel with other men’s souls; in fact, he’s quick to seek help from his colleagues when he falls short in a particular area, and he’s committed to his company’s friendly, inclusive culture.

But he sure isn’t yoked to anyone’s opinion.  He trusts his own ability to think.

Here’s a video of Tim speaking about introspection, the strengths of being introverted, taking a stand, and servant leadership.

Your thoughts?



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Quiet: The Book

- Wall Street Journal

Bill Gates names "The Power of Introverts" one of his all-time favorite TED Talks.

Best Nonfiction Book of 2012

QUIET has been voted the best nonfiction book of 2012


1. There’s a word for “people who are in their heads too much”: thinkers.

2. Our culture rightly admires risk-takers, but we need our “heed-takers” more than ever.

3. Solitude is a catalyst for innovation.

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