How does an introvert run a business?

August 14, 2018 by
How I run a business

How does an introvert run an organisation?

From a quiet place.

My favourite quiet places are in the midst of activity.

I love being surrounded by the bustle of our makers, skimming around the edges of this warehouse collecting plates and greeting people who are looking lost. I love being behind the busy bar when everyone’s enjoying themselves too much to notice who’s serving them beyond a smile and a perfectly picked drop of red.

But that’s not how I run the business.

I do it when I’m sitting at my front desk at home and I have the space to take my brain cells on a deep dive to my heart. I do it when I’m watering the gardens, smiling quietly to myself with the joy of being alone but surrounded by growth.The possibilities of what that brings feels endlessly rejuvenating. I grow so many ideas with my hands wrist deep in soil.

But sometimes, this quietude of decision methodology lets people down.

I don’t always remember to bring people up to speed, not like a good extrovert does. They would remember to have diplomatic events, and debriefs and phone chats much more often than me. In fact, sometimes, after spending a day bumping up against many bodies, fires, demands and conversations, I literally can’t find enough voice to speak to anyone. Extroverts always have a voice. They remember to engage because it doesn’t tire them out more, it revives them, after too much time on their own. Or better yet, they’d group plan. My brain doesn’t work so good in a group plan.

I accept these aspects of my cognition and energy mostly because I’m old enough to recognise when something’s here to stay.

But I do have to remember that not everyone trusts me implicitly. Not everyone knows that I’m always here to ask questions of, to find out what’s been forgotten. I need to remember that running a business, like running a country, works best with lots of press conferences. Or extroverts to push in front of the microphone. 

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