I have to admit, I've been following Buffett for years and have myself conceded to his widely known aphorisms, even as I rolled my eyes at their simplicity.
The greatest investor of our time may not be Einstein-esque in intellect. But he did make brilliant decisions through smart investing and surrounding himself with mentors, teachers, and colleagues who shaped who he is today.
His fabled advice for successful leadership and investing, as well as living the good life, is far-reaching. Here's a small slice to take ahold of and apply this year.
1. Invest in your communication skills
"The most important investment you can make is in yourself," said Buffett. He invested in improving his capacity to communicate better at an early age, which he said would increase your worth: "One easy way to become worth 50 percent more than you are now at least is to hone your communication skills--both written and verbal."
2. Model your leadership after the best
In Buffett's 2015 letter to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett summarized how one arrives at leadership greatness in a few words:
Much of what you become in life depends on whom you choose to admire and copy.
The quote was in reference to Tom Murphy, who built Capital Cities Communications into a telecommunications empire. Murphy became Buffett's biggest admirer and taught Buffett everything he learned about managing a company.
3. Stop procrastinating
Ever sat on a decision too long and did nothing when you should've acted on it? Buffett calls this "thumb-sucking." It's stalling, procrastinating, and avoiding something that may have been your best bet to begin with to reach your goals. We're all guilty of it, and Warren Buffett is no exception.
I have passed on a couple of really big purchases that were served up to me on a platter and that I was fully capable of understanding. For Berkshire's shareholders, myself included, the cost of this thumb-sucking has been huge.
4. Follow the Buffett Formula
The Buffett Formula is far from complicated. In fact, "formula" is a bit of a misnomer. According to the Oracle of Omaha, the key to success is going to bed a little smarter each day. It may be a no-brainer, but, like a good investment, it holds the power of compounding interest. Adopt this sole principle, add in a healthy dosage of time commitment, and the results will speak for themselves.