Larry Ellison — The Best Life & Career Lessons From an Oracle
Oracle is one of the world’s most successful tech companies, and as its co-founder, Larry Ellison is known to be one of the most revered personalities in the field. He is without a doubt one of the people who has most influenced the technology industry. Below are his life and career lessons you can take from the life of Mr. Ellison.
Larry Ellison is a business magnate, philanthropist, and phenomenal investor.
He co-founded Oracle and has a broad real estate portfolio, owning as many as two dozen properties. Oracle’s rise is truly remarkable. In 1980 it was a small company that did not do one million dollars. Today the company does 40+ billion dollars in annual sales and has a market cap over 240 billion dollars.
Larry Ellison is one of the most wealthy leaders of the world.
But money does not speak success, career does. Larry Ellison from his childhood was ambitious and learned a lot about programming by himself. Since day one Larry Ellison was competitive about every aspect of his life. And that it was made sure that his hunger for knowledge is growing at a rapid pace.
But before becoming a huge success he and his organization faced so many challenges.
Between 1985 and 1990, Oracle faced adversities like bankruptcy and tough competition but Larry Ellison does not give up and consistently performed. Oracle’s success shows the never say die attitude of Ellison and we must learn from him.
So, if you find yourself in a rut and with no way to get out, here are some lessons you need to learn from the tech guru of the world!
Considered eccentric because of his extravagant taste, Larry Ellison is one of the most famous billionaires and is ranked number 5 among the largest personal wealth in the world according to Forbes magazine. Here are five things that you can learn from Larry Ellison as an aspiring business leader to scale the heights.
Lesson #1: Unconventional Is The New Normal
The best way is to always go back to the first principle and think things for yourself. You do not need to re-invent the wheel all the time but there are those things which following the crowd will not make you great.
Larry Ellison firmly believes that to become successful in life and career, one need not just remain glued to the conventional ways of doing things.
He doesn’t care about reinventing the wheel every time but judges everything from his standpoint. Ellison dropped out of school twice since he disliked formal school education and did not want to see himself fitted into the mold. He also dropped out of the university but never lost interest in learning about computer designing until he hit the bull’s eye.
Larry Ellison doesn’t play by anyone’s rules but his own.
The latest biggest example was the 2013 America’s Cup. After winning it in 2010, he was allowed to dictate the kind of boats to be raced in the next championship. He chose an extremely fast, expensive but dangerous design. Ellison’s team was penalized for cheating. None of that mattered in the end. The world held its breath as Larry Ellison’s team won in spectacular televised comeback.
No one ever became successful by playing by other people’s rules.
Your journey towards success begins when you start playing by your own rules and positively breaking the rules set by others. Breaking the rules involves stepping out of your comfort zone and doing things that other people are too afraid to do. Larry Ellison encourages people to find the flaws in the conventional rules and innovate to move forward in business. That is how rules are broken, and exceptional performance is achieved.
Larry Ellison thinks that it is important for people to come to their own conclusions about how the world works.
Much of today’s morality and conventional wisdom is transient in nature. It is hard for people to imagine a world where thinking is much different than it is today. He points out that only 200 years ago slavery was acceptable within conventional wisdom. People should not accept the status quo because it is the status quo. People should accept or reject the status quo after examining the moral principles and assumptions those ideas are based on.
Lesson #2: Never Stop Growing
Larry Ellison is famous for saying that a company resembles a shark and unless it moves forward, it just dies. To become successful entrepreneurs today, we must make progress. There is no sense of fullness that can be derived from entrepreneurship. This is an eternal thirst for success and innovation that drives a person to realize his potential.
Larry Ellison is a character who never stops believing in growing, forget retiring.
The man served as the CEO of Oracle till he was over 70, and there was simply no end to the man’s steam. He is currently a member of Tesla’s board of directors — a post he took over in December 2018. During his days in Oracle, Larry Ellison continued to make forays into new grounds, stressing that there is simply no alternative to reinventing oneself. All those who look forward to making a career in business worth remembering are the qualities to learn to make progress in life.
Financial success involves constant growth.
