Posted: February 08, 2010
The Warren Buffett/Peyton Manning secret strategy
What you can learn from the mastersTC North
What's the success strategy shared by Warren Buffett, possibly the best stock market investor of all time, and Peyton Manning, one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks of all time (three time NFL most valuable player [MVP] and the 2006 Super Bowl MVP)? They are both masters of preparation and opportunity exploitation.
They both research, study and find ways to exploit opportunities that others don't find. In Warren Buffett's1984 speech "The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville" at Columbia University, he stated his success strategy for choosing companies to invest in: "... search for discrepancies between the value of a business and the price of small pieces of that business in the market ... exploit those discrepancies without the efficient market theorist's concern as to whether it is January, or July, etc. ..."
Buffett's research doesn't just evaluate the performance and opportunity of the company as a whole, which is what most stock investors do. He breaks down the company and looks at the potential and opportunity of individual products in the market. Similarly, Manning breaks down defenses not just by looking for the basic opportunity to exploit with an offensive play versus different defensive formations, but he also studies and finds opportunities at the individual defensive player level versus different offensive formations and players.
Like Buffett, Manning is a master of study and preparation and finds very specific opportunities at the individual level to exploit. Jim Mora, who coached Manning for four years, said this about what makes Manning great: "What sets Manning apart is his preparation. That's it in a word: preparation. He prepares himself mentally, physically and emotionally to be the best he can be. Now everyone wants to be the best. But Peyton does what it takes to be the best. There's a difference."
How might a business owner use this strategy? It will be a little different for each business and leader, just like it's different for Buffett and Manning. Here's how one local, and soon to be superstar, entrepreneur has used it. Let's call him John. John identified a niche Microsoft software product that was growing market share and sales quickly. He also discovered that for every $10,000 spent on the software, there was a $100,000 consulting/training opportunity to install and train employees on the use of the software.
John's high-tech consulting firm was a perfect fit to be the consulting/training partner for this niche software. After a couple of years, it's on its way to becoming the largest consulting/training firm in this space. So, how can you use the Peyton Manning / Warren Buffett success strategy?
Applications of the success strategy: Preparation and opportunity exploitation
• Leadership. Find the niches where you can be the best, or one of the best, at what you offer. Position your market with highly specific targeting.
• Sales. Prepare like Manning to be your best mentally, physically and emotionally and you'll win more.
• Management. Study your and others' teams and processes. Continually break down what you do, why you do it and how you do it and find ways to improve. Complacency will kill you.
• Job searchers. Prepare mentally, physically and emotionally for interviews. Learn about the organization you would like to work for. Find a problem they have that you can help solve. Check out Liz Ryan's site (www.AskLizRyan.com) to see great advice for job searchers.
If you want to be great, or greater than you are today, use the success strategies of the masters. It will accelerate your success!
Dr. TC North is co-author of the book, Fearless Leaders (release date is Sept. 2014). For 28 years, has been a high-performance executive coach and speaker who accelerates individuals and organizations in attaining their visions and dreams. He has also mentally coached a professional sports team and Olympic teams in the art of creating thoughts and emotions that maximize success. He’s a professional speaker on, “Fearless Leaders™” and “Master Fear.” Dr. North’s work has been featured on TV and radio and in business and scientific journals. Learn more at www.TCNorth.com. Contact Dr. North at 303-665-8920 or TC@TCNorth.com, or connect on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.