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surrounding yourself with the right people

The Power of Association: Warren Buffett’s Advice on Surrounding Yourself with the Right People for Success

Warren Buffett, the renowned billionaire investor and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, is not only known for his exceptional investing prowess but also for his wisdom on life and success. In his book, The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life, author Alice Schroeder highlights Buffett’s valuable insights on the importance of the company we keep. According to Buffett, the people we choose to surround ourselves with can significantly impact our path to success or failure. In this article, we delve into three types of individuals Warren Buffett suggests we include in our lives to enhance our personal and professional growth.

  1. Mentors: Guiding Lights on the Journey

In the pursuit of success, mentorship plays a pivotal role in shaping one’s career development. Buffett emphasizes the significance of finding trusted individuals who have already traversed the path we aspire to embark on. These mentors become part of our inner circle, offering guidance and advice based on their wealth of experience. By associating with mentors and sages, we gain access to their wisdom and success traits. As the adage goes, we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Hence, it is essential to cultivate relationships with those who can help us learn, grow, and advance in our careers.

  1. Contrarians: Breaking Barriers and Sparking Innovation

Contrarians are the trailblazers who challenge the status quo, daring to think, act, and innovate in unconventional ways. These entrepreneurially minded individuals are not afraid to tread uncharted paths and “break new things.” When we surround ourselves with contrarians, we expose ourselves to their disruptive ideas and unconventional wisdom. By absorbing their perspectives, we unlock our own creative and entrepreneurial thinking, enabling us to push boundaries and embrace new opportunities.

  1. People with Emotional Intelligence: Nurturing Empathy and Leadership

In the realms of leadership and business ownership, emotional intelligence (EQ) holds immense significance alongside intellectual intelligence (IQ). Buffett recognizes the value of associating with individuals who possess a high level of emotional intelligence. By spending time with people who exhibit self-awareness and empathy, we have the opportunity to learn and develop these vital skills within ourselves. Emotional intelligence allows us to recognize and manage our emotions effectively, while also influencing the emotions of others. As we observe and absorb the behavior of emotionally intelligent individuals, our own EQ is sharpened, enhancing our work effectiveness and interpersonal relationships.


Warren Buffett’s timeless wisdom transcends his legendary investing acumen. He reminds us that the company we keep has a profound impact on our personal and professional growth. By surrounding ourselves with individuals who are better, smarter, and possess qualities we aspire to acquire, we open ourselves to a world of opportunities. Mentors guide us on our journey, contrarians inspire us to challenge the norm, and emotionally intelligent individuals teach us the art of empathy and effective leadership. As we absorb their knowledge, wisdom, and success habits, we elevate our own capabilities and increase our chances of achieving success. So, let us heed Buffett’s advice and consciously choose to associate with those who can inspire, challenge, and empower us on our path to greatness.


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