One of the greatest lessons to learn from Larry Ellison in this light is his efforts in driving Oracle Corporation to become the world’s biggest and most successful database software provider. He did not stop at that; he ensured that Oracle corporation dominated the business software niche. The idea is to grow through reinventing. There is nothing to stop you, and you should take advantage of that fact.
Since day one he had the courage to become the best.
No competitor is important when you have the zeal to win. You’ll win if you work for it. The psychology is different from other leaders. When people weren’t used to talking about competitors in the face, he slammed Oracle’s competitor. He has taught the world that growing isn’t an option, it’s a passion. He never stopped learning and never stopped growing.
If you want to be successful, you must always be open to learning more, expanding your knowledge, and thinking in different perspectives.
Think of your business like a flower. You must feed, water, and nurture the plant in order for it to bloom into something beautiful. If you do not contribute to the flower’s well-being, it is not going to survive. That’s how it is in business, too. If you aren’t willing to constantly learn new things to benefit your business, well, your business will lose momentum, and eventually wither away. You don’t want that to happen, do you?
Lesson #3: Degrees Aren't Everything
Many billionaires in the world, especially in silicon valley, do not have a formal qualification as they found what they love early on in life. Larry Ellison certainly isn’t the only billionaire college dropout to find success in Silicon Valley but he was one of the first: Before Bill Gates, before his best friend Steve Jobs, before Michael Dell. He dropped out of college not just once, but twice, before moving to Northern California in 1966.
Larry Ellison was a bad student and hated the formal structure of the university.
Even though he dropped out of school, he stayed long enough to learn about computer design which helped him invent a database. Larry valued education not schooling. He continued reading scientific papers even when not in a formal school. A relational database was invented after he read a paper written by an IBM scientist.
A degree is just an accessory, not a requirement.
For some unfathomable reason, college dropouts are the ones who end up becoming successful in whatever they want to do. Larry is a special case. He realized college was not his cup of tea and decided to move to California at 22 years of age. Thankfully for him, he had stayed in school long enough to understand the basics of computer design. A couple of years later, he created a database from scratch just by reading a paper on the subject! Not bad for a two time college dropout, right?
This does not, however, mean that education is not essential.
The knowledge he got from school played a significant role in helping him invent a database. However, the lesson is that inability to complete college or become a professor should not stop you from doing great things. One of the greatest ways to improve your life is learning from the stories of other people. Larry Ellison is a phenomenal investor and businessman from whom people can borrow great success lessons.
Larry Ellison says that while academic success is an advantage in life, it does not means by any stretch that you will be successful in business.
If you are a top student, you probably can have some degree of success in business, but it does not mean you will be one of the most successful. Ellison believes that while straight A students may have talent, it does not always make sense to put in the effort to pull all A’s, particularly in a class where the professor is weak.
Lesson #4: Be Competitive
Larry Ellison once said that he is addicted to winning. “The more you win, the more you want to win.” The man’s ruthless killer instinct is also evident from the fact that he was influenced by Genghis Khan, who wanted to emerge victorious at others’ expense. Even money doesn’t matter as big for him as to end first in the competition.
Larry Ellison is famous for being ruthless with his competition.
His approach to his competitors came out of a trip he took to Japan during the early days of Oracle. During a meeting In Japanese executives explained that they were not satisfied unless they had 100 percent market share. Anything less meant that the competition was taking food out of their families’ mouths.
As a businessman, you must always be aware of the actions taken by competitors, especially those that can affect the logistics of distribution, advertising, and sales of your products or services.
With greater knowledge about competition, it is important to design competitive strategies and make them competitive advantages over other businesses. This will allow you to keep your products and companies on the market, and even take customers from competitors. The more knowledge you have, the better you can shape your competitors’ marketing strategies, and take advantage of opportunities to increase your business customers. This will help you build a reputation and maintain a leading position in the market.
Larry Ellison considers competition a great motivator.
What motivates Larry to wake up every day and go to work is competition. If you are addicted to winning, nothing will stop you from soaring to greater heights. The urge to make a winning investment, being the best company in your industry, and being the best performing employee will push you to do great things, and especially in the light of finance.
Larry Ellison is a very competitive man.
