Salesforce’s CEO Marc Benioff has been dubbed “Tech’s Mad Genius” and “The Decade’s Top Innovator” for a reason. Forbes recently published an article about the tech giant’s dynamic leader and his strategy for success. Benioff created Salesforce with the desire to innovate and disrupt an industry that seems to aways been in flux. To enter the tech industry with that mindset is a sign of sound leadership. To actually execute that dream, however, requires a pioneer.
Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or an experienced manager, there’s a lot to learn from his ambition and energy. I’ve worked with a ton of leaders, but there were not many whose passion for their business surpassed Benioff’s.
Here are just a few lessons to take away from Benioff’s strategy:
1. Never stop trying to discover the next big thing.
In the Forbes profile, Benioff dropped a few early hints about his company’s new artificial intelligence (AI) technology, Salesforce Einstein, which will be revealed at Dreamforce on Oct. 4-7. Einstein, Benioff predicts, will power the next decade of growth at Salesforce. “If this is not the next big thing, I don’t know what is,” Benioff told Forbes.
But you don’t have to have something as huge as a new AI system to push the envelope inside your organization. Always look for bigger and better ways to improve operations, products, and customer relationships. A leader who thinks there’s nowhere else to go is one that should retire.
2. Adapt a winning mindset.
Benioff emphasizes the importance of a “beginner’s mind” — the openness and willingness to learn that often comes with a lack of subject-area expertise. In Benioff’s case, this translates to an “insatiable curiosity” that has kept him — and Salesforce — on the bleeding edge of what’s new and innovative in enterprise tech.
Everywhere I go, I keep asking “Why” Why do our customers like our product? Why do they buy from our competitors? How can we prove we offer the better experience? And of course— How can we provide the most exceptional service possible? When I ask employees and leaders these questions, I’m not only looking for answers, but trying to study how they think. Hopefully once improvements are made by questioning the current situation, others will begin to ask why and improve the company in their own roles.
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