OK, I was wrong. I’ve thought more about my biggest weakness, my last post, and I’m not sure I entirely agree with it. After I wrote the post, I discussed it with one of my colleagues who also is an introvert. And then, just yesterday, I saw this blog post in my inbox. It must have been fate! Here are a few of the things I’ve been thinking about the past week.
- Leadership comes in many styles. Just because I’m not a dominant extrovert doesn’t mean I’m not a leader. In my current office all the managers look like just that: they have dominant personalities. Even at lunch they will jump to share stories about their weekend. I have never been that type of person and never will be. I think there’s a lot of value to a leader who doesn’t have that type of personality, and that’s who I hope to be.
- Why fix what isn’t broken? In my short twenty-something years on this earth I have had many leadership roles – I have led student organizations, formed programs, and managed people. Why would I have had these opportunities if my working style didn’t represent that of a leader? I must be doing something right!!
- I need to chill. I’m being too hard on myself! I’m always obsessing over my areas of improvement and I need to spend more time celebrating my strengths. That’s what will get me in a leadership role, anyway!
I appreciate my supervisor’s perspective of my biggest weakness, but I also appreciate the point of view of my colleague, who has the opposite opinion. Everyone has her own. And, of course my supervisor got to where she is by accruing experience and insight, but I’m going to respectfully disagree. I am an introvert who listens intently, and I love it!
I had my annual review on Thursday, and while it’s not exactly conventional to announce your biggest area of improvement to the whole world, I want to be held accountable to improving on this and I’m hoping that posting about it will do that! Basically, what my biggest area of improvement comes down to is this:
I need to talk more.
I need to share my opinions more in groups of colleagues – especially at the management level, so that they can see that I aspire to become a leader and have the insight and drive to go there. I have this mentality that since I’m not the expert in the room, I should listen and learn from those who are. What I need to realize and embrace is that even though I don’t have the same number of years as others, I still have valid opinions that could help in some way. Even if they don’t help in any way, at least they will demonstrate to others part of my potential. Because not sharing anything means not sharing any of my potential. And that doesn’t do anyone any good!
It’s funny, because I have no problem injecting my thoughts and opinions into one-on-one conversations with managers… but when it comes to a group, like at a committee meeting, I have no drive to speak. And I don’t know that it’s any sort of complex about talking in front of groups… because I do that all the time… it’s more that I want to learn as much as I can before I go being presumptuous and speaking when I shouldn’t. I need to get over this and start sharing my thoughts on a consistent basis. This blog helps because it helps me shape my opinions about things without having to come up with things on the fly, which will make me more confident to share. I sincerely hope that with my move to another city and nonprofit I can truly spread my wings and talk more in groups!!
I’d appreciate ideas any of you have to help me work on this issue!