WSJ: What lessons did you take from working with Larry Ellison at Oracle?
Mr. Phillips: “The best thing I learned at Oracle was speed. Speed is better than perfection. If you’re sitting around for six months debating something, usually the thing you’re debating has changed over that time. You’re never going to get a consensus, so let’s make a decision and go and we’ll, of course, correct it if we have to.”
WSJ: What did you decide to do differently at Infor?
Mr. Phillips: “I’m a bit more hands on, engaging with people at all levels of the company, making people feel a sense of purpose. The best leaders in the Marine Corps were the guys who created a relationship with the people in their unit so that those people didn’t want to disappoint them. That is hard to get in business, but the military has that and I try to draw from that more.”
WSJ: You’ve switched careers several times, occasionally with personal and professional setbacks. Take us into your mind-set as you’ve made those big transitions.
Mr. Phillips: “One of the things my father taught me is: Do things that can be measured, because you can’t rely on people liking you. You won’t have the same access as maybe some other people, but if you can perform and demonstrate that you can perform, people will always take the next step with you. That’s been instrumental for me because I could always demonstrate numbers-wise or something technical that worked.”
—from Wall Street Journal, interview with Charles Phillips, CEO, Infor