Terrorist cells succeed because they are decentralized, self-determined, and focused on a mission, yet they are a part of a larger, concerted effort.
They also succeed because only a few people know they exist, what they’re up to, and who supports them.
Of course, terrorist activities and antics are nothing to emulate or praise.
They are the ruination of civilization.
But operationally, can corporate heads learn from the best practices of these purported isolationists?
If corporations allowed introverts to operate independently within a plan that served the mission of the organization, great results could be manifested.
By not encouraging introverts to play to their strengths, companies are losing out on greater productivity and profitability.
Introverts, pretending to be an extrovert could make you happier
For years, I attempted to assume the veneer of an extrovert because I felt my sensitivity, openness, and anxiety served as an impediment to becoming successful.
As a child, I looked forward to the day when I would be big enough to avoid being bullied, and independent enough to make my own decisions.
Power, strength, and self-determination are viewed as extroverted traits.
When someone is recommending that introverts exhibit extroverted behavior, they are suggesting that they become more aggressive, verbose, and live life by their own rules.
A study conducted by researchers at the University of California Riverside suggested that acting like an extrovert can make you feel significantly happier, even if you are an introvert.
The study called for 123 college-aged students (extroverts and introverts) to act more extroverted for one week. This included being more talkative, assertive, and spontaneous.
In the second week, the group was asked to assume more introverted behavior such as cautious actions, quietness, and reservedness.
The results were that all participants reported higher scores for well-being when exhibiting extroverted behavior, but well-being scores fell when participants exhibited introverted behavior.
As I read the article, I felt intellectually betrayed. From my past experiences, there is no doubt that it feels exhilarating being in a festive and upbeat environment. Let’s face it, higher scores of well-being translates into feeling better when you’re sociable.
No one ever said that introverts were antisocial. They merely don’t enjoy or need as much social engagement as extroverts. And yes, introverts may feel exhilarated within a week of extroverted behavior, but many would relish going back to their solitude to do work that satisfied their soul. Their well-being is tied to the innovation and breakthrough thinking that happens in isolation.
When researchers use pseudo-scientific measures to make a point, it feels disingenuous.
As a budding scholar, I am inclined to consider the impact of opposing points of view.
How would extroverts’ lives improve if they instituted more introverted behavior?
Would they feel more credible? Accomplished? Valuable?
I sense that extroverts would feel all of these things.
Even extroverts want the glitz and glamour of being viewed as smart and intelligent.
Introverts uniting separately
It has often been said that a mind already made up is difficult to change. In this vein, extroverts and introverts are created equal.
No personality is absolved from supporting its agenda.
All too often, people are attempting to change minds as opposed to discovering those who are like-minded.
Let’s try this on for size. Since introverts produce more value when they are left alone to dissect problems and develop solutions, let them lead with these strengths.
For example, introverts need minimal verbal communication. Their preferred mode of communication might be emails or texts. Meetings and conversations can be held when there is a need to clarify any confusion.
For introverts, support is more subtle. The “Like” button on Facebook could only have been created by an introvert. A thumbs-up says it all.
A good example is that I rarely complete online surveys from Amazon after ordering an item. To ask me about my delivery feels inane. If there had been a problem, I would have expressed it.
Also, the surveys are long and drawn out. Closed questions or something similar to
“Like” buttons would make the process more user-friendly.
So, introverts uniting separately is about saying less and doing more. Engaging in verbal communication when it is necessary. And supporting like-minded individuals with subtle signs of approval.
Self-confident and self-determined individuals don’t need excessive praise.
They need only to find meaningful work that satisfies their intellectual curiosity and desire to create intellectual property.
So, how can introverts unite separately?
First, despite what extroverted gurus say about the importance of team building, introverts should embrace solitude and discover work that best suits their personality. In the age of online businesses, remote employment, and the gig economy, introverts have more opportunities than ever to leverage their introversion in selected domains.
Secondly, discover a problem that needs to be solved and create a body of work around the solution. Blogging and social media allow introverts to create online think tanks and institutions where affected groups can collaborate to tackle today’s problems. This framework will become more in demand and lucrative as society looks for new solution-based products and services.
Thirdly, support like-minded individuals who are doing important work. For introverts, united but separate means that the collective needs of society are being addressed by independent introverts. Self-governing, reliable individuals are best served when they are encouraged to contribute new ideas as part of their self-discovery. For introverts, life is an intellectual pursuit where hypotheses are constantly tested.
Finally, introverts must discover ways to monetize their creativity, so that they can produce the lifestyle they desire and connect with meaningful people on their terms. As creators, the ability to fashion a life from their imagination is having paradise on earth.
Introverts should be compensated for developing solutions that make life better for society. Doing good and well should be the mantra for any self-respecting introvert. Otherwise, they will be at the behest of thrill-seeking extroverts who make money but add little value to the perpetuity of civilization.
Terrorists exist because they have failed to discover new and innovative ways to thrive in the field of ideas.
They seek to destroy what they cannot reimagine or construct.
Introverts can build by uniting but operating separately.
In a global economy where the best ideas win in the end, introverts are the ones to invest in.
And are worth the effort for providing the environment and tools for them to flourish.
Stieg, C. (2019, Sept. 23). Introverts, pretending to be an extrovert could make you happier. CNBC Make It. Retrieved from: https://cnb.cx/31I8hTl.