The Motivational Minute
By Michael J. Herman
Warren Buffett is so driven by excellence that at times in his life, it consumed him. From an early age, he set out to be the best.
Buffett is known worldwide as one of the shrewdest investors in the finance game. Why? Because he plays it like a full contact sport, strategizing and planning every move like a well practiced football play. He’s in it to win and while he doesn’t want to hurt anyone, Buffett’s intentions are clear… run a tight and profitable operation.
The two key reasons for Buffett’s astounding success are:
1) He studies before he takes action so he knows what he’s doing.
2) He keeps good people around him and his family.
Buffett invests exhaustive hours, weeks, and even months researching a single move. He’ll study an industry for years before getting into it. His shameless attitude about owning a company is unabashedly clear. “If we can’t be the best there is in that industry, why be in it at all?” he asks. “If we can’t brand ourselves as the quintessential element to that sector, then we don’t belong in it.”
“Plus” declares the 79-year-old billionaire, “you have to like what you do. I never go into something unless I’m excited to be there and want to see myself succeeding in it. The key is keeping it simple. If you can’t explain what a company does, or why you’re in it, then you don’t belong in it. You have to be able to explain it to me or to my grandson for it to be a right move for you.”
On the topic of leading, Buffett is humble. “People want to be treated nicely. If you treat them well, they’ll perform well. A happy workplace is a profitable workplace. I believe in making people want to work. If everybody wants to be there, then the company will be successful. You just have to get people all together wanting to achieve the same results. Nothing can stop you then. Well, almost nothing.”
Buffett doesn’t put up much for airs or appearances. He has lived in the same house for more than 40 years, drives average automobiles, and brags how he wears store bought suits. He has held onto his small, farm town values.
But perhaps what truly puts Buffett apart from all the others is his optimistic vision of the future. He sets his sights on the big picture…the really big picture. For example, a particular stock’s performance or the short term forecast for the economy won’t distract him. Buffett says, “Be in it for the long-haul. Don’t ask me about this morning or about last week. I’m looking at how the whole enchilada goes for the year or five or ten years.”
Waxing philosophically, he admits that, “Money isn’t everything, and money can’t get you everything, and money shouldn’t be your driving force. Having piece of mind, freedom, and meaning, no matter what you do, is really the answer.”
Has he made mistakes? Sure, but the power broker doesn’t focus on the errors, only on the home runs. He encourages others to see what’s working and not be distracted by the other stuff. “There are more important things than what’s not working. Spend time with your family, go to dinner with friends, and invest the time in your life like you would your money. After all, when it’s all over, you can’t take the money with you. So get the most out of your life now.”
Buffett now focuses on the lasting quality of mankind’s life on earth. He is the biggest contributor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is involved with peace and anti-nuclear proliferation causes, and is a close advisor to President Barak Obama.
Michael J. Herman is a best selling author, syndicated columnist, and motivational speaker.