Oracle Applications Consulting infuses a culture of learning and leadership throughout our organization. It’s a personal mission for me to ensure our people feel connected, supported, and inspired to take our organization—and in turn, our clients—to the next level.
Leadership isn’t just about a job title for us. Our goal is to ensure every member of our team feels empowered to demonstrate leadership in their interactions within and outside our organization. Our culture is driven by a servant leadership style—we are here to serve our clients and each other.
I’ve found the best way to inspire leadership at every level of our team is to show it in action
. I recently engaged our team in an online conversation around leadership advice and inspiration. To kick off the dialogue, I asked them to share their best career advice. The responses were inspiring and insightful. They amped up my energy and excitement for where our team can go. Here is a sampling of some the conversation—I hope these words of wisdom motivate you as much as they did me.
Swarnali Bag, Consulting Practice Director
I think my biggest inspiration and motivation comes from my amazing and fearless mother, who has given me multiple pieces of advice (which I only realize now) on how to be successful in life. I would like to share a few of them:
1. “If you get an opportunity in life, never say no. Say yes, and work endlessly until you learn it.” Guess what, I was walking by an Oracle office at HQ the other day, and I saw a very similar quote by Richard Branson: “If someone offers you an amazing opportunity, and you're not sure if you can do it, say ‘yes’ then learn how to do it later.”
2. “Whatever you do, you need to be the best at it, which means even if you are a sweeper, you gotta be the best sweeper in town.”
3. “If you find hurdles that don't let you do the right thing, never be afraid to go to the highest level to achieve your objective.”
Jenna Loos, Managing Principal, Expert Services
My career has revolved around marketing so it’s probably no surprise that the best career advice I’ve received is this: Treat your career like a brand—manage it, cultivate it, and remain true to your brand’s identity. Work for its success, and fight hard for opportunities as they come up. All the actions you make, or don't make, will affect how people see you and your brand.
Rick Hassman, Vice President, NA Customer Advocacy
“To have power is to give power away.” I realized early in my career that to be successful, I needed to create an amazing team. I needed to understand everyone’s strengths and use them to make whatever we were doing successful. I needed to trust and grow the entire team. Success comes from a great team...not individual power.
Bruno Binkley, Group Vice President, NAA Consulting Strategy
One principle of leadership that I have found critical is flexibility. A mentor of mine early in my career pulled me aside and had me think through an ancient story: “The Oak and the Reed” from Aesop’s Fables. It is summarized in the following verse: A reed before the wind lives on, while mighty oaks do fall. He added...” you’ll have happy clients if you act like a reed.” When you think of things as either/or, you will tend to pick what you think is right and stick to it...as a mighty oak. Instead, think of the AND...how can you blend your perspective with others to develop something better.
Guy Purvis, Senior Practice Director
Advice I have liked over the years:
1. Do more listening than speaking.
2. Understand before judging.
3. Leadership is set by example.
Dinesh Nagaraj, Project Director, Global Services Delivery
One of the best career conversations that I have had was with my manager during my early working days: Work hard, work smart, be curious, yearn to learn (always!), spread the knowledge (sharing is learning!), be kind to others. At the end of the day, your life and career is as good as the human being you are. Everything else we aspire to will eventually fall in place!
We are taking these and other concepts more broadly throughout our organization. The photo above was taken at a recent leadership meeting for Oracle North America Applications Consulting. The theme of the meeting was Painting Our Future Together (we took a literal interpretation on the theme, too, as evidenced by the personalized artwork we're holding). We spent several days together planning for FY2019, and inspiring our team through leadership was a continuous thread in our conversations.
We know that as we demonstrate—and reward—servant leadership at all levels of our organization, our team and our clients reap the benefits. How do you inspire leadership within your organization? And what’s your best career advice? Let us know in the comments—we’d love to learn from our community.