An interview and Q&A with billionaire venture capitalist and co-founder of Home Depot, Kenneth Langone. In this interview, Kenneth discusses what he looks for in investments and why people are the most valuable asset. Kenneth also talks about skills young people should posses and gives his views on regulation.
Kenneth Langone: Investing, Entrepreneurship And Career
People. I’d like to spend time with them. I like to talk to I like to know about their personal lives. I’d like to know what drives them what motivates them what their values are. As I reflect back in my life apart my voice is just getting over about for China. I like to know that if they succeed in this as a guess of course if they succeed they’ll remain successful with their bodies intact. OK I’m I’m a devout Roman Catholic and so spirituality is a very important part of my life. The greatest I think the greatest knowledge I get is out of the Bible. And if you think of the things that the Bible tells you they all work in the business setting in a tough competitive business setting. Kindness generosity thoughtfulness you name it. Turn the other cheek yeah turn the other cheek sometimes. Sometimes you fight. You cry. Jesus also overturned table. You got a little mad. The guys were moving money around in the synagogue. But but seriously if I can only advise if I had a chance to say you can only do one thing I said I would submit that if you read the Bible study. Not so much in the literal sense but in the meetings what’s happening. I think it’s a good lesson for success. How do you discover a person’s values. Because you know when you think about a finance you are investing in a company what they say you have discovered this body language there’s you know actions speak louder than words. Yeah.
And you want to know about them you want to know about their past. You want to know a little bit about what experiences they’ve had and whether their their aspirations are realistic. And the greatest lessons that I’ve had in measuring and judging people came as a result of being catty a waiter a clerk in a grocery store a day laborer. Why. Because those are all jobs that the people that are around you have a tendency to drop their guard. One of the things I love to do is if I’m contemplating an investment is to invite the person of the people that I’m thinking of investing with the breakfast that I love to watch their interaction with the waiter how will they treat their respect. And by the way we go back to the Bible. That’s what it’s all about. The fact that I was a kid that didn’t make me any less a person than I am now with whatever you want to call me. But I think the human condition and the response of people to people that normally are in you when you don’t have the best face on tells you a lot about that person’s values. People talk about and it is the incredible success the incredible success of the depot and three guys two of them had just been fired from the last job and we went around and begged borrowed and stole two million dollars literally any way we can get money we raised two million bucks. And we have 330000 associates so they got a little bit. Well I would argue though I would argue that when we set out the story the business one of the things we determined.