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The 1 Trait Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk Share That Makes Them Better Leaders

Embracing this quality may make you more successful, too.

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BY Melody Wilding - 06 Nov 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook. Elon Musk is revolutionizing earth and space travel as we know it. Warren Buffett is is one of the most successful investors ever.

Besides all ranking among the world's wealthiest people, what one personality trait do they have in common?

They're all introverts.

Introverts can be great leaders, too.

Introverts tend to get a bad rap. They're falsely portrayed as moody, shy, and withdrawn. There's also a misconception that great leaders must be bombastic, charismatic, and outspoken.

But as the stunning success of the billionaires above and others (including JK Rowling, Marissa Mayer, and Barack Obama) shows, there are many upsides to falling on the introverted side of the personality spectrum.

"Quiet leadership is not an oxymoron," says bestselling author and Quiet Revolution founder Susan Cain.

3 Tips for Thriving as a 'Quiet Leader'

If you also identify as an introvert, here's how you can lean into your strengths and let your quiet qualities can shine.

1. Make space for solitude.

Introverts are thoughtful and reflective, which is good news, because research shows that the most effective leaders are self-aware. Studies have also linked solitude to increased creativity and generating breakthrough ideas.

So go ahead, put "me time" on the calendar.

2. Don't underestimate your social skills.

It's a myth that introverts are bad at sales. Introverts make great entrepreneurs precisely because they're so skilled at getting inside their customers' heads.

What's more, introverts' ability to empathize, listen, and ask thought-provoking questions makes skilled at networking, too. They're just more like to opt for one-on-one meetings or intimate group dinners over crowds and conferences.

3. Read, a lot.

Another quality Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates share? They're avid readers. In fact, Buffet devotes 80% of his day to learning.

It turns out there may be different kinds of introversion, but no matter what your type, embracing your thoughtful, sensitive nature can be an essential ingredient to success -- not a hindrance.

Are you an introvert? How do your quiet qualities contribute to your success?