Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos have a few things in common.
Both are super successful billionaires, are considered early pioneers in their respective fields, and have survived the dot-com crash on their way to building multi-billion dollar companies. Plus, they were both born in the same year (1964).
It turns out they also value the same attitude when it comes to business: “Listen more.”
That was Benioff’s message during a fireside chat at the WSJD Live conference on Tuesday. He was asked how he’s able to constantly find innovation in business, especially as he gets older.
“I try to cultivate what I call a ‘beginner’s mind.’ I try to let go of all the things that have happened so far in our industry, which is a lot of stuff, and just go, ‘OK, what’s going to happen right now?'” Benioff said.
“And then I listen, deeply listen to maybe myself, or really to others, or maybe even great companies…I listen really closely to all those innovators,” he continued.
Coincidentally, that’s the same piece of advice Bezos shared during a recent event held by Madrona Ventures, an early investor in Amazon.
According to Geekwire, he was asked what advice he would give to a 30-year old Bezos, and he simply answered, “Listen more.”
It was a closed event, so it’s unclear what the full context of Bezos’ comment was. But Amazon is notorious for its attention to customer service, and he has often stressed the importance of listening to customers previously.
Either way the message is clear: the best CEOs in the world listen more, whether it’s to customers, employees, or business partners — and doing so can go a long way.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
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