Henceforth, I will be known as the Quiet one. Flash, glitz, and noise are just not my thing.
The problem, of course, is that I have to use the Internet to make myself known to serious people in professions who are my potential clients and readers. Web advertising! Humbug. Where everyone is above average, like all the kids in Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon! If we believe the Web write-ups for all the coaches and consultants out there, each and every one has packed a lifetime into a decade – or less. They’re mostly young and glamorous-looking but have been CEOs, entrepreneurs, investors, gurus, and presumably much much more. Fortune 100, high tech, owners of gazillion dollar companies, written up in Fast Company, articles in the New York Times, etc. etc. I ask myself: Can this be true? Really? No exaggeration? Then -- where did they find the time to do all that?
I am especially amazed at the ones claiming that they are Introverts. Really? You did all that yet you love being alone? You “live in your inner world” yet you managed all that publicity and interaction and rocking the world? Honest? Honest?
My credibility is strained.
Then there’s social media. Okay, I get it that Introverts are pretty good on the computer – alone in our jammies. But all those Facebook friends assuredly don’t come out of nowhere. The Twitter feeds, the thises and the that’s of social media require hours and hours of interaction, albeit virtual. Don’t you ever get weary of talk like I do? All the hype for what is newest and funniest and catchiest? What has the most attitude?
It’s definitely not my thing.
Maybe that’s because I’m interested in the world of practical ideas. How to make the world a better place. How to make peoples' lives better. New discoveries. How to make work work for quieter people.
I’m also into understanding the big trends that shape our lives. Like how globalization and technology are changing the nature of professions in our culture – often taking away autonomy such as when the insurance company suits tell docs how to practice medicine. Someone with an MBA or a bachelor’s degree in insurance is coming between my primary care physician and me? Truly frightening and so different than what we bought into when we decided to go to professional school! (Nothing wrong with MBAs mind you - I teach them and many of my friends have one. There are some really great professionals with an MBA.) Not just physicians replaced by suits and computers, but lawyers replaced by software. Professors replaced by minimum wage adjuncts moonlighting so that there are more full-time jobs with bennies for administrators. K-12 educators who are the catch-all repository for every excuse under the sun made by disengaged parents and timid politicians. Prudent engineering advice ignored in favor of cost cutting or simply meeting a target on a path of blind escalating commitment.
Sea changes in the world of professional work. Those are the issues that capture my quieter moments. Like figuring out how introversion can be made whole again in a culture captured by Extroversion with a capital E.
Glitz. Noise. Flash!
Glitz. Noise. Flash!
Humbug, I say!
I want to be the most remarkable, Quiet one ever. Not much glitz, flash, or noise but Remarkable in what counts: Preparation. Experience. Substance. Knowledge. Thoughtfulness. Caring, Confidential and Quiet! From big picture to minor details. Holding hands to holding court while you rant (as I am at the moment). I know the questions to ask even when you are the only soul who could possibly know your answers.
I am a professional by training and by work in organizations that do professional work. This is why I studied how professional knowledge workers are unique -- so that my training would complement my experience. For the past two decades, I have been teaching these concepts to the folks whose flash and glitz supports their claims.
I live the issues I write about and work on. It’s that simple. That’s why I chose to write, mentor, and consult. I know the issues, the questions to ask, and a good many of the answers.
But I won’t be shouting that from the rooftops. It’s not an Introvert thing.