“There are two mindsets you can have in business,” said Salesforce Chair and CEO Marc Benioff, in an appearance on Jessi Hempel’s Hello Monday podcast. “You can have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. Another way to say it is that you could have an expert’s mind…or you could have a beginner’s mind. It’s critical for every entrepreneur, every CEO, every business leader, to really maintain your beginner’s mind.”
“Sometimes, good business means making a decision on a longer horizon, one that will benefit more people even at the expense of immediate returns,” said Hempel in introducing the podcast. “Marc has always thought beyond shareholders.”
Hempel and Benioff discussed the unique environment we all find ourselves in, best business practices, entrepreneurship, and more. Here are some selected thoughts from Benioff:
On getting into software: “I started buying a couple of books and I tried to teach myself. I started writing software and I sold my first piece of software called ‘How to Juggle’…for like $75. I was in the software business! I think I was about 14 or 15 years old. And then I had the bug…I was like, ‘I think this is an idea. I’m not going to be a doctor. I’m not going to be a lawyer. No, I’m a software person. I really like this. This is fun.'”
On entrepreneurship and timing: “When you’re doing something completely new, like what we’re talking about, you’re going to have to pick your moment.”
On the job of a CEO leading through COVID-19: “In this world today, you have to be empathy first. I mean, this is an empathy-first world.”
On business and life: “Business has to be more than just building and selling products. I mean, what are we doing every day with our lives? What is life all about? If it’s not about being happy and enjoying ourselves and giving back then I don’t know what life is.”
Listen to the whole podcast here.