Tag Archives: doug conant

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.

Focused Conversation vs. Small Talk

I promised to explain the answers to the “How Well Do You Know Introverts” Quiz. Here is #1.

“Introverts prefer focused conversation to small talk.”

A focused conversation is not the same as the chit chat that can drive you up the wall and out the door. Instead, these are dialogues with a specific point in which you combine listening and purposeful talking. Focused conversation helps you to truly share your ideas with others and learn about what they believe and feel.

Small talk is usually about more superficial topics and, while it may be a way to segway to more meaningful conversation, introverts don’t see the point. Small talk also takes place in bursts with several people (think cocktail parties). The kind of conversations introverts prefer are  one-on-one or in small groups.

Doug Conant, the former CEO of Campbell Soup Company said that “the action is in the interaction.” I agree. It is in these meaningful back and forths that we build relationships and influence others.

Can You Guess the Introverted Leader? Answers

Introverts are leaders. Here is just a sampling of famous introverts. Taken from observation and commonly held opinion. Do you have any to add to the list?

Famous Introverted Leaders

  1. Head of the most well-known soup company in the world.
  2. A female CEO whose company helps women looks their best.
  3. A global philanthropist who founded a company located in Redmond, Washington.
  4. His social media site has more than 750 million users.
  5. The French female scientist who discovered radium.
  6. The film director has a reputation for innovative special effects.
  7. The 16thU.S. president of the U.S.
  8. The American humorist who wrote two bestsellers about boys getting into mischief.
  9. An Indian leader who practiced non-violent protest.
  10. A Swiss psychoanalyst whose personality theory inspired the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).



1. Doug Conant

2. Andrea Jung

3. Bill Gates

4. Mark Zuckerberg

5. Marie Curie

6. Steven Spielberg

7. Abraham Lincoln

8. Mark Twain

9. Mahatma Gandhi

10. Carl Jung