Read "The Introvert's Way Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World" by Sophia Dembling available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 off. This clever and pithy book challenges introverts to take ownership of their The Introvert's Way. Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World. by Sophia Dembling. ebook . Editorial Reviews. Review. “In this thought-provoking treatise on the quieter types , Dembling, Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. I got the ebook with whisper sinc and listened. I liked it so well I.
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The Introvert's Way by Sophia Dembling. Buy. Look Inside Buy the Ebook: Kobo · Barnes & People Who Read The Introvert's Way Also Read. ‹ › Parenting. Get Free Read & Download Files The Introverts Way Living A Quiet Life In Noisy World Sophia Dembling PDF. THE INTROVERTS WAY LIVING A QUIET LIFE IN . For the past couple of months I have been working on an ebook, The Introvert Revolution: A Quiet Path to Reclaiming Our Power. Tucked away in my quiet.
Also available as: Not in United States? Choose your country's store to see books available for purchase. This clever and pithy book challenges introverts to take ownership of their personalities Quiet Influence.
The Power of Habit. Charles Duhigg. The Luminaries. Eleanor Catton. Truly Madly Guilty. Loving What Is. Byron Katie. Emotional Intelligence. Crossing Savage. Dave Edlund. Marie Kondo. Let's Pretend This Never Happened.
The Beautiful Mystery. Louise Penny. Fire and Fury. Michael Wolff. Veronica Roth. Man's Search for Meaning. Harold S. The Edge of Lost. Kristina Mcmorris. Mark Manson. Yuval Noah Harari. The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Neil Gaiman. Robin Sharma. The Nest. Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney. Richard H. The Couple Next Door. Shari Lapena. Introverts in Love. Sophia Dembling.
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Remove FREE. Unavailable for purchase. Continue shopping Checkout Continue shopping. Chi ama i libri sceglie Kobo e inMondadori. Buy the eBook Price: Choose Store. Skip this list. Ratings and Book Reviews 1 11 star ratings 1 reviews. Overall rating 3. Yes No Thanks for your feedback! Report as inappropriate. Very helpful and insightful in giving guidance, opinions, and encouragement to introverts. How to write a great review Do Say what you liked best and least Describe the author's style Explain the rating you gave Don't Use rude and profane language Include any personal information Mention spoilers or the book's price Recap the plot.
Close Report a review At Kobo, we try to ensure that published reviews do not contain rude or profane language, spoilers, or any of our reviewer's personal information. Would you like us to take another look at this review? No, cancel Yes, report it Thanks! You've successfully reported this review. We appreciate your feedback. OK, close. Write your review. Then I remember that Tony is not only a life coach but also a businessman extraordinaire; he started his career in sales and today serves as chairman of seven privately held companies.
He wants us not only to feel great but to radiate waves of energy, not just to be liked, but to be well liked; he wants us to know how to sell ourselves. The report was written in the third person, as if it was to be reviewed by some imaginary manager evaluating my people skills.
It urges us to meet social fear in as extroverted a manner as possible. We must be vibrant and con dent, we must not seem hesitant, we must smile so that our interlocutors will smile upon us. Taking these steps will make us feel good—and the better we feel, the better we can sell ourselves. Tony seems the perfect person to demonstrate such skills. People with these traits often make wonderful company, as Tony does onstage.
But what if you admire the hyperthymic among us, but also like your calm and thoughtful self? What if you love knowledge for its own sake, not necessarily as a blueprint to action? What if you wish there were more, not fewer, reflective types in the world? Tony seems to have anticipated such questions.
The idea is to propel yourself into such a fearless state of mind that you can withstand even 1,degree heat. The evening crescendoes until nally, just before midnight, we march to the parking lot in a torchlit procession, nearly four thousand strong, chanting YES! Ba-da-da-da, YES! The greeters who manned the gates to the auditorium earlier in the day with high fives and bright smiles have morphed into gatekeepers of the Firewalk, arms beckoning toward the bridge of flames.
