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Newsletter for August 2015
October 12, 2015

August 2015

New ideas ~ A good book ~ And, writing appetizers

Do Introverts Make Better Leaders?

I remember once in sixth grade, running for student council class representative. I stood at the front answering student questions, honestly – and hoping I didn’t look stupid.

That’s when this brainy kid asked me, “Are you shy?”

“Well, yes.” I blurted out. Then I realized what I did, and retorted, “Wait! No, I’m not!”

Of course, my grade school political career was over.

Looking back, I think I was shy. Or rather, an introvert. But, I never thought of myself as such. I thought I was an extrovert – especially when I graduated and started teaching.

No one ever thinks teachers are introverted. They stand in the front all day, speaking. Who would ever think they get nervous.

But I did, on occasion – and especially at first!

A professor once told my class that he believed most teachers are introverts who enjoy sharing their passion for a subject they love.

I think that is true for me. I love writing – and showing others how to craft their creation into something great. But, I never thought of myself as an introvert.

Elizabeth Bernstein(1) says some of the most common myths about introverts are that they are shy, antisocial, depressed, arrogant, nerds.

But, Bernstein also says introverts are careful thinkers, speak only when they have something to say, feel best in quieter situations, need solitude to balance social times, are sharp observers, have the capacity to listen actively, desire focus, are creative and imaginative, have an active inner life, and are willing to let others’ ideas have the spot light.

Despite the stereotype that introverts make better workers than entrepreneurs, Bernstein’s article suggests introverts may actually be better entrepreneurs, because of those qualities.

Personally, I am borderline introvert – according to my Meyers Briggs test results. But, I’ve always admired extroverts and thus observe them – to learn.

My college roommate is an excellent example of an extrovert. I marvel at her ease in talking with others. She could work a room and know every detail about everyone there – way more than I could at the time. (I’d rather be helping in the kitchen or serving hors d’oeuvres than mingling with strangers.) But, I learned how to mingle better from her, which improved my ability to interact with others. And perhaps, skewed my Meyers Briggs test.

If you’re like me and prefer the solitude of books and nature – as opposed to social cocktail parties, Bernstein gives new insight …introverts can be great leaders.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what your social interaction style is… as long as you keep moving forward and working through challenges to reach your goals.

And, this month’s recommended book gives you new insight as to why people may not be able to reach their goals – and get what they want.

The book also shows you how to overcome whatever it is that blocks your ability to grab your dreams. No matter if you’re an introvert or an extrovert.

All the best,


(1) Bernstein, E. (2015, August 24). The case for the introverted entrepreneur: conventional wisdom says you need to be an extrovert to start a successful business, that’s wrong for all sorts of reasons. The Wall Street Journal, R1-R2.

Move Past Your "Upper Limit"

Book Recommendation:
The Big Leap
(By Gay Hendricks, PhD)

Do you want to succeed, but find there always seems to be something in the way? The author of this month’s recommended read, Gay Hendricks (PhD), says you might have an “upper limit” problem.

An upper limit problem happens when we rise above our “inner thermostat” – a psychological measurement tool of sorts that defines our comfort level.

So, for example, let’s say you recently got a new position and the pay was 60K a year. You were stoked! Excited beyond measure. You had a great few months, but then you started to feel uneasy and unhappy. May be so much so that you’re thinking of quitting.

According to Hendricks, this is an example of the upper limit problem. There may be something in your history that keeps you comfortable where you’re at.

Getting back to that 60K a year example … let’s say you think about your past and you remember your parents never earned more than 50K a year. Your inner thermostat may be set to that level…50K.

So, when you got the job paying you 60K, you went past your upper limit. Which caused all kinds of problems. And you self-sabotaged your success by making yourself unhappy in order to move back to your programmed 50K a year comfort level…

Part of the upper limit problem, according to Hendricks, is the fear of your own success.

The good news is there’s a solution. Throughout the book he shows you how to work through your upper limit and other self-limiting problems. So you can keep pushing past your upper limited, instead of self-sabotaging yourself in order to return to your old “comfortable” level.

If you’re having trouble reaching your goals, making your dreams reality, or are unhappy once you get those things, you may have an upper limit problem.

Hendricks’s book is filled with helpful advice to help you move forward and conquer your goals. I highly recommend it, especially if you are working on something BIG.

Whet Your Writing Appetite
with these . . .

HOT and FRESH writing appetizers –
(AKA: Writing Prompts)

Here are three writing appetizers to get you thinking and writing:

1. Pick a friend that is the opposite of you – i.e. an introvert or an extrovert. (If you're an extrovert, then pick an introvert friend.) Think about him or her – write about that person, what you admire, and how their introvert/extrovert behaviors helped you learn and grow in some way.

2. Thinking about your goals, i.e. what are you working to achieve right now? Is there something stopping you from achieving them? Write about your goals and what you believe may be your “upper limit” problem stopping you from achieving them.

3. Write about your favorite superhero as a child – would you consider him or her to be an introvert or extrovert? How did that help or hurt his or her mission to save the world?

Note to New Subscribers: The writing prompts can be used in the classroom or for creative free writing. Enjoy and be creative!

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