126 – The Quietly Powerful Leader | Ft. Megumi Miki
The era of the hero leader is over. For years the loudest voice in the room dominated corporate culture. Fortunately, that’s starting to change. Organizations are beginning to realize that the overlooked quiet member of the team has much to contribute.
That realization is the central premise of Megumi Miki’s new book. Quietly Powerful shares her own experience of succeeding despite being a quiet professional. Her story is backed-up extensive research that reveals the power of quiet.
Megumi Miki is a sought-after speaker and consultant in leadership, culture, diversity and inclusion, with a background in strategy, economics and finance. With a client list including National Australia Bank, Roche, JBWere, Sanofi, Computershare, Ernst & Young, Department of Health and Human Services and smaller for-profit and not-for-profit organisations, Megumi expands leaders’ mindsets and skill-sets to inspire diverse talent to flourish.
Quiet and Confident
The difference between somebody who’s quiet and not so confident, versus somebody who’s quiet and confident, is that you feel comfortable in their presence. They’re comfortable in their own skins. And that is a very powerful presence to be around. I’m sure you’ve had those moments where you’ve met somebody and you just feel their presence. And it’s not that they’ve said anything, but you just know that they’re very present. So that to me is very quietly powerful.
The difference quiet can make
Quietly powerful leaders have the incredible ability to create space for other people to shine. They have the humility to enable other people to contribute. When that happens an organization can tap into the collective wisdom. These leaders have the ability to listen and be present and to challenge their own thinking. Quietly powerful leaders don’t like being the center of attention. They’re not always saying look at me and showing off what they’re doing. They often go into leadership positions because they see that they can contribute to something bigger than themselves. We need more leaders like that.
First, you have to get really comfortable with yourself. Understand both your weaknesses and your strengths. Learn about them, investigate them, See the useful side of all the qualities that you have. Reframe your weaknesses. They can become your greatest assets. When you can get comfortable with yourself, you can really tap into the authentic talents that you have. Second, learn to be present. Be mindful. You don’t have to be the one talking all the time. It’s a very powerful thing for somebody to not speak and people feeling your presence.