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A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

Brilliant Career Advice From CEO Introverts

These quiet leaders have something important to say.

1 / 9

Value your own opinions

“Don’t discount yourself, no matter what you’re doing. Everyone has a unique perspective that they can bring to the world.” —Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO

2 / 9

Help whenever you can

“Take the next interaction as an opportunity to help. Ask the right question or help a team become more committed. Now think about what would happen if you did that three times a week or a thousand times a year.” —Douglas Conant, former Campbell Soup CEO. Can you answer this CEO’s favorite interview question? 

3 / 9

Push yourself

“I always did something I was a little not ready to do. That’s how you grow. When you push through those moments [of doubt], that’s when you have a breakthrough.” —Marissa Mayer, Yahoo! CEO

4 / 9


“Most of the inventions that the company relies on today emerged from those periods of experimental doodling.” —William McKnight, 3M president and chairman of the board, 1949-1966

5 / 9
iStock/Peter Zelei

Seek joy

“You want to be doing something you would do if you didn’t need the money.” —Warren Buffett Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO

6 / 9

Lean on your knowledge

“When pitching [an idea], lead with your knowledge and passion. You don’t need to be the most charismatic person in the room, especially if you’re the most knowledgeable. Passion does not need to be expressed in a showy way. When it’s genuine, people can feel it.” —Susan Cain, Quiet Revolution co-founder

7 / 9

Don’t be afraid to fail

“Failure is an option. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.” —Elon Musk, founder of PayPal, Space X, and Tesla

8 / 9

Charisma isn’t everything

“Some of the most successful teachers are some of the least charismatic [people]. But they have a gift of figuring out what motivates students.” —Wendy Kopp, Teach for America founder

9 / 9

Work hard

“What I lack in talent, I compensate with my willingness to grind it out. That’s the secret of my life.” —Guy Kawasaki, Canva Chief Evangelist

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest