Is it necessary to have leadership qualities in order to get the best out of people?
The answer to that question is twofold:
- Yes, it is important to know how to manage, lead and motivate people you deal with on a daily basis
- No, just take responsibility without having leadership qualities and invite people to join you.
The second answer may not be a very logical answer as managing people requires some sort of leadership qualities, but in this case, work is not the main issue that will be focused on. Rather, life in general.
Shy people vs. open people
People who are naturally shy, stay in the background and keep them to themselves aren’t necessarily worse off than people who are open-minded, engaging, risk takers and adventurous. There are several reasons for that which will be explained.
Almost all shy individuals are introverted. This means that they avoid risk, are more self-reliant and are foresighted. (Looking forward; planning things in the future) (Shy in the Firelight, 2006-2011)
Introverted individuals are particularly perceptive, sensitive, and aware. Those qualities or strengths enable them to plan well ahead and minimise risk. Moreover, because shy individuals are reluctant to ask others for help they often become very knowledgeable about how the world works. (Shy in the Firelight, 2006-2011)
Advantages of being shy:
1. Thinking before acting
Shy people often tend to plan will ahead before they undertake an activity. This trait can be helpful when it comes to many life decisions. Thinking carefully and planning before taking action are important for many of life’s hurdles including planning for the unexpected, avoiding unnecessary risk, and setting long-term goals.
2. Being approachable
When shyness is not extreme, it can make them more approachable to others. Shyness and modesty and that go with it, are rarely threatening to others and may lead people to feel comfortable around introverted individuals. In other words, shy people don’t have an “attitude” that makes it hard to approach them.
3. Calming effect on others
Shy people can sometimes have a calming effect on those who are higher strung. They tend to be more calm and quiet. This calmness and ability to “not react” may have a positive effect on others.
4. More trustworthy
Since shy people often stay in the background; they aren’t the first to tell everyone about their accomplishments. That way, others may find them more believable and trustworthy. This can also make them a better leader.
5. Ability to Overcome
Shy people, who have often struggled with (social) issues in life, know what it means to battle, endure, and overcome difficult feelings. Therefore, they have the ability to cope with life’s difficulties.
Butler (2008). Overcoming Shyness and Social Anxiety. New York: Basic Books.
Life Optimizer. 7 Strengths Shy People Have. Accessed August 8th, 2012.
Science Now. The Rewards of Being Shy. Accessed August 8th, 2012.6
The Career Pioneer. The Benefits of Being Shy. Accessed August 8th, 2012.
The optimist and the pessimist
There’s the optimist, the pessimist and those who are floating in the middle of those two. It’s logical that people who get the most out of life are the optimists. Under the many reasons why that could be, is perhaps the most important one is that they believe that something can be done or achieved. However, why is it for so many people difficult to be and (stay) optimistic no matter hard they try? That is a difficult question that has more than one answer. But let’s keep it simple. The core of Positive thinking lies in the character, the surrounding environment and someone’s view of the world. In my opinion, there are simple, but effective ‘solutions’ for thinking positively:
This is an obvious one: once you’ve accepted yourself for who you are, it makes life much easier. There is less pressure on performing above your capabilities and there’s no need to become the ‘ideal’ person who’s good in almost anything. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Turning weaknesses into strengths isn’t a bad thing to do, but it can be hard and frustrating which drowns your energy and triggers negative thinking. Therefore, be happy with yourself and carry on.
Be flexible in your thinking
Life isn’t all about following rules or daily routines. What I mean by that is that there’s no need to do the same ‘mundane’ activities every day. For example, visit the same sort of shops every time, watch the same sort of TV programmes or movies or reading the same sort of books. Indeed, everyone likes to have some sort of daily or weekly routine. However, in many cases that causes people to live within their comfort zone and prevents them from looking at the ‘big picture’. To really enjoy and make the best out of life, it is wise to keep all options open and to take on a challenge now and again. It makes us stronger, more confident and feel better about ourselves. Without flexible thinking, life would be a bit boring and the opportunities will not be taken or will be simply overlooked.
Be content with what you got
In most people’s mind-set, progress in life means aiming for the best. In this context, that means acquiring greater wealth to buy stuff that is bigger, nicer and better. That might seem a good thing to do as it gives people motivation to do their best and when they achieve their goals it gives them satisfaction. However, in most cases striving for more wealth isn’t the answer to a happier and better life. Why? Because life’s about being with family, friends and more importantly, being caring, loving and healthy. Caring and paying attention to other people and the environment are also important things that money cannot solve alone. Indeed, money can be donated to charities or used for research to improve people’s lives or the environment. However, being satisfied with what you already have makes life much easier and rewarding.
Let go of the things you can’t control
There are many things in the world that we would like to change. Whether that is a cleaner, happier and better environment or a more democratic, caring and social society where money doesn’t play a central role, but humans do. For example, human health, safety, vitality, clean air etc.
Those and many other examples obviously cannot be solved by an individual, nor a group or a new political system. However, small but realistic steps can gradually and over-time make a change. It takes a combination of political, social and economic cooperation to get from A to B. That’s all seems logical, but because people throughout the world would like to change things for the better they stumble across many difficulties that generate anger, fear, frustration. It is understandable that people who want to make a difference and face complex problems just give up. Unfortunately, with many individuals, they stop just before the ‘finishing line’. If it was just for that one more push, that extra sprint, they would have made it. Therefore, keep going, even if things get tough. Believe, persist and carry on…