Apple has been quite impressive when it comes to its friends list. Apple’s top executive gave new insight into how he managed some of the harder decisions he has made in his five years as chief executive officer.

Tim Cook Apple
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Best advisors for professional and personal matters

In an interview with The Washington Post, Cook revealed a list of some of the most popular names in politics and business he has called for advice in past years.

“I think it’s incumbent on a CEO to not just listen to points of view but to actually solicit them,” Cook said. “Because I think, if not, you quickly become insular. And you’re sort of living in the echo chamber.”

Cook revealed that when the iPhone maker decided to return cash to shareholders in 2012, he sought advice from billionaire Warren Buffet for advice on the matter because he would not be biased.

“I thought he’s the natural person, and so I try to go through that process on everyone.” “That doesn’t mean I always do what they say,” Cook said.

Another advisor who may come as a surprise to many is CNN anchor Anderson Cooper. Cook said he spoke with Cooper before making one of his most personal decisions: writing the op-ed in 2014 declaring that he is proud to be gay. The Apple CEO said he went to the CNN anchor because he admired the way he handled his own announcement to come out publicly in 2012. Cook said he talked to Cooper at length and multiple times because he thought the way he handled his announcement was quite “classy.”

Who helped Apple CEO before congressional testimony?

Cook faced his very first congressional testimony in 2013 when he was called to testify about Apple’s tax practices. Cook said that he sought advice from a number of people before the hearing, including Bill Clinton, the 42nd president. Cook met Clinton through the Clinton Foundation.

“He knows a lot about the politics,” Cook said.

The same hearing made Cook reach out to Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

“I looked back to say who’s done this before? I knew Lloyd and thought he’d be honest with me,” Cook said.

Lastly, Cook revealed that Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Steve Jobs, also advised him prior to his congressional testimony.

“Laurene has the lens of knowing me and deeply understanding Apple,” Cook said.