Warren Buffet – Be That Person

If you had the right to buy 10% of someone you know for the rest of his or her life. Who would you pick?


“Think for a moment that I granted you the right to buy 10% of one of your classmates for the rest of his other lifetime. You can’t pick one with a rich father. That doesn’t count. You’ve got to pick somebody who is going to do it on their own merit, and I gave you an hour to think about it. Which one are you going to pick among your classmates as for the one you want to own 10% of for the of a lifetime? Are you going to give them an IQ test, pick the one with the highest IQ? I doubt it. Are you going to pick the one with the best grades? I doubt it.

You’re not even going to pick the most energetic one necessarily or the one who displays the most initiative, but if you’re going to start looking for qualitative factors in addition to … Because everybody’s got enough brains here and enough energy. I would say if you thought about it for an hour, decided who you’re going to place that bet on, you’d probably pick the one who you responded the best to, the one that was going to have the leadership qualities, the one that’s going to be able to get other people to carry out their interest. That would be the person who’s generous, honest, gave credit to other people for their own ideas, all kinds of qualities like that.

It’s not the ability to throw a football 60 yards. It’s not the ability to run the 100 yard dash and 9.3. It’s not being the best looking person in the class. They’re all qualities that if you really want to have the ones on the left hand side, you can have them. They are qualities of behavior, temperament, character that are achievable. They’re not forbidden to anybody in this group. I would suggest that if you write those qualities down and think about them a little while and make them habitual, you will be the one that you want to buy 10% of when you get all through. The beauty of it is you already own 100%. You’re stuck with it, so you might as well be that person.”

– Warren Buffett