I had a unique experience this weekend. Hosted by PalletOne’s board member, I attended the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting.
Berkshire is a very successful firm. It owns a variety of companies including our customers Shaw Industries, Benjamin Moore Paints, Lubrizol and Coca Cola.
It’s a big deal to attend the meeting because of Warren Buffett. He is the 86 year old chairman of Berkshire. Through the years, his wisdom about business and the factors related to business expressed in writing and interviews has become famous. He is smart, funny, profound and prolific. If business has a “Rockstar”, Buffett is him.
The center piece of the meeting is Buffett and his vice chairman Charlie Munger (age 92) sitting for almost seven hours fielding questions from experts as well as members from the 40,000 folks who descend on Omaha to hear what will be said.
I spent the day enthralled. Through these notes I’ll share some things said during the day. Here’s the first one:
“The Nature of Capitalism: if you got a good business, someone is trying to figure out how to take it from you.” Warren Buffett
His statement underscores several ideas we believe.
If we aren’t intentionally trying to get better we slip. It opens the door for others to gain ground on us.
If we aren’t intentionally trying to get better while others are working to do so, we will lose ground faster still.
We are off to a pretty good start this year. Our execution has been excellent and our profits have grown. We didn’t achieve these results by standing still.
We determined to grow our treating business. We made progress on this goal by adding two locations and building our Bartow location. It allowed us to attain a better market position with our largest customers.
We decided to experiment with industrial recycling. We are up to three locations. This new expertise and product offering gives us a new offering for our customers.
We endeavored to increase our sales of mulches and playground material in the Carolinas and Virginia. This increased activity has given us a stronger market position.
The list goes on: Sweet Potato harvesting boxes, used pallets in Maine, pallets made from non-traditional species, expanded trucking services. Others you could add.
We aren’t a company that stands still. Sure, we excel in our traditional markets. But, we are expanding on those offerings.
Couldn’t do it without a flexible, adventuresome team. Well done.
PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace
Since 2005, he has been sharing his thoughts on the organization, leadership, and communication in an online daily note to teammates called Daily with HQ.