Leadership Insights from Women at Oracle

Sun Women in Boston Dine with Jack and Suzy Welch

Guest Author

OK....we really didn't 'dine' with Jack and Suzy, but we were all together during the keynote luncheon program where the Welches co-presented during an interview session.  They were both on the stage, which was an interesting approach at a women's conference.

This took place at the Massachusetts Conference for Women in Boston on December 11, 2007. 

Karen Tegan Padir (One on Boston's Women to Watch and an exec at Sun) sponsored two tables for over 20 Sun Women in the Boston area to attend this event. 

Here's a picture of most of us (who by the way represent just about every business group across Sun):

Last year there were about a dozen of us who attended - I hope that someday we have a presence there like Raytheon had yesterday - they sent all 500 of their Massachusetts based women or State Street, one of the sponsors, that had 700 women attend!

With so much info to share, it's going to take more than one blog entry to share what I learned yesterday.....so let me start with our lunch with Jack and Suzy -- here are the things, that aren't the standard things you hear at conferences like this, that I jotted down as far as business advice:

Jack said, "Networking is nice....but it's all about over-delivering." He went on to explain that to get ahead you need to learn the 'game.'  And that is all about "making your boss look smart." (I don't think my boss reads this blog, so I'm not worried about him catching on to this advice I picked up and already am putting into action!) 

When asked about work/life balance, he said that he doesn't "believe in work life balance."  You could have heard a pin drop!  He continued to explain, that  "it's all about work/life CHOICES."  He added, "You don't get to be chairman of GE by being dad of the year." 

This was interesting to me - here he was talking about this at a WOMEN'S CONFERENCE.   He did quip that even when he was "21 that [he] didn't have this many women listening to [him]."    

Interestingly, I wondered to myself how the audience would respond to his insights -- and guess what?  Many of the people I talked to found his comments to be insightful and accurate. 

What do you think?

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