Thoughts on Leadership: Takeaways from the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in Irvine, CA for meetings with our HSF Affiliates teams and employees. Unfortunately, an injury kept me sidelined from Omaha, NE and the 2017 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting over the weekend but I followed along with the progress and commentary that came out of the event, which provided enlightening insights into the mind and mastery of the Oracle of Omaha, Mr. Warren Buffett.

I’ve spoken before about the serendipitous connection I feel with Mr. Buffett—I was born in a town where everything was called “Berkshire,” my mom was born just 12 days apart from the famous investor and like Mr. Buffett, she used to sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” to her kids—and so it should come as no surprise that I research and review his philosophies on leadership, life and business quite closely. Here are some major takeaways gleaned from what he revealed at Saturday’s meeting:

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#20 Thoughts on Leadership: All About Omaha

By Gino Blefari

This week, my travels took me to Omaha, NE, a city smack in the middle of the U.S.A. and home to an organization we all know well, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Before this year, I had only been to—or better yet, been through—Omaha twice before, years ago as a child on a family road trip from California to my home state of Massachusetts. I remember even then, as we drove along Interstate 80, Omaha was a study in contrast, a small, urban skyline surrounded by the quintessential Midwestern scape of flat, open land.

Now I’m a seasoned Omaha visitor, with three trips to the city in the past year, most recently to attend the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting and then, just this week, to visit Vince Leisey and his team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate. Each time I return I’m struck by the distinctiveness of the city and I get the recurring feeling that this place is unlike any other; it’s easy to understand why Berkshire Hathaway would be stationed here. 

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#10 Thoughts on Leadership: In the Heart of the Berkshires

By Gino Blefari

“Now the first of December was covered with snow, and so was the turnpike from Stockton to Boston. The Berkshires seemed dream-like on account of that frosting, with ten miles behind me and ten thousand more to go.” – James Taylor, Sweet Baby James, 1970

Last week, my travels took me to the magnificent Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville, Connecticut to attend the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties Awards and Service celebration hosted by president and CEO Candace Adams and her fantastic team of agents, managers and staff. After years of living in California, enjoying the Golden State’s ever-present palm trees and perpetual sunshine, I had a distinct sense of nostalgia spending time in the decidedly chillier Northeast. Something about being back among the charm of a snowy New England town made this visit feel like a trip home.

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