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The richest people, bill gates, warren buffett are all introverts. What do you think makes introverts successful over extroverts in life?

Some of the world's most richest people are introverts, such as warren buffett and bill gates. What do you think makes them successful? Why is it that introverts are more successful than extroverts?

  • Mar 22 2012: Introverts tend to look at each decision to be made as part of a process, as opposed to a rash decision. Variables are carefully considered. In the end, those thoughtfully made decisions lead to great success. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that time can be wasted in over analyzing.
    Warren Buffett's success has traditionally been in businesses he understands, brick and mortar. Bill and Melinda Gates have given their lives to others.
    In the end, it's not the 'me' that becomes the most successful, it's the "we" working to make businesses and the world a better place.
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      Mar 22 2012: Capitalism and Materialism detracts from the general pursuit of humankind to achieve unity for the purpose of bettering the world; at least this seems true in the more "Wealthy" nations.
  • Apr 10 2012: After reading Susan Cains book and watching the video on, i noticed and gathered many ideas. From what I can notice everyone is at least a little of both extrovert and introvert. I have faked being extrovert and it gets people places by networking and exploring new surroundings. Extroverts rush into too many things like tests as seen in college sometimes. From what I have read, we introverts think before we act and sometimes we can be very sensitive. These introverts who we are talking about here came out with ideas ahead of most people. From what I am trying to say is that Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are probably highly sensitive people.

    If they are not so sensitive, then maybe they just know what they want from being so old. It might sound wise to say that, but we do learn from our mistakes. They might of seen that others' mistakes and learned to get ahead.. People are addicted to many things. Aside of things, Warren Buffet is for the stock market and he knew how to get ahead by knowing more of what people love. Bill Gates is known to be "cool" because he must of known what people wanted for Microsoft to stand out the way it does. I do believe they are more careful with their money do to being affected with "reward sensation" in a way. They know how to plan, simple as that.

    If that is not the case either, I would love to read it. I just wonder how they made their decisions. Brainstorming does not work with groups of people trying to get a few ideas. Since you are not suppose to criticize any idea. Please comment or give me a book to read.
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    Mar 28 2012: Need data to back up your claim, please.
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    Mar 23 2012: Firstly I think that the premise of the question is flawed. Since when has financial wealth been a true indicator of success? I would challenge the premise that it is.

    Secondly, no one is a complete introverted or extroverted, we are all somewhere along the continuum of the scale. And whilst I completely agree with Susan that it is the introverted traits that allow for considered approaches and time to come up with innovative concepts and ideas, without the ability to embrace extroverted traits to sell these concepts or bring them to life then there would be limitations in possible success.

    Don't get me wrong with any of this, I loved Susan's talk and I can't wait to read her book. I am an introvert and have spent much of my life with people trying to force me to be more extroverted because they feel that I should be, which is very random. I think that it is likely that very financially successful people would sit more on the introverted side of the scale, but there are also a large number who would appear to sit on the extroverted side. And do we ever really know what they are like in their private life - someone could avoid the public spotlight but still be very extrovert in their private relationships after all.

    I just find that this question is a very dangerous way to start a conversation, it has too many underlying assumptions.
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    Mar 22 2012: @Derek Cain defines introverts as those who are at there most effective in a peaceful, non-challenging environment, as I quoted. that's not the same as being unable to function socially. That's slightly different from Jung's definition, which sees introverts as tending towards a subjective view of the world.

    Coming back to my point that Gates and Buffet wereat their most effective in an environment demanding extrovert qualities, Gates offers the best example. He's known for his IT products and for his commercial success. You could argue that creation of the IT prodicts requires introvert tendencies, but that's not Gates' area of real success. His products aren't really anything better than many other products which were on the market at the same time. His real success was in commercial promotion, and he wouldn't have done that if it didn't energise and motivate him. So he's a bad example to use for introversion.

    Most people are somewhere between the extremes of extroversion and introversion..

    My professional skills include things like project management and risk management, both of which require the ability to think things through. That doesn't mean that successful project managers are introverts. They need to be externally focused and objective to do the job i.e. extrovert in Jung's terms. Thinking things through is not an introvert quality as it requires objectivity.
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      Mar 24 2012: I'm going to quote my previous response, "Just because someone acts more like an introvert doesn't mean that they don't have the capacity to be an extrovert, and vice versa," which is same meaning of when you state "Most people are somewhere between the extremes of extroversion and introversion."

      That was my whole objective to tell you that they can be both, but not necessarily one extreme on the scale of extroversion and introversion. According to Cain, an extreme case of either would mean that they would be institutionalized, so yes no one falls absolutely on the ends of the scale, or at least the ones that weren't institutionalized that are in the public eye.

