Oracle’s co-CEO: Leaders need to ask tougher questions

September 28, 2015, 6:16 PM UTC
Oracle OpenWorld Conference
Safra Catz, co-CEO of Oracle Corp., is among the 63% of women on Fortune's Most Powerful Women in Business list that did not go to business school. Avelar/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Avelar—Bloomberg via Getty Images

MPW Insider is an online community where the biggest names in business and beyond answer timely career and leadership questions. Today’s answer for: What is the biggest leadership lesson you’ve learned in the past year? is written by Safra Catz, co-CEO of Oracle.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned this year is to be reminded of one I learned a long time ago, but still requires constant discipline: Listen, think and don’t be afraid to change your position based on new facts.

Don’t just go through the motions in meeting after meeting. Your colleagues and employees have spent time and effort making a case and advocating for a position, so let them finish. And don’t just listen to them, but hear their arguments and really think through their explanations. If something doesn’t make sense, give them the respect of asking tough questions. Think about what you’ve been told because if it doesn’t make sense to you, then it may not make sense at all. But, then again, they just might be right.


Read all responses to the MPW Insider question: What is the biggest leadership lesson you’ve learned in the past year?

What millennials can teach CEOs about leadership by Sharon Price John, CEO of Build-A-Bear Workshop.

Lockheed Martin’s Marillyn Hewson: One of the biggest lessons she learned this year by Marillyn Hewson, CEO, chairman, and president of Lockheed Martin.

How CST Brands’ CEO overcomes resistance to change by Kim Lubel, CEO, chairman and president of CST Brands.

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty’s secret to a successful career by Ginni Rometty, CEO, chairman and president of IBM.

Mondelez CEO says this is why managers need to be more transparent with employees by Irene Rosenfeld, CEO of Mondelez.


Read More

Great ResignationClimate ChangeLeadershipInflationUkraine Invasion