Is the Ideal Martial Arts Instructor an Extrovert?

For years, I encouraged instructors to fit my ideal instructor mold. Oh, I knew what the perfect instructor would look like… haha… and I thought that if I described this perfect instructor enough times, and highlighted everyone anytime that they came close, that I would end up with a fleet of perfect instructor clones.

The problem? My ideal instructor was an extrovert, and at least half of my instructors were introverts.

quietOne day after class, one of my instructors and I were chatting and somehow we came to talking about a book he had just finished called “Quiet”. He said that it really described him well and that I had to read it. If you’re unfamiliar with the book, it basically describes introverts and a totally different style of strength than I have.

That book changed the way I saw personality types all together and actually had me start questioning the I way I was training my instructors. It got me hungry for more reading too…

So, I started educating myself by reading and listening to everything I could get my hands on. Slowly, I began to realize that I was actually discouraging my instructors from finding their own teaching style, and that I had probably lost a few of them over the years because of that.

One of the books I found is called “Built to Last”. The authors studied exceptional companies such as Motorola and Boeing to find out what made them so successful compared to their competitors over long periods of time. What did they conclude? Basically that introverted / non-charismatic leaders actually accomplished more steady and longterm growth compared to charismatic / visionary leaders. Crazy.

Here’s the audiobook version if you want to skip around a little… (man, I love Youtube)

Have you experienced the difference between introverts and extroverts in the Martial Arts or at your work? Your thoughts are appreciated.. big time!

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