Almost all how-to success books advice readers to become more extroverted. The assumption is that you'll do better in business and in life if you're a "people person."

Under this way of thinking, being introverted is a handicap or maybe even a form of mental illness. Extroverts rule; introverts are the sad loners of the world.

Wrong.

Maybe back in the day when telephones were high tech, success depended upon your ability back-slap, glad-hand and get all chummy with all and sundry.

With today's technology, it's the "people people" who are obsolete. When you're online, introverts rule; extroverts are the sad and needy ones.

Indeed, the entire point of all that technology is to make it easier for people to get things done remotely without dealing person-to-person. Classic introvert thinking.

Online, it's the extroverts--with their clingy need to be around other people and insecure craving for attention--who are the real fish out of water.

Extroverts are mentally stuck in meat-space. Today, the power-players are the introverts who are comfortable interacting online.

For example, suppose you're sitting across the table from somebody who pulls out his smartphone in the middle of a conversation and checks his messages.

An extrovert will get all upset and huffy, like it's some kind of huge insult. An introvert will usually shrug it off. Or pull out her own smartphone.

Better yet, an introvert would have had the good sense to have the meeting online anyway, thereby avoiding the entire problem.

With a good pair of headsets, an introvert can work anywhere, even in those dreadful open plan offices that extroverts love so much.

Extroverts, on the other hand, can't seem to get much done done without surrounding themselves with people and eating up everyone else's time.

To be successful today, extroverts need to learn the skills that come naturally to introverts, like:

· Working alone for sustained periods of time

· Drawing energy from your own thought processes

· Cultivating self-reliance, self-motivation and self-awareness

· Thinking things through before shooting off your mouth

· Listening to people rather than forcing them to listen to you

· Writing 100 word emails rather than 30 minute presentations.

So I don't mean to be cruel, but it's the extroverts who need to change their personalities to become more successful. Not the introverts.

Introverts created the online world. We're perfectly happy to let extroverts play in our sandbox, as long as they're willing to play by our rules.

Published on: Feb 26, 2016