Opinion: Introverts are creative thinkers and thriving entrepreneurs


Jessa Schroeder is a senior journalism major and columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]

Jessa Schroeder

When you picture a successful business person, characteristics that often come to mind are great leadership skills, ambitious, a competitive nature and a go-getter.

Yes, these are a few excellent examples of some qualities that successful people possess. But what about the those who possess different personality traits and career-orientated qualities?

What about the people who aren’t the vivacious leaders of meetings and discussions; the opinionated co-worker or the social butterfly of the room?

Introverts have been long perceived as timid, standoffish, aloof and somewhat anti-social, which isn’t necessarily the case.

Unlike extroverts, introverts are energized by their “down time” and see it as a productive and essential part of their work and functionality. They are the observers, meditators and innovative thinkers of the world.

Yes, these folks are oftentimes overshadowed by the charismatic attributes of extroverts. But introverts are an essential part of a prospering and more well-rounded team as they acquire some traits that extroverts don’t.

While extroverts are energized by small talk and constant social interaction and affirmation, introverts find it to be pressuring, boring and taxing. They thrive off of meaningful and more in-depth conversations.

Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, executive coach and author of the “Quiet Influence: The Introvert’s Guide to Making a Difference,” said, “At least half of people who speak for a living are introverted in nature.”

Nelson Mandela once said, “I went as an observer, not a participant…I wanted to understand the issues under discussion, evaluate the arguments, see the calibre of the men involved.”

Who are some other successful introverts of our time? Bill Gates, J.K. Rowling, Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg, just to name a few.

Bill Gates once said in a speech, “I think introverts can do quite well. If you’re clever you can learn to get the benefits of being an introvert, which might be, say, being willing to go off for a few days and think about a tough problem, read everything you can, push yourself very hard to think out on the edge of that area.”

Now, introversion and extroversion are not always cut and dry characterizations. Many people claim to have a few intertwined qualities of the two, but overall, can identify closer to one or the other.

Being an introvert doesn’t mean you’re a hermit—you simply have a different way of focusing your energy and learning in your social and work environments, and that’s OK.

The world needs more listeners and detail-oriented self-starters. After all, we can’t all be loud and opinionated. No one would ever get any work done, and the introverts need to get home! (Or, to the park, or library or something.)

You were waiting for it, so say it with me, “Introverts unite!”

Jessa Schroeder is a columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]u