- Dell founder Michael Dell says he's an introvert and puts on an act when he's motivating people.
- The billionaire entrepreneur told Tim Ferriss about his experience growing Dell.
- He said that sleep and long walks were his way of recharging after dealing with lots of people.
- See more stories on Insider's business page.
Michael Dell, the billionaire investor and founder of Dell Technologies, has said that he is "deeply introverted" and used to find it hard to speak about his failures.
Dell, who has an estimated $53.7 billion fortune, appeared on the podcast "The Tim Ferriss Show" ahead of the publication of his latest book, "Play Nice But Win," which details some of his successes and failures.
He said he was only able to write the book because he had become more comfortable showing his vulnerabilities as he had grown older.
"I got off to an early start in life and I found myself in the position where people were always asking me for things. It was pretty uncomfortable," Dell said. He developed a "Teflon coating" in order to deflect multiple requests for his time, he said.
"I'm pretty introverted, maybe deeply introverted. So all of that combined left me in the situation where I wasn't very disclosing, wouldn't really explain failures, or what was going on," Dell said.
Dell said that while it's important for leaders to do the "on-stage stuff" to motivate people and communicate the company's vision, it wasn't his "natural state of being" – it was an act.
There is no universal definition of behavioural traits, but introverts tend to prefer their own thoughts and company over meetings with lots of people. Some introverts say they need rest after socializing.
Sleep and long walks in the woods are how Dell recharges after dealing with lots of people during busy periods of work, he said.
Podcast host Tim Ferris is famed for his book "The 4-Hour Workweek." He interviews business leaders and high-performing people about their productivity habits and career journeys.
In the hour-long episode, Dell also detailed some of his biggest career and life lessons since he launched Dell in 1984, originally under the name PC's Limited.
He talked about taking Dell public twice and his relationship with the investor, and Dell shareholder, Carl Icahn. He also described his best investment as a childhood speech coach – paid for by his mother – that helped him overcome his stutter.
Research has suggested that introverts and extroverts are equally effective as leaders. Some of the world's most successful business people, including Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, have been described as introverts.