It was 2004 and Warren Buffett was fielding questions from people in the audience at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska.
Teenager Justin Fong from California asked the billionaire Buffett what advice he would give a young person on how to be successful.
Buffett said: “It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.”
Buffett taught a life lesson for all of us about absorbing the very qualities and traits of successful people who will elevate us and make us better as leaders, workers, and human beings.
Surround yourself with better and smarter people
The people you choose to be around truly matter for your career progression. When you choose to surround yourself with better and smarter individuals and learn from their success habits, you absorb their knowledge and become better and smarter yourself.
When thinking about taking Buffett’s advice to better ourselves, the first step is to consciously choose to engage people further along the path so you can pick up their positive habits of success.
Here are three types of people to surround yourself with today.
- People with character
People operating with character and integrity can be trusted; you never have to worry about their actions, or whether they’re hiding anything from anyone. A person with character brings more truth and truth-tellers to the business, which makes it very attractive to those seeking honest brands. A culture of character differentiates itself from the rest and is the core and essence of any great company.
- People who live by their values
Successful people have an unwavering commitment to living their values and often measure their success by them. This is especially the case when life throws them a curveball and things get dicey. Through thick and thin, they stick with their values because their values define who they are and what their core business and mission are about in order to best serve others.
- People who are legitimately loved by others.
As depicted in Buffett’s biography, The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life, Buffett once was asked about his greatest success and greatest failure, to which he responded: “When you get to my age, you’ll really measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you.” He added, “I know people who have a lot of money … but the truth is that nobody in the world loves them. That’s the ultimate test of how you have lived your life.”