Last week, I had the opportunity to see Mumford & Sons play their very first show here in Pittsburgh. I am a big Mumford fan and their live performance did not disappoint. Amazing concert; if you have a chance to see them, do it.
After the show, as I was reflecting on my numerous concert experiences, I begin to think about the lessons I have learned over the years from frontman. As a musician and pastor, much of my work involves creating environments and I realize that I have been influenced by some great performers I have seen live over the years. And so here is the first post (of five) that will highlight the lessons learned along the way.
Marcus Mumford taught me about the power of introverted leadership. To be honest, I was surprised at how uncomfortable he was fronting Mumford & Sons. It was painful at times. He didn’t engage the crowd in-between songs with much more than a humble “thank you” and the only real invitation to engage was when he introduced “Awake My Soul” with the words, “let’s sing a song together” (and see we did).
Yet, when Marcus strapped on a guitar and began to play and sing there was an intensity and passion that came from deep within. He was a powerful presence onstage, holding not only the band together but the audience as well. Brilliant!
There is a myth floating around that says leadership requires an extroverted personality type. Over the years, I have taken the Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicator and I have consistently scored out as an Introvert. When I share that with people, quite often they simply don’t believe it. They say something like, “we see you upfront and you have to be an extrovert to do what you do.” Simply not true. What is true of this introvert (and my guess is this is true of Marcus as well) is that I need more downtime to recover from my upfront leadership responsibilities.
Are you an introvert? Have you struggled with serving in a leadership role, especially in a role that requires an upfront presence? I would love to hear your story. And trust me, we need introverts leading from the front, drawing from a deep well of thoughtful reflection.
If you would like to explore what introverts bring to leadership, both inside and outside the church, here are two resources you might want to check out:
- Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in An Extroverted Culture (Adam McHugh)
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (Susan Cain)
And as a bonus here’s a article from Worship Leader on The Ubiquitous Mumford: 10 Mumford-esque Songs To Use Worship. Or better yet, just do a Mumford song straight up (we included “Below My Feet” in our setlist last Sunday).