Billionaire investor and philanthropist, Ken Langone has pointed out three core business principles that worked for him during his career.
Speaking with CNBC in an interview that aired on Mad Money, he said that these principles have also been instrumental in building a successful organization.
According to Ken, the three most powerful things in business are: a kind word, a thoughtful gesture, and a passion and enthusiasm for everything you’re doing.
What the billionaire is saying
Langone said, “The three most powerful things in business are: a kind word, a thoughtful gesture, and a passion and enthusiasm for everything you’re doing.”
He stressed that he tried to institute that philosophy at Home Depot, which he co-founded in the 1970s, and New York University’s medical centre, where he has been the chairman of the board of trustees since 1999.
In his view, once trustworthy managers are in place at a company or organization, the next important thing is ensuring that employees at all levels recognize and feel empowered to make a difference.
Langone exemplified this with a story he recollected about a building services employee at NYU, who spent time just visiting a heart transplant patient in the days following the patient’s operation.
Langone said, “If you can really get everybody engaged in the mission; if you can get everybody to believe they can make a difference, not only will they can make a difference, but they are the difference.”
Langone stated further that after the patient was moved out of the intensive care unit, the employee still went out of his way to visit the patient.
Langone recalled, “The man wrote me a letter, telling me that the care he got from the building service associate was as important to him as the surgeon who did the transplant.”
What you should know
- Langone currently has a net worth of $5.8 billion, according to Forbes
- In 1978, Ken Langone made an early investment in Home Depot to become a cofounder with Arthur Blank and Bernard Marcus, who are now billionaires.
- Langone, who gave $200 million to NYU’s hospital a decade ago, pledged $100 million to its School of Medicine in August 2018. The School of Medicine is tuition-free.
- He donated $100,000 to the restoration of the Notre Dame Cathedral.
- He also donated $10 million to NYU’s part-time MBA program in 1999 and $200 million to the university’s medical centre in 2008, which was renamed NYU Langone Health.