It's a rough paraphrase from a recent, (12/Mar/2015), talk he gave at the Buffalo, NY GEICO location. (Warren owns GEICO; did you know that?) While I have sliced-and-diced a few of his words, I hope I have kept the essense of what he was communicating intact.
He was answering a question about how to be a successful investor, about how to spot a good investment.
"Let's assume that a situation exists whereby you could pick one person, and have 10% of whatever that person earns for the rest of his or her life. Who would you pick to invest in?"
"Are you going to pick the person with the highest IQ you know? No. Are you going to pick the person who earned the most advanced college degrees, with the highest grades? No."
"You are going to pick the individual people like to work with the best!"
"What are the qualities of that person whom you are going to buy 10% of?"
"Personable, generous, someone who always does more than their share, and doesn't clamor for credit for the things he or she does."
"Now here is the secret to success ……. BECOME THAT PERSON!"
"You can also reverse that. What type people would you SELL SHORT 10%? These are the people you do NOT want to become! (Notice that these people aren't necessarily dumb, but rather have character defects - liars, lazy, etc.)"
"You can decide to become successful if you want to, because qualities of character are NOT ordained at birth, but rather are something we choose."