Writer Susan Cain: The power of introverts

August 06, 2016

In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.

 

Why you should listen
Susan Cain is a former corporate lawyer and negotiations consultant -- and a self-described introvert. At least one-third of the people we know are introverts, notes Cain in her book QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. Although our culture undervalues them dramatically, introverts have made some of the great contributions to society -- from Chopin's nocturnes to the invention of the personal computer to Ghandi's transformative leadership. Cain argues that we design our schools, workplaces and religious institutions for extroverts, and that this bias creates a waste of talent, energy and happiness. Based on intensive research in psychology and neurobiology and on prolific interviews, she also explains why introverts are capable of great love and great achievement, not in spite of their temperament -- but because of them.

In 2015 Susan Cain announced the launch of her mission-based organization Quiet Revolution (http://www.quietrev.com) that aims to change the lives of introverts by empowering them with the information, tools and resources they need to survive and thrive.

In the workplace, companies are not fully harnessing the talents of their introverted employees and leadership teams are often imbalanced with many more extroverts than introverts. The Quiet Leadership Institute has worked with companies from LinkedIn to GE to Procter and Gamble to help them achieve their potential by providing learning experiences that unlock the power of introverts.

At the heart and center of the Quiet Revolution is empowering the next generation of children to know their own strengths and be freed from the sense of inadequacy that has shadowed the children of previous generations. Susan's second book, Quiet Power, is written for teens and young adults but also serves as a tool for teachers and parents. In addition, Susan has created a portal and a online learning experience for the parents of quiet children and has also established the Quiet Schools Network. 

Susan and the Quiet Revolution have received numerous accolades and press including Fortune magazine, The New York Times, NPRand many more.