3. Create a bottleneck.
Creating what Turner calls a "bottleneck" is typically viewed negatively, as in operational nightmare, but it can also be a positive thing for a business.
"A bottleneck is a consistent filter or screen," Turner says. "In Buffett's example, he is the decision-maker. All things flow through him or Charlie Munger."
To be sure, this isn't the same as being a micro-manager, something Buffett is most certainly not, but when it comes to final decision-making -- that's all Buffett.
"An organization can take advantage of a bottleneck through a core leader, or group of leaders, because he can make fast and finite decisions," Turner says.Or a business owner may want to slow down the decision-making process so an organization doesn't get ahead of itself. "It can create or manage the pace that a company elects to grow at or make decisions, but it can also open the floodgates to grow," he adds. 4. Surround yourself with a trusted team.
Oftentimes small businesses, particularly start-ups, make decisions based on emotion. Having a central group of trusted confidants can help smooth the decision-making process for business owners. Buffett's "core unit doesn't change," Turner says. "Few core people are let into his decision-making process. It can be construed as a negative. But I would disagree. I think that trust and experience is a key piece." 5. Admit mistakes and fix them.
Making a blind decision is not Buffett's style. "He does his own homework and he makes his own decisions," Shinick says. "He is someone that learns from his mistakes. He is not afraid to make a decision for fear of making a mistake." Buffett also allows investors and followers to see the lighter side of being a business tycoon. "When I took control of Berkshire in 1965, I didn't exploit this advantage," Buffett wrote in his shareholder letter last year. "Berkshire was then only in textiles, where it had in the previous decade lost significant money. The dumbest thing I could have done was to pursue 'opportunities' to improve and expand the existing textile operation -- so for years that's exactly what I did. And then, in a final burst of brilliance, I went out and bought another textile company. Aaaaaaargh! Eventually I came to my senses, heading first into insurance and then into other industries." -- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York. To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to: Laurie.Kulikowski@thestreet.com.
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