Analysis Of Warren Buffett’s Values And Leadership Qualities

I choose to research Warren Buffet because he is known as being one of the most successful investors of our time. There must be something about him that allows him to thrive and I was curious about how he was as a leader. What attributes he held that I could possibly emulate, because let’s face it, who wouldn’t like to be as successful as Warren Buffet. Warren Buffett is the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. Berkshire Hathaway is a holding company for a multitude of businesses. According to Warren (2019), Buffet is the second richest American, coming in at a net worth of over $80.8 billion. Besides his personal net worth, Berkshire Hathaway is the fifth-most valuable public company in the United States at over $350 billion. While he is clearly a very wise investor, Warren Buffett is also a successful leader. Leadership is a crucial part of any successful business, and good leadership is what Mr. Buffett portrays. The analysis given in this paper will show Warren Buffett’s values and leadership qualities, his leadership style, as well as looking into his influence he has on his followers.

In order to be so successful, it greatly helps if you are good leader/manager, especially in the eyes of the workers. Many people think of Buffett as a very successful stock picker, which he obviously is, however over the past decade, he has transitioned into a business manager; into the ‘90’s, Berkshire Hathaway’s holdings consisted of 80% stock and 20% business, but now it is the other way around. Some values that can be credited to Buffett are integrity, entrepreneurship, trust, and autonomy. One of the qualities that Buffett is known for is his knack for not getting in the way of the leaders that run his many businesses; one thing that you will never hear Warren Buffett accused of is micromanaging. Warren Buffett feels that hiring good people and then stepping aside and letting them run the business is the way to effectively manage an organization.

Furthermore, Buffett welcomes calls from his many CEO’s, but he will not bother them with meetings and reports. As described by Weinreich (2014), the CEO of Brooks Sports says that has never had as much autonomy and accountability in his career. This quality of autonomy can go a long way in business. As surmised by Weinreich (2014), by trusting people to run their companies and make their own decisions, these businesses will do better than they would if upper management was constantly questioning them. Yet another quality that Warren Buffett can be attributed to is being emotionally intelligent. Emotionally intelligent leaders are excellent managers of themselves and the relationships they have with others. His very generous giving of charity can show one example of the feeling of others; Buffett has committed to giving a significant portion of his wealth, over $50 billion, to the Gates Foundation where it will be used for health promotion and education. There is no mistake that Warren Buffett shows heart, values, and relationship importance, in his many excellent leadership qualities. He is a model for business and leadership. With the leader characteristics that Warren Buffett displays, his leadership style has been described as a laissez-faire style. As described above, he is a hands-off type of manager. With the laissez-faire type of management, leaders provide little guidance, followers have the freedom to make decisions, needed resources are available, and followers are expected to solve problems. This style of leadership can best be related to the transformational style. According to, transformational leaders delegate tasks, they are concerned with ideas over process, and they are inspirational, trustworthy, and strong role models, which Warren Buffett seems to fit the bill. Transformational leadership brings higher levels of personal commitment and high expectations, again, to which Buffett seems to follow suit in the way his companies are run. With Buffett’s style of leadership and his autonomy management approach, getting his employees/managers to follow is not a problem. Not only does Buffett gives praise where it is due, he will also freely admit when he is wrong. In a letter to shareholders, he gave praise to his home office staff, pointing out the many challenging tasks they accomplish; in the same letter, he pointed out his mistake of his prediction of the housing market.

Buffet possesses the skill of knowing how to delegate. This is a skill that not everyone has. For instance, assigning jobs because a person is nice or funny is a sign of poor delegation skills however people do things such as this everyday within the workforce. Nevertheless, laissez faire is a leadership style that a strong method of working environments when strong skill sets are necessary for instance, first responders work together and may give specific instructions however in many of the scenarios they face requires quick thinking with little time to consult. Warren Buffett is an example of laissez faire management style primarily because he knows the value of a strong team. Whereas Warren Buffet has partaken in many endeavors throughout his career he is humble enough to not let previous success get in the way of new endeavors. Warren Buffet not only invests but takes the time to learn about the intricacies of many of his business dealings. This happens by having a team of experts he can rely on in any endeavor he is a part of. 

Through Warren Buffet’s successes it easy to see that he is not a one man show this shows the strongest benefits of delegative leadership styles. You will not find Warren Buffett flaunting his wealth and can even be a bit frugal. He is very mindful of others money. In an annual board meeting, Buffett noted to his shareholders that airlines often raise prices around the annual meeting in Omaha and offered them alternative options to fly into, saving them money. Between his praise, not being afraid to show he is human and can make mistakes, and his autonomy of his CEO’s, Warren Buffett easily creates a positive influence on all that follow. 

The evidence has shown Warren Buffett’s values and leadership qualities, the type of leadership style he follows, as well as his influence he has on his followers. Buffett brings to the table are integrity, entrepreneurship, trust, and autonomy. His leadership style is sometimes described as laissez-faire, which can be closely related to a transformational type or delegative. With his respect and autonomy, as well as open discussions he welcomes with his CEO’s, it is no wonder he has no problem influencing his CEO’s and employees alike. Warren Buffett is a great example of not only a very respectable and wise businessperson, but a great leader as well. 

16 August 2021
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