The Tao of Warren Buffett

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Mrs. Businesspundit gave me The Tao of Warren Buffett for Christmas. It's short and I read the entire thing yesterday between family gatherings. Each page has a Buffett saying, along with a paragraph or two of explanation. I liked the book so much I wanted to share some of my favorite Buffettisms in this post.

  • You can't make a good deal with a bad person.
  • It's easier to stay out of trouble than it is to get out of trouble.
  • The market, like the Lord, helps those who help themselves. But unlike the Lord, the market does not forgive those who know not what they do.
  • My idea of a group decision is to look in the mirror.
  • The reaction of weak management to weak operations is often weak accounting.
  • You can always juice sales by going down-market, but it's hard to go back upmarket.
  • You have to think for yourself. It always amazes me how high-IQ people mindlessly imitate. I never get good ideas talking to other people.
  • In looking for someone to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. But the most important is integrity because if they don't have that, the other two qualities, intelligence and energy, are going to kill you.
  • Never ask a barber if you need a haircut.
  • A public-opinion poll is no substitute for thought.
  • If you let yourself be undisciplined on the small things, you will probably be undisciplined on the large things as well.
  • The fact that people are full of greed, fear, or folly is predictable. The sequence is not predictable.
  • We also believe candor benefits us as managers. The CEO who misleads others in public may eventually mislead himself in private.
  • What we learn from history is that people don't learn from history.

There are lots of other good sayings, 124 in all, so pick up the book if you find them interesting.

  • Ivan

    “In looking for someone to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. But the most important is integrity because if they don’t have that, the other two qualities, intelligence and energy, are going to kill you.”

    Really like this one. So true.

  • Christmas is coming again. Here is another short and easy to read book on Taoist management strategies, “The Tao of Business” providing similiar, but also very different perspectives.
    Enjoy,
    Ansgar