Two weeks ago I went to one of the pre-Wisdom 2.0 events, a luncheon with Jeff Weiner and the impressions he made with his insights still linger.
The room was filled with early-adopter idealists who are looking for the best way to implement their high ideals into the real world. The LinkedIn CEO was speaking to an audience who view him as the total success story–how to take strong inner core values such as mindfulness, conscious living and compassion– and apply them in the real world. SUCCESSFULLY. The audience breathed in every word he spoke. Some were skeptical at first but then were quickly convinced by his boyish charm and razor sharp intelligence.
Soren Gordhammer, the founder and head of Wisdom 2.0, set the stage citing a Gallup poll from 2013. It seems that there is a strong disengagement in the American work force. The biggest factor appears to be “the bosses from hell”. The human element is missing. He raised the question of what can be done to remedy this and still build companies that add value?
“All people need meaning and purpose (in their lives)”!
“All people need to feel heard”!
There was a gasp of admiration for someone who has been able to make it through the highly competitive business world in Silicon Valley and is clearly at the top. He’s not afraid to speak of vulnerability, human emotions. More than that he has made it his very own recipe for success!
The topic was “Compassion in Business”. When most people think of compassion and business, they immediately question how the two can co-exist. I believe they can. Actually, I believe compassion can be an advantage. The question is “How does Jeff Weiner make it a reality within LinkedIn?”
Jeff’s secret sauce? Leading by example. Here are just a few of the secrets he shared.
- He incorporates two unscheduled hours a day. Every day. He fills them with meditation, open communication, brain storming and just a moment to catch his breath and integrate.
- He likes to have walking meetings, being outside and moving to support creative spurts.
- He takes time to really listen.
- He prefers people who fit his company culture and still need extra training to people who do not fit but have the right skills.
- He has hired a coach for LinkedIn whose role is just that–coaching conscious business practices. His name Fred Kofman.
- Jeff stated that he tries to avoid having “The bosses from hell”. His advice is “If you cannot tell it to yourself in a mirror and feel good about what you are saying maybe you shouldn’t be saying it at all”. Or try a different approach.
To me it sounds like a way to build a strong organization. It sounds very practical and compassionate at the same time. Funny thing is, it seems like rather common business sense to me.