Lessons in Candor from Warren Buffett

The golden rule of investor partnership: I want to communicate to my investors as I would wish they would communicate to me.

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.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Car culture and suburban sprawl create rifts in society, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Pixabay
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists reverse hair loss by making scalp "smell" sandalwood

It turns out the human scalp has an olfactory receptor that seems to play a crucial role in regulating hair follicle growth and death.

Photo: malehmann via Flickr
Surprising Science
  • Scientists treated scalp tissue with a chemical that mimics the odor of sandalwood.
  • This chemical bound to an olfactory receptor in the scalp and stimulated hair growth.
  • The treatment could soon be available to the public.
Keep reading Show less

NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Flickr / 13winds
Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Keep reading Show less