This story originally published on June 23, 2016.
Known for his frumpy appearance, it’s not obvious at first glance that Warren Buffett is today worth more than $65 billion. Sure, he runs a multinational holding company Berkshire Hathaway and has a golden touch with stock picks, but Buffett prefers Cherry Cokes to booze, lives in the same house he’d bought in Omaha for $31,500 in 1958 and celebrated his second marriage by dining at a chain restaurant. He’s also pledged to give away the majority of his fortune during his lifetime.
At 85-years-old, the CEO is a true nonconformist among his leadership kind, and he continues to surprise us. His most recent splashy move that made news was his unexpected investment of $1 billion in Apple stock. Buffett has a well-known reputation for staying away from tech stocks. But for him, this is just par for the course.
His ticker tape of surprise moves include the highly unorthodox arrangement he had with his first wife, Susan Buffett and his mistress -- who eventually became his second wife.
While he and Susan had a traditional marriage for the first 25 years, raising three children with Susan as the stay-at-home mom, in 1977 Susan moved to San Francisco to pursue her dream of becoming a singer. Buffett was a mess, unable to look after himself, and Susan -- worried about her husband’s well-being -- asked local waitress, Astrid Menks, to look after Buffett.
What ensued was a unique symbiosis and respect between the trio, with the three sending out holiday cards including all of their names. When asked about his arrangement, Buffett put it like this: "Susie put me together, and Astrid keeps me together."
When Susan died from cancer in 2004, he was devastated. He married Astrid -- whom is like-minded in frugality -- two years later in a quiet civil ceremony at his daughter Susie’s home.
The finance titan’s life is the realization of living by his own rules and leadership wisdom. Buffett is a true radical and visionary.
Here are five leadership lessons we can glean from his life.