Susan Cain: At West Point, a Talk About “Quiet” Leaders
Introverts make up a third to a half of the population, and have much to offer. Their contemplative nature, for instance, often makes them more effective as leaders. Yet, in a culture that holds a bias towards extroverts, the talents and strengths of introverts are too easily, and far too often, ignored. Thankfully, Cain’s monumental work in this area is changing things.
Cain also participated in The Leadership Challenge, an event run by West Point's Center for the Advancement of Leader Development and Organizational Learning, which trains cadets in moral courage. From the CALDOL website: “To be effective individually and collectively, members of the profession must have access to each other and to the knowledge that they develop together.”
Cain's first book, Quiet, is a mainstay on the New York Times bestseller list. And her record-smashing TED talk is up to over three million views, and was named by Bill Gates as one of his all-time favorite talks. But, arguably, it may be in Cain's keynote speeches where her impact is most greatly felt, on a practical level. In customized talks to specific audiences—including corporate executives, policy makers, educators, HR departments, college students, and, yes, the world’s premier military school—Cain is able to succinctly and persuasively share her years’ worth of research into why introverts matter, why we need to harness their strengths, and why we continue to ignore them at our peril. At West Point, Cain spoke softly, but carried a big, resonating message.
Susan asked us to pass along special thanks to Col. Tony Burgess, director of CALDOL, and to Major Mike Erwin, director of the Positive Psychology Project at West Point. “They were wonderful!”