Warren Buffet isn’t known for showmanship and a singer he is not, but his recent duet with Paul Anka in which he serenaded Carol Loomis, the newly retired Editor at Large of Fortune Magazine, is as moving as any Broadway number. For those unfamiliar with Carol, this extraordinary woman worked for Fortune longer than any other employee in the history of the company (60 years), was a trailblazer among female business writers, has been editing the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report since 1977, and has won several industry awards. Many of the top CEOs in the United States have been interviewed by Carol or the subject of one of her stories.
To put Carol’s accomplishments in perspective, “in the early 1960s, Wellesley (the top women’s college), for example, taught students how to get groceries into the back of a station wagon without exposing their thighs”, according to an article in this week’s New York Times. Entering the workforce as a woman back then clearly had its disadvantages. Carol’s success is even more remarkable when you consider that she is a:
*Graduate of a Midwestern state university;
*Mother who negotiated with her employer to take summers off in order to be home with her two children;
*Researcher turned journalist whose subject area at the time was neither mainstream, nor exciting;
*Person not inclined to self promote;
*Professional who believes that network is a noun, not a verb; and
*Friend for decades to stay-at-home mothers and the world’s fourth richest man.
Listening to Warren’s customized rendition of Sinatra’s My Way, what you hear are the secrets to her success. He celebrates Carol’s intelligence, character, independence and wit—all things that with hard work are as much within our reach today as they were 60 years ago when Carol was setting out.
Success has rarely been as singular as where you grew up, went to school or with whom you socialize. It is more prosaic than that and Carol is a great reminder that there are no limits to what we can achieve if we go for it and stay true to our core values. Having the good fortune to meet someone like Warren Buffet early in your career never hurts either.
CareerFuel congratulates Carol for a job very well done.