In his early years, Warren was a socially awkward and fairly introverted person. He used to be terrified of public speaking and had a difficult time dealing with people in general. To be successful in business and especially investments, it is absolutely essential to master these skills.
- How do I motivate the people working for me to excel?
- What determines the price of any security at any given time?
- How can I get the owner of company xyz to sell his/her business to me?
Buffett recognized his weakness early on. But how did Buffett overcome his anxieties and become one of the most adept business men and investors of all time? – The answer is simple. He learned from the master!
Dale Carnegie dedicated his life to find out what makes people tick and how we are best influenced. He offered courses on public speaking and eventually wrote a book so important, that it should be lie on everyone’s night stand! The book I am referring to of course is called “How to win friends and influence people”.
My favourite example of how Buffett directly applies one of Carnegie’s principles can be found in his 2006 letter to shareholders, where he states: “But the driving force behind the company’s success is Kevin Clayton. Kevin knows the business forward and backward, is a rational decision-maker and a joy to work with.” Being singled out and praised like this in a much anticipated, globally read and revered paper, is going to have a huge effect on a guy. I bet these two sentences motivated Clayton far more than any sum of money could have. If you disagree, please read the book!