Richard Branson is an introvert.
When you read that you probably thought:
"Blair, you have lost your marbles. Have you ever seen him on television? He comes across as being very extroverted, what are you talking about?"
In this blog post I talk about the situational extrovert. A situational extrovert is someone who is fundamentally introverted but in certain circumstances can 'come out of their shells' and be the life of the party so to speak.
Growing up, Richard Branson was a shy child. He has learned to be the exuberant guy we see on our television screens.
How has he done this?
It takes practice man. Richard Branson just practiced, practiced and practiced some more. He persevered even if it was difficult.
When he cold called potential advertisers he would put on a deeper voice and make up a title just so that he could sound legit. Basically he played a role. A situational extrovert.
Richard Branson also learned a couple more things, he knew even though it went against his shy, introverted personality that face-to-face meetings were better than mail or telephone.
In today's age we like to hide behind email or social media. Even traditional courting of the opposite sex is not done face-to-face anymore. With apps like Tinder and Bumble we can 'hire or fire' either swiping right or swiping left.
Richard Branson must have known or subconsciously anyway known that being an introvert can make it difficult in this day in age. Don't get me wrong, introverts do make great entrepreneurs, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett are not a bad group but I am sure that like Branson they have overcome some introversion to become a success.
Don't worry if you are introverted, there is nothing wrong with it. You just need to know when is the best time to come out as the situational extrovert. It will take a lot of energy and you might need to withdrawal from society for a few hours to restore your energy deposits.
Sure the extroverted leaders of this world grab the headlines but introverted leaders like Branson can also do it.
You can do it too. It takes practice and as I said, more practice and more practice and of course practice some more.