In a world filled with mazes and minefields, the best introverts can do is become strategists who circumvent chaos and maneuver around collisions.
Strategic thinking concepts are moving from corporate breakout sessions to individual ingenuity.
Where companies use strategy to position themselves for long-term success, individuals increasingly use strategic principles to carve out relevance and significance in building a digital body of work from their ideas.
This is especially true for a particular breed of introverts.
The American Academy of Advanced Thinking (AAAT) describes strategic introverts as INTJ, ISTJ, and INTP personality types, primarily because of their inclination toward intellectual pursuits that require high degrees of focus, analysis, and execution.
Out of the eight introversion categories within the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), AAAT determined that INTJs, ISTJs, and INTPs are the personality types most apt to leverage their intellect to gain power and influence, quietly and secretly.
These personality types tend to be hardwired for strategy.
However, other introverted personality types can develop the skills to become better strategists based on their hours of study, pattern recognition, and introspection.
As an INTJ, I began researching strategic thinking because I was exercising strategic principles and did not realize it. I could spot behavior patterns in people and attempt to create hypotheses and philosophies to explain their impact and influence.
What was I after?
I realized that I was overcoming childhood disempowerment issues by creating a body of work that gave me a sense of power and control.
Although I had no control over others, strategy allowed me to influence situations by being the most insightful and prepared, as I used historical figures as benchmarks for my ideas.
In a sense, I wasn’t creating anything new but merely molding new, fresh ideas from old ones.
By comparison, I made fewer mistakes in life and made it so that strategy became a lifestyle.
In this context, I wasn’t just doing strategy; I was the strategy.
When strategy becomes a part of your being, you become less emotionally triggered by the machinations of human nature.
In a real sense, you become charmingly robotic in maneuvering through life, sidestepping the potholes that swallow up most people.
This was when I determined that I was better than most people in my ability to form an idea, assess its market value, execute a plan of action, and distribute it to the world.
Although I may be hardwired to facilitate this process, I became relentless in creating skills that surpassed any natural talent.
And I am not the only one.
Introverts who identify with bringing their imagination to life have similar experiences.
And even if they procrastinate on execution, they can cultivate these skills when they desire.
Strategic introverts do a few things better in transforming their ideas into digital and virtual reality.
Moving from interest to analytics
For strategic introverts, everything starts with high interest or what many people refer to as passion.
However, enduring passion is merely the fuel for a pragmatic idea.
Strategic introverts realize that an idea can only be measured by its commercial applications.
In other words, if no one is buying or engaged with the manifestation of an idea, it has little practical value.
Evaluating sales and viewership rates through analytics determines if the market sees value at the time of an idea.
Consequently, strategic introverts are more data-driven than most people in gauging the success of their initiatives.
Turning aspiration into a lifestyle
The late Steve Jobs once said that you must be irrational to pursue a compelling goal because of the time it takes to nurture it to success. He theorized that it is more rational to give up when something is excruciatingly difficult.
Strategic introverts are exceptional at turning their aspirations into a lifestyle where they become committed to the process. If a goal is challenging and will take years to achieve, the effort must be embedded into a system or lifestyle that becomes an extension of the individual.
Without systematic measures, people will do the rational thing of quitting when times get tough.
Strategic introverts live by their systems.
Staying the course of a goal for decades
It is estimated that it took the Apple computer company 20 years to succeed in the marketplace and Microsoft 25 years.
Strategic introverts are remarkable at sticking to a single-minded objective for decades.
They may pivot and change courses based on failures and setbacks but stay on the course.
It took Art Fry 12 years to see the technology behind Post-it notes to experience market success. There were numerous iterations to get the correct adhesive made for practical applications.
Strategic introverts are relentless in seeing an idea come to fruition.
Building a uniform body of work
Strategic introverts are fantastic at building a uniform body of work based on a single-minded purpose. Relating to their high interests and passions, these introverts will pursue a subject in all its forms until it no longer remains practical to continue based on little public interest or the commentary on the topic has been exhausted.
Strategic introverts strive to influence the direction of society through academic works but don’t necessarily desire undue attention.
They aim to turn their research, analysis, and conclusions into actionable items as applied researchers.
Strategic introverts are world-class at positioning their ideas as viable solutions.
Drilling for a competitive advantage
Strategic introverts are voracious readers and analysts moving like sharks through academic waters to discover undiscovered knowledge that aids as additional bricks to their intellectual cathedral.
These introverts discover nuggets of knowledge throughout various industries, from fashion to automotive.
The keys to their success lie in combining contrasting concepts that create a rational quilt.
When public intellectuals protest the day’s events, these introverts seek solutions to critical problems.
Strategic introverts gain a competitive advantage by evaluating the flaws and fallacies of their intellectual competitors.
As intellects, they create value on the backs of their ideas through their intellectual curiosity to say, “These are my thoughts.”
They don’t yell it from the rooftops. They use the communication tools of the day to influence like-minded individuals quietly.
Ultimately, their dreams are to make the world more intellectual and hospitable for the hypersensitivity of those who allow their work to do all the talking.
Glass, N., and Hume, T. (2013, Apr. 4). The ‘hallelujah moment’ behind the invention of the Post-it note. CNN Business. Retrieved from: https://cnn.it/3Dpez8Y.