Category Archives: 4 P’s

After Childbirth, Is Anything Possible?

My daughter recently gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. It was a long labor and stressful delivery but thankfully all came out well in the end. She said it was the hardest but most incredible thing she ever accomplished.

Her experience brought me back to the birth of my own two daughters. Though being a new mom was challenging I can still feel the euphoria and kickass confidence that made me feel I could do anything.

On that same theme, I received an email from Charlotte, an introverted new mom in the Netherlands who told me how her own birth experience bridged to more confidence in the workplace. She wrote:

“Our group was split for many years between the sales team (typically extroverted individuals) and my team (more introverted) who do the actual compliance work. Very recently the two teams have merged. It is really interesting watching it unfold. Since I have had kids I find myself far more inclined to speak up and be braver in our meetings. Perhaps once you have been through child birth and exposed yourself to complete strangers and not caring because you are in so much pain, speaking up in a meeting does not seem so bad!!!”

It is all about perspective. Surviving those tough experiences does build confidence. In the 4 P’s Process in The Introverted Leader the third P is Push. Every successful introverted leader moves through challenges and develops their leadership strengths. They all say this is what helped them the most as their leadership careers progressed.

So maybe it wasn’t childbirth for you; but was there a pivotal life experience that was your confidence tipping point? You can email me at or tweet me at jennkahnweiler.








Practice – the strategy of choice

In my research on introverted leaders, I found that focused practice was a consistent part of the plan.They took every opportunity to speak in public, drive discussion with their bosses and inspire team members when needed. Whatever they felt compelled to work on, they did – 100 plus percent.

My friend, Marty Mercer, recently happened upon Tiger Woods in a hotel gym.  TW was engaged in a vigorous weight work out, after having played in a tournament all day.

I really enjoyed this NY Times piece (9/12/09) which highlights the roots of comedian Jay Leno’s drive for success. He never lets up – always working on his act. As a Dyslexic who was even advised by a counselor to leave school, he faced one obstacle after another.

Being at the top of our game, whether on the stage, the playing field or in the boardroom, requires this single minded focus. I don’t think this practice is all drudgery either. With goals set and results seen, the practice time can be one of challenge and satisfaction – at times it even may be fun (in Leno’s case, let’s hope so!)…

“Mr. Leno continues to be a brute for work. Last year, even working 46 weeks on “Tonight,” he managed to perform his stand-up act on 160 dates. It is not uncommon for him to finish taping a show and then fly off somewhere like Fresno, Calif., where he appeared this summer at a chicken festival in 104-degree heat. He said he had just as many stand-up appearances booked for this year, even with the new show.”