As best I can tell, a successful Firewalk depends not so much on your state of mind as on how thick the soles of your feet happen to be, so I watch from a safe distance. But I seem to be the only one hanging back. Most of the UPWers make it across, whooping as they go. But what exactly does this consist of? His superhuman physical size is an important part of his brand; the title of his best-selling book, Awaken the Giant Within, says it all.
His intellect is impressive, too. As a kid, he was a shrimp. Before he got in shape, he was overweight. And before he lived in a castle in Del Mar, California, he rented an apartment so small that he kept his dishes in the bathtub. The second part of the Tony state of mind is good-heartedness.
At one point, Tony talks about the di erent needs people have—for love, certainty, variety, and so on. He is motivated by love, he tells us, and we believe him.
He and his sales team use the UPW event, whose attendees have already paid a goodly sum, to market multi-day seminars with even more alluring names and sti er price tags: During the afternoon break, Tony lingers onstage with his blond and sweetly beautiful wife, Sage, gazing into her eyes, caressing her hair, murmuring into her ear.
What would it be like if I were single or unhappily partnered? By now many of them have shopping bags at their feet, full of stu they bought out in the lobby—DVDs, books, even eight-by-ten glossies of Tony himself, ready for framing. He apparently sees no contradiction between wanting the best for people and wanting to live in a mansion.
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Indeed, one very thoughtful introvert I know, a successful salesman who gives sales training seminars of his own, swears that Tony Robbins not only improved his business but also made him a better person. When he started attending events like UPW, he says, he focused on who he wanted to become, and now, when he delivers his own seminars, he is that person.
But nowadays we tend to think that becoming more extroverted not only makes us more successful, but also makes us better people. If Abraham Lincoln was the embodiment of virtue during the Culture of Character, then Tony Robbins is his counterpart during the Culture of Personality. Indeed, when Tony mentions that he once thought of running for president of the United States, the audience erupts in loud cheers. But does it always make sense to equate leadership with hyper-extroversion?
To nd out, I visited Harvard Business School, an institution that prides itself on its ability to identify and train some of the most prominent business and political leaders of our time. The Myth of Charismatic Leadership: No one ambles, strolls, or lingers. They stride, full of forward momentum. They behave the same way inside the social hothouse of the Spangler Center, the sumptuously decorated student center.
Spangler has oor- to-ceiling silk curtains in sea-foam green, rich leather sofas, giant Samsung high-de nition TVs silently broadcasting campus news, and soaring ceilings festooned with high-wattage chandeliers. The tables and sofas are clustered mostly on the perimeter of the room, forming a brightly lit center catwalk down which the students breezily parade, seemingly unaware that all eyes are on them. I admire their nonchalance. The students are even better turned out than their surroundings, if such a thing is possible.
No one is more than ve pounds overweight or has bad skin or wears odd accessories. The men are clean-cut and athletic; they look like people who expect to be in charge, but in a friendly, Eagle Scout sort of way.
Everyone around you is speaking up and being social and going out. They look at me curiously. Harvard Business School is not, by any measure, an ordinary place. Bush is a graduate, as are an impressive collection of World Bank presidents, U.
Between and , 20 percent of the top three executives at the Fortune companies were HBS grads. The student who wishes me luck in nding an introvert at HBS no doubt believes that there are none to be found. He comes across as a typical HBS student, tall, with gracious manners, prominent cheekbones, a winsome smile, and a fashionably choppy, surfer-dude haircut.
He spends the rest of the morning in class, where ninety students sit together in a wood-paneled, U-shaped amphitheater with stadium seating.
The essence of the HBS education is that leaders have to act con dently and make decisions in the face of incomplete information. The teaching method plays with an age-old question: If you speak rmly on the basis of bad information, you can lead your people into disaster.
The HBS teaching method implicitly comes down on the side of certainty. The CEO may not know the best way forward, but she has to act anyway. The HBS students, in turn, are expected to opine. After he nishes, the professor encourages other students to o er their own views. Many of the students adapt easily to this system. But not Don. He has trouble elbowing his way into class discussions; in some classes he barely speaks at all.
