I joined Berkshire’s reinsurance division in 2001. This weekend was the 14th annual meeting since I joined – I’ve been to 12 of them. It is always a keeps me grounded and serves as a great reminder of all of the amazing things that the company does. This famous clip from 1991 which is part of larger presentation at the start of the meeting is a particularly powerful message:
After a fun, but long, day at the meeting and then dinner with some of the people in town for the meeting, I got back to my parent’s house and saw this post on twitter which was also was quite a powerful message. It really tied together a lot of thoughts that I had from the day:
I’ve been unbelievably lucky to be surrounded for much of my life by people who are incredibly passionate about the things they do. Mr. Waterman was as passionate about both math and teaching math as anyone I’ve ever encountered. I’m quite sure that the senior executives at Berkshire are as passionate about business as anyone anywhere. The people who I’ve been around in ultimate – from Steve Mooney, to Blake to Gwen – have been as passionate about the game as anyone involved. In some ways it is amazing to me how similar all of these people are, but maybe it shouldn’t be that surprising. They all were / are all doing things that they loved, and doing them at an extremely high level. I’ve learned a tremendous amount from all of them.
One little difference for me at this year’s meeting was that I felt pretty comfortable to talking with people about topics that were beyond work. I talked about traveling around the country to coach ultimate with a bunch of Fortune 500 executive types. I talked about why I love math and teaching my kids with some prominent financial types and even got invited to give a talk at one of their companies. Some of the people seemed a little perplexed at first by the non-work topics, but they all ended up being quite interested and these were great conversations.
So after what has been a pretty busy year of work, it was nice to recharge the batteries a little and get ready for the next year. It was also really nice to see that tweet from Gwen at the end of the day. It tied together a lot of thoughts / conversations / ideas from the day, and reminded me one more time about the importance of being passionate about the things I do.