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.”
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.”
“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!