11 Leadership Lessons From Warren Buffett

I watched a documentary on Warren Buffett, one of the richest men in the world.  Here are some quotes & learnings that will help you as an entrepreneur.

1. If you can’t sell, you will fail

“I wasn’t very good at my sales pitch. I knew I needed to get better talking to groups.” How much are you working on your sales pitch? Just because you are smart & have great content doesn’t make you good at growing a company.

2. Self education trumps formal education

“I heard about the Dale Carnegie course & took it.” How many classes are you in now?  You should invest HEAVILY in coaching & resources.

3. Supportive families make the difference 

“Susie stabilized the family so Warren could study.”  Behind great entrepreneurs are usually amazing husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, children & parents.

4. Firing people is a reality of leadership, even the great ones do it

“100 people lost their jobs and Warren took the heat, (on his first majority share purchase)” Are you willing to make the hard call & fire people if they aren’t working out?

5. Leadership makes the difference 

“Buy businesses that have management you trust enough to leave in place”  Your company is valuable if the leadership team is healthy & vibrant.

6. Get paid daily

“He took the insurance premiums that were interest free & invested them into other companies” Do you have cash flow coming in every day, every week, every month? If not, your business isn’t predictable or viable without you.

7. Do what you say you will do

“I delivered papers (The Washington Post) before school & was always on time. They gave me better routes”  Are you delivering your services on time? Do you show up on time?

8. Do the opposite of what everyone else is doing

“Be greedy when others are fearful. Be fearful when others are greedy” When everyone is jumping out of things, jump in.  Don’t listen to main stream media about investing.  I started our company in the fall of 2008, the worst economy in 70+ years & I’m glad I did! Little competition!

9. Leave leaders alone

“Buffet’s rule was to always keep a distance from the company managers” If you bother leaders & try to manage a leader, they will leave.

10. Quit trying to make everyone like you

“You don’t make 40 Billion being Mr. Rogers. He is a tough negotiator & uses every bit of leverage he can.”  Negotiate hard!  Don’t overpay!  Don’t sell out too soon for a cheap price.  Stick to your guns.

11. Do what only you can do

“I was there 9 months and 4 days as CEO. It was miserable”  He HATES doing the work.  He always has a CEO that does it for him.  Don’t do what you don’t want to do.

Comment Question: What is your favorite learning here? 

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