If one of the richest people in the world offered to give you advice, would you accept it? While you may never get a chance to meet him in person, check out the advice Warren Buffett offered to a group of MBA students:
It’s All About Integrity
Warren’s focus was on the fact that success is about more than intellect and energy. He said an Omaha acquaintance stated he always looked for integrity, intelligence and energy in the people he hired.
Buffett said he wanted to dig into integrity since he knew all of the students in front of him possessed intellect and energy. Warren used the example of giving one of the students the ability to own 10% of the future earnings of one of their classmates. He said if he gave someone one hour to make this decision, they would likely chose the classmate who causes the strongest reaction in them.
Warren explained the classmate who had this impact would be one who’s a leader. This leadership quality comes from traits like generosity and always giving credit when due.
He then contrasted this by discussing which classmate someone would chose if they also had to take a short position for 10%. Buffet said this person would possess characteristics like greed and a tendency to take shortcuts.
Buffett tied these two examples together by saying you could write down the qualities of each person on the same sheet of paper. The first would go on the left side and the second would go on the right side. He then explained the desirable qualities on the left are all ones people can chose to possess, while there’s not a single one on the right people can’t chose not to change.
Warren made it clear that any student is young enough to choose what habits and patterns of behavior they want to exhibit. While it may be impossible to teach an old dog new tricks, young adults can put themselves on the path to true success by getting their core values and traits in line.