6 Things I Learned from Jeff Weiner by Maynard Webb

When Jeff Weiner spoke at the WIN Summit, he had the audience enthralled with his wisdom. He is a genuine, compassionate and authentic leader. The pieces of advice that stood out to me:

1.     Never shy away from speaking up: Even when Jeff was an intern, he offered his thoughts. When he had no business experience, he helped with a business plan. Regardless of how little experience you have, share your opinions and ideas.

2.     Manage Compassionately: Though most people in western society typically use empathy and compassion interchangeably, there’s a fundamental difference between the two. Jeff shared a teaching from the Dalai Lama that explains it this way: Picture yourself walking along a mountainous trail. You come across a person being crushed by a boulder on their chest. The empathetic response would be to feel the same sense of crushing suffocation, thus rendering you helpless. The compassionate response would be to recognize that that person is in pain and doing everything within your power to remove the boulder and alleviate their suffering. Put another way, compassion is empathy plus action.

3.     Practice Mindfulness: Take time to be reflective and think about what’s bothering you. Jeff urged us to take a moment to see why we are reacting the way we are reacting. We are wired to be egocentric, to see the world through our own perspective. Instead, he advised us to become a spectator to our own thoughts. “You can’t address it until it’s out of your own head.” I know meditation teachers say this helps you “respond, not react.” Makes good common sense to me.

4.     Have walking 1:1s: This started accidentally when LinkedIn ran out of conference space and Jeff had 2-3 meetings a day outside. He explains walking 1:1s can be uniquely powerful because you are away from the office, no one is glued to their devices, and, in some cases, when you aren’t forced to make direct eye contact it’s easier to be more forthcoming.

5.     Spend time thinking every day: Jeff shared that 8-9 years ago he struggled with something so many of us do: he believed he had to schedule every minute. “And any free time meant I wasn’t doing my job.” Now he builds in a “buffer” of 90 minutes a day (broken down into 30- to 90-minute blocks) to catch his breath, think big, catch up on the latest industry news, get out from under that pile of unread emails, or just take a walk. He says he got over the guilt of having this unstructured time as he realized these breaks were not only important, they were absolutely necessary in order for him to do his job. Check out this video where Jeff talks in more detail about this smart practice.

6.     Create trust by showing vulnerability: If you are constantly vulnerable you are anxious. But if you are never vulnerable people will not trust you. Where’s the balance? Feel it out.

Article by Maynard Webb, Founder, Webb Investment Network

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