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The key takeaway from Bill Gates and Warren Buffett's favorite book can help you succeed in 2018

Billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett speak with journalist Charlie Rose at an event organized by Columbia Business School on Jan. 27, 2017, in New York.
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Billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett speak with journalist Charlie Rose at an event organized by Columbia Business School on Jan. 27, 2017, in New York.

If you're looking for a good book to kick off 2018, try "Business Adventures" by John Brooks. Self-made billionaires, longtime friends and discerning readers Bill Gates and Warren Buffett agree that it's the best business book ever written.

The key takeaway from the 1969 classic, a compilation of 12 stories from the world of Wall Street, is as relevant today as it ever was, Gates writes on his blog: "John Brooks' work is really about human nature, which is why it has stood the test of time.

"There's an essential human factor in every business endeavor. It doesn't matter if you have a perfect product, production plan and marketing pitch; you'll still need the right people to lead and implement those plans."

It's a lesson that Gates has been reminded of throughout his career, spanning Microsoft and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, he says: "Which people are you going to back? Do their roles fit their abilities? Do they have both the IQ and EQ to succeed?

"Warren is famous for this approach at Berkshire Hathaway, where he buys great businesses run by wonderful managers and then gets out of the way."

They're not the only billionaires who believe in surrounding themselves with other highly successful and motivated people.

"When you look at most big things that get done in the world, they're not done by one person, so you're going to need to build a team," says Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "No one does it alone."

This is an updated version of a previously published story.

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