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Published: May 27, 2021
Author: Aniruddha Ganguly

Contrasting Leadership Styles

The Sage of Omaha reminds me of the term ‘patient capital’. I am also reminded of the fable of the tortoise and the hare. What else does this remind you of?

Mindfulness and intentionality are important leadership traits. Brilliant leadership mindset makes people like Bezos and Buffett move slow AND fast. They know when to pounce upon an opportunity and when to wait and watch and sometimes walk away. What other leadership traits are coming to your mind?

Buffet started his journey with Berkshire Hathaway in 1964 and Bezos’ Amazon started 30 years later in 1994. Interesting to compare the last reported 2020 annual financial performances of these 2 iconic companies:

Berkshire Hathaway Assets 873.7 BUSD, Revenue 245.5 BUSD, Operating Income 55.7 BUSD, estimated 400,000 employees and recent Market Cap 665 BUSD.

Amazon Assets 321.2 BUSD, Revenue 386.0 BUSD, Operating Income 22.9 BUSD, estimated 800,000 employees and recent Market Cap 1,625 BUSD.

What leadership lessons can we learn from Buffett and Bezos beyond these numbers?

Chairman and CEO, Buffet at the age of 90 now, has given no indication of stepping down yet as CEO except informing recently that Greg Able will succeed him. When? No one knows yet!

While continuing to be Executive Chairman, Bezos at the age of 57 now, will be stepping down as CEO on 5th Jul 2021, the 25th anniversary of Amazon. Andy Jassy will succeed him.

The analogy from the fable of tortoise and hare perhaps stops here. The ‘hare’ will cross the finishing line before the ‘tortoise’ unless something unexpected happens.

The passing of the baton through leadership succession is never easy. It is playing out with Buffett for decades now.

I am reminded of Queen Elizabeth! What does it remind you of? 

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