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Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Lessons in Candor from Warren Buffett

February 6, 2014, 4:00 PM

Say the word candor and what CEO comes to mind immediately? Warren Buffett.  Why?  Because when Warren started his company he actually wrote an owner's manual.  You buy a refrigerator you get an owner's manual to find out how it operates.  You buy Berkshire Hathaway stock, you get an owner's manual to find out how it operates.  The manual codifies the principles.  Principle number 12 is, “We will be candid in all our communications.”  Why?  Because it’s the golden rule of investor partnership: I want to communicate to my investors as I would wish they would communicate to me.

So this is Warren’s fervent belief, but most importantly he believes that candor is essential to avoid probably one of the biggest risks a company faces.  And what is that?  He writes, “The CEO who chooses and continues to mislead in public will eventually mislead in private.”  And time after time after time you can see when companies get into trouble it's because CEOs have lost sight of the external world and they have begun to believe the obfuscation that they’ve been living in and hearing about and perpetuating.

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

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Lessons in Candor from Warr...

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