The Spark

Investing in People

When I hear the names Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, the first things that come to mind are big business, success, investing, and innovation. There is no doubt that these men are known and recognized widely as business icons. What might be less well known is that the two men are close friends and what they most value about their relationship is not an exchange of business ideas or networking opportunities, rather it is friendship, kindness, and the generosity of making people feel good about themselves.

BeadforLife grew out of another unlikely friendship. When co-founders Ginny, Devin and Torkin crossed paths with Millie Grace they had no idea that out of that meeting would grow an organization which has impacted over 44,500 people.

In a recently published article, “25 years of Learning and Laughing with Warren Buffet”, Gates honors his friendship with Buffet and recounts some of his fondest, lighthearted memories of their times together. There are fundamental lessons in the article, and none of them, at first glance, appear to be about business, investing, software or company management. The lessons include the importance of friendship, of building relationships, and of being kind. There is enormous value in being thoughtful, in offering small gestures, in going out of your way to make people feel good, says Gates. These lessons are all about investing in people.

The idea of investing in people is foundational to BeadforLife. It is the cornerstone on which the organization is built. Over the last 12 years, we have led with this philosophy, working alongside women in Uganda giving them the confidence and skills needed to start over 3,250 micro-businesses. It is investing in people that has made our success possible. And we believe relationship building is what makes true change possible.

How did Buffet and Gates become prominent global figures and achieve huge success in their fields? Certainly they have intelligence and skills. They are creative and innovative. But most importantly they know how to create relationships and treat others well. There is no substitute for acting out of a place of unconditional respect for others. Without this, innovation has no place to grow. Won’t you join us in relationship building to ignite potential and end poverty?

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