Terrance Lee AKA The Introvert Leader is the best-selling author of Quiet Voice Fearless Leader: 10 Principles for Introverts to Awaken the Leader Inside. Terrance has taken on many leadership and management roles as an introvert at several Fortune 500 companies in the defense industry, with proven results. He utilizes his platform to empower introverts to tap into their own inner leadership potential.
Listen to this informative Publish. Promote. Profit. episode with Terrance Lee about turning introverts into leaders.
Here are some of the beneficial topics covered on this week’s show:
– How you can use your book as the foundation of your business.
– Why being an introvert isn’t a bad thing to be.
– How introverts may have a wall or hurdle to jump over to become a leader.
– Why it’s important for people to know their triggers so they can move past them.
– How many introverted people feel invisible and how to change that.
Connect with Terrance:
Guest Contact Info:
Hey, welcome everybody. It’s Rob Kosberg here with another episode of the Publish. Promote. Profit. Podcast. Excited to be with you today with a great guest that I think is going to maybe make a good impact on those of you that are listening. Terrance Lee, AKA, The Introvert Leader is the best-selling author of Quiet Voice Fearless Leader – 10 Principles for Introverts to Awaken the Leader Inside.
So, for those of you that are more introverted, I think number one, we got a great book for you. And number two, hopefully from this podcast, you’ll be able to garner quite a bit of information and knowledge to be successful like Terrance has been. Terrance has taken on many leadership and management roles as an introvert at several fortune 500 companies, particularly in the defense industry with great results. He utilizes his platform to empower other introverts to tap into their own leadership potential.
Terrance, here you are on the Published. Profit Podcast and an introvert. Thanks so much for denying yourself to be on the podcast with me.
Yeah, absolutely. I appreciate you having me on and the podcast is a great platform. I’m just happy to be here.
I’d love to dive right into the methodology that you use, your successes. And maybe even before we do that, talk to me a little bit about… It looks like you’re out of the C-suite and the fortune 500 world. You’re more into coaching, et cetera. Talk to me about what you do, what your business is, how you help other people and then we’ll go from there.
Yeah, absolutely. So, I really view my book as the foundation for my business and for what I do. So, the book as you mentioned is Quiet Voice Fearless Leader. And my entire platform, The Introvert Leader, is all about empowering people with introverted personalities at work and business and in life. And so, that’s on the introvert side and on the other side of things, I also educate the extrovert community on how to work better with introverts. And so, I do that in a few different ways. So, it’s with the book as well as leadership coaching. So, I do one on one coaching, mostly for people that are in the career professional realm or kind of mid-career. And then also, I will have online courses coming up later this year as well. And so, that’s another thing that I’m getting into. And the other thing is speaking engagements. So, since the book came out toward the end of last year, I’ve been booking a lot of different speaking engagements and that’s really allowed me to spread the message of introvert empowerment and really just spread that message.
Love it. So, is that like nails on a chalkboard for somebody that’s introverted? The book creates opportunities. We’ll talk more about that in a minute. It’s going to create opportunities for speaking. You’re speaking now, right? Is that a little like, “Oh man, what am I doing? Why am I doing this?” Or is that just something that you kind of gotten used to and it’s totally cool. Or maybe it’s more one on one stuff. Enlighten an extrovert here on what the challenges and opportunities are for someone like yourself.
That’s a great question. And I will say that, and this is one of the things I talk about in my book but I think that because it’s my passion and because I love what I’m talking about, anything related to introversion and extroversion and then being somebody that, for a long time, I thought being an introvert was a bad thing. I thought I couldn’t be successful. I had to be a different personality type or I had to be someone else.
And so, getting through that and now getting to where I am in my career now and as an entrepreneur as well, I’m just so passionate about spreading that message. And so, I think that because I’m passionate about it, it makes it to where it overcomes the nerves. There are certain nerves and there are certain things that are there when I’m going to speak in front of a crowd or do a talk or things like that. But ultimately, because I’m so passionate about what it is that I’m trying to help people with, it really helps to just overcome that. So, it was tough in the beginning. I’ll be honest but the more that you do like anything, the more comfortable you get and the better it becomes.
So, the idea, I would assume is that you talk about 10 principles in your book and it’s for an introvert to take a leadership position, which I would imagine means stepping outside your comfort zone and growing in certain areas like you just talked about. Things that maybe get easier over time but initially are kind of challenging.
You’re coaching right now and you’re helping people to overcome these challenges, issues to grow in their leadership, et cetera. What is your methodology of doing it? You have your 10 principles and I’d love to hear those in a moment but what is the methodology when you’re meeting with somebody for the first time and they’re saying, “Look, I have all these gifts and abilities but man, I just have this… I’m just introverted. I’m challenged with that.” What’s your methodology to begin helping them to form that leader?
