Quiet, by Susan Cain, is subtitled “The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.” Cain has written a well-researched tome on why some of us are introverted, the varying degrees of introversion, and why having introverts on your team can be a very positive thing. If you are an introvert, or if you have introverts in your family or working for you, then you should make this the next book you read.
Cain makes several strong points. First, she points out that education in general and business schools in particular are geared to turning out extroverts. Picture the stereotypical salesman or CEO; most people immediately think of a glad-handing extrovert.
Another point is that introverts typically think things through thoroughly before making a decision. If Enron or WorldCom had introverts at the highest level; and if these introverts would have spoken up and offered their advice, perhaps these companies’ executives would not have committed criminal acts and still would be viable today.
Cain cites many studies on introversion and leadership. Her research is thorough; the footnotes alone take up 47 pages. Her conclusions are insightful and sound. I learned things about myself and my daughter, both introverts, that I had not thought about before.
If there is one drawback to Cain’s excellent book, it is that many extroverts will not take the time to read through it. Perhaps there should be a Spark Notes edition for them.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group Blogging for Books program for this review.