NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- If we can define a leader as an individual with the ability to influence others, then there is no other leader in U.S. business such as Warren Buffett. In fact, Buffett may be the most trusted leader in the corporate world today. The Wall Street Journal reported that Buffett, along with pal Bill Gates, spoke at Columbia University last week telling the students that there was no better place to invest than the United States.
Of course, there are a lot of business gurus telling the world that the U.S. is the best, but Buffett speaks with a credibility that few enjoy.
While most of us are not in a position to spend billions of dollars on anything (I just got back from Walt Disney World (DIS) and struggled with $5 sodas!), there are some lessons of leadership that can be learned from the Oracle concerning how leaders establish the kind of credibility that he is known for. As usual, it is not so much the "what" that he does as it is the "how" that he does it.
Transparency: Just a little while ago, Buffett offered to buy the remaining shares of Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNI) that Berkshire (BRK.A) did not already own. When asked why he invests the way he does, Buffett is usually not shy in explaining his thinking, even if it is contrary to the public view. At a time when many investors are trying to figure out new technology sectors that are hard to understand and even harder to predict, Buffett explains his investment in Burlington in a straightforward way.
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