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Look, don't congratulate us when we buy a company, congratulate us when we sell it. Because any fool can overpay and buy a company, as long as money will last to buy it.
It's one of the most important things at the end of the day, being able to say no to an investment.
It's not just buying the company. Sure, we picked the right companies, and we picked the right management and, most importantly, we've given them the right incentive to perform.
If you have something at risk, you think differently.
If you don't have integrity, you have nothing. You can't buy it. You can have all the money in the world, but if you are not a moral and ethical person, you really have nothing.
If you build that foundation, both the moral and the ethical foundation, as well as the business foundation, and the experience foundation, then the building won't crumble.
If we can just take a few companies, and use those as models, as examples, to show the rest of corporate America how they can become more competitive, that's what I'd like to do and that's what I hope to do.
I've been in a hurry all my life. I've been in a hurry to succeed, and in a hurry to prove myself.
I was an economics major in college, and every summer after school, I would drive my car from California, from Claremont men's college at the time, to New York. And I worked on Wall Street.
I want people who will stand up to me. People who are not afraid to say exactly what's on their minds, even though that's probably not what I want to hear. That's what I want.
I thought at the time that I wanted to go into institutional sales, selling stocks and bonds to institutions. In those days, which was the 1960s, the institutional salesman was making about $100,000 a year. I thought that was just an enormous amount of money.
I love the ability to work with very good managers, and to provide the right incentives for them, and truly become a partner with that management, and make that management take a long view.
I have, in my partner George Roberts, a person who is the most wonderful man in the world to me. He's like a brother to me. Creating with him, being side by side with him, in whatever we try to do, is a real pleasure to me.
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