Posts by andy

Leaders’ Personalities: Determined or Developed?

A significant portion of my work as an executive coach involves assisting existing and emerging leaders to accept themselves.  A big part of who they are, the part they often need to fully embrace, is their personality.  The following question frequently comes up, “Is my personality inherited or developed?”  Before I answer that question, let me define some important terms. Personality is a reference to individual differences in characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving.  It is a reference to the type of person each one of us is, thinking holistically about how we tend to be in the world.
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Four Reasons Introverts Are Naturally Authentic Leaders

It’s a common myth that introverts can’t be great leaders. This is due to the fact that leadership theories have favored extroverts for centuries. Western culture has also traditionally reinforced the leadership of outgoing, dynamic men who are articulately passionate, sure of themselves and just seem to attract followers. Going back to antiquity, the first leadership theory was the Great Man Theory. Through our modern lens, its problems are pretty obvious. It implied that only certain men with the right characteristics could lead—they had to be white, tall, handsome, and wealthy. But old leadership theories fail to address the power
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Yin v. Yang in the Workplace

There are several reasons why any one of us could feel a bit out of sync with others in the workplace. This is especially true for yin leaders. What’s a yin leader? A yin leader is someone who doesn’t fit the Western extroverted stereotype of leadership, but who leverages an alternative set of competencies and natural talent patterns to lead in a different way. For yin leaders, their more introverted temperament is often under-appreciated in the office. Most of us, including these introverts themselves, have been fed a fairly steady diet of extroversion as synonymous with leadership. We have equated
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What Matters More for Leaders? Charisma or Character?

Originally post at Price Associates blog 10/28/2016. This is an election year. For many Americans, the two remaining presidential choices share a perceived concern that looms large related to personal character, or a potential lack thereof. This likely underlies the largest disapproval ratings of candidates, in both parties, we have ever seen. The political processes we have been following for years, with an emphasis on speeches and debates, most definitely emphasizes charisma, persona, and stage presence. Now, we’ve added social media management to the mix, another platform where candidates can manage their public image. What do any of these tell
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Indignity, Indignance, & Introversion

“You need to be funnier.” “You’re just too serious.” These are examples of two cards played against me on significant occasions that led to painful career path alterations. As an introvert and a leader, my journey to self-acceptance and understanding has been winding. In the West, we are taught from a young age that leaders are to be charismatic, loud, highly social, and fast-paced. Introverts living in this biased culture will often experience violations of our inherent dignity. “You’re just not leadership material,” we are told, despite our previous leadership successes. It is only recently that the business world is
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What the Heck is an Ambivert?

Originally posted in Price Associates blog 9/14/2016 Every time I speak to a group of people, there are some in the crowd who’ve never heard the term “ambivert.” I usually ask for a show of hands of the extroverts, then the introverts, then I ask if anyone else didn’t vote or is a little confused. If you’re not sure which side of the continuum you belong on in this discussion, you may well be an ambivert. Ambiversion is a mixture of introverted and extroverted traits that makes identification as either one difficult. Introversion tends to be identified by higher sensitivity
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4 More Layers of People That Are Confused with or Compound with Introversion

Awareness of introversion as a normal and healthy trait in over half of the population is growing.  With the release of Susan Cain’s Quiet in 2012, a quiet revolution has begun.  Slowly the bias toward extroversion in the West that has been assumed for so long is beginning to be questioned. As I continue to study the topic of introversion and to reflect on my own experiences as an introvert, however, there are four more layers that seem to be latently connected to or are frequently confused with the construct of introversion.  For this reason, it is hard for me
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Yin Leader: Abraham Lincoln

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” – A. Lincoln In the West, we tend to emphasize leaders who are competitive, aggressive, outgoing and charismatic (a.k.a. extroverted). Extroversion is yang. Yin leaders are different. This series highlights those differences, pointing to effective leaders from today and throughout history that exemplify the other side of leadership. In truth, we need both kinds of leaders to be healthy and balanced in our organizations. Abraham Lincoln famously grew up in the backwoods of Kentucky. He was a quiet introverted boy who kept mostly
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Book Review: The Genius of Opposites

For many years I’ve been advocating for a balance between extroverted and introverted leaders, yang and yin. I’ve been pointing to the synergy that results from these key partnerships where each deeply values the other. Therefore, I was so excited to see Jennifer Kahnweiler’s latest book not only advocating the same thing, but giving practical and helpful advice to both sides of the equation. Her book is a much needed reminder that the best results often arise from a partnership of opposites. She does a great job showing this reality with historical and contemporary examples. She also provides us with
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