In a previous LinkedIn Influencer article, published in 2013, Oracle CEO Mark Hurd identified five key leadership qualities shared by great executives. Referencing his own leadership experience, he cited the importance of strategy, hiring the right people, and setting the right goals. Over the years, Hurd has remained consistent in his leadership advice. In fact, at the recent Oracle Global Employee Summit, he emphasized the need for Oracle to continue hiring the best people and giving them the best training. His advice is still applicable today:
- Get the strategy right: Hurd notes the growing importance of locking down organizational strategy in a world of accelerating change. Companies that can’t move quickly, with coherent and capable strategies to stay ahead of new trends and technologies, will be left behind.
- Execute that strategy: Anyone can come up with ideas, but it takes “world-class operations and execution” to put them into action and drive a company forward.
- Put the right people in the right places: You can’t execute if you don’t have talent. This is especially important as the pace of change accelerates. Having the right team in place to navigate challenges, drive value, and deliver on the business strategy is critical for success in today’s business environment.
- Manage dual priorities that others see as conflicting: Hurd understands that savvy executives must manage for the future while also keeping their organizations focused on hitting near-term goals. He notes that businesses don’t operate in an “either/or” world, and success involves balancing and advancing towards multiple goals.
- Keep everyone focused on what matters: Hurd highlights this as “three big things.” This links back to the first three traits in Hurd’s list: “the ability to set the strategy, the ability to harness operational excellence to bring that strategy alive, and the ability to pick the right people to drive relentless execution.” It all boils down to “mak[ing] sure the big thing stays the big thing.”
Five years ago, companies faced a fast-changing landscape, but the pace of disruption across all industries has only increased. Decisive executive leadership is even more critical, making Mark Hurd’s leadership observations more relevant than ever.