We have written about some this before; how we as a culture and sports and entertainment as industries are always looking to get younger and faster. It’s why there is a huge rush for esports, engaged mostly by those under 30, vs. a bigger audience of gaming and casual games, which is actually a larger audience that can be just if not more brand loyal, has more disposable income and because of the improvement in lifestyle, can be around for decades now.
So it is with that I offer up some great advice from two who in age are just over 70 a bit, but who in mind, attitude and spirit have that curiosity and youthful exuberance we should all aspire to.
One I know a bit, Dr. Harvey Schiller; the other I don’t know at all but know of, “The Oracle of Omaha,” Warren Buffett. Dr. Schiller spoke at Columbia on Monday night (while I was ironically in Philadelphia celebrating youth, first with my now 19 year old son Andrew and then on Tuesday speaking to the Sports Management program at Drexel), while Buffett was featured by Jane Pauley Sunday morning on CBS. Their advice and their leadership, is timeless, and in a time when leadership is more about yelling and criticizing, is worth noting.
Some tidbits picked up from Dr. Schiller:
“Most people don’t understand that their success depends upon the success of their boss. It is a difficult thing to understand” We all want to think we know it all and can do it better; however learning and watching from those above can probably take us further, and avoid the mistakes of the past.
“Leadership is not managing. Managing handles the day to day. A leader needs to earn trust, and that way take the company to the next level.” Building consensus and taking the time to be calm amidst a sea of chaos are two often forgotten tools of leadership; another is having the ability to trust in others…we can’t get it done alone.
“You don’t need to know how to change the tires in order to fly a place.” Dr. Schiller reminds us that a leader cannot be risk-adverse and frankly doesn’t have to have all the answers; admitting there is more to know vs. just thinking that you have to answer every question, every time, is key to success.
And on to a few from the leader of Berkshire Hathaway…
“Your richness is measured by how many people love you.” We often think that climbing over people just to get what we want makes us a success. In reality it’s the human capital, and the impact on others, that we should be measured by.
“I want to be remembered as a teacher.” The best leaders, coaches and executives learn and lead by example. It sounds easy but it is not, and teaching, in small or large doeses, is one of the most pleasurable and desired skills one can have.
“Detach yourself from fear or greed.” Like Dr. Schiller, Buffet touched a great deal on being able to be a calming voice and not panicing when the chips are down. Sometimes easier said than done, but listening, learning and moving people to a safe place is still a huge part of leadership.
You can watch the CBS piece here, it is worth your time.
So while we all get caught up, and rightfully so sometimes, in the value of who is coming next, lets not forget those who have gotten it done. They have lots to say, and we need to listen more.