Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Calling All Silent Entrepreneurs

Calling all quiet-thinking employees, steady behavioral tendencies, and the introverted extroverts who strive, day after day, to make a lasting impression: I have a question for you. Is there such a thing as a Silent Entrepreneur? Or: If a multi million dollar company falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, did it even really make a …wait, the stock fell by HOW much? In short, my point is that impact is not singular. Each company’s actions create an effect, regardless of whether or not those actions are as noticeable as others. Similarly, each employee or co-worker who makes up that company has an effect.

To put this more into context, I will start by saying that we all have something within ourselves that distinguishes us in a positive light. Whether it is our dominant nature that establishes respect, our motivational leadership that invigorates others, our detailed perspective that places great emphasis on quality, our calm demeanor that values dependability, or, most commonly, an infused mixture of all four, each one of us has a part of our personality that can be vital in any successful team.

By their nature, business environments demand the essential qualities of quick thinking and extroverted leadership, and rightfully so. Yet, it can often be easy to overlook the different forms of leadership that appear in those whose style is to steadily contribute. As a result, companies may be quick to look past their diligence, resulting in rash decisions and inaccurate information. Not only can this cause a company to neglect precious resources, but it also creates a difficult situation for those with steady leadership qualities.

Therefore, provided is advice for both the manager and the employee when it comes to managing or being a Silent Entrepreneur.

The Manager:

  • Identify: Mentally take note of the less dominant employees within your team. They may have ideas and perspectives that are especially vital during pressing times; times that may cause others to be guided by impulse.
  • Engage: Because of their style, he or she may not speak as much as others due to their inclination to observe and take in the situation at hand. To encourage participation and hear from all sides, ask them questions such as how they feel on a particular decision.
  • Appreciate: This ties in with the previous point, engagement. By asking for their opinion, immediately they feel that you value their input. This makes it easier for them to increase their own verbal participation.

The Employee:

If you identify as a Silent Entrepreneur, here are some tips to help in positioning yourself in the workplace.

  • Reach: Seek opportunities to advance and establish yourself as a valuable contributor. Rather than waiting for these opportunities to appear, go beyond your comfort zone to reveal what you have to offer.
  • Match: Although you possess your own style, it is important to show that you are able to work at another’s level. If a dominant or influencing employee speaks up, be confident and match their enthusiasm with your own comments. This helps establish your credibility.
  • Un-match: Even though matching the enthusiasm and behavior of another can prevent you from being overlooked, it is important to embrace your own personal style. Because of your ability to observe and take into account small details, use that, as well as other factors unique to you, to stand out. During times of high stress, calmly take a step back, and show that you are able to assess the situation.

Overall, I hope this advice is useful for managers, employees, and companies in general. Now, perhaps an answer to my previous question will arise. Is there such thing as a Silent Entrepreneur? There is such thing as steady entrepreneur, yes, but no entrepreneur is silent; we all have impact that affects the outcome at large. Now for my last question: What is yours?