He prefers to contribute only when he believes he has something insightful to add, or honest-to-God disagrees with someone. This sounds reasonable, but Don feels as if he should be more comfortable talking just so he can ll up his share of available airtime.
How much class participation is too much? How little is too little? When does publicly disagreeing with a classmate constitute healthy debate, and when does it seem competitive and judgmental? I have to work on it. Even if you believe something only fifty-five percent, say it as if you believe it a hundred percent. Nothing at HBS is intended to be done alone. Should he go back to his apartment and recharge over a quiet lunch, as he longs to do, or join his classmates?
As the day wears on, there will be more such dilemmas. Attend the late-afternoon happy hours? Head out for a late, rowdy evening? Students at HBS go out in big groups several nights a week, says Don.
And sometimes he wonders why, exactly, he should have to work so hard at being outgoing. Don is Chinese-American, and recently he worked a summer job in China. He was struck by how di erent the social norms were, and how much more comfortable he felt. But that was China, this is Cambridge, Massachusetts. After all, Don Chen will graduate into a business culture in which verbal uency and sociability are the two most important predictors of success, according to a Stanford Business School study.
One line of TV commercials that ran on CNBC, the cable business channel, featured an office worker losing out on a plum assignment. She does not! Other ads explicitly sell their products as extroversion-enhancers.
One Paxil ad showed a well-dressed executive shaking hands over a business deal. Another showed what happens without the drug: Yet even at Harvard Business School there are signs that something might be wrong with a leadership style that values quick and assertive answers over quiet, slow decision-making. Every autumn the incoming class participates in an elaborate role-playing game called the Subarctic Survival Situation. First the students rank the items individually; then they do so as a team.
The point of the exercise is to teach group synergy. Successful synergy means a higher ranking for the team than for its individual members. The group fails when any of its members has a better ranking than the overall team. And failure is exactly what can happen when students prize assertiveness too highly. He had a lot of good ideas about how to rank the fifteen salvaged items.
The ideas that were rejected would have kept us alive and out of trouble, but they were dismissed because of the conviction with which the more vocal people suggested their ideas.
Afterwards they played us back the videotape, and it was so embarrassing. Perhaps it was a low-stakes situation—your PTA, say, deciding whether to meet on Monday or Tuesday nights.
But maybe it was important: See chapter 7 for more on Enron. Or a jury deliberating whether or not to send a single mother to jail. Mills is a courteous man dressed, on the day we met, in a pinstriped suit and yellow polka-dot tie.
He has a sonorous voice, and uses it skillfully. This would mean that an awful lot of bad ideas prevail while good ones get squashed. Yet studies in group dynamics suggest that this is exactly what happens. We perceive talkers as smarter than quiet types—even though grade-point averages and SAT and intelligence test scores reveal this perception to be inaccurate.
In one experiment in which two strangers met over the phone, those who spoke more were considered more intelligent, better looking, and more likable. We also see talkers as leaders. The more a person talks, the more other group members direct their attention to him, which means that he becomes increasingly powerful as a meeting goes on. It also helps to speak fast; we rate quick talkers as more capable and appealing than slow talkers.
The students who spoke rst and most often were consistently given the highest ratings, even though their suggestions and math SAT scores were no better than those of the less talkative students. These same students were given similarly high ratings for their creativity and analytical powers during a separate exercise to develop a business strategy for a start-up company. A well-known study out of UC Berkeley by organizational behavior professor Philip Tetlock found that television pundits—that is, people who earn their livings by holding forth con dently on the basis of limited information—make worse predictions about political and economic trends than they would by random chance.
And the very worst prognosticators tend to be the most famous and the most con dent —the very ones who would be considered natural leaders in an HBS classroom. The U. Army has a name for a similar phenomenon: Stephen J.
Gerras, a professor of behavioral sciences at the U. You can stop a conversation with it. It is a very powerful artifact of our culture. We are similarly inclined to empower dynamic speakers. Someone seems like a good presenter, easy to get along with, and those traits are rewarded. Well, why is that? Marino described what happened next: Some technical guy comes in with a good idea.
