Quiet is the New Superpower: A Story of Fried Chicken and Friendship


Please join me on Wednesday, October 7th at 10:00 a.m. ET for a quiet and energetic discussion called Quiet is the New Superpower: Voices from the Introvert Revolution. (Register Here!) I will be joined by my friend and colleague, Jill Chang as she launches the English translation of her Taiwanese bestseller, Quiet is A Superpower (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.). You can pre-order it now!

The post below is adapted from the Foreword I wrote for Jill’s new book.

IT IS ALWAYS A JOY to hear from readers. Especially those who write expressing gratitude.

Two years ago, before I finished my work for the night, an email popped into my inbox that made me feel even more than appreciation. Its author was Jill Chang, who I learned was an introverted writer and grantmaking specialist who was just about to publish her first book about her journey as a quiet leader. “I’m writing this message to share with you, that I was inspired by your books and blog articles. The first book about introverts in the workplace in the traditional Chinese-language market is going to be published (finally!),”  And luckily, I’m the author,” she wrote. “I’m stealing the Chief Editor’s job and writing to you because you [have played] such a crucial role in my own career development, and I’d like to take advantage of this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude.”

Jill went on to humbly ask for a short endorsement, and though the book was not yet translated into English, I didn’t hesitate to endorse her work. I believe the “rise of the introverts” is fully taking shape, and it is so important that young voices around the world are spreading the word that quiet superpowers, like taking quiet time, preparing, and listening, should be embraced. I just knew from our initial contact that Jill was a fellow champion. (Note: Her book went on to become a bestseller in Taiwan and she herself became a celebrity.)

Jill and I started communicating via email and video conference and a friendship emerged. Jill was even able to arrange a work visit to my home town of Atlanta, GA, where we had a lovely Southern fried chicken lunch and swapped stories like old friends. I have continually been taken by her refreshing candor, humility, and sense of humor. You will find yourself smiling and even laughing at some of her analogies, like when she compares the conference room to a minefield or the United States to an extreme sport!

As you will also read in this compelling part memoir, part career guide, Jill doesn’t refrain from discussing the challenges of being an introvert working in extrovert-centric areas like sports marketing and fundraising. What I especially love about Quiet Is a Superpower is the way she shares these personal struggles and triumphs through stories. The reader is right there beside her as she describes the daily struggles of trying to be someone she is not. Or when she poignantly writes about how stepping out of her door each day means stepping out of her comfort zone.

When Jill gives suggestions and real-life examples about how to speak up in meetings or make pitches, it is like hearing from a supportive coach who is intent on seeing you succeed. She wants you to stand up and be heard. Her cross-cultural experience of studying and working in Asia and the U.S. also informs this book. The breadth of her understanding about how to thrive as an introvert in these worlds is wide and deep.

I am thrilled that Berrett-Koehler is publishing this book as the first English translation. Jill’s story of being a quietly powerful leader will now offer inspiration to an even wider global audience. Jill has told me that she doesn’t want introverts to feel so alone. I think you will agree with me that she has certainly exceeded her goal and then some.


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