I asked this question in a short survey on this site last fall.
The results have been enlightening, and I want to share some of them with you. It’s great to know that the concept is resonating with people.
Thank you to those who have responded so far! Here’s a peak at some of the responses.
I love the idea of a quiet changemaker! I prefer the term to “leader,” which seems tilted toward extroverts or at least people who want to stand in front of a crowd and give a rousing speech. At the same time, any change I’m making is from my role as a board member, and it’s creeping along at a glacial pace. No instant gratification here.
– Elizabeth, in fundraising at a health care organization/ board member
I think it’s the future. Peaceful, individual change and responsibility is the only thing each of us has control over.
The concept of a quiet changemaker resonates well with me. I have (relatively) recently discovered that my passion and mission in life relate to social justice, yet I have always known that I was introverted. But, as in all settings, even the spheres where the topic of conversation is helping people, or making the world a better place for everyone, are dominated by extroverts. As such, introverts like me may find it difficult to find their place and to learn how they can contribute in a way that is safe and comfortable for them. I think it’s important to raise awareness about the quiet changemakers that are out there and help create a space for them to live their missions and passions in a healthy way.
– Paul, social justice student/ researcher/ board member
Nice to have a name to put on this big concept that has been floating around in my head — and a community to boot! Excited to contribute to some dialogue and content about the subject, to see what comes out of the wood work. In my career I work with many extroverted entrepreneurs, often supporting them so much I feel a bit overshadowed and undervalued for my own entrepreneurship.
– Jocelyn, in communications and experiential education
It’s great. I struggle a lot with the pressure to be outgoing in order to be successful in my line of work. I feel like the work I do, and excel at, is just as valuable and necessary but far less recognized.
I think it’s a wonderful. A necessary window on how the world works for many changemakers.
– Michael, in labour and political action
I think there are a lot of introverts in community work and sometimes it can be hard to consider that you’re doing “as much good” as the people who get written up, speak out, and generally put themselves more out there. I know there are lots of quiet changemakers and I love the idea of celebrating them and giving them a voice in a new way.
I think this is a great way to identify what’s already a very large group of people in the world and connect them.
I think that this is a great idea. A changemaker is someone who makes change – either through loud and attention-grabbing ways, or in quiet and subtle ways. Either way, a change is a change. As an introvert I am more inclined to go with quiet and subtle ways on to affect change. To thrive in an loud and noisy world is a struggle – which I believe every introvert goes through, has gone through, and will go through.
– Raisa, student
I love it! I often feel so surrounded by extroverts, or folks who I perceive to be driven by ego and comfortable schmoozing and networking. I find this challenging, as I’m often looking for deeper, more meaningful connections but don’t always see this as immediately being rewarded.
I think that the term ‘quiet changemaker’ is truly needed. It’s a space that has been overlooked in our extroverted society.
It’s not a concept often discussed, but I identify with the idea of a Quiet Changemaker. The term in itself offers permission for me to be myself instead of trying to raise my voice to match others’. I used to think that to be a leader, you’d need to be the person at the podium addressing a crowd, but I’ve learned there are many ways to be a leader and change maker. Its taken me a long time to accept the fact that while I am quieter than many people I work with (at a large activist organization) I am both a leader and quiet changemaker. As a quiet changemaker, I like that I can hold space for deep emotions through listening. I like that I encourage reflection. I like that I can help draw out wisdom from teams and transform ideas into action.
– Laura, environmental activist
I know a lot of Quiet Changemakers – I think with the internet we’ve been introduced to these people who may not have had the front-page charisma of so many other leaders and changemakers and that’s awesome. Let’s build a strong commmunity.
I appreciate being acknowledged for being influential even though I don’t shout it from the rooftops or talk in front of assemblies.
– Cindy, in nonprofit capacity building