      Thank you for reading my thoughts. Feel free to share any of your thoughts. =)
  • Mar 22 2012: I'm not sure I agree that "introverts are more successful than extroverts". It depends on your definition of success. An introverted public relations professional, for example, may not be terribly successful. Success, I think, depends on a huge number of factors and it begins with finding the occupation (meaning any activity that occupies your time) that right for you.
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    Mar 21 2012: Joshua
    An entrepreneur doesn't have the luxury of much time alone when building up a business, but has to process information effectively while dealing with others. So a successful entrepreneur must have extrovert characteristics. They must get some positive feedback from working in this environment or they wouldn't be doing it.

    I wasn't describing introvertedness as anti-competitive, but pointing out that, if you use Susan Cain's definitions, a successful entrepreneur has to operate in an extrovert manner.
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    Mar 19 2012: I wouldn't describe either of those people as introverts as I doubt they would have achieved the success they did. How are you defining introvert and extrovert?
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      Mar 20 2012: Well, first definitely watch the TEDx by Susan Cain, then think of what an extreme introvert or extreme extrovert would be like, then picture yourself falling somewhere on that spectrum, and finally place someone successful into that spectrum as well.
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        Mar 20 2012: I did listen to Susan Cain's talk when it was first broadcast. She defines introverts as those who are at there most effective in a peaceful, non-challenging environment. This hardly describes the rough and tumble of the business environment, especially when huge sums of money are at stake. Someone who succeeds in that environment is behaving in an extrovert manner in order to succeed.
        • Mar 21 2012: Anne, I think you may have missed a big point, that what differentiates extroverts from more introverted people is how people process information. Introverts process information internally, getting creative energy by spending more time alone, while extroverts tend to process verbally through discussion with others.
          Being introverted does not mean someone is anti-competitive or always in "peaceful, non-challenging evironment", just that they do their best thinking in a different way.
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          Mar 22 2012: Precisely what Joshua has said, I completely agree.

          In addition, according to Cain, being an introvert does not mean you can't function socially or you are shy and not able to work in public settings "ever", but the introvert invests more time into thinking about their life's passions; extroverts tend to have ideas take control of their emotions and would jump into something before thouroughly investing some thought into it. I personally do jump to ideas sometimes, but now I've embraced my introverted side to think things through.

          According to psychology, introverts replenish or gain energy through intimate settings or seclusion, but that doesn't mean they won't speak in public or work towards a big goal; and for extroverts, they replenish or gain energy through large gatherings or highly stimulating settings, but extroverts can become attached to an idea they personally don't believe as a means of pleasing the crowd. Both extroverts and introverts can have a desire to please others, but humans are humans and they have the freedom to think and work as they please and everyone may or may not benefit from that individual.

          Just as rich people can think of ways to get rich, they may want to invest all their time into making money as well, which means they put a lot of thought into their products and they personally didn't just wake up one day and said I'm going to throw a bunch of stuff together and hope everyone will like it. They usually put a lot of thought into it, which means they used their abilities of introversion, which brings me to my last point. Just because someone acts more like an introvert doesn't mean that they don't have the capacity to be an extrovert, and vice versa.

          Thanks for reading my thoughts. Do ask any thoughts that are on your mind. =)
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    Mar 19 2012: No one has addressed the existence of ambiverts? Well, possibly those that are super successful are ambiverts. They are, or found the balance of Yin and Yang. So, they are able to think deep, then apply that deep thought with an over enthusiastic, over-the-top sales pitch. =-D
  • Mar 18 2012: One of the keys to success is to constant improvement. Introverts are constantly pushing themselves to do better and care very little about what others think. Introverts let their work speak for itself. Extroverts do something good and then want people to know about it, like them for it, and be impressed by it. They spend a lot of time communicating the good and arguing the merits of their work. The later takes time away from constant improvement, giving introverts an advantage ina competition.
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    Mar 18 2012: Introverts aren't more successful. Yes, you can find a few introverts who've succeeded, but the western society is ruled by salesmen for the most part. The average extrovert greatly outperforms the average introvert in this hyper-competitive environment. Hell, if you can't sell it, it's worthless, and that includes everything that exists.

    And I'm not an extrovert who's rooting for the big mouths to rule the world. I'm one of the folks who's gotten the short end of the stick because of the extroverts and their innate capacity to redirect attention to whatever it is that they've got for sale.

    I'm kind of surprised that anyone would be asking this question, to be quite honest.
  • Mar 17 2012: I think you miss the point, extroverts are focuseed on their own feelings, "look at me look at me", introverts look at the big picture and what is best for all, not necessarily themselves.
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    Mar 17 2012: Are they really introverts? Or are introverts people who are focused on their own feelings? Gates and Buffet have achieved success because they focus on the value they perceive in something outside themselves.
    • Mar 18 2012: Tremendous value, I should add. Both warren and bill gates seem to be introverted as they are focused On the well being of others, through their charity work which almost the entire of their fortunes are donated. Their main characteristic is introvert unlike celebrities