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7 Things All MBA’s Can Learn from Billionaire Larry Ellison

January 9, 2012 4:23 pm0 commentsViews: 806
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Larry Ellison is one of the most successful businessmen of our time.

He is the co-founder and chief executive of Oracle Corporation, which is one of the world’s top software companies. As of 2012, he was the third wealthiest American with more than $41 billion of assets.

Given his great business success, there are many interesting things we all can learn from Ellison.

Here are the seven best.

#1 There Is Nothing Wrong With Being Aggressive in Business

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 and best 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.

#2 Everyone Fears Failure, Especially Over Achievers

Most people who have great success in life are not driven so much by a desire for success, but a dreaded fear of failure. It does not consume most successful people unless fear gets very close, but it certainly drives most high achievers and over achievers. There is no reason to be afraid of that fear of failure. It’s entirely normal, Ellison believes.

#3 Sometimes Big Changes Are Needed, Despite Past Success

In the early 90s, Oracle hit a wall. It started to lose money for the first time in its entire history. Even though the company had doubled its sales every year for 10 years, once it hit a billion dollars in revenue, the company stalled out. Serious management problems cropped up. The same people who ran the billion dollar company were the the ones who ran the company when it was worth 15 million dollars. While Ellison felt great loyalty to those people, he knew it was time for a management shakeup. He had to ask many managers to leave the company, and Ellison brought in new ones who were able to effectively run the billion dollar company.

#4 Anything Is Still Possible In America

Larry Ellison is an unapologetic believer in the American Dream. He always talks about how the opportunity in the United States is still greater than anywhere else. Everyone who works hard and is clever can do almost anything. In nowhere else in the world can an immigrant come to a country and in one generation do such amazing things.

#5 What We Read About History Is Not Always Accurate

Ellison read a few years ago a biography on Napoleon. Despite some of the negative things that we have heard throughout history about the man, Napoleon did many great things. He codified laws in Europe for the first time, he place limits on kings and tyrants, and he stopped religious discrimination. But history has not always been kind to him because many of the kings he deposed viewed him as a threat. History can be distorted for many reasons by those who write the history, so we should take care to ensure we are reading the truth, Ellison says.

#6 There Is Not One Right Way To Do Things

Larry Ellison has been confronted with more than his share of criticism in life. He thinks that there are some people who think you must do things one way to be successful. Some believe that to be successful in business, there is only one ‘right way’ to do it. Ellison believes that there are many paths to success in many parts of life, including business. He thinks that some find people who are successful in life by taking alternative paths as a threat.

#7 Academic Success Isn’t Essential for Success in Business

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.