How to Leverage Introversion for a Strategic Advantage

If you had three wishes, what would they be?

More money? More time? More life?

How about a crystal ball?

If you wished for a crystal ball, you would have more than three wishes and could predict the future.

After all, wouldn’t a high degree of certainty make your life easier?

These contemplations may essentially be fantastical, but a piece of this is formed in reality.

If history repeats itself, would we be better off looking for events that occurred in the past and find their modern-day equivalent?

And since introverts are the most inclined to spend large chunks of time thinking about the future, would such revelations be a boon to their lives?

More importantly, wouldn’t introverts have a strategic advantage based on their hardwiring?

Strategic Advantage vs. Competitive Advantage

John Spacey, an investment banker, said:

Competitive advantage is your ability to outcompete in a market. Strategic advantage is your ability to outcompete more generally, including your returns to stakeholders, such as investors, employees, and communities….

Spacey’s definition can be reconciled by suggesting that a strategic advantage allows participants to outcompete across many verticals, thus providing a competitive advantage.

Strategic thinking allows you to maneuver two and three steps ahead of the competition.

The aim is to solve problems by creating intellectual property that guides the direction of the world.

In short, you quietly develop diverse groups of introverts aspiring to become scholars, subject matter experts, and thought leaders.

Related: The Introvert’s Edge to Strategic Thinking & Planning

There are several ways introverts can leverage their introversion for a strategic advantage, which gives them a competitive edge.

Identify patterns that become trends

Intuition is distilled education and experience. That gut feeling or sixth sense you experience when making critical decisions is merely insights from a life of repetition. As you witness current events, human behavior, and unfulfilled opportunities bubbling to the surface, patterns and trends emerge that highlight coming attractions. And some movements are so apparent that you don’t need a crystal ball to determine what’s coming down the pike. Being one of the first to observe and exploit these opportunities positions you as a change agent.

Communicate responsibly

Today, the old belief that negative press is better than no press must be reexamined. Social media allows everyone to possess a microphone. What was true in the past about capturing the imagination of others by any means must be balanced with a greater need to communicate with niche groups based on the conversation that is already happening inside those groups. Consequently, effective communication is not loud and boisterous but measured and discerning. The predominant question that introverts should ask is, “What problems are we solving today?”    

Introverts thrive in small groups.

Connect with like-minded individuals

Introverts thrive in small groups that require lower levels of energy. As a result, introverts should invest in opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals. More specifically, introverts should align with people who share their aspirations, values, and objectives. In this context, they are better suited to the specialty marketing of ideas versus mass marketing.

Discuss ideas and execution

One of the challenges of many introverts is their unwillingness to assert themselves, especially when publishing and executing ideas. Fear and self-limiting beliefs cause many introverts to sabotage any follow-through plans. Leveraging insights cultivated in solitude requires a high degree of self-confidence and courage. Creating a blog, podcast, or YouTube channel can be done anonymously or with pseudonyms. The goal is to put transformative ideas into the world that move the needle.

Duplicate yourself through social media

Sharing insights through various social media platforms allows ideas to flourish that once required large broadcasters and publishers to approve. Creating online media with a clear, concise, and consistent message breaks through the noise of competing interests. In the coming years, ideas that work subliminally on the unrealized needs of individuals will flourish. Introverts can be the vanguard for these ideas.

As you read newspapers, watch the news, or listen to the chatter on social media platforms, it is wise to evaluate the consistent messages. A trend is mounting when these seemingly disparate and disconnected voices start sounding similar. Within that trend, there are opportunities for introverts to capitalize on.

Your crystal ball is the handwriting on the wall. When people are living out loud and speaking from the heart, that’s where the truth lies.

These individuals are exorcising the pain from within. They are seeking answers and directions. Introverts are well-versed in providing these answers and directions.

Now is the time for introverts to use their introversion strategically by doing good and well simultaneously.

There is profit in pain.

Unfortunately, a cadre of people will use this pain to bring more pain.

However, the thoughtfulness of introverts may save the day.

Besides introverts, who else is willing to diagnose problems, evaluate solutions, and provide recommendations?

Let them speak now or forever hold their peace.

—George McKinsey

Reference

Spacey, J. (2018, June 1). 15 types of strategic advantages. Simplicable. Retrieved from: https://bit.ly/3n2IVqg.

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