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How To Be More Engaged as an Introvert Leader
Sean: Now I’m wondering when some of your people that you hired and you’re paying for told you that – “Hey, Rob, you got to step up. You’ve got to have more presence in the team. They’ve got a feeling more as a leader.” How did you respond to that and how have you evolved yourself? You said that you had to be more open to that. What happened then?
Rob: Well, I believe just in general, in being open and being able to say how you’re feeling to other people in the team, they can be giving you direct feedback. So that is part of leadership too, is being able to get feedback from people and even being heard, it’s just you listening to them is very powerful and not reacting and saying, “no, I’m not like that” or dismissing what they say, but just listening, that’s very powerful. Because now they feel like they’re heard and you’re going to try and do something and that’s a really positive thing. So I just tried to take it on and it is difficult, honestly, because I’m not always sure what I should be doing. And so it’s not always just because I’ve built this company and the owner of the company, it doesn’t make it that I automatically know how to lead a team. Right. And there are different leadership skills that are required the bigger the company gets. So I can imagine leading a 100,000-person company like Apple or something like that would be really challenging. And it’s on another skill level that I haven’t personally experienced yet. And so it’s just a lot to learn and trying to feel like I can learn, I can grow, not trying to feel like I’m just – I know what I know or to feel arrogant that I know everything as well. Just to feel like there is things that I should learn and grow and improve on.
Sean: That’s very interesting because even if you’re not leading 100,000 people like Apple, you’re leading 130 people spread across the world. And one of the things that I personally find difficult to see during the two years 2020, and 2021, is the pandemic. SEO hacker worked fully remote to try and prevent anyone from our team from getting or contracting COVID. And what I realized was the culture that we had when we were meeting here in the office, it’s very, very different. And the bond between team members was not as strong as when we were face to face. And as a leader, I find it more difficult because here in the office I’d walk around and see people and I tapped in the back and say, “How are you? How is your family?” But when you’re working remotely, and especially for introverts like us who like to work on our own projects, and keep our heads low, I am unable to largely put any attention to that. I’m just working on my own stuff and I wasn’t really leading in a way where people felt my presence and I find that the culture severely changed in a way.