Yeah. So, I think that it all starts with first understanding, “What is the hurdle?” So, what is the thing that… I call it a wall? Right. So, for me, one of my walls for a long time was a nervousness that I would feel when it came to talking in front of people and that stemmed from a certain situation that happened when I was in the seventh grade that really damaged my confidence when I was 13 years old. And so, I carried that for several years through my life. So, I like to start there. I like to understand what someone’s wall is. What’s keeping them from getting to that next level from reaching their full potential? And nine times out of 10, when that conversation starts, we’re able to dig into some details and really understand what’s holding that person back.
And then once we identify that, from there, we’re able to get into some, “Okay, what are some actionable steps? Some things we can do to now work to overcome that wall?” And one of the things and I say this all the time. A lot of people feel like fear is bad. You can’t have fear. You can’t have these obstacles. The reality is that it’s actually okay to have fear. But what I talk to people about is now that we’ve identified the fear, how do we jump through it and work through it? So, I might still get nervous sometimes when I’m going to do a talk or do a speaking engagement but I know-
You’re human. Of course.
Yeah, exactly. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But what I do know is I know those triggers now and I know steps I can take to do better. So, I know if I feel a certain way, I need to control my breathing. I know that I need to do positive self-talk and do affirmations. There are certain things. Once you know what someone’s hurdle is, now we work on the steps to overcome that. So, that’s really where it starts for me.
Love that, love that. And statistically with public speaking, people are more afraid of that than they are of dying. So, if you could help an introvert overcome that, then they’re ahead of most people, including extroverts, right?
So, very interesting there. Tell me, how big is the problem? Your book is popular and it’s doing well. How big is the problem? Are corporations reaching out or do you see this as a big issue? There are just too many talented people that are introverted and their introversion is leading them to not use their talents. Is this a really big problem in all kinds of businesses in life?
Absolutely. I think it’s a huge problem. So, I see it in a lot of areas. A lot of times in corporate America, there’s a celebration of being more extroverted and it can feel at times… And I hear this from a lot of people that follow my platform and conversations that I have, where people are at jobs and in careers and they feel invisible. They feel like they have potential and they have things to add but because they’re always waiting for the right moment to get their words in or in their particular company, being more extroverted is viewed as, “Oh, that person’s a future leader. That person has potential.” And people just assume, because maybe they’re quieter, they don’t have as much value to add. And so, this is in companies across the world. In a lot of fortune 500 companies, the thought is that if someone’s more extroverted and they speak up more, then they’re naturally a better leader.
When that may not be the case. There might be someone that’s actually more introverted and they have the thought process, the mindset and the skills that would make them an amazing leader. But if companies don’t know to cultivate that and to work with that person, then ultimately that person misses out and the company misses out too. So, again, right now I’m focusing more in the space of the one-on-one coaching and the speaking engagements and obviously the book but I’m really looking to expand this and start spreading this message to corporations and getting into a much wider platform.
So, there are people listening right now that are probably going, “That is me.” Right? There’s the big mouth guy and everybody thinks he’s the leader because he’s got the big mouth and half the stuff that comes out of his mouth is wrong. And then there’s me and I don’t want to say anything. And so, people are listening and thinking like they’re putting themselves right now in the scene. What would you say to them? Are there two or three tips such as knobs or switches that they can begin looking at or are thinking about to begin changing and adjusting that?
Yeah, absolutely. So, for this first one, this is going to probably sound a little cliche but it’s just so important. And what it is, is for people with more introverted personalities to acknowledge that they’re an introvert and to love that are an introvert. I think what happens a lot of times is there’s this big push that says, “Well, in order to be successful, you need to no longer be an introvert. You need to get out of your shell. You need to be something else.” And that’s what I thought for a long time. But in reality, there are certain strengths about being an introvert. And so, I think what the introvert has to do is to embrace who they are and embrace the strengths in who they are and start there first and not feel like they have to be something else or be someone else.
And then the second thing, and this is also very big, is to figure out what makes you unique. I talk about this in chapter one, which is titled, “Value,” is that everyone has something unique to bring to the table. So, everyone has some particular skill set that they either do very well or they might even do it just kind of well, a little above average, but maybe there’s no one else in their company that knows how to do it. And that alone can set them apart from everyone else. So, what makes you unique? What is your ultimate value add? If you’re in a meeting, what are you bringing to the table and really focusing and honing in on that as opposed to what is everyone else doing? What is everyone else good at? So, embracing that you’re an introvert, embracing your personality and then figuring out what is your ultimate value add and what makes you unique?
Gotcha. Good. Good stuff. We’ve written and helped many, many clients write books. Some of them, I would say are introverted. I don’t know what percentage. That would be an interesting conversation or an interesting survey of our past clients.
In the writing of your book… Books lead to amazing things. Books lead to, as you said earlier, speaking engagements. Books lead to opportunities to be on media. In essence, books lead to the author taking center stage. So, was there ever this thought within yourself of, “I don’t know if I want that.” “I don’t know if I want to write this book because I don’t really know if I want to be in the public eye and be on center stage.” And if that’s the case, I’d like to hear about that and I’d like to hear how you overcame it because you clearly did.
