Top 5 Misconceptions Of An Introvert

My name is Jason Yormark and I’m an introvert. There…I said it. I’m not ashamed. Why should I be? If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, is that being successful in life and business as an introvert isn’t any more or less challenging than if I were the opposite. But the perceptions I and those I’ve worked with don’t go unnoticed so I feel compelled to set the record straight. Let it begin!

  1. We don’t like to be around other people. Hey, I dig my me time. Cozying up on the couch to watch re-runs of Three’s Company, or just relax without having to deal with other people is good times. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy being around others. Especially those in my inner circle…friends, family, co-workers…I need those interactions as well. I’m just not the guy that’s naturally great at sparking conversation in small intimate settings. However if you engage with me in one, I can be a great conversationalist.
  2. We don’t make good public speakers. Quite the contrary. While being an introvert, I love speaking opportunities. Love getting up in front of large groups of people to talk about things I’m passionate about. Ironically I’m great at this sort of thing, but not so much in small settings like networking events. Unfortunately I’m not smart enough to give you any sort of scientific reason for this sort of thing. So you’ll just have to go with me being an example. You’re welcome.
  3. We don’t make good leaders. Just because I’m not the life of the party doesn’t mean I’m incapable of leading others. My introverted nature usually has me praising others and putting them on the spot vs. putting the attention on me. It’s served me well in management roles, and being the kind of person that listens and digests information before speaking, it’s allowed me to make good decisions despite not coming off as the boisterous cheerleader.
  4. We don’t care. Often times introverts can come off as aloof, or uncaring. It’s simply not true. In most cases we’re listening intently…thinking, strategizing in our head the information we’re receiving to make thoughtful, efficient responses. Oh…we care. We’re plotting to take over the world.
  5. We need to strive to be less introverted. Being an introvert isn’t some sort of disease or condition. It’s not something that needs to be worked on or fixed…any more then someone who is extroverted needs to change their ways. Good managers, leaders, friends for that matter can recognize how people are wired, and work with them to develop relationships and work environments that embrace each person’s ways. Like anything in life, it’s about balance and meeting in the middle. I enjoy being around extroverts as much as I do introverts, and would never want to live in a world where everyone was wired the same way.

Now leave me alone so I can go back to my show. Mr. Roper is about to do his thing.

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5 Things I’ve Learned About Being A Great Manager

Do you know what one of the biggest mistakes companies make when it comes to hiring a manager or promoting those into management positions? Assuming they’ll be great at managing and leading people based solely on their previous job performances. I’ve seen it time and time again people being hired or promoted into roles that put them in a position of being responsible for other people, and they are not wired, nor fit to do so…and in many cases, don’t want to be except for the benefits that come with the title. In many cases, the best managers are by nature, nurturers. People that naturally are fulfilled by taking care of others, and take more pride in their accomplishments over their own. I’ve had the fortunes of being able to be in management roles over the past 15 years, and have had some amazing teams, but more importantly, have learned quite a few lessons along the way.

  1. Authentically give a shit. In most cases, you spend more time with the people you work with than your own families. Taking an interest in the lives of the people you manage goes a long way in building strong relationships, trust, and bonds that lend themselves to incredible team dynamics. It makes everything easier along the way when you hit work related roadblocks and challenges.
  2. Hire/Enable great people and get out of the way. I’m a firm believer in hiring people that are better than you are. Surround yourself with great people and get out of their way. Let them be great. Your job is to enable people to do great work and mentor along the way. NOBODY likes a micro-manager yet the world is chock full of them.
  3. Celebrate. Whether it’s birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, life events or work related accomplishments, celebrate and elevate those on your team when they happen. I currently have a team of 3 which obviously makes this more manageable, but I love surprising my team with gifts or decorations on their desks. Bonus Manager Hack: have everyone you manage on your team fill out a list of their favorite things their first week and tuck it away when needed. By the time you use it, they’ll forget you even did that and be shocked at your ability to gift some of their fave things.
  4. It’s about them, not you. I rarely ever point out my own achievements…perhaps to a fault sometimes. When it comes to leadership meetings or getting credit for team performance, I always point to the members on my team and their accomplishments. It’s my job to advocate for them, help them learn, grow, and evolve their careers. I need to be their biggest cheerleaders, and always have their back.
  5. Let them fail. There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes. Encourage risk taking, it’s where the majority of learning and career development happen. It’s critical to create an environment where employees feel like they can take chances and make some mistakes. It’s all about “failing up”. Making sure that when things don’t go as planned, learning from them and course correcting.

There’s certainly much more to being a great manager, but these are some of the biggest reasons I’ve been able to have the level of success as a manager that I’ve had, and some incredible working relationships along the way.

Introducing Marketima – A marketing career website

As I’ve gotten older the things I’m interested in writing about have strayed further away from my actual career. My personal blog has become a smorgasbord of topics ranging from tech to lifestyle, and less about marketing. Thus my entrepreneurial itch came storming back, and I felt the need to launch a separate site to be home to all my marketing content. Say hello to Marketima.

Quite simply Marketima is a marketing career website focused on giving marketing professionals a place to find a job, find an agency or read some laser focused content specific to the world of marketing and marketing careers. While we’re just getting started, we already have what I believe to be the most extensive and accurate list of US based marketing and advertising agencies. It was built from scratch, and includes social links and contacts for easy access.

In addition to my contributions, I’ve partnered with another great marketing and SEO San Diego pro, Alanna Honigman. She brings a more youthful perspective to the mix. Between the two of us, I hope to have plenty of perspectives and topics that reach a wide range of marketing pros regardless of where they are in their career.

