Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Strategic Leadership (DSL)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Bethany D. Peters, PhD


Even as early as elementary school, the expectation to be extroverted and verbally contributive is enforced and remains through to the workplace, a fact which represents a cultural bias to favor extroverts in leadership positions. People are drawn to charismatic voices, emotional speech, high energy, empathetic gestures, and engaging smiles. This image of extroversion is associated with positive career and organizational outcomes; in fact, psychology research identifies extroversion as the personality trait most closely associated with leadership emergence.

Unfortunately, it has been widely accepted by society that introverts are reticent people who refrain from contributing ideas and instead remain in sullen solitude. However, the truth is, introspectiveness, which is usually preceded by quiet time or solitude, brings out the best ideas. Further, challenges still exist among the unseen, marginalized, underrepresented populations of our workplace that often result in them also being disempowered.

This book will serve as a bridge connecting the often-unspoken desires of the quiet or disempowered who possess the creativity and passion to lead differently to those individuals who are in a position to uplift, encourage, and support the overlooked and unseen, making way for new solutions and increased opportunities to secure change and growth in any organization.

Part One of the book, Leading Differently, defines a developing theory of leadership, Soft Power Leadership. Part Two of the book includes real-life examples of quiet and/or unseen leaders who exert influence in a more subtle way. This book will guide leaders in practical steps to recognize, empower, and promote those leaders who may present as introverted or who are simply unseen in the workplace but also have the desire to lead in a way that is authentic and effective.

Leading Differently will teach managers to understand and embrace how quiet and introverted employees exercise influence differently. Through an in-depth exploration of Soft Power Leadership, readers will learn how to celebrate the strengths of the quiet and diversify the leadership of an organization by leveraging the calm composure, introspective inspiration, and quiet strength of introverted, unseen or marginalized employees.