Goal Setting with Warren Buffet’s 5/25 rule

Goal setting with Warren Buffet’s 5/25 rule is one of the best-known goal setting techniques which might work for you.

Any tool that will help you focus on your goals, providing you clarity and a strategy is worth exploring. Warren Buffet’s 5/25 rule is a clear and easy to follow tool that has an interesting and true story attached.

The Airline Pilot and the Billionaire

Milke Flint had been Warren Buffet’s pilot and had also worked for various Presidents of the USA. The story goesGoal Setting with Warren Buffet's 5/25 rule that Warren asked Mike how long he had been his pilot. When Mike Flint replied “For ten years”, the reply from Buffet was not what Mike expected.

Mr Buffet replied, “The Fact that you’re still working for me, tells me I’m not doing my job.”

Astonished that the Billionaire was even talking to him and shocked by his answer, Mike asked him to explain.

Mr Buffett then asked young Flint to list down 25 Goals he wished to accomplish in the foreseeable future.

Mike did just that.

As he jotted down his goals, Mr Buffett instructed the pilot to prioritise his Top 5.

Thinking long and hard, Mike Flint did.

Buffett then asked, “What are you going to do with the remaining 20?”

“Well the top five are my primary focus but the other twenty come in at a close second. They are still important so I’ll work on those intermittently as I see fit as I’m getting through my top five. They are not as urgent but I still plan to give them dedicated effort.”

Mr. Buffett frowned at Flint, “No. You’ve got it wrong. Everything you didn’t circle just became your Avoid-At-All-Cost list. No matter what, these things get no attention from you until you’ve succeeded with your top 5.”

Ouch! To some people that can be very difficult to do. How can you give up some of your goals?

Focus Brings Clarity

To have a better chance of achieving your goals, you need to focus. If you are spending your time trying to achieve 25 things instead of focussing on a few, the probability of you realising your goals will drop dramatically.

Goal Setting with Warren Buffet's 5/25 rule

Goal setting with Warren Buffet’s 5/25 rule can help you reach your potential. Once you realise that it is about focus, well you are well on your way to kicking some goals.

Three Steps to Focus on Your Goals

Goal Setting with Warren Buffet’s 5/25 rule is easy to follow but can be brutal to some. What it does is teach us that to reach our goals, we need to focus.No messing about with a raft of goals. Get real and get focussed.

The three steps advice that Warren Buffet gave to Mike Flint are relevant to you, me and everybody;

  1. Make a list of the top 25 things that you want to achieve now or in the future.
    • This could be in your personal or business life, or both!
    • Do you want to write that book, you are desperate to be your organisations new head of operations.
    • Mike found this part pretty easy, as you should as well. After all, we all have goals and dreams. We just don’t tend to write them all down in one big list!
  2. Now prioritise your TOP 5 
    Goal Setting with Warren Buffet's 5/25 rule
    • Be ruthless.
    • This is not the hard part, this comes in Step 3 (no kidding)
    • These are your top 5 so you must want them pretty bad.
    • If you are struggling, use a simple ‘Yes or No’ to slowly work through the 25 things that you want to achieve.
    • Think really, really hard. Do not focus on the ‘how’ focus on the ‘what you want to achieve’.
  3. Now you focus on your TOP 5
    • Remember the Avoid-At-All-Cost list. Do not give those 20 the time of day. Lock them away.
    • Your focus is now on the TOP 5, go and grab them with both hands and do not stop until you achieve them.


You can achieve your goals. You need belief and focus. I cannot stress how much you need focus and this tool is a great one to use.

And what of Mike Flint, the man who was the first recipient of Goal setting with Warren Buffet’s 5/25 rule? Well, he is the now the Founder and CEO of Visionary Aviation LLC in the San Francisco area.






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