Buffett's Driving Forces

The Beeb were running a “how to be a millionaire” season I caught on iPlayer recently.

I’ve blogged on the merits of Warren Buffett’s incredibly successfully investment outlook for the solution seller before. In the Money Programme‘s treatment, they sought to isolate his key principles for success. The seven they came up with were:

  1. invest, don’t speculate
  2. you don’t have to diversify
  3. be a business owner
  4. allocate capital efficiently
  5. don’t get into debt
  6. think independently
  7. break your own rules

A couple offer intriguing b2b sales insight. He and his right-hand man, the elder Charlie Munger, use a simple checklist to determine investment attraction. Their Four Filters can be readily shared with buyers that also admire Mr Buffett. Especially where your competition is not perhaps worthy.

a.  easy to understand?
b.  durable competitive advantage?
c.  management integrity?
d.  price make sense?

The nods to a pair of mentors were also of interest. Firstly, Benjamin Graham’s 1949 book, The Intelligent Investor, and it’s Mr Market allegory.

Second, Dale Carnegie’s 1937 How To Win Friends And Influence People. It was particularly apparent that he motivates through praise. Several leaders of the companies he owns talk of how they’re made to feel that they can do anything. This clearly spurs them on not to let him down.

His own quote when stepping in to mend Salomon Brother’s reporting deceit was also telling;

lose the company money and I will be understanding,
lose the company a shred of reputation and I will be ruthless

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