Be quiet. If you listen, you will hear them roar.
A quiet leader at KCS told me about the new book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking. Susan Cain, introverted author and now uncomfortable-yet-superb TED Talk speaker (see her speak here), makes the compelling argument that volume, voice and unabashed extroversion should not be treated as a preferred modus operandi, the standard all should strive to reach. Communication matters, but so does quiet, and particularly so for some.
This reminds me of some students I know.
Each term, a student from each class in grades four through six is chosen to receive the Junior Merit Award. The second-term ceremony was the week before March Break. Making the ceremony a teachable moment for all students in the audience, homeform teachers introduced the recipients with a speech that made clear why they were chosen. Here are some of the many ways in which the recipients are exceptional:
- Concise writing
- Clever sense of humour
- Always listening and learning
- Showing concern for others
- Consistent sportsmanship
- Listening carefully to suggestions
- Though shy, first to participate
- Exceptional effort
- Exemplary work
The second term awards were handed out the same week this quiet teacher-leader and I were talking about Susan Cain and her work. Though talking about ‘quiet’, it was loud and clear to us that the very worthy recipients were living proof of Cain’s message. Knowing the six students, they are quiet leaders. They are supremely able, significant contributors. Their modus operandi is a model to us all.
In our rather loud and busy world, take time to be quiet, and notice the quiet leaders in your life. Their example speaks volumes.
Assistant Head, Academics