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Warren Buffett: It’s the people, Stupid

Warren Buffett


Money is important, but not the most important thing.

Source: Inc.

Warren Buffett

In a 1998 lecture to University of Florida MBA students, business magnate Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, fielded a host of questions on investments and valuations before a thoughtful student asked, “What would you do to live a happier life if you could live over again?” According to the Oracle of Omaha, “The way to do it is to play out the game and do something you enjoy all your life and be associated with people you like. I work only with people I like.


Nick’s take

This article quoting Warren Buffett has an extremely high ratio of wisdom to words:

  • “I work only with people I like” (See also Never work with jerks.)
  • “you will move in the direction of the people that you associate with”
  • “associate with people who are better than yourself”
  • “you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with”
  • “not having close friends is just as bad for your health as smoking”
  • “if you’re still putting up with people you don’t like just for a paycheck, it’s time to make a change”

What’s your take?

Do you agree? Do you walk Buffett’s talk? Or is this easier said than done?

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  1. I am looking for a new job or to start my own business. I have a mentor who is helping me with the steps for entrepreneurship. My current boss is a jerk. I had a so-so performance review today. My previous boss, the guy who hired me and is now a colleague of mine, always rated me more highly. So no, I don’t want to spend so much time working for this same guy. On the other hand, now that I know more about how he thinks, I have some goals to work on.

    • Mr. Kevin, good point on knowing more how a boss thinks, and working on some personal goals (I assume working with said boss’s style, and going along to get along until you can exit). This is something I wish I would have wrapped around my thick head long ago. Would and could have saved me a lot of grief, and possibly prevented, or at least slowed down, things not ending well. Like you, I’m currently in a discreet and clandestine job search. This time, I’m being “selective”. The, recruiters, and blindly sending out cold call resumes has proven yet again to be futile and a time waster. I have taken the editor’s advice (this coming from a man with a very dim view of headhunters, mind you), and a good friend and former colleague’s advice, and have targeted some select employers. I’m currently beginning discreet dialogue now with a top customer of my current employer. I told them their stellar reputation, and high integrity, impressed me the past 7 years I’ve dealt with them. It was 100% sincere. I also did them a solid by helping the owner’s grandson get an entry-level job after he’d been searching for 1 year post-college graduation. The owner, and his son, told me they in turn like me, my skills they’ve seen, and trust me that I have their backs, while they are not so confident with my employer. It may or may not come to fruition, but I’ve learned the hard way to trust my gut, and to not work with, or work for jerks. Problem is, we don’t always have the luxury of being so selective. Good luck with your job search and/or business venture.

  2. Sometimes, you end up in an environment where most people follow a lousy boss to the path of ruin. You try to make the case of making it better for the company, not for your ego or personality, but then, it doesn’t get anywhere.

    This particular time is where I say to myself, “Get educated outside of the company and network with people of similar values.” I list in “Summary of qualifications” as “… as a revenue growth contributor for companies via output within a timeline.”