Gosh, that’s a great question. Absolutely. For me, I started writing the book and to be totally honest, a lot of the stories and the things that ended up in the book when it got to the final manuscript were not in the original version. And that’s because I was very apprehensive of sharing certain parts of my story and being transparent. And so, there are certain stories and just things from my past, insecurities that I had and things that I fought through and the more that I started writing, I got more comfortable. And I just got okay with being transparent. The more that I did that, it’s interesting because now when I get reviews from people and all the feedback has been coming in. A lot of the stories that I just didn’t want to tell, those are the things that really hit home the most with people.
So, ultimately what helped me to overcome it was realizing that this book is to help people. And my story, I knew there was someone else out there that had a similar story or someone else out there that it could impact. So, when I talk about how in the seventh grade, I used to be the first kid raising my hand in class and the first one to run to the board to answer a problem. And within a few weeks of a situation with a choir director, I went the exact opposite. I lost my confidence. I wanted to sit in the back of class and that carried on for decades. And a lot of people connected with that. So, I think once I made it about helping people and I made it about, “I really want to have people identify with this and be able will to feel stronger from it,” that’s what helped me to overcome that.
Love that. I have conversations with our clients all the time and oftentimes when they have a methodology to help somebody whether it’s coaching, consulting or a service business of some kind, they often ask, “How much do I share? How much do I tell,” both from a story standpoint and a service standpoint, such as actually giving their methodology out. And I’m like, “Look, give the best stuff you have. Tell the hard stories. Give the best stuff,” because the people that read your book are going to be one of two kinds. One, they’re either going to get help from your book and maybe be inspired by it. Or two, they’re going to be inspired by it and they’re going to say, “You know what? I appreciate you and I want you to help me. Here’s a bigger check.”
There’s nobody that’s going to read your story that could be a great client for you and decide that, “No, because I know more about him, I don’t want to work with him.” They would have never been a client of yours. They would have never been a good fit for you in the first place. It’s best to just lay out all the truth and the facts.
So, let’s change gears for just a minute, if we could. As I mentioned to you before, Terrance, I always like to hear how people are using their books. We write a book for a couple of reasons. One is to help others but the other is also to help our own cause and to grow our business and to get more speaking, et cetera. So, what has happened from the writing of your book? What kind of opportunities have come your way and what ways do you use your book to get new customers, clients, speaking, engagements, et cetera.
So, it’s just been amazing. So, the book came out on October 27th last year. Prior to that, one thing that I did is I spent a lot of time building my platform. So, I created my social media pages. My platform is called The Introvert Leader. So, I created everything in November of 2020. And at the beginning of 2020 is when I started to write the book. So, I really spent between November of 2020 up to the release of the book in October of 2021, really building up a network and building up a platform. And so, I think that was really helpful because when the book came at out, there were a lot of sales coming in and then within a few weeks, I got my first [inaudible 00:17:20]. It was actually a DM on Instagram for a speaking engagement, for a group out of the UK, which was a network marketing company.
So, they hired me for that. And then shortly after that, within about a week, I got another message from an educational group out of New York. And they sent me a message just saying that they had read the book and they thought it was amazing. They referenced one of those transparent stories that I talked about. And so, I’m actually going to be speaking to their group here in two weeks. And other than that, I’ve got about five more lined up. I’ve just been getting inquiries through the website and everything. And really, it’s been the book. Honestly, it’s been the book. When I’m getting these inquiries coming in through my website, because I have all of that automated. So, I have the feature where people can fill out a form to request me and then I get all that information. They all reference the book and they reference how they would like me to speak to their groups and things like that.
So, for things like speaking, the book has been amazing. And then from more of a coaching standpoint, I think it’s awesome because the book in my mind is where you give people your tips and your pillars and your principles. And then the coaching is where you get to dive in specifically with that person. So, that person has read your book and they have gotten something out of it. And now that you’re getting into a coaching environment it’s like, “So, now how can we take some of those principles and apply them directly to help you in your life?”
So, that’s been great as well.
Well, super congratulations on the success thus far. It’s early but it sounds like amazing things have already happened with the speaking engagements. Obviously, the media opportunities that you’ve gotten. So, love that.
Where can people go to your website? Where can they learn a little more about you and maybe book you for speaking, et cetera. Let’s give them a couple of links and direct them.
Absolutely. So, my website is www.quietvoicefearlessleader.com. So, people can get the paperback, eBook and audio version there. And for speaking inquiries, people can just go to www.quietvoicefearlessleader.com/speaking. And I’m also available for coaching as well. So, to book discovery calls, people can just go to www.quietvoicefearlessleader.com/coaching.
And then also on social media, I’m very active on social. So, if anyone wants to connect with me on Instagram or TikTok or Facebook, I’m @TheIntrovertLeader.
Great. Terrance, thanks so much. Thanks for sharing. Thanks for giving us your wisdom and sharing about your book. And again, congrats on your success.
Yeah, thank you. This was a lot of fun. I appreciate you having me on.