I am an introvert CEO
For some it might be a surprise, but I am an introvert person. Very introvert. Networking events are always challenges and it take days to recover (like Slush and Arctic15). It is quite easy for me to speak on the stage in events, but then networking is total different game. How to start the discussion? How to connect with the others? I hate small-talk. Don’t take me wrong; if some other approach me, it is quite ok to have the discussion. But first going alone to some networking event and then trying to “sell” me to others is hard.
I like to build the internet, social networks. One of the reason is that I am introvert. My way to help is to make things in the way that I am comfortable. I am interested to see how people share their stories and help others in social networks. But then this introvert person “in a real life” (I think that online world is as real the physical one) has some challenges. After the work day, I like to be alone, walking and going to home. If I get an invitation to unofficial social event, in most cases I wont go. I would say, that outsider won’t notice that I am introvert. I am OK when speaking with others and I can say my opinion. I have learned to be an extrovert sometimes.
But one thing that I want to make clear: being an introvert is not a negative thing for me. Yes, it can cause some stress when being a CEO of the company. But otherwise I want always to learn and as being an introvert listener, I am always learning. In so many cases I have just been sitting and listening. And then when I have learned what kind person the others are, I have been able to take part to the converstation and take count all aspects. In my opinion, listening is one of the most powerful skill that we introverts have.
It took some time to open this up. And don’t worry. I like being an introvert. It is the who I am and it will be part of me always.
This story was first published on Heimo 6/2016
I got inspirtation to open up my mind from Jeff Booth’s story http://www.fastcompany.com/3060536/lessons-learned/how-ive-learned-to-lead-as-an-introverted-ceo