The people who made it through these boards were not the people with the best ideas. They were the best presenters. Some were quick and impulsive, while others studied the situation and took forever to come to a decision. We tend to overestimate how outgoing leaders need to be. He has to give big speeches, and he does, and he looks calm. Many of these guys are, actually. Not all of them. But an awful lot of them. In his in uential book Good to Great, Collins tells the story of Darwin Smith, who in his twenty years as head of Kimberly-Clark turned it into the leading paper company in the world and generated stock returns more than four times higher than the market average.
Smith was a shy and mild-mannered man who wore J.
Penney suits and nerdy black-rimmed glasses, and spent his vacations puttering around his Wisconsin farm by himself. Asked by a Wall Street Journal reporter to describe his management style, Smith stared back for an uncomfortably long time and answered with a single word: But Smith, unmoved by the crowd, did what he thought was right. As a result, the company grew stronger and soon outpaced its rivals.
Asked later about his strategy, Smith replied that he never stopped trying to become qualified for the job. When he started his research, all he wanted to know was what characteristics made a company outperform its competition. He selected eleven standout companies to research in depth. Initially he ignored the question of leadership altogether, because he wanted to avoid simplistic answers. But when he analyzed what the highest-performing companies had in common, the nature of their CEOs jumped out at him.
Every single one of them was led by an unassuming man like Darwin Smith. Those who worked with these leaders tended to describe them with the following words: The lesson, says Collins, is clear. We need leaders who build not their own egos but the institutions they run. So what do introverted leaders do differently from—and sometimes better than—extroverts? One answer comes from the work of Wharton management professor Adam Grant, who has spent considerable time consulting with Fortune executives and military leaders—from Google to the U.
Army and Navy. Grant told me about a wing commander in the U. Air Force—one rank below general, in command of thousands of people, charged with protecting a high-security missile base—who was one of the most classically introverted people, as well as one of the nest leaders, Grant had ever met. This man lost focus when he interacted too much with people, so he carved out time for thinking and recharging. He spoke quietly, without much variation in his vocal in ections or facial expressions.
He was more interested in listening and gathering information than in asserting his opinion or dominating a conversation. He was also widely admired; when he spoke, everyone listened. But in the case of this commander, says Grant, people respected not just his formal authority, but also the way he led: He gave subordinates input into key decisions, implementing the ideas that made sense, while making it clear that he had the nal authority.
This meant delegating some of his most interesting, meaningful, and important tasks—work that other leaders would have kept for themselves. Why did the research not re ect the talents of people like the wing commander? Grant thought he knew what the problem was. First, when he looked closely at the existing studies on personality and leadership, he found that the correlation between extroversion and leadership was modest.
And personal opinions are often a simple reflection of cultural bias. Grant had a theory about which kinds of circumstances would call for introverted leadership. His hypothesis was that extroverted leaders enhance group performance when employees are passive, but that introverted leaders are more e ective with proactive employees.
In the first study, Grant and his colleagues analyzed data from one of the five biggest pizza chains in the United States. They discovered that the weekly pro ts of the stores managed by extroverts were 16 percent higher than the pro ts of those led by introverts—but only when the employees were passive types who tended to do their job without exercising initiative. Introverted leaders had the exact opposite results. When they worked with employees who actively tried to improve work procedures, their stores outperformed those led by extroverts by more than 14 percent.
Unbeknownst to the participants, each team included two actors. The introverted leaders were 20 percent more likely to follow the suggestion—and their teams had 24 percent better results than the teams of the extroverted leaders. When the followers were not proactive, though—when they simply did as the leader instructed without suggesting their own shirt-folding methods—the teams led by extroverts outperformed those led by the introverts by 22 percent.
Grant says it makes sense that introverts are uniquely good at leading initiative-takers. Because of their inclination to listen to others and lack of interest in dominating social situations, introverts are more likely to hear and implement suggestions. Having bene ted from the talents of their followers, they are then likely to motivate them to be even more proactive. Introverted leaders create a virtuous circle of proactivity, in other words. This line of research is still in its infancy.
