Legendary investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett “isn’t called the Oracle of Omaha for nothing,” says bestselling management author and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch.
At 88 years old, Buffett has a net worth of $83.3 billion and is often considered a voice of reason when it comes to the volatile stock market, investments and business advice.
“That man is a walking truth bomb,” Welch tells CNBC Make It, explaining that it was Buffett who gave her the career advice that has helped her more than any other wisdom she’s received.
She says that Buffett once told her, “You cannot make a good deal with a bad person.”
“This may sound like straight-up business advice,” Welch says. “Like, ‘Don’t sign a join venture with a shady CEO.’ But it’s so much more than that.”
Though some measure of luck plays a role in every professional journey, “there is one thing you can do to nudge your luck in the right direction,” says Welch. “Make sure you associate yourself with good people. People who tell the truth and honor commitments. People who have emotional intelligence.”
These “good people,” she explains, should be the “bosses, co-workers and employees you choose to work with.”
“Yes, choose. Because even though it can feel as if you have no control over who you work with, you do have say in where you work.” If you find yourself in a situation where you’re working with people who lack integrity, regardless of how great the job is, Welch says emphatically, “you must move on.”
“The truth is, you can’t learn anything positive from negative people,” she says. “And strategically, you need to protect your professional reputation.”
Even if you’re a good person, she says, associating yourself with people who “are found out to be jerks,” can result in “collateral damage” to your career.
“Do not let this piece of Warren wisdom go unheeded,” Welch emphasizes. “You cannot build a good career with bad people. The Oracle has spoken.”