Have you heard of Charlie Munger?
A lot of people haven’t.
But you should.
Charlie is the business partner of the more famous Warren Buffett. He’s the Vice-Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, the US investment giant that makes its shareholders very rich.
But what makes Munger worth knowing about is not just his undeniable success as a business person. He also talks a lot about how he achieves it. And what he says makes a lot of sense for us as Project Managers.
This video is safe for viewing in the workplace.This is learning, so, sit back and enjoy
Charlie Munger offers what he calls ‘elementary, worldly wisdom’. These are a set of mental models, or ways of thinking about business, finance, and life. They will help prepare you to solve big problems, and succeed in your chosen career… in your case, Project Management.
He still works in his businesses with vigor. Over ten years ago, he spoke to graduands at USC Law School, and opened with a joke:
“Well, no doubt many of you are wondering why the speaker is so old. Well, the answer is obvious: he hasn’t died yet.”
In that speech, he sets out many of his core ideas, that helped him. I’d like to share three of his ideas, which resonate well as tips for Project Managers.
Projects are often complicated. So know how complex systems work and the way mental constructs work. Munger suggests problems often get easier and are usually easier to solve, if you turn around in reverse.
Munger’s example is wanting to help India. So, instead of asking: “how can I help India?”, you can ask:
“What’s doing the worst damage in India? What would automatically do the worst damage and how do I avoid it?”
You’d think they are logically the same thing, they’re not. Inversion like this will often solve problems which nothing else will solve.
Being unreliable will cancel out your other virtues.
If you’re unreliable it doesn’t matter what virtues you have, you’re going to fail immediately. So doing what you have promised to do should be an automatic part of your conduct. Munger tells us to avoid sloth and unreliability.
Sit down and do it until it’s done.
Another thing you need is a lot of assiduity. Munger likes the word assiduous because it means “sit down on your ass until you do it”.
He tells the story of two partners he chose for one part of his life, who had a simple rule for their business:
“Whenever we’re behind in our commitments to other people we will both work 14 hours a day until we caught up.”
Needless to say that firm didn’t fail! The partners died rich.
When you are 81 (as Charlie Munger was when he made that speech), will you be able to look back on a successful career and offer wisdom to the next generation?
I hope so.
I wonder what it will be…
Carefully curated video recommendations for you:
I asked Project Managers in a couple of forums what material things you need to have, to do your job as a Project Manager. They responded magnificently. I compiled their answers into a Kit list. I added my own.
Note that the links are affiliated.
For more great Project Management videos, please subscribe to the OnlinePMCourses YouTube channel.
If you want basic Management Courses – free training hosted on YouTube, with 2 new management lessons a week, check out our sister channel, Management Courses.
For more of our Project Management videos in themed collections, join our Free Academy of Project Management.
For more of our videos in themed collections, join our Free Academy of Project Management.Living Well - Succeeding Big: Lessons from Charlie Munger | Video Click To Tweet
Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 14 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to ProjectManager.com and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.
Please log in again. The login page will open in a new tab. After logging in you can close it and return to this page.