The Introvert's Manifesto: 10 Guiding Principles
Updated: Feb 8, 2022
Like a strong tree, the introvert's strengths are often found below the surface!
We may look upon our mature neighborhood tree as a magnificent, strong, and perhaps daunting figure. We can lose sight of the roots below and the nourishment and time needed for a sapling to eventually reach its impressive vastness. Yet, over time and with the right nutrients, roots bloom into trees, trunks grow sturdy, branches expand to outstanding heights, and the tree eventually blossoms and returns the gift of life to the earth through seedlings upon the land around it.
So, too, is an introvert’s journey. We dream of the beauty and contributions we can provide to our family, workplace, and community, yet sometimes we feel those are unattainable for us. But the world is ripe for our contributions.
“The formula of happiness and success is just being actually yourself, in the most vivid possible way you can.”
–Meryl Streep, often described as the “best actress of her generation” (1949- )
Introverts worldwide are shedding the negative stereotypes that have held so many back for so long. Now you can prepare to travel your introvert journey—to know yourself, apply your authenticity, find the right fit, and lead with humility and confidence.
The following is The Introvert’s Manifesto. It serves as a declaration of many introvert capabilities and aspirations. I invite you to consider each decree, modify them as necessary to reflect your own strengths, mindsets, and ambitions, and embrace them as your own personal philosophy, a reminder of who you are and how you operate.
You may choose to share tenets of your platform with your family and friends, co-workers and managers, or you may just choose to post them privately, but embrace them and be inspired by them daily.
The Introvert’s Manifesto
I do like people. I may not be the loudest or the most engaging person in the room, but I do enjoy time with other people. I prefer the time in short segments and in smaller groups.
It's nothing personal. My energy does drain during the day, especially from extended social interactions. I just need to recharge periodically. Sometimes I need a walk around the office or campus or a lunch by myself to reenergize.
I am ambitious. I have career goals and aspirations. I may seem reticent, but I love to deliver. I take pride in my work, I want to succeed, and I want to progress. Judge me for my accomplishments, not for my lack of verbosity.
I am an avid learner. I learn through observation and analysis. I relish the wisdom of role models, leaders, and mentors. I am humble yet confident enough to seek feedback and coaching. I thrive on the opportunity to expand my comfort zone and stretch kindly.
I love to contribute. I don't usually jump into debates or have a quick-handed comment, but I want to contribute. I pride myself on being prepared for meetings, strategy sessions, and conferences. I book preparation time on my calendar so I can do my homework ahead of time, consider all sides of an issue, and come ready to bring valuable perspectives and recommendations to the table.
I can develop strong relationships. As an introvert, though I may appear to retain a quiet demeanor, I’m primed to develop deeper relationships over time. I am driven to succeed, and I like to develop work teams, project teams, and customer relationships in my own way. I thrive in small groups where I can really get to know someone: what makes them tick, their motivators, their personal interests. And as I build this rapport, I can leverage this to deliver value for everyone.
I have a strong risk appetite. I don’t typically speak impulsively. That feels like a hasty risk to me. But if I have time to evaluate a situation, analyze pros and cons, develop fallback options, and plan my approach, I love to put my money where my mouth is and advocate prudent risk. I’m especially analytical and will want to track progress and consider lessons learned afterward.
I am a loyal team member. Don’t assume I only want to live and work independently. While I do like being alone, I also perform well with teams that respect each other and provide space for a diverse range of thought, including introversion. I am an uber-loyalist and work hard to complement and lead a strong, cohesive group. I want to be paid a fair wage at work, but occasional recognition and job fulfillment are what keep me going every day.
I am a valued part of your team. Many managers now recognize the tremendous value of diversity—diversity of background and experience. It is most powerful to combine such a mixture with the diversity of thought and perspective. I can provide caution to others' affinity for spontaneous reactions. I spark creativity, empathy, and authenticity, as well as a balanced approach to problem-solving. I will advocate for teams to make space for this diversity of thought and perspective as well.
I will be a great leader. Leaders are not just the ones who are charming socialites or who command the room through orations and rhetoric. I am great at getting to know my teammates one-on-one. I plan and strategize. I am resilient under pressure and I am secure enough to ask questions and solicit help. And perhaps most of all, I empathize with others and leverage the strengths of everyone to form cohesive teams that deliver great value. I will work hard to develop my skills and be worthy of the opportunity to lead.
You are now equipped with your most important leadership tool: confidence in yourself. Alert to your own superpowe