Category Archives: Quiet Influence

Come Learn With Me at Mobile Business Academy

FinalLogoDave Basarab #1

I am so fortunate to have friends who are doing such cool things! Dave Basarab is one of those people who may just be revolutionizing the learning scene. This week his brainchild,  Mobile Business Academy, 12 years in the making has launched and It is bound to be a big hit.

Dave has brought over 30 years as a training expert and learning professional to the problem of finding time to learn. And he has emerged with a beautifully elegant and simple solution called “Learning Bursts, ” which are 8 to 10-minute talk-show style audio casts with accompanying punchy workbook material, They cover subjects like innovation, marketing, creativity, collaboration, being brilliant and introverted leadership.

Bursts can be downloaded and listened to wherever and whenever, making world- class business training accessible for busy people on the go. Companies like IBM and Booz & Co. have successfully trained thousands of employees using Basarab’s learning burst methods. And lucky for us, they are now available to anybody and everyone for a very reasonable cost.

I was honored when Dave asked me to offer The Introverted Leader  in the first wave of offerings. As you will hear in our recorded conversation about the launch (at the top of this post) he calls the learning burst approach “voyeuristic”,  similar to listening in on a conversation. We recorded my bursts in his kitchen over a cup of coffee and you might even hear cups in the background!

Dave reminded me that we have learned through stories for thousands of years and it is the way we are introduced to life before learning to to read. This audio approach with written reinforcement (all the short workbooks have quizzes and summaries)  is truly time tested.

Listen while waiting in line for the groceries or driving in the car by downloading them to all your devices. How easy is that?  And since we learn best in short segments, only one topic is covered at a time. Hear snippets of any of the many bursts as many times as you like.

I am upping my game by listening to Simon T. Bailey’s Shift To Brilliance.  Browse all 5 programs and download your samples today.  Like with any new venture, feedback on the content and delivery system is welcomed. Won’t you join me on this learning journey? I look forward to it!

Librarians Exert Quiet Influence Behind the Scenes

Genevieve S. Owens_Read Poster

ALECTS President Genevieve Owens

In preparation for my talk at the American Library Association conference in Las Vegas, NV on June 30th, I have been following the lead of my hosts and doing my research. It has been quite a learning journey so far.

The division that has invited me is called ALCTS  (pronounced “Alects”),  The Association for Library Collections and Technical Services. Their President, Genevieve Owens, is a true introverted leader who uses her quiet strengths to direct the Williamsburg, VA Regional Library. She told me ALCTS members are involved with Cataloging and Metadata, Acquisition and Ordering, Collecting and Managing Materials and Preservation.

Some of you may remember the blog post I wrote last year called Libraries (Quietly) Rock  about an encounter with a wonderful Archivist named Maxine Ducey (now retired) at The University of Wisconsin Center for Theater and Film Research. She was the careful guardian of  my Dad, Alvin Boretz’s script collection for  50 years.  Dad depended on librarians in a pre-internet age. They were his true research partners. These fine professionals will always have a special place in my heart for this and many other reasons. And as I learn more about the complex challenges today’s librarians face, my admiration only increases.

In my phone conversations with them, several have described their “behind the scenes roles.” David Miller, Head of Technical Services for the Levin Library at Curry College in Milton, MA  told me, “Our outcome is not visible. Like in theater, no one sees the designers and technicians but without them, the event doesn’t happen.” It seems to me that these professionals are the best example of Quiet Influence, making a real difference without a lot of fanfare.

Librarians are fighting for relevancy and want more tools to do so, Genevieve told me. Resources are not free and staff are needed to help us navigate the many data bases out there. Have you noticed coffee bars in libraries and community events taking place in your local library? These are all designed to meet the public where they are. The ALCTS members also told me that the biggest change is the shift to Linked Data and Metadata. New skill sets are needed for this movement away from the traditional catalog. In a day of tight budgets librarians are asking, “What practices do we want to keep?”  “What can be abandoned to build the collections we want? The library is a “growing organism,” David Miller said.

In a future post, I will share what librarians really like about being research librarians. Stay tuned and tell me what your experience has been with librarians. I would love to hear about it.

Connecting Down Under



Friends told me that when you go to Australia, you need to listen carefully.  “Even though you THINK you speak English it is American English. You are sure to miss things”, they said.  And they were right.

