I want to make something plain before I begin. Steve Friedman did not write The Corporate Introvert for me. While I’m introverted and follow his blog Beyond Introversion, I’ve never worked in a corporate environment, and I never intend to. So I was a little surprised that I collected quite a few ideas to help me in my noncorporate life.
Corporate work environments doubtless have things in common and differ from the nonprofit world where I made my career. But I believe all work environments have certain things in common, like working with other people. And any true introvert understands how perplexing these relationships can be in places where outgoing, attention-grabbing personalities seem to have all the advantages. Steve’s book excels by helping you dig into strengths you already possess so that you can use them to help your organization in ways that feel comfortable for you. He’s not suggesting you change your personality but figuring out ways to share all you have to offer authentically.
In using the metaphor of a tree for your career, he shares how to explore your hidden potential, your roots, to the tips of the branches, where he encourages you to blossom through leadership roles. In addition, he provides solid, practical exercises and advice to help you stretch and enjoy a productive and fulfilling career.
I recommend it to anyone who feels intimidated by the working world.