I’ve been dining on a sumptuous “Buffett” lunch (yes you wordophiles, I misspelled that on purpose :-0). The book “The Real Warren Buffett” is a winner in my opinion. Warren is the fourth wealthiest man on the planet and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, the giant conglomerate of investment, banking, insurance and other diverse business interests. What Buffett doesn’t know about management is not worth knowing.
But Warren doesn’t march to the beat of the Harvard Business School strategies, in fact his advice often runs opposite to traditional business approaches. Before we get to his three fantastic, counter cultural approaches, let me first say that many coaching business owners would already do the following three things. However we would be doing them because we lack purpose, intention or planning – and we do not replace the “don’t” with a powerful do. So please don’t take this list as an endorsement of laziness or poor planning – instead, model yourself on one of the best business CEO’s in the world.
No strategic plan
Firstly, Buffett doesn’t have a strategic plan – at all. He says plans let the company get a life of its own, and people start serving their own self-interest. Instead he has a guiding light, a principle, a view on the way things go. They are ready at all times to act on opportunity, and they are also content to wait if none arise. They have clearly defined what an opportunity is and what minimum return needs to be.
No employee contracts
Secondly, Buffett doesn’t have employee contracts or job descriptions. He wants heart – loyalty – integrity expressed in action. He gives you absolute freedom to play with the reputation, the investment, the growth and be rewarded, but you have to own your stuff and take full responsibility for your decisions.
No staff handbook
Thirdly, Buffett uses no staff manual or employee handbook. Instead there is an “Owners Manual” with five simple principles:
- The people are the company. Associates, managers, supervisors and employees must behave like manager-partners. This is their business.
- Success is measured by progress not size. Success is measured by return on investment and staff will be rewarded accordingly.
- Management desires come second. Departmental wish lists are be subordinate to owners’ interests.
- Noble intentions will be checked. Aspirations are held against actual results.
- There must be absolute candour in reporting. Owners will be told all the highs and lows.
If you’re after some more fantastic ideas about running your own coaching business, please drop over and take a look at our free webinar “9 Things we’ve learned about running a coaching business” from the Coach Mentor Podcast.