by Colton Campbell

When Dr. Jennifer Kahnweiler, a leadership coach, searched for a book on how her introverted clients could unlock their potential and assume leadership positions, she found no such book existed.

Dr. Jennifer KahnweilerSo she wrote the book herself.

That was a decade ago, and now, with a second edition of “The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength” published earlier this year, Kahnweiler is set to speak during the next installment of the Richards College of Business’ BB&T Lectures in Free Enterprise series at the University of West Georgia.

Kahnweiler will summarize her book during the lecture, as well as explore how some introverts (shy, reticent people) have already taken on leadership roles in their organizations by leveraging their natural strengths.

The lecture will be held at in the Tanner Health System School of Nursing building on Thursday, Oct. 25, at 6 p.m. Admission is free, and tickets are not required.

“Introverts are leaders, and they can step into leadership positions and remain true to themselves and their personalities,” Kahnweiler said. “It’s my hope that everyone who attends the lecture learns how best to use their natural style and how to harness the strengths of introverts on their teams.”

Kahnweiler said she’s proud to have seen the “rise of the introverts” since the first edition of her book was published in 2009.

“It’s now estimated that 40-60 percent of people fall on the ‘introverted’ side of the introverted-extroverted spectrum,” Kahnweiler said. “That’s a good thing for businesses because introverts have proven to be great assets at all levels of an organization. They are humble, calm and prepared.”

Kahnweiler, who describes herself as an extrovert, said the difference between people on opposite sides of the spectrum is how they recharge.

“If you need to have a break and some quiet time to recharge your batteries, you likely fall more on the introverted side,” she said. “Extroverts, in contrast, get their energy externally by interacting with other people, and they can become demotivated and lose energy if they have to be alone for too long.”

Kahnweiler will also speak on how organizations can become more “introvert-friendly” to improve their outcomes.

“Too often, especially early in their lives, introverts were labeled as ‘shy,’ and that’s how they’ve defined themselves for their entire lives,” she said. “When I talk to people about how they can be an invaluable asset to their company or organization just by being themselves, I can literally see them sitting up straighter in their chairs. There’s such a sense of relief that finally someone is telling them there’s nothing wrong with them and that they don’t have to be an extrovert – or pretend to be one – to get to the top.”

Kahnweiler is a certified speaking professional and has written three books that have been translated into 16 different languages. She’s consulted with hundreds of organizations – including General Electric Company, NASA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – and has developed and run leadership programs from Singapore to Spain.

She received her doctorate and organizational development from Florida State University and majored in sociology as an undergraduate at Washington University, St. Louis. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Time Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. A native New Yorker, she now calls Atlanta home.

Students, faculty, staff and community members are welcome to the BB&T Lectures in Free Enterprise series. Past speakers have included Stu Thorn, David Daniels and Dr. Jody Foster. Parking will be available behind the Nursing Building, in the Murphy Building lot and behind the UWG Bookstore.

For more information on Kahnweiler, visit www.JenniferKahnweiler.com.

Posted on October 17, 2018