Sitting at my first session of the National Speakers Association of Australia in Melbourne, I found myself straining to acclimate to the new dialect, the humor and the slang. Learning to order coffee (“long black”) and having “brekky”( breakfast) with my new friends took some concentration. So did remembering to enter the left side of the car and walk down the street without crashing into people. They walk on the left – go figure:). Continue reading

Quiet Chief Execs Speak Up With Impact


Bernardino Portillo, General Manager of Medalla (holding the mike) at El Lider Introvertido workshop this Wed. at the Universidad Americana in Asuncian, Paraguay.

One of my introverted leaders heroes is leadership guru and former CEO of Campbell Soup Company, Doug Conant. He share how he eliminates the guesswork in getting to know him by offering up a document that lays out his beliefs, values and even his favorite books and quotes.

I profiled Doug’s examples and those of two other chiefs in a piece I wrote for Chief Executive called How CEO’s Can Use Quiet Influence to Get Results. 

This past week on my trip to Asuncion, Paraguay to speak on the El Lider Introvertido (more on that in my next blog post!) I met a wonderful man named Bernardino Portillo Marin, General Manager of a company called Medalla. He is well respected by his employees as being a man of few words but great impact. Bernardino strongly believes in leadership development and his advocacy for growing his people is evident everywhere.  Bernardino was fully engaged in the programs we had over the few days and his presentations were beautifully crafted. He put effort into flexing his style and the respect he has earned his palpable. I also found it refreshing to connect with him on Facebook and see that he interacts with many of his employees thoughtfully through this social media platform.

Quiet Influence is combination of art and science and these Chiefs are great models to observe and learn from. They are also really nice people.

Quiet Influence the Peter Drucker Way

I am delighted that my friend and colleague Bruce Rosenstein offered to write a guest post for this blog. Bruce is a quiet influencer himself who has written two wonderful books on the larger than life father of modern management, Peter Drucker. His first book that drew on Drucker’s unique insights is called Living in More Than One World  and is a guide for living a full life. I highly recommend it. Through personal interviews and exhaustive research Create Your Future the Peter Drucker Way: Developing and Applying a Forward Focused Mindset  shows the reader how the future must be created day by day – rather than be left to chance or fate. The quotes in the book are keepers for sure.  A few that I have already posted on my wall are:

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How Do You Fit In A Group of Talkers?


My colleague Susan Cain, Author of the blockbuster Quiet  asked me to respond to one of her readers. Here is what Susan wrote: “I received a letter from a reader named “Lily” who describes herself as extremely quiet and shy.  Lily is part of a women’s group called the “Super Women Sisterhood” which is comprised of eight very boisterous, extroverted women.  When Lily attends the meetings she feels invisible and overwhelmed, and she worries that the women feel she is being anti-social or snobby. She wants to feel comfortable with the “Super Women Sisterhood” because she feels it will become a supportive, nurturing environment once they understand her.  She asked me to suggest some strategies or ice breakers to help her connect to the women and help them bond and learn more about each other. Continue reading

Making Your Presentations Pop


Presentations are evolving in intriguing ways.  Quiet Influencers who can synthesize data by packing a powerful visual punch win points. Many of my introverted clients find that the anxiety of public speaking lessens when they prepare high impact visuals. These images can express more than any words.
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So Why Does Quiet Time Matter?


Most of us know that it is important to take time to refresh and recharge. But really… what are the tangible benefits of doing this?

In this guest post I wrote for  Mary Jo Asmus‘ popular blog Leadership Solutions I addressed five ways in which quiet influencers take quiet time to make a difference. As I am out talking about introverts in the workplace, I continue to gather diverse examples of how the six strengths work to make introverts great natural influencers. For instance, on a recent flight to Florida, I sat next to “Doc” Emrick, the respected NBC play-by-play announcer for NHL Hockey.

“Doc” gave me a taste of how hockey players use solitude to strategize their moves. “Hockey fans are familiar with the pre-game locker room shot. You typically see the goalie sitting alone, deep within himself. He knows the strengths and weaknesses of each player and visualizes multiple potential encounters with the opposing team, taking this quiet time to literally play out the game in his mind.”, he said.

In a similar fashion, quiet influencers use breaks to shape positive outcomes by imagining a successful upcoming sales pitch or coaching discussion….Continue reading here

What benefits do YOU  gain from taking quiet time?