But under the auspices of Grant—an especially proactive fellow himself—it may grow quickly. The popular press, says Grant, is full of suggestions that introverted leaders practice their public speaking skills and smile more. They may want to learn to sit down so that others might stand up. Which is just what a woman named Rosa Parks did naturally.
For years before the day in December when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus, she worked behind the scenes for the NAACP, even receiving training in nonviolent resistance.
Many things had inspired her political commitment. The time the Ku Klux Klan marched in front of her childhood house. The time her brother, a private in the U. The time a black eighteen-year-old delivery boy was framed for rape and sent to the electric chair.
Parks organized NAACP records, kept track of membership payments, read to little kids in her neighborhood. She was diligent and honorable, but no one thought of her as a leader. Parks, it seemed, was more of a foot soldier. It was a November afternoon in , and Parks had entered through the front door of the bus because the back was too crowded. The driver, a well-known bigot named James Blake, told her to use the rear and started to push her o the bus.
Parks asked him not to touch her. She would leave on her own, she said quietly. This was no small decision. Not only because she was a devout Christian, not only because she was an upstanding citizen, but also because she was gentle. The phrase became a rallying cry. Its power lay in how paradoxical it was. Parks took her time coming to a decision, but ultimately agreed to sue.
She also lent her presence at a rally held on the evening of her trial, the night when a young Martin Luther King Jr. Nobody can doubt the height of her character. Parks is unassuming, and yet there is integrity and character there. She su ered insomnia, ulcers, and homesickness along the way. She met her idol, Eleanor Roosevelt, who wrote of their encounter in her newspaper column: Other papers photographed the boycott leaders sitting in front of buses, but Parks was not invited to sit for these pictures.
On the day the buses were integrated, she preferred to stay home and take care of her mother. Moses, for example, was not, according to some interpretations of his story, the brash, talkative type who would organize road trips and hold forth in a classroom at Harvard Business School.
He spoke with a stutter and considered himself inarticulate. And when God revealed to Moses his role as liberator of the Jews, did Moses leap at the opportunity? Send someone else to do it, he said. I am slow of speech and tongue. Moses would be the speechwriter, the behind-the-scenes guy, the Cyrano de Bergerac; Aaron would be the public face of the operation.
And he did all this using strengths that are classically associated with introversion: Cecil B. But we should. The book of Exodus is short on explication, but its stories suggest that introversion plays yin to the yang of extroversion; that the medium is not always the message; and that people followed Moses because his words were thoughtful, not because he spoke them well.
If Parks spoke through her actions, and if Moses spoke through his brother Aaron, today another type of introverted leader speaks using the Internet.
But consider for a moment a modest, cerebral man named Craig Newmark. Short, balding, and bespectacled, Newmark was a systems engineer for seventeen years at IBM.
Before that, he had consuming interests in dinosaurs, chess, and physics. Yet Newmark also happens to be the founder and majority owner of Craigslist, the eponymous website that—well—connects people with each other.
As of May 28, , Craigslist was the seventh-largest English language website in the world. They join singing groups. They confess their affairs. Newmark describes the site not as a business but as a public commons. After Hurricane Katrina, Craigslist helped stranded families nd new homes. During the New York City transit strike of , Craigslist was the go-to place for ride- share listings.
Guy Kawasaki an introvert? Does not compute. Perhaps social media a ords us the control we lack in real life socializing: They welcome the chance to communicate digitally.
The same person who would never raise his hand in a lecture hall of two hundred people might blog to two thousand, or two million, without thinking twice. The same person who nds it di cult to introduce himself to strangers might establish a presence online and then extend these relationships into the real world. What would have happened if the Subarctic Survival Situation had been conducted online, with the bene t of all the voices in the room—the Rosa Parkses and the Craig Newmarks and the Darwin Smiths?
What if it had been a group of proactive castaways led by an introvert with a gift for calmly encouraging them to contribute? Might they have reached the right result? No one has ever run these studies, as far as I know—which is a shame. Decisiveness inspires con dence, while wavering or even appearing to waver can threaten morale. But one can take these truths too far; in some circumstances quiet, modest styles of leadership may be equally or more e ective.
