Book Review by Taylor Berrett
Become a Leader but Remain Yourself
Introverts have been having a moment as of late. With books like Quiet Influence and The Introvert’s Edge to Networking, those who aren’t quite as comfortable standing up in front of a crowd are finally getting their due as capable, talented, and effective workers in every field.
The one place that introverts are often still doubted? Leadership roles. Introverts are ‘too quiet,’ ‘too weak,’ ‘too timid.’ Sure, introverts can be effective in other roles— but leadership positions are better suited for confident extroverts.
But what if that entire paradigm is wrong? That’s the idea behind Quiet Voice Fearless Leader: 10 Principles for Introverts to Awaken the Leader Inside. Author Terrance Lee asks whether introverts may in fact be the ideal leaders. His interesting and deeply researched book features insights into how introverts can add value, grow confidence, and lead teams all without giving up the introverted personality traits that make them who they are.
Lee is certainly the right voice to take on this question. Known as ‘The Introvert Leader,’ Lee spent a lifetime avoiding leadership roles after a negative experience with public speaking left him thinking that some people just weren’t ‘meant’ to lead. Then, when he had been working in his first role at a new company for a short time, his mentor put in his two-week notice. Terrance then found out that he had to take his place presenting to a group of experienced engineers and pilots for a highly technical review. Despite Lee’s nerves, the presentation went so well that it caused him to reconsider everything he’d come to take as fact.
Now, Lee has taken on a range of leadership roles at Fortune 500 companies all without losing his introverted perspective.
Feel Good and Do Good
Books geared toward the capabilities of a certain personality type can sometimes cross into self-congratulations. In these cases, they become less actionable guides and more affirmations to help us all feel good about ourselves. But Lee never strays into this territory, instead focusing on real and effective insights for introverts to remain themselves while expanding their leadership skills, turning what’s often seen as weakness into a legitimate strength. When he says that ‘your introversion is your superpower,’ it’s not just inspiring words— he backs up that concept with content.
Readers will find powerful anecdotes and research showing them how to establish a presence at work, make difficult decisions as a leader, effectively lead teams, and much more without being forced to ‘become’ extroverts.
By the end, you’ll find that you’ve come to truly believe that you don’t have to be dominant, outwardly passionate, outgoing, or traditionally ambitious to make a major impact as a leader. And you’ll have the tools necessary to turn who you are into the life and career you want for yourself.
The Bottom Line
Never falling into the trap of being a 300-page cheerleading session, Lee’s Quiet Voice Fearless Leader is equal parts inspirational, motivational, and insightful in a way that will make it a go-to guidebook for introverts hoping to make an impact as leaders. It’s worth a read for anyone who wants to keep their voice soft but make their impact loud.