8. Keep it small. In 2006, Buffett wrote that he's skeptical "about the ability of big entities of any type to function well." In his opinion, "size seems to make many organizations slow-thinking, resistant to change and smug." That's one reason Berkshire's corporate headquarters still has only a handful of employees, with almost all the managing work left to its unit's managers. "It is a real pleasure to work with managers who enjoy coming to work each morning and, once there, instinctively and unerringly think like owners."
9. Keep your reputation. In Buffett's mind, perhaps the most important piece of advice for businesses, and for everyone else, is to maintain a sterling reputation for honesty by never doing something you wouldn't want to see reported on the front page of your local newspaper. After taking control of Salomon in the wake of a major 1991 scandal at the financial firm, he famously told a Congressional panel that he had a simple message for employees: "Lose money for the firm and I will be understanding. Lose a shred of reputation for the firm, and I will be ruthless."
As he put it in one of his most-often quoted sayings: "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently."