One of Buffett's most famous nuggets of pure unadulterated wisdom is key to personal success. Not only that, but it's also especially applicable in light of the tragedy surrounding the senseless killing of George Floyd.
As the nation grapples with daily protests, riots, and looting, it's fitting to me that the biggest missing element to squelch the flames of racism comes down to one four-letter word espoused by Buffett in this famous quote:
Basically, when you get to my age, you'll really measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you. That's the ultimate test of how you have lived your life. The more you give love away, the more you get.
The ultimate test.
Love is the most powerful force in the universe and, in good practice in relation to other human beings, should give you a personal or business advantage over a lifetime, as it has for Buffett.
And the best way to launch love as the ultimate test of your success is to give it away.
As Buffett says in this quote, people can't be in the position to receive love if they aren't willing to place themselves in the position to give it away. To that end, here are three ways business professionals can manifest actionable and practical love for business outcomes.
Give love away to your peers and colleagues.
Society has taught us that we have to compete and "win" at all costs to make it to the top, sometimes at the expense of others. Along the way, we became self-absorbed and forgot about service, compassion, gratitude, and respect. In other words, we forgot how to love in the workplace.
Our peers, colleagues, and co-workers are human like the rest of us; they want to experience connection, care, and kindness -- the behaviors associated with actionable love so they can feel safe and like they belong, do their best work, and perform at the highest level.
Give love away to your employees (if you're a leader).
Loving your employees is best expressed through valuing them as human beings, removing obstacles from their path, and giving them the opportunity to do what they do best every day.
Leadership love is demonstrated by encouraging employees to think and act like individual entrepreneurs; it's empowering them to take action, embrace risk, and make decisions as if they had founded the company themselves.
This is what will set them up for success. And when they succeed, your business succeeds.
Give love away to your customers.
To provide more value than your competitors, learn the rare virtue of empathy as a business practice to understand your customers on a deeper level.
Spend more time with them and develop honest relationships on a real human level of understanding about their true needs.
So many companies fail because they are more focused on adding bells and whistles to their product than listening intently first to their customers' felt needs, and then providing real value. In other words, they are more in love with their product than with their customer, which can be costly.
By putting Buffett's rule into effect -- giving more love away to get more love your way -- success is just around the corner.