Don't Be A Quiet One
In the US, we're told that personality and charm will win over brain power and ability. We're confronted with this message through advertising and marketing at every turn. Be it television, radio, print, or internet – the medium doesn't matter as much as the fact that the message is clear for about 95% of the population:
combined with a gregarious and energetic personality
is what we all should be.
In elementary schools it's become the norm to have children working in groups rather than individually. I was a substitute teacher for a while and have seen this in action. The idea is to teach collaboration, but the end result is that we have a generation of children unable to think for themselves. They can't reason things out. They don't have the ability to discern, only to rely on other people's views of what they should do next.
This “group think” has been taken to another level by companies like Virgin Produced, a Sir Richard Branson company. I met the co-Founder and CEO, Jason Felts, in 2014 during an event in Louisville, KY. He's young (around 30) and dressed in the fashion of “independent grunge jeans & t-shirt like everyone else having the air of Clothes Don't Matter”. He also was quite proud of how the company had an open room concept for their employees. No walls. His desk was in the center of the room and he was accessible to everyone. As was everyone else, with their desks expanding from his. The creatives loved this (according to him) because they could work in groups all the time and be inspired and produce great ideas and products for their clients. And, to make sure everyone was creative (the way he thought they should be) no ties are allowed – everyone must dress in the casual grunge of t-shirt & jeans because you know, that truly does reflect the creative genius.
Is anyone else completely turned off by this type of working environment?
I shudder at the idea of trying to work there, being interrupted on a regular basis, being distracted by conversations that have nothing to do with my work.
Studies have shown that creatives work best when left alone to ruminate on their ideas. Inspiration cannot be forced, otherwise its coercion. And no ties? Some of the quirkiest creative types I know love the bow tie!
To me, this collective/collaborative attempt to control group think so that creativity can happen is nonsense.
Geeks and Nerds
And while Geeks and Nerds are cool right now, it's only because they're recognized for what they produce – new technologies that make life easier or convenient – not for how they think. My experience has been that most people think Geeks and Nerds are cool, but most people don't want to actually be a friend to one. It takes too much effort to try to understand what actually motivates a Geek or a Nerd. And, according to a few people I've spoken with, “they make you feel dumb”.
And, before you get your panties in a wad about no one understanding Geeks and Nerds, other Geeks and Nerds do. I'm talking about actually appreciating them for who they are – not for what they produce for you. So, while it's great that a sitcom like “Big Bang Theory” is wildly popular across the country, the lesser known Cosplay series is still running on cable channels not mainstream channels.
Be Loud to Succeed
For those who want to be in the 5%, the message becomes:
Bad behavior that makes a lot of money
by being brash, loud,
and in general being mean and bullying to others.
Bad behavior is consistently applauded and rewarded through Reality Shows paying the cast millions of dollars, mainstream news media giving it 15 minutes of national air time, national award shows applauding their hosts for being snarky. I'm sure you can name a lot of places where you're seeing bad behavior rewarded.
Being loud and obnoxious seems to be the way to glory – but I think it's a temporary and short road to going down in flames.
Looking for the Quiet Ones
And then there are the Quiet Ones. Those who think for themselves, don't trust the crowd mentality, prefer to read rather than party, enjoy debates not arguments, are mentally engaged and tuned in.
They're the ones that make things happen, on a regular basis, because they're focused and dedicated.
I'm not talking about the worker drones in a factory doing menial work.
I'm not talking about the door mats that go along with the crowd because they can't think for themselves.
I'm talking about the people that scare the loud ones.
They're the Quiet Ones. Introverts that quietly make the world a better place because they think things through. If they're going to be a rebel, it will be done simply. Rosa Parks is a great example. She simply sat and said “No” when asked to move to the back of the bus.
They're readers and ruminators, thinkers and poets, oil painters and engineers. They dislike the spotlight and large groups, preferring to blend in with the crowd (or even be in the back of the room) and being in small groups.
I am a Quiet One and am in search of others like me.
If you're not sure that you're a Quiet One, but only know that you're not a Loud One, then that's good enough for me.
If you have a feeling that you were meant for better things, to be doing better work, that's good enough for me.
If you prefer to think things through before reacting, appreciate the value of a crowd but prefer not to follow one, that's good enough for me.
If you want to learn about the power of introverts and how we really do (and can) have a huge impact on the world, I recommend you read the book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking” by Susan Cain. A well researched and insightful book that shows, without reservation, that without us the world would be lost.
If you're interested in joining my team, and you are a Quiet One, I can assure you that you will grow your mind, your heart and your business in a way that suits you.
If you're looking for a way to Speak Your Truth, I can assure you that I have a platform that suits you perfectly.
If you're looking for a place where your oddness is celebrated, my team is it.
Consider this your invitation to Grow with me. Click on the link below or to the side (red banner).