We’re just getting started, so forgive the dust as we settle in. For now, give us a look and consider following or subscribing.

Are You Prepared To Be Laid Off? 5 Things You Need To Do Right Now So You Are.

You’re going to be laid off. There’s a damn good chance of that happening. Are you prepared to deal with it?

In my daily perusing of news and entertainment, I stumbled across this article about what one particular woman wished she knew before being laid off. While it’s a relatively interesting piece about one woman’s experience with being let go after a long tenure, I couldn’t help but feel like it lacked any true call to action for people that experience this. Having been a victim of this numerous times, it sparked my desire to crawl out of my blogging cave with the motivation to write a helpful piece so you can avoid the mistakes I made.

  1. Clean Up Your Social. You think HR and recruiting folks are just looking at your cover letter and resume these days? Fat chance. They’re social stalking you, and every post you’ve put out there is fair game. If your Facebook story says anything you’re sketchy about, make sure your privacy settings are where they need to be, and I’d keep the raunchy stuff off of other channels like Twitter or Instagram that are much more public domain. Yes, you have freedom of speech, but not freedom of consequences. It matters.
  2. Up Your LinkedIn Game. I’m still amazed at how many people don’t have their profiles fully fleshed out and up to date. Recruiters are always perusing LinkedIn for candidates, so regardless of how happy or content you are with your current role, keep your profile up to date. Post interesting things. Interact in groups that are relevant to your industry. And if you can afford the extra few bucks a month, go Pro for even more visibility.
  3. Have A Blog. This is the #1 thing I ever did in my career. By starting and contributing to a blog throughout my career, it gave potential employers a deeper window into my background, knowledge, and what makes me tick. You don’t have to be a great writer, just have something entertaining or useful to say. Everyone has something they are good at or knowledgeable of. Find out what’s yours, and easily sign up for a free blog at WordPress or Medium and get crackin.
  4. Always Be Looking. You’re not safe…period. It doesn’t matter how hard you work, how smart you are, or how loved you think you may be. You’re a commodity, and commodities are expendable. It can be a financial decision. It can be new management coming in and they want their own people. There are a hundred reasons you can get laid off, and most of them you won’t see coming or think of. Always be looking. That doesn’t mean you’re going to leave, or you’re being disloyal. It means you’re being prepared so that when it does happen, you’ll be better prepared to deal with it. And what’s the worst thing that could happen otherwise? You find an even better opportunity?
  5. Diversify Your Income. This one is a bit trickier, but if you have a hobby, or a manageable side business, a great way to lesson the blow is to have some sort of income stream outside your normal job. This way when the hammer comes down, you have something to help bridge the gap. We live in a world where starting a business is easier than ever, especially with the tools available to you online.

Be prepared for the worst. Shit happens, and if you do any combination of the above, you’ll be much more prepared than I ever was to deal with it.

What’s Your What If?

Last night I drove a lot of miles away from the hustle and bustle I normally fight through on a daily basis to coach my son at his baseball game, a little town called Granite Falls. It’s about 50 miles north and east of Seattle and off the beaten path. I arrived with my son, and as they warmed up on one baseball field, I watched as the high school team wrapped up their practice on an adjacent field. It was classic small town America. They had some rock-n-roll playing as they finished up their hitting drills, and I peered up to the scoreboard to see a sign that said “2006 State Champs”. I thought about how cool it must have been for this small town to celebrate such a thing. I thought about what it must be like to live in this town away from everything…knowing everyone, a simpler life. And how much I wanted someday to have that.

22 years ago I was at a crossroads in my life at college. I was going through motions, not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. I was blindly taking college courses without a true sense of what career I wanted. But the fact was, I did know. I wanted to make movies. My whole life was defined by the art of movies. Watching them, studying them, the dialogue, the music, all of it. I loved writing, I was pretty good at it. I knew that was what I was born for, but it seemed so celebrity to me. So out of reach. But on whim, I applied to a fairly significant film school in Chicago just for the hell of it. My grades were terrible, so I had no shot there, but I poured my heart into an essay and sent it away. I didn’t think it had any chance of getting past anyone, nor did I imagine I could even afford to make it work.

I was shocked to find that it did get past someone. Not only that, but I got in. My memories of that day are a little faded, but I remember being quite surprised. I remember taking a week or two to mull it over. I remember allowing the fear of such a monumental shift cloud my judgement. I remember the comfort of staying the course wash over me. 22 years later, just about every year, I wonder what would have happened had I found the courage to go for it.

Life can’t be about what ifs, I’ve learned that. I have a good life now, 2 amazing boys, kick ass wifey, great job, and I live in an amazing place. But I can’t help thinking about that particular what if. Seeing this small town last night triggered a vision that I hope is still within my grasp later in life. I want to live in a small town. I want to coach a small town high school baseball team. I want our neighbor Mrs. Simmons to stop by and drop off one of her killer apple pies just because.

And I want to write. So many concepts and ideas I’ve sat on, fearful of writing due to the sheer commitment and dedication it takes to see something like that through. I know I have it within me to actually write something that could sell. I may not get behind a camera anytime soon at this point in my life, but I’ve got killer stories to tell, and they are desperate to get on paper.

And what better time to pull the trigger than now? Countless screenwriting events and venues to submit work to, and more importantly, the rise of content providers like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Studios…the world is opening up to give more people the opportunity to submit their work.

I normally write about topics with calls to action, or lists to help people with marketing, etc. But today, I just wrote. Maybe the first step in holding myself accountable to actually kick my ass in gear to get writing more. Maybe because there’s others that might read and can relate.

Or maybe Red said it best: