Introversion Stinks of Failure: How Personality Affects Success

Anna Harrison
The Startup
Published in
4 min readMar 9, 2020

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The science of understanding who gets heard and why is undeniably complicated. A cocktail of DNA, cultural influences, gender, personality, linguistic styles, geographical, physical and possibly even astrological influences simmer in human cauldrons made of skin and flesh.

It’s hard to pinpoint exact variables and establish causality, and it’s not that important to the story I want to share here. What is important, is to acknowledge that who gets heard, and why, is not symmetrical, or necessarily fair. It is not always the best idea in the room that wins. More than likely, it is the “best” person in the room, the one with the loudest voice, or the strongest personality, or the seat at the head of the table, who gets the accolades.

When ideas are generated… the efforts may be associated with the person most vocal, or powerful… not the person who came up with the idea
HBR

There’s possibly no better example of this effect in the workplace than the long, and unfortunate existence of Clippy (1996–2002, RIP). The “arrogant and creepy” office assistant was slammed in early usability tests, yet the project went ahead. The well known secret is that the office assistant was the brainchild of the First Lady of Microsoft — and because of that, even in the face of pretty hard facts, no one was…

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Anna Harrison
The Startup

Product Futurist & Founder rammp.com. Sharing thoughts and lessons in product design and marketing for high-growth brands