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One showed a haggard executive looking at a chart of steeply falling profits. It sits on a sprawling, acre campus in the former desert and current exurb of Lake Forest, California. Unlike Harvard Business School, it admits anyone who wants to join.
Families stroll the palm-tree-lined plazas and walkways in good-natured clumps. Children frolic in man-made streams and waterfalls.
Sta wave amiably as they cruise by in golf carts. Wear whatever you want: This campus is presided over not by nattily attired professors wielding words like protagonist and case method, but by a benign Santa Claus— like figure in a Hawaiian shirt and sandy-haired goatee. With an average weekly attendance of 22, and counting, Saddleback Church is one of the largest and most in uential evangelical churches in the nation.
Evangelical leaders have the ear of presidents; dominate thousands of hours of TV time; and run multimillion-dollar businesses, with the most prominent boasting their own production companies, recording studios, and distribution deals with media giants like Time Warner.
Saddleback also has one more thing in common with Harvard Business School: I consult a signpost, the kind you see at Walt Disney World, with cheerful arrows pointing every which way: A nearby poster features a beaming young man in bright red polo shirt and sneakers: Give tra c ministry a try! Like HBS, evangelical churches often make extroversion a prerequisite for leadership, sometimes explicitly.
A senior priest at another church confesses online that he has advised parishes recruiting a new rector to ask what his or her Myers-Briggs score is. He discovered his introversion as a junior at Claremont McKenna College, when he realized he was getting up early in the morning just to savor time alone with a steaming cup of co ee.
He enjoyed parties, but found himself leaving early. He took a Myers-Briggs personality test and found out that there was a word, introvert, that described the type of person who likes to spend time as he did. At rst McHugh felt good about carving out more time for himself.
But then he got active in evangelicalism and began to feel guilty about all that solitude. He even believed that God disapproved of his choices and, by extension, of him.
Since when is solitude one of the Seven Deadly Sins? Contemporary evangelicalism says that every person you fail to meet and proselytize is another soul you might have saved. It also emphasizes building community among con rmed believers, with many churches encouraging or even requiring their members to join extracurricular groups organized around every conceivable subject— cooking, real-estate investing, skateboarding.
So every social event McHugh left early, every morning he spent alone, every group he failed to join, meant wasted chances to connect with others.
He looked around and saw a vast number of people in the evangelical community who felt just as con icted as he did. He became ordained as a Presbyterian minister and worked with a team of student leaders at Claremont College, many of whom were introverts.
The team became a kind of laboratory for experimenting with introverted forms of leadership and ministry. They focused on one-on-one and small group interactions rather than on large groups, and McHugh helped the students nd rhythms in their lives that allowed them to claim the solitude they needed and enjoyed, and to have social energy left over for leading others. He urged them to find the courage to speak up and take risks in meeting new people. A few years later, when social media exploded and evangelical bloggers started posting about their experiences, written evidence of the schism between introverts and extroverts within the evangelical church nally emerged.
There are probably quite a few [of you] out there who are put on guilt trips each time [you] get a personal evangelism push at church. In a universal church, there should be room for the un-gregarious. Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture. He argues that evangelism means listening as well as talking, that evangelical churches should incorporate silence and mystery into religious worship, and that they should make room for introverted leaders who might be able to demonstrate a quieter path to God.
Religious leaders from Jesus to Buddha, as well as the lesser-known saints, monks, shamans, and prophets, have always gone off alone to experience the revelations they later shared with the rest of us.
When nally I nd my way to the bookstore, McHugh is waiting with a serene expression on his face. With his short brown hair, reddish goatee, and sideburns, McHugh looks like a typical Gen Xer, but he speaks in the soothing, considered tones of a college professor. We head to the main Worship Center, where Pastor Warren is about to preach. With its sky-high ceiling crisscrossed with klieg lights, the auditorium looks like a rock concert venue, save for the unobtrusive wooden cross hanging on the side of the room.
