Archive for December 22, 2008
As we are easing out of the weekend, and the snow was first being replaced by freezing rain and now by bright and sunny weather here on The Cape, it seems like an appropriate time to wrap up the Snow & The Snowball series. This article will conclude our discussion on The Snowball which is the biography of Warren Buffett. As a refresher three pertinent points were identified from this book:
- Accumulating wealth may be likened to building a snowball
- Zig when everyone else zags
- Marry up, not down
In Part I we discussed how building anything of quality, whether it is wealth, a business, an individual or company brand may be likened to building a snowball, by adding to it a little over time it gradually accumulates significant value. In Part II we discussed why following the crowd is often not desirable. Finally, today I will wrap things up and discuss the concept of marrying up.
Marry Up, Not Down
This may seem like silly advice, especially from the biography of one of the greatest financial minds and richest men in the world. At first reading you may find this to be a cold statement and akin to using someone for gain. However, Warren Buffett, and other successful people I had heard this advice from, are not talking about money, fame, or success. In a time when everyone seems to be discarding the old for the next best thing, what can possibly be more important than money or social standing?
Although he does not flat out say it; my interpretation of this statement is to marry someone with class. I will not get into the concept of class, because I will delve into that much deeper this week in future posts, however I will say that it has little to nothing to do with money, fame, or success and it is really an intangible. I am willing to bet that he meant that whomever you marry should bring something to the table and the couple as a whole team should be greater than the sum of its individual parts. In my opinion, the true test is whether you feel better with the other half of the relationship than without, does the other person make you a better person and improve your overall situation just by their very essence of being there.
The purpose of this blog is not to provide marriage or couple advice, but rather to introduce a concept I found interesting, located in an unlikely place, which allows for further elaboration. Let’s take this a step further and expand it to all relationships, whether we are talking personal or professional relationships or just life experience in general.
In a previous post titled the Power of Positive Part III I referenced a quote from John F. Kennedy, specifically – “A rising tide lifts all boats.” Marrying up is the same fundamental concept. When a person marries up they join a partnership where they realize that “A rising tide lifts all boats” and that in order for another candle to be lit, the original does not need to be extinguished, meaning that the success of another does not extinguish their success, but quite the opposite – it enhances it. In my opinion this concept should be applied to all relationships.
A true test, is how you feel before and after when you are interacting with a person, group, or organization . If you are like me you may tend to procrastinate and not enjoy starting anything, regardless of the task, but once into it excel, and then at completion be completely energized and feel better for having a particular experience. Ask yourself this simple question after each life experience – Do I feel better after said experience then when I started? If the answer is yes you are all set, if the answer is no, there is some fine tuning to be done.
“Marry Up” and surround yourself with others who lift you up and propel you to success!