Is my extrovert showing? Or is your introvert hiding?
After seeing this tweet get re-tweeted 12 times, I thought I might be onto something. (Take some time to watch the video I tweeted as well – the entire series is quite eye-opening).
What struck me, among may other things, about the video and the comment that sparked it was the strange link between loudness and leadership.
We seek out proof of competence and evidence of expertise. We expect it to be easy to see and hard to miss.
We mistake silence for weakness while overly praising conversation and action. We are expected to be shameless self promoters, and crave attention for our accomplishments, yet in others we find judgement both when we speak up (‘bossy’, ‘overbearing’) and when we don’t (‘aloof’, ‘cold).
My work in assessment has made it clear that it is difficult, and often impossible, to assess what we can’t see. Just as I can’t accurately judge the level of engagement between members of an online community if I’m only looking at Facebook posts and tweets, how can I possibly see whether someone is a good leader if I don’t see them lead and hear them talk about their leadership?
I have to look deeper.
It is not enough anymore to expect others to tell us they are a leader, or for them to show it off. We can no longer sit back and wait for proof of development, growth or competence – we have to search it out. Our own assumptions around what a leader does and says effectively blind us to the quieter, more subtle ways students, colleagues and even ourselves can impact our world in ways we have only begun to imagine.
What does leadership look like for you? Comment with your thoughts or tweet me to keep the conversation going.