The quiet people in a world full of noise
Business leader and founder of advertising agency ENDVR, Jamie Venerus, looks at the key benefits to understanding introverts and the difference they can make to your business.
There is a talent crisis affecting professional services post-Covid, the UK economy is in recession, the cost of living crisis is crippling households, and strikes are causing uncertainly and upheaval across the UK affecting everything from your daily commute, to covid jabs, to your kid’s education.
So far, 2023 seems like the worst year yet.
The talent crisis was caused by too many talented and experienced people leaving.
They left in search of a better life balance, were pushed out through redundancies, or became disillusioned with
the industry and moved on. All reasons a better prepared industry could have foreseen and managed better. So, what lessons can be learned for 2023?
An economy in recession means two things are inevitable: firstly, a slew of ‘how to run a business in a recession’ articles, blogs and thought pieces will bombard inboxes and social media feeds with the same message – don’t cut budgets. Secondly, budgets will be cut.
Luckily, there is a cohort amongst us that hold the key to surviving and prospering in 2023.
The big personalities, the dapper and slick speakers, the polished sales directors, the exciting brand leaders, the doyens of the industry.
Many industries are famous for their extroverts, yet there are many who walk a different path. 2023 will be the year of the introvert.
My industry is an extrovert industry. It is the job of advertising to ‘speak’ to consumers and the loudest brand usually wins. In this context we are all familiar with the terms extrovert and introvert, but what is less well understood is what these terms mean beyond vocalness.
More specifically, what does it mean to be an introvert in the industry? Clarity of thought and purpose.
One of the key underlining traits that defines all introverts is their need to think through problems, situations, or hypotheses.
Even relatively simple points in a discussion need to be thought through. Introverts are deep thinkers. This can lead to the introvert being labelled as a quiet or reserved particularly in (large) meetings.
But what this means in reality is that introverts will give an honest and structured opinion, they will give a point of view that is borne out of considered thinking and analysis.
Arriving at such a well thought through opinion usually means the opinion is sound, and the newly formed belief unshakable.
If your firm requires clear thinkers with ideas and the determination to see them through, introverts are your new secret weapon.
Introvert Albert Einstein was quoted as saying: “The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulate the creative mind.” Einstein embraced his introversion and made it key to his success.
Genuine, empathic and without ego. One of the hallmarks of introversion is the willingness (and need) to actively listen to others.
This need is borne out of the necessity to process and analyse but it also means that introverts are active listeners who will pay attention and process other opinions without ego.
There is another benefit to this need to actively listen, and it’s a benefit for the speaker.
The value of having a recipient genuinely and empathetically listen to what you are saying is both rare and empowering.
According to Sheryl Sandberg, Mark Zuckerberg is an introvert. From afar he does not appear to be people friendly, especially to those who do not know him. But he actually is and cares a lot about the people who work for him.
Resilient, robust, stoic. This article started by suggesting that 2023 would be the worst year yet, in this offhand remark there is truth.
What we have experienced over the last three years has been unprecedented and challenging and there is little sign that the uncertainty and pace of change will slow down this year.
Into this we have all become more aware and cognisant of our mental health and wellbeing.
This in turn has given more prominence to the importance of personal resilience and robustness. For introverts, these are qualities they have in abundance.
The need and ability to process what is happening around them enables introverts to cope with unforeseen or difficult circumstances.
Introverts remove the emotion of a situation to look at the pertinent facts and adapt their position and behaviour accordingly.
For introvert business leaders removing the emotional element also benefits those around them, enabling stress to be reduced or removed and providing clarity of purpose.
The SAS describe their ideal candidate as the ‘grey man’, a classic pseudonym of an introvert. The resilient mindset required to be a part of the SAS is not exclusive to them and can be found in many of the introverts within your organisation.
Will 2023 be the year of the introvert? Here’s the thing with introverts, they rarely shout their own praises. Quietly effective and lacking ego is great but not when it comes to self-promotion.
The year we’re facing will be challenging, it requires business leaders to look at every possible way to enhance outputs and enable your teams to flourish.
That starts by unleashing the secret weapon you already have working quietly in the background.
Established in 2022, ENDVR is the antidote to formulaic marketing and opaque media buying. ENDVR was born out of a desire to deliver the very best marketing and advertising service available. The name ‘ENDVR’ represents both the skill and determination required to build and grow brands. www.endvr.co.uk