Permission to Be Engaged

I had a conversation with an introverted manager who was offered a challenging leadership role. It made his knees buckle, but he took it.

During our call, he complained about his inability to improvise quickly in new situations. He negatively compared himself to his extroverted counterparts who seemed to have all the skills ‘great leaders’ need.

The truth:

Studies on introverted leaders have shown that they are not any less effective than their more gregarious counterparts, and some studies have even shown that humbler leaders can inspire better-functioning management teams. (Atlantic Magazine)


It doesn’t matter if you’re an introvert or an extrovert if you feel supported by your organization.

Feeling supported enables engagement.

I asked an expert on “great places to work” if putting employees first, as opposed to customers first, was the secret to creating a great organization. She said, “Not really.”

“It doesn’t matter as long as employees feel supported.” Amy Lyman

Trust – support – engagement:

If I don’t trust you, you can’t make me feel supported.

Support is meaningful when leaders are trustworthy.

7 ways to be a trustworthy leader:

  1. Don’t be a quick-fixer. Let people work through their own challenges and develop their own solutions. Giving space to find solutions is an expression of confidence in others.
  2. Prioritize the well-being of others.
  3. Be thankful for the privilege of leading, not entitled.
  4. Seek, value, and consider input from others.
  5. Do everything you expect of others. Don’t make exemptions for yourself. If you expect initiative from others, practice initiative yourself. If you expect hard work from others, work hard yourself.
  6. Do hard stuff with kindness.
  7. Encourage teammates to take on new challenges and be available to help.

Support is meaningful when leaders are trustworthy.

How might you create an environment where people feel supported?

What other keys to engagement come to mind?