Collection: Charlie Munger - #143 'What Do You Look For In A Leader?'

Video Link: https://youtu.be/a4J57AEO-ks

In this episode, Charlie Munger was asked what does he look for in a leader? And does he and Warren have any tricks or shortcuts to size people up quickly and accurately?

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • What Charlie Munger look for in a leader?

  • Tom Murphy's system of management.

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(Source: https://youtu.be/Pp4CvjNw-9Y)


Charlie, Red Madison. You and Warren have been adept at quickly sizing people up, particularly business leaders and potential business partners. What do you look for in a leader? And do you and Warren have any tricks or shortcuts to size people up quickly and accurately?


Well, of course, if a person is a chronic drunk, we avoid him. Everybody has shortcuts to screen out certain hazards. And we probably have more of those shortcuts than others. And they’ve served us well over the years.

One of the great advantages of the way Berkshire operates is that we associate with a lot of marvelous people. And if you stop to think about it, that is also true at the Daily Journal.

What little newspaper company has come through the crisis of this destroying of all the newspapers better than the little Daily Journal? And we’ve had marvelous people here to help us do it through very difficult times and one of them is Gerry Salzman.

Gerry and I have been together, how many years Gerry?


Early 70s.


Early 70s. And it’s rather interesting. I recognized early that Gerry could run anything he wanted to run. And when the old CEO of the Daily Journal died, Gerry was managing the business affairs of the Munger Tolles law firm. But he previously worked for Rick Guerin and me in running a little mutual fund that we bought control of. And he made a very favorable impression.

I said to Rick, we’re going to make Gerry the head of the Daily Journal. He gasped and said, but he’s never had anything to do with newspapers or anything else. I said it won’t matter. He’ll be able to do it. And we immediately ascended, we put Gerry in, and he’s made every decision wonderfully ever since. That’s our system.

Tom Murphy used to say that his system of management was to delegate just short of total abdication. And that’s the way we handled Gerry.

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