At last year’s Leadership Summit, one of the most memorable quotes for me came from Susan Cain, best-selling author of the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking and viral TED speaker on the Power of Introverts. Susan said, “We need to restore quiet to our cultures.”
When she said that, it really resonated with me. It’s far too easy to fill our calendars and our days with constant noise, sound, and people. And my experience has been that when we allow that to happen, the times of quiet will eventually recede and disappear from our lives.
I learn from the Bible that God speaks most often not in a thundering voice that overpowers the rest of my life, but in a still, quiet voice. How on earth am I going to hear that Voice if I’ve crowded it out? I need times of quiet, of silence – it is in those times that I can quiet my heart and mind long enough to grasp those impressions that come from God.
As a leader, if we’re not modeling times of intentional quiet, we’re missing something important. With 1/3 to 1/2 of the population being introverted, increasing the volume and the pace of life is not going to get the best from those team members. Leaders set the tone and the pace, and if we want this to be an intentional part of our organizational culture, we have to lead out in it.
Susan’s book is on my ‘to read’ list for 2015. I think there’s great value for leaders when they intentionally determine times of quiet. John Maxwell says that every day he does 5 things: he reads, he thinks, he asks questions, he files, and he writes. How many of those are best done in times of quiet? For me, most of them. And that’s ok.
In 2015, I’m choosing to have intentional times when I can read, think, listen, and write. I think it might benefit you as well to consider how to “restore quiet to your culture.”
What intentional decisions, choices, or changes are you making in 2015?