A man named Skip is warming up the congregation with a song.
The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World by Sophia Dembling
The lyrics are broadcast on ve Jumbotron screens, interspersed with photos of shimmering lakes and Caribbean sunsets. Miked-up tech guys sit on a thronelike dais at the center of the room, training their video cameras on the audience. Did Tony base his program on megachurches like Saddleback, I wonder, or is it the other way around? Pastor Warren takes the stage. As the service wears on, I feel the same sense of alienation that McHugh has described.
McHugh, as if reading my mind, turns to me when the service is over. There was no emphasis on quiet, liturgy, ritual, things that give you space for contemplation. Greeters, the informal atmosphere, meeting people around you—these are all motivated by good desires. At a place like Saddleback, you can start questioning your own experience of God. Is it really as strong as that of other people who look the part of the devout believer? Is it any wonder that introverts like Pastor McHugh start to question their own hearts?
He does so because he wants to spare others the inner con ict he has struggled with, and because he loves evangelicalism and wants it to grow by learning from the introverts in its midst. But he knows that meaningful change will come slowly to a religious culture that sees extroversion not only as a personality trait but also as an indicator of virtue. A cold and drizzly evening in Menlo Park, California. Thirty unprepossessing-looking engineers gather in the garage of an unemployed colleague named Gordon French.
They call themselves the Homebrew Computer Club, and this is their rst meeting. Their mission: The garage is drafty, but the engineers leave the doors open to the damp night air so people can wander inside. In walks an uncertain young man of twenty-four, a calculator designer for Hewlett-Packard. Serious and bespectacled, he has shoulder-length hair and a brown beard. He takes a chair and listens quietly as the others marvel over a new build-it-yourself computer called the Altair , which recently made the cover of Popular Electronics.
The young man, whose name is Stephen Wozniak, is thrilled to hear of the Altair. When he was eleven he came across a magazine article about the rst computer, the ENIAC, or Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, and ever since, his dream has been to build a machine so small and easy to use that you could keep it at home.
And now, inside this garage, here is news that The Dream—he thinks of it with capital letters—might one day materialize. To the Homebrew crowd, computers are a tool for social justice, and he feels the same way. But that night he goes home and sketches his rst design for a personal computer, with a keyboard and a screen just like the kind we use today.
Three months later he builds a prototype of that machine. And ten months after that, he and Steve Jobs cofound Apple Computer.
He has learned over time to open up and speak publicly, even appearing as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars, where he displayed an endearing mixture of sti ness and good cheer.
I once saw Wozniak speak at a bookstore in New York City. A standing-room-only crowd showed up bearing their s Apple operating manuals, in honor of all that he had done for them. Wozniak identi es that rst meeting as the beginning of the computer revolution and one of the most important nights of his life.
So if you wanted to replicate the conditions that made Woz so productive, you might point to Homebrew, with its collection of like-minded souls. You might conclude that people who hope to be innovative should work in highly social workplaces. And you might be wrong. Consider what Wozniak did right after the meeting in Menlo Park.
Did he huddle with fellow club members to work on computer design? Although he did keep attending the meetings, every other Wednesday. Did he seek out a big, open o ce space full of cheerful pandemonium in which ideas would cross-pollinate?
The Introvert’s Way
When you read his account of his work process on that rst PC, the most striking thing is that he was always by himself. Wozniak did most of the work inside his cubicle at Hewlett-Packard. He hit a few keys on the keyboard—and letters appeared on the screen in front of him. It was the sort of breakthrough moment that most of us can only dream of. And he was alone when it happened.
Intentionally so. In his memoir, he offers this advice to kids who aspire to great creativity: In fact, the very best of them are artists.
That advice is: The Introvert Revolution will be available for free for 24 hours through this website starting on Monday, Oct. After the 24 hour period is complete, it will be offered on this site, Amazon. I will provide the link for the free download here and on my Facebook page as soon as it is ready on Monday morning.
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Introvert in College: Tips to Conquer Writer's Block.
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