We can all agree that Warren Buffett is an investing genius. But quite often we get much more wisdom from the Oracle of Omaha outside of his investing expertise. We can thank his father, Howard Buffett, for some of Warren's wise life strategies for success.
Take, for example, the principle of having an "Inner Scorecard." As Warren shares:
I got an awful lot of good advice from my dad. He taught me that it's more important in terms of what's in your inner scorecard than your outer scorecard. Some people get into a position where they think all the time what the world is going to think of this or that, instead of what they themselves are going to think about it.
The big idea here comes down to one overarching life principle: How people make wise decisions and live a fulfilling life comes down to whether they have an Inner Scorecard or an Outer Scorecard. What's the difference between the two?
The Inner Scorecard comes from within and speaks your truth. It defines who you are and how you operate based on your values and beliefs. In short, it's taking the higher road to achieve success.
The Outer Scorecard is an external measure of success defined by those around you. It's often driven by greed and attempts to answer elusive questions like "What do people think of me, my success, my image, or my brand?"
Living by your Inner Scorecard
One of Buffett's defining characteristics is that he clearly lives by his Inner Scorecard. He also believes we can be satisfied by living with our own Inner Scorecard. Here are three examples of how the billionaire has successfully done it.
1. First, make sure to pass it down to your children.
In his biography, Buffett stresses the importance of teaching your children the principle of the Inner Scorecard, as his dad taught him: "In teaching your kids, I think the lesson they're learning at a very, very early age is what their parents put the emphasis on. If all the emphasis is on what the world's going to think about you, forgetting about how you really behave, you'll wind up with an Outer Scorecard. Now my dad: He was a hundred percent Inner Scorecard guy."
2. Be around people better than you.
One of the greatest gifts I've received is that of learning from my mentors -- more experienced entrepreneurs and leaders further down the path. Buffett said in The Snowball, "I learned that it pays to hang around with people better than you are because you will float upward a little bit. And if you hang around with people that behave worse than you, pretty soon you'll start sliding down the pole. It just works that way."
3. Known when to walk away
Buffett quickly learned early in his career that the greatest commodity of all is time. To manage his effectively, he learned to say no to things and opportunities that didn't speak his truth. He then remained focused on saying yes to the few things that truly matter to him. The mega mogul said, "The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything."
4. Make your biggest decisions grounded in integrity
Do you practice what you preach and follow through on your promises or commitments? Walking the talk of integrity is a noble idea but is a tough measure to attain--it means holding yourself accountable to a high standard absent of outside influences that come with the temptations of an Outer Scorecard.
The rewards, though, are worth it. When leaders make decisions in integrity, you're seeing their character in full view. You don't question who they are or whether they have your best interest in mind (because they always do).
Buffett would agree that integrity is a non-negotiable trait above all traits, especially when assessing job candidates during the interview process. As he has stated in the past, "We look for three things when we hire people. We look for intelligence, we look for initiative or energy, and we look for integrity. And if they don't have the latter, the first two will kill you, because if you're going to get someone without integrity, you want them lazy and dumb."