CEO’s Top Tips To Live By

July 20, 2010

As an operationally focused business executive with over 30 years in the software industry (many people find it hard to believe that software has been an industry for 30 years) who now works for a Boston based Venture Capital company, I spend a lot of my time working with founders and CEOs of expansion stage software portfolio companies after investing expansion capital.

As an advisor, I spend a tremendous amount of time coaching people on how to lead, manage, nurture and grow management teams and individual contributors. Last night I was catching up on my reading when I came across an article in the USA Today Money section about Eli Lilly’s CEO John Lechleiter. What grabbed my attention in the article was the section about John Lechleiter’s Tips as a CEO.

They were the same rules I lived by when I managed my first team of 30 people in 1986 at ADR and later when I managed over 2,000 people running North American Sales for Oracle corporation form 1998 through 2003.

I thought I would share them with you.

John Lechleiter’s tips:

  • Listen before you speak.
  • Treat others the way you’d like to be treated.
  • Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. And remember that there are always two sides to every story.
  • Decide on the few things that really matter and do them really well. (Wrote a blog on this)
  • Business is hectic. Find time to sit and think without distractions.
  • Laugh out loud at least a few times a day. If you’re doing something that matters and that you really enjoy, it ought to be great fun.

As a founder and/or CEO working hard to build a great software business, if you are looking for a few rules to live buy… you could do a lot worse than these.

By the way if, I was going to add one rule it would be:

  • Lead from the front, not the office.

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.