He gives his one hundred percent in everything to get it done before anyone else in the field. It made Oracle this successful. The fact that he pushes the boundaries and always has an eye on the championship, is what we should learn from him. While he has been accused of making brutal attacks on competitors in the software business, Larry Ellison believes that he is paid to make Oracle the biggest software company in the world. If he is not aggressive enough in achieving that end, he believes he should be fired, according to him. So, do not fear being aggressive in business.
Lesson #5: Hire The Best, Fire The Rest
Silicon Valley, famous for being home to several successful entrepreneurs, is also infamous for being home to the casual dresser. Larry Ellison decided to nip this habit by letting people know that he was in the market only for people who were very serious about their work.
A wise leader must find and appoint the best employees to achieve his entrepreneurial vision.
It’s no wonder Larry often prefers vacant positions than incompetent employees. In the current economy, hiring qualified staff is very important. Employers cannot afford to waste time and money on poor recruitment. Competence is still the main criterion. Do prospective employees have the skills, understanding and knowledge that are important to do what is expected? Larry Ellison feels job seekers will provide answers to all your questions, but they can be simple or excessive.
If you want to run a successful business, you have to know your capabilities.
Larry used to hire the smartest ones from the interviews because he knew what he would do with those people’s smartness. Knowing his people helped him be aware of his capabilities and step forward towards success. The best company leaders understand that, no matter how great a person has been at another company, they may not necessarily be the right candidate for yours. At the end of the day, you need to hire the candidate who is perfect for your company’s specific situation.
You need to hire people who are far more capable than yourself, people who are driven to prove themselves. These are the type-A overachievers with a “fear of failure” personality.
Look for strategic thinkers who aim to improve their employers’ systems, processes, and results. Look for team-oriented descriptions of previous achievements, versus “I did it by myself” stories. Look for people who utilize innovative resources while continuously striving to improve themselves and their teams. Always hire talented people who are bright, passionate, hungry, and ambitious. That’s the genius of Steve Jobs’ hiring philosophy: “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”
Then, if employees have the intellectual will and quality needed to assume more responsibility, make sure you pay well.
Oracle today offers some of the most profitable placement schemes even for talented new students. As a boss, make sure the employer is committed to a compensation package based on the market and he is satisfied with what you offer. If not, he may feel he is not valued enough and does not deliver the expected results.
Larry Ellison was an aggressive and a man full of determination. He had the hunger for winning every the time he does something. As a competitive person who doesn’t like to lose, Larry Ellison uses every power in his hand to get the job done.
Given his great business success, there are many interesting things we all can learn from Larry Ellison.
Apart from his endless wealth, Larry Ellison is known for his entrepreneurial DNA. He has been continuously growing his wealth through acquisitions, excellent negotiation, and leadership skills. These are some of the things that have made Larry Ellison successful. If you are looking to make it in the business world, taking some life & career lessons from Larry Ellison will be worth your while.
Remember: Everyone fails in life, and failure can be a crushing experience.
The only thing that separates successful people from the rest is how they respond after they fail. When facing obstacles, you have to decide if you’re going to let them be the excuse for your failure or if you’re going to make them the story behind your success. When you adopt the right attitude, failure is a great teacher. Failure interrupts your routine and gives you an opportunity to explore new solutions, but only if you have the right attitude.
Larry Ellison is one of the few people to be this aggressive and successful.
He made everything look so easy but took every step with precaution to reach his goal. He’s a business magnet. His approach towards the business might not be similar to most of the modern business analysts, but the success statement he has made with his bold actions in the past speaks how leadership can be so versatile.
One of the greatest ways to improve your life is learning from the stories of other people.
At the end of the day, success in the business world is achieved through good strategies, adequate leadership that makes human talents available encourages efficient organizations, and places communication and information systems that are very suitable and suitable for certain types of businesses.
As Larry stated, you have to believe in what you do in order to get what you want.
People like Larry Ellison must be our role model and we must always strive to achieve success just like him but it’s not so easy and hence we must do our job very seriously and perfectly. If you found these lessons useful please share which one is your best out of the five above. If you have been truly inspired by Larry Ellison in ways we have not covered here, comment and let us know!
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