Masters of Scale – Reid Hoffman: LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner
Every leader has to set the drumbeat for their company — the culture, mission, and values that get the entire team in sync. And the rhythm has to be true to them. Jeff Weiner is a master at this. As CEO of LinkedIn, Jeff grew users from 33 million to 660 million.
He grew revenue to more than $7 billion and ultimately stewarded LinkedIn through its acquisition by Microsoft. Jeff’s drumbeat? Compassionate management.
The cultural drumbeat
Leaders must authentically match their cultural drumbeat to their team’s to inspire them. Repeat the guiding principle until it is internalized, as effective communication involves repetition without revealing boredom.
Effective leaders understand the importance of repetition to reinforce their message, and they practice mindful management by being aware of their own emotions and understanding their colleagues’ perspectives and strengths.
Wisdom and compassion
Combining wisdom and compassion is crucial for personal growth and success, and a smooth CEO transition requires the whole organization’s support. Allow new leaders to adjust to their new roles and make their own decisions.
As a new CEO, meeting with employees to understand existing cultural rhythms can aid in building trust and inspiring them to move towards shared objectives. Alignment is key to a well-constructed drumbeat.
Vision and conviction
A clear vision, conviction, and effective communication are crucial for keeping your team engaged. Authenticity and compassion drive success and can lead to increased innovation, adaptability, engagement, and performance. Cultivating a compassionate culture can benefit both employees and the bottom line.
Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is key to compassionate management. Take a step back and think about the other person’s experiences during difficult conversations. Compassion can create value within a company’s ecosystem.
Considering the well-being of stakeholders which being compassionate
Compassion and considering the well-being of stakeholders, along with a consistent cultural drumbeat that reinforces values, leads to a strong ecosystem and business success. Companies should evaluate employees based on culture fit rather than just results.
Consistency is key to maintaining company culture and values, even in tough times. Clear vision, cascading key messages, and careful consideration of change are crucial to achieving goals.
The drummer is the heartbeat of a band
Drummer Chris Tomson’s success with indie rock band, Vampire Weekend, shows the importance of sticking to your strengths and the basics. He started as a guitarist, but when the band needed a drummer, he relied on simple, effective beats. He avoided flashy drum fills and focused on serving the band’s context and the song.
Tomson believes a drummer is the heartbeat of a band, and because his rhythm is consistent, the band can follow and gel as a unit. As a leader, it’s important to know your strengths and stick to what lights you up inside, just like how Tomson’s simple rhythms have helped pave the way to Vampire Weekend’s success.
I couldn’t think of anything more important to teach than compassion. In a sense, compassion should be the platform upon which everything else is taught, especially in the modern era, especially with this increasing narrative about “us versus them.”