The Warren Buffet Method

Warren Buffet, the legendary investor and “Oracle of Omaha” presents a straightforward approach to understanding complex subject matter and solving complex problems.  What Warren’s presentation best illustrates is how to reduce complex subject matters down to their very essence while giving practical methods for solving the complex problems you face. After you strip down a problem to its essence, Warren tells us that the next step is to focus on what you can practically do about it. After you identify which actions you can take, you need to have the discipline to not only take the action, but to test that process at a later date.  This, Warren explains, is the key to long-term personal growth and success.  This is my experience as well, and I find the process Warren describes as a baseline protocol for every success (big or small) in life.

So, here is the exercise/instruction Warren describes to achieve the self-improvement and personal growth we all desire—the Warren Buffet Method to become your best self!  Warren tells us:

  • Get out a sheet of paper and write down what you are doing and the reasons for doing it. 
  • Do this right NOW!
  • Write down the things you are doing—the actions you are taking right now—and the reason you are doing them. What are the reasons you are taking the physical actions you are in the midst of right now?

The purpose for this exercise, explains Warren, is to allow you to test your reasoning for doing the things you do. This exercise gives you the opportunity to learn where you were right and where you were wrong. This process creates a feedback loop of personal learning and growth and lets you look back at your prior decisions and self-correct to make better decisions in the future. Warren explains:

  • When you look back, grade yourself (A, B, C, D, F) on what you did and the reason for doing it.
  • Did you get the results you intended? Did it turn out that the action you took aligned with the reason behind what you were doing, as you look back today? Do a post mortem on your decision making. 
  • Learn from your own mistakes! Everyone is going makes mistakes, but you want to try to make your mistakes when you are young. 
  • By the way, you can also learn more from other’s mistakes, as well as your own.

To help you implement the Warren Buffet Method, I have created a simple worksheet below based on how Warren describes his method.  Download this worksheet to get started. I have included ten lines in the worksheet to record the top ten things you are doing—right now. It is critical that you write the top ten things you are doing, no matter what they are. Look at your current actions, not what you intend, want or wish your actions to be. Noticing if there is a discrepancy between what your actions are, and what you wish them (or intend them) to be is a critical aspect of your own analysis. Write down only your current actions.  If you are taking actions on more than ten items, that’s fine, write them all down. But remember, there is a 24-hour limit in the day, and we want to know what you are doing now! What are you most focused on in terms of your current actions?

Date:   ___________________

  What actions are you taking right now? What is your reason for this action? Test your reasoning in one week & grade yourself (A, B, C, D, F) Test your reasoning in one month & grade yourself (A, B, C, D, F)

Then in one week, one month, one year, test your reasoning! This is the key aspect of the Method. Without the discipline to test yourself and analyze your results, you will not receive the full benefit of the Method that Warren articulates.  Print the worksheet and tape it to your wall, pin it to a board, or attach a file to a future date on your calendar.  Set a calendar invite in the future to review your reasoning and performance. Complete the cycle by reviewing (A) did you take the action you describe and did you execute that action to your fullest capability; and (B) did that action produce the result for the reason you thought it would. If so, why? If not, why? Continue the process on a weekly, monthly, or annual cycle—this is the Warren Buffet Method.