Warren Buffett has worked his way to being the 2nd wealthiest man in the world with his fabled investing techniques, heads a huge conglomerate worth around $400 billion, but somehow still manages to keep his schedule wide open. In fact, that’s a quality about himself that Buffett takes great pride in.
“A lot of CEOs get into a lot of the rituals that are part of the job. I would rather deliver papers than be the CEO of GE. They have too much stuff to do that is a big pain.”
Buffett considers himself lucky with Berkshire, because he simply says no and there is no one who can force him to do it. Of course, I don’t think he’s slacking by any means— rather than having his more than 70 CEO’s who run various businesses for Berkshire meet with bankers or lawyers, Berkshire takes care of that. Not all companies can be so lucky, but since Berkshire is a holding company it looks like it found a system that works for Buffett, who acts as CEO of the conglomerate, as well as his acting CEO’s of Berkshire’s subsidiaries.
Buffett can admit that he doesn’t always use his time in a way that will benefit Berkshire; he enjoys hours of bridge each week and enjoys partaking in plenty of media exposure so that people can judge him by his own words— can you blame him?
“I like the idea of being judged by my own words, rather than someone trying to write a few words and summarizing me… I like the accuracy of reporting. Best use of time? It works fine.”
Buffett has plenty of advice about keeping good time management, including his easy steps to focusing on what you want and warning against management boredom. Ultimately, I think the octogenarian is simply happy to have found a career with a company that he can tap dance to work every day with, while not feeling bored or overworked.