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6 Essential Tips for Work and Life From Warren Buffett

Career Advice |

Yesterday was a monumental day for Levo League. The legendary, amazing, iconic (insert more powerfully descriptive words) Warren Buffett participated in our signature Office Hours and answered your questions. He gave us some amazing tips that we should keep in mind, not only in our careers, but in just living our lives.

1. Confront your fears

Buffett talked about how as a young man he was terrified of public speaking. He could have tried to avoid it but instead he confronted it head on. He took a Dale Carnegie course on public speaking and it ended up changing his life. “You have to learn to communicate in life, it’s enormously important. If you can’t communicate and talk to other people… you’re giving up your potential.”

2. Play bridge

I have a feeling that the game of bridge is about to see a huge surge in popularity. Buffett described playing the game as a constant character-building exercise: “Bridge is a partnership game. It’s almost like dancing, you know—intellectually, because you really have to be in tune with the person you’re playing with. You have to bring out the best in them, they have to bring out the best in you. I mean it. And not all couples achieve that. We like to play against married couples sometimes. When they get mad at each other, they stay mad.”

3. Read Katharine Graham’s Personal History

Buffett could not have praised this book more. “It’s a totally honest book. I called her after I read it, and I told her, ‘You wrote the book I’d hoped you’d write.'” Katharine Graham was the daughter of Eugene Meyer, the publisher of The Washington Post. Graham took control of The Washington Post Company when her husband committed suicide in 1963. From 1969 to 1979 she was also publisher of the newspaper. From her obituary, “Mrs. Graham’s imprint was the product both of her values, which suffused the paper, and of the crucial decisions she made about its leadership and direction.”

Warren Buffett Quotation 4

4. Read a lot

On that note of good books, Buffett says he loves to read. “I read at least five or six hours a day… a lot of it ties in with the business I do, but I really enjoy it… I just love getting more information, and I love building Berkshire.”

Dr. Konstantinos Arfanakis and colleagues from Rush University Medical Center and Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago found that keeping the brain occupied late in life has positive outcomes.

“We discovered that elderly persons with a high frequency of cognitive activity have higher microstructural integrity in brain white matter than persons with lower frequency of cognitive activity,” Arfanakis said. “Since the microstructural integrity of white matter naturally declines with age, our findings suggest that cognitive activity in late life may be protecting cognition by maintaining the condition of brain wiring.” Warren Buffett is 82. You do the math. In other words, read FOREVER.

5. Don’t do anything you don’t like to do

This is so simple and yet such great advice. But I actually feel like this is very hard for many of us to follow. Buffett said, “I love playing bridge, I talk to my friends, and I pretty much don’t do anything I don’t like to do. I’m very fortunate in that… I’m pretty much in command of my own time, but I have a lot of fun doing it.”

6. Don’t be intimidated by your male co-workers

Great people always reference The Wizard of Oz, and Buffett is no exception. “You know, the males—there’s a lot of the Wizard of Oz in us. [Look] behind the curtain and you’ll find out that it wasn’t quite that imposing,” he said. You may work with some people with big heads, but remember at the end of the day they are just using a microphone behind a curtain.

What did you learn from Warren Buffett in yesterday’s Office Hours? Tell us in the comments!

 

It’s not too late to ask Warren Buffett a question! Follow him on his Levo League profile to ask for advice!

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6 Comments

Love this line! Words to live by. "You may work with some people with big heads, but remember at the end of the day they are just using a microphone behind a curtain."

3y

The "funhouse mirror" and "wizard of oz" metaphors were great at showing how women and men can view themselves differently. Loved his encouragement to not be intimidated and have confidece in our business ability.

3y

In my opinion, one of the most important advices on a "failure" Warren Buffet said that nothing is a failure untill you have a good health. We can pick us up and dust ourselves and do it again so much better. However when there is a bad luck in health then it can be a failure.
As a doctor cardiologist myself, I would like to hear how Warren Buffet is investing in his health to stay bright and healthy at his 82. He is a real role model for all ages !
Sincerely wishin a Good luck in health to Warren and to all !!!

3y

After yesterday, I'm only drinking Coke, reading Katherine Graham, and playing bridge. Not, but seriously, what an icon! Thank you so much for including the Levo community in that event. Jen and Holly, don't fret! Levo posted the video so you can watch it whenever you want. #levolove

3y

I absolutely love this recap of the interview with Warren Buffet. I was not fortunate enough to be able to listen in, but this recap makes me see how much I missed. His advice is both insightful and tangible...which is refreshing from a man with such enormous power.

3y

I was in class yesterday so I only got to follow on twitter, but I love the quote "Almost everything in my life that looked like a failure has turned into a success." It is so important to know that failure is not who you are it is something you do, and it isn't always negative. Embracing failure can make us wiser and stronger.

3y
Meredith Lepore

Meredith is the Editor at Large for Levo League. Before that she was the Editor in Chief of The Grindstone and was on staff at Business Insider. She has written for magazines including Marie Claire, SELF, Women's Health and Cosmopolitan. She earned her Masters in Magazine, Newspaper and Online journalism from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Meredith resides in New York full time and enjoys SoulCycle, jogging and playing with her Yorkshire Terrier Otis, who also loves SoulCycle.