Warren Buffett’s Pilot: The Power of Elimination in Goal Setting


Warren Buffett's Pilot: The Power of Elimination in Goal Setting


First, you are on board with the idea that Warren Buffett is someone we can trust for great advice on productive living , right? I mean he was objectively the most successful investor of the 20th century...

Ok, if you're onboard with that, it's story time!

The Story of Mike Flint

Mike Flint was the personal pilot for Buffett for 10 years. He was a high achiever (no pun intended). He flew for 4 US presidents and was clearly great at his job. 

But, he wanted more form life. 

Like any good boss, Buffett wanted more for him as well.

So, when you have access to one of the highest achievers of all time, you're naturally going to want to ask them for advice. So, Flint approached Buffett and asked him for guidance. 

Buffett gave Flint a 3 part assignment. 

This assignment is so powerful that we felt this mini course would be incomplete if we didn't include it. 

In the next module, we've created a worksheet that makes this process easy to complete.


Step #1 Buffett Asked Flint to Write Down His Top 25 Career Goals

This is where the assignment starts. You can choose a different timeline if you'd like. It could be as short as "these are my 25 goals for the week." 


Step #2 Buffett Asked Flint to Review the List and Choose His Top 5 Most Important Goals

Flint took some time deliberating and ended up with 5 goals from the 25 that he felt were most important to him. 


Step #3 Focus on the Five Goals and Avoid the Other 20 Like the Plague

Flint Told Buffett he'd focus on the top 5. Buffett then asked him what he'd do with the other 20 items.

Flint told Buffett, "Well, the top 5 are my primary focus, but the other 20 come in a close second. They are still important so I’ll work on those intermittently as I see fit. They are not as urgent, but I still plan to give them a dedicated effort."

Buffett shut him down and said, "No. You’ve got it wrong, Mike. Everything you didn’t circle just became your Avoid-At-All-Cost list. No matter what, these things get no attention from you until you’ve succeeded with your top 5

The Takeaway: There Is Power in Extreme Elimination

One of the catch 22s of being a high achiever is that you have many goals you want to achieve. Chasing all of them at the same time or sporadically kills our productivity and focus on what matters the most. 

Having the guts and discipline to say no to things of lower importance is a key to success for high performers. If you take one thing from this course, let it be this concept.

Now, head into the next lesson and complete your own version of this worksheet!

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