Business Strategy: I Cede the Floor to Jeff and Warren!
I was supposed to be at a convention this week but stayed home to handle a challenge that arose. So, I found myself with a pretty blank calendar. My initial anxiety turned to joy when I spent a good deal of time reading. I finished Jim Comey’s book and am anxious to see how that whole thing plays out. On the business front, I wanted to share two suggestions.
To prepare for an upcoming meeting with people who sell product through Amazon, I was rereading Jeff Bezos’ Annual Letter to Shareholders and realized I needed to share it. Click the link now and then come back here for more.
Pretty good, huh?! I once wrote a blog critical of Bezos early in his Amazon tenure because I didn’t think the company would make money. As a percentage of revenue, its profits still stink, but what a business model he has built! (Truth in advertising: I bought a few shares a while back.)
I also once wrote a blog titled “The Top 10 Business Mistakes I’ve Made”, in which I admitted to owning several Berkshire Hathaway Class A shares and selling them in 1995 because Warren Buffett was “old.” What a dumbass! (Sorry kids, your inheritance is a lot less attractive than it should be!)
In spite of that mistake, I continue to read Warren Buffett’s Annual Letter to Shareholders yearly. This is a bit more hardcore business than Bezos’ letter but written with humor, simplicity and brilliance. I mean, who writes about M&A activity like this?
“… the CEO job self-selects for ‘can-do’ types. If Wall Street analysts or board members urge that brand of CEO to consider possible acquisitions, it’s a bit like telling your ripening teenager to be sure to have a normal sex life.”
If you can’t pick out 10 or 15 business (and life) lessons in his letter, you’re not paying attention!
Back to my own content next week.
Todd coaches CEOs to higher levels of success. He is a former CEO and has led teams as large as 7,000 people. Todd is the author of, Never Kick a Cow Chip On A Hot Day: Real Lessons for Real CEOs and Those Who Want To Be (Morgan James Publishing).