Warren Buffett’s ‘10 Commandments’ for Board Leaders

Businessman walking up stairs into arrow shaped door

Warren Buffett is perhaps the most recognized name in the history of American corporate governance. As the leader of Berkshire Hathaway, a multinational conglomerate holding company, Buffett has become one of the most accomplished businesspersons of all time. Because of his immense success, Buffett’s advice carries with it great weight and authority. Many of his essays and letters have been collected for publication, and he’s known among journalists for his quotable quips and reasonable advice for investors.

Recently, a George Washington University professor named Lawrence Cunningham compiled a list of Buffett’s most important guidelines for corporate directors, which was published in the latest edition of NACD’s Directorship magazine. You can read a condensed and edited version of that article here. These “ten commandments” for business leaders, as Cunningham calls them, are what Buffett cites for his vast amount of boardroom triumphs.
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Corporate Titans Call for Better Governance in WSJ Ad

Corporate Governance

If you’re perusing the latest issue of The Wall Street Journal, take a moment to flip to the back of section A. You won’t be able to miss the full-page spread that was secured by 13 of the country’s most influential business leaders. The ad, which is signed by people like Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway and Mary Barra from General Motors, has one major purpose: to offer up commonsense governance principles “in the hope that they will promote further conversation on corporate governance.”

The article, which is also presented in full at www.governanceprinciples.org, begins by outlining how the future of the economy relies heavily on companies “being managed effectively for long-term prosperity.” It points out that millions of Americans’ retirement savings, college savings, plans to buy a home, and more are directly affected by decisions made by board members at major corporations. The authors continue by insisting that although they don’t agree on every single aspect of corporate governance, they can offer up six major principles on which they can agree. The principles are summarized in the main article but can be viewed in depth here.

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