Build A More Successful Company: Learn to Listen!

March 13, 2012

There are many examples of successful CEOs/Founders of software companies. They may have:


  • Developed a brand-new, must-have technology or service
  • Built a product or service for an existing market on a newer technology platform that is a 10x improvement over the older technologies available
  • Built a product or service on a new technology platform with a disruptive business model versus the current players in the space


They may have an operational background in:

  • Engineering and Development
  • Product Management
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Customer Service
  • Finance
  • Consulting
  • None of the above


They may have:


  • An advanced educational degree from a big name private college
  • A degree from a public university or technical school
  • No degree at all.


But the one thing that will help every founder and or CEO build a better company is learning to listen. Bernard T. Ferrari wrote an article in the McKinsey Quarterly titled “The executive’s guide to better listening” in which he lays out three rules that lead to better listening:



  1. Show Respect
  2. Keep Quiet
  3. Challenge Assumptions


Learning to listen to your employees, customers, partners, board members or stakeholders is truly the key to understanding… and understanding is the key to building a more successful company.




All the best!



Venture Partner

<strong>George Roberts</strong> is a Venture Partner at OpenView. He enjoys partnering with companies and helping them achieve their goals through strategy, focus and operational execution. From 1990 to 2003, George spent 13 years at Oracle Corporation, most recently having served as Executive Vice President of North American Sales. While at Oracle, George was responsible for over $1 billion in revenue and more than 2,000 employees, reporting directly to the company’s CEO and Chairman, Larry Ellison.