Warren Buffett on Don Keough… A Valuable Lesson for All Leaders

Warren Buffett, considered by many experts to be one of the best, brightest and most successful business leaders in the world, wrote the following about his lifelong friend and business colleague Don Keough:  “After all these years, every time I see Don Keough I feel as refreshed as I do after drinking a Cherry Coke.  He never loses his carbonation.  Don is as enthusiastic and committed as ever, full of plans, energy, ideas, daring us all to dream.”

Don Keough is a great leader.  As president and COO of The Coca-Cola Company, with world-wide responsibility for operations for well over a decade, Don was nothing less than a spectacularly effective and successful leader.  Great leaders like Don Keough provide “carbonation,” as Warren Buffett put it, as well as inspiration and a vision for the future.

When was the last time you did a careful, thorough checkup on your leadership carbonation, inspiration and vision for the future?  As is the case with Warren Buffett and Don Keough, great friends and colleagues, those you truly trust and respect, are a great source of honest, reality-based feedback… as well as timely, constructive advice.

Allow me to make what could well turn out to be a valuable, almost priceless suggestion… if you take it seriously and take accountability to make it happen.  Make a list of 5 trusted, respected personal friends.  Make a list of 5 trusted, respected professional or business colleagues.  Over the next 3 months (do it now or you never will) make a point to seek honest perspectives regarding your leadership carbonation, inspiration and vision for the future from these highly trusted, highly respected friends and colleagues.

You will be amazed by what you learn!  You will find this experience extremely insightful and useful!  How could you not benefit?  How could you go wrong by careful, receptive listening and learning from the insights and perspectives of friends and colleagues you respect and trust?  You can’t go wrong.  There is no downside!  Only upside!

If you implement this suggestion with a sincere, open desire to learn and improve, I’m betting that 10 years from now, you will rank this activity and this overall experience among the top 5 most productive, insightful, and useful personal and professional development activities of the past decade!

It bears repeating!  You will be truly amazed by what you learn!  You will find this experience extremely insightful and useful!  How could you not benefit?  How could you go wrong by careful, receptive listening and learning from the insights and perspectives of highly respected, highly trusted friends and colleagues?  You can’t go wrong.  There is no downside!  Only upside!

Leadership “carbonation,” inspiration and vision for the future… critical leadership priorities worth pursuing with trusted friends and colleagues… and worth improving for the rest of your life!

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I am a leader, speaker, and author who is passionate about Leadership Excellence and Achieiving Greater Success. I am the author of the books Be An Inspirational Leader(2016) and Presidential Leadership (2013), and deliver keynote presentations on those topics and several others.

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