In Warren Buffet’s biography by Alice Schroeder, The Snowball, Buffet’s genius regarding stock picks was rooted in two things. First, he understood that he was buying the value of a business. He wasn’t interested in whether it was popular or not, but what the value of the business would be if it shut its doors right then and sold off for parts. Second, he relied on his fast knowledge of history regarding stock picks. He tirelessly poured over countless Moody’s Manuals to understand stock values. Many times he would lock himself in his office while his kids were playing. He sacrificed everything for the sake of becoming the premier financial advisor of our time; if not all time.
As lawyers, we rely heavily on precedents that the courts have handed down throughout history. Yet how much time do we actually spend reading cases? How many cases have you read in the last week? Month? Year? The best way to become an excellent lawyer is to pour over past cases and see how the court has dealt with the issues over time.
As leaders in the firm, we must also invest time in looking at leaders of the past. While there may not be numerous books of law firm leaders throughout history, we can spend time focusing on the habits of business leaders in other fields and apply their principles to our firm. Read biographies like Buffet’s. Read personal development books by John Maxwell. Whatever you do, start now. Perhaps one day, people will be looking at how you made history as a lawyer and a leader.