35 min

The Corporate Introvert and How They Can Fill The Leadership Gap Interview with Steve Friedman 22nd Century Management With Ken

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So today, uh, welcome to 22nd century management with Ken. I have with me, Steve Friedman. And we're going to have a very interesting conversation. If you're new to the show, every Tuesday, two o'clock, we have a live broadcast, a variety of interesting guests. Uh, today Steve is with us is a I'm going to call it semi-retired.

The note you have is it's you retired from corporate. Yeah, well, and I'm retired from corporate America too. I just didn't stop work. And I guess that would be a fair way to describe him. And he's heard it in the book and we're going to talk about some of the things in the book. It's, um, the title of his book is the corporate introvert, how to lead and thrive with confidence.

And I'm going to guess based on our previous conversation, Steve, that you had some experience being a corporate. Uh, I certainly did well, Ken, thanks for having me. I'm excited to chat about, um, about the topic, because I think it touches so many people and yes, I think the book or the concept of the book started, um, Because that was my history.

I spent 30 years in corporate America, uh, over half in leadership roles. And, uh, I'm an introvert from my earliest days. Although it took me a long time to figure that out and even longer to figure out how to use that to, to, um, avoid the struggles and, um, have a more successful career. And so after. After that start, I just felt like, um, it was an opportunity to combine that with stories from others and put some, put some ideas together that can help people turn the corner and have a more successful career.

So that's where the book came from. Okay. Yeah. And it's really interesting because I've had another guest I spoke about introversion and you don't have to talk to, you know, month or so ago, setting the show up. I have learned so much about introversion that I didn't know in the conversation. Um, you know, it's interesting because I'm very much an extrovert as an extrovert.

I hate the sound of silence and that's counterproductive in when you're, when you're holding a meeting with people that might be introverted. Um, you know, so I learned a lot. I think that there's a lot of people that were in the same situation I am, that may be in a leadership role and they're extroverts and they don't even understand what's going on.

Uh, why in the book you made the point that introverts are poised to help fill the, the leadership gap. So why didn't what makes you say that? Well, first of all, um, let me just introduce the leadership gap concept because it really surprised me when I ran across this. So there's a gap in two different ways, quantity and quality.

So today and over the last several years, About 10,000 people a day are retiring from the corporate workforce, baby boomers, largely. Uh, but you also have people that are saying, you know, the corporate world is not for me. I'd rather run my own business or go into a freelance sort of, um, Uh, economy, uh, certainly on top of that 10,000, you can look at the effects of COVID and see many people, millions people that left the workforce, and many of them have not come back or certainly not into the same role.

So there's a big gap for leadership roles and companies are recognizing that probably belatedly, but they're recognizing that the funnel they have for leaders for the future is drying up. So how do they fill that? And, um, and so I think what they're doing is they're looking largely at a concept that started decades ago, but has gotten a lot of steam over the last decade and that's diversity and inclusion.

So you hear that a lot. And certainly it's, um, also, uh, very late in coming and still has a long way to go. But whether you're talking about people of color or females or. Other people that aren't in the mainstream, um, those people have, are starting to get grounding and companies and moving up and larger numbers into leadership roles.

So today, uh, welcome to 22nd century management with Ken. I have with me, Steve Friedman. And we're going to have a very interesting conversation. If you're new to the show, every Tuesday, two o'clock, we have a live broadcast, a variety of interesting guests. Uh, today Steve is with us is a I'm going to call it semi-retired.

The note you have is it's you retired from corporate. Yeah, well, and I'm retired from corporate America too. I just didn't stop work. And I guess that would be a fair way to describe him. And he's heard it in the book and we're going to talk about some of the things in the book. It's, um, the title of his book is the corporate introvert, how to lead and thrive with confidence.

And I'm going to guess based on our previous conversation, Steve, that you had some experience being a corporate. Uh, I certainly did well, Ken, thanks for having me. I'm excited to chat about, um, about the topic, because I think it touches so many people and yes, I think the book or the concept of the book started, um, Because that was my history.

I spent 30 years in corporate America, uh, over half in leadership roles. And, uh, I'm an introvert from my earliest days. Although it took me a long time to figure that out and even longer to figure out how to use that to, to, um, avoid the struggles and, um, have a more successful career. And so after. After that start, I just felt like, um, it was an opportunity to combine that with stories from others and put some, put some ideas together that can help people turn the corner and have a more successful career.

So that's where the book came from. Okay. Yeah. And it's really interesting because I've had another guest I spoke about introversion and you don't have to talk to, you know, month or so ago, setting the show up. I have learned so much about introversion that I didn't know in the conversation. Um, you know, it's interesting because I'm very much an extrovert as an extrovert.

I hate the sound of silence and that's counterproductive in when you're, when you're holding a meeting with people that might be introverted. Um, you know, so I learned a lot. I think that there's a lot of people that were in the same situation I am, that may be in a leadership role and they're extroverts and they don't even understand what's going on.

Uh, why in the book you made the point that introverts are poised to help fill the, the leadership gap. So why didn't what makes you say that? Well, first of all, um, let me just introduce the leadership gap concept because it really surprised me when I ran across this. So there's a gap in two different ways, quantity and quality.

So today and over the last several years, About 10,000 people a day are retiring from the corporate workforce, baby boomers, largely. Uh, but you also have people that are saying, you know, the corporate world is not for me. I'd rather run my own business or go into a freelance sort of, um, Uh, economy, uh, certainly on top of that 10,000, you can look at the effects of COVID and see many people, millions people that left the workforce, and many of them have not come back or certainly not into the same role.

So there's a big gap for leadership roles and companies are recognizing that probably belatedly, but they're recognizing that the funnel they have for leaders for the future is drying up. So how do they fill that? And, um, and so I think what they're doing is they're looking largely at a concept that started decades ago, but has gotten a lot of steam over the last decade and that's diversity and inclusion.

So you hear that a lot. And certainly it's, um, also, uh, very late in coming and still has a long way to go. But whether you're talking about people of color or females or. Other people that aren't in the mainstream, um, those people have, are starting to get grounding and companies and moving up and larger numbers into leadership roles.

35 min