Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn CEO

If you were the CEO of the largest networking site for professionals, what would you do? Sit on your laurels and let business take its course?!? Well, business is an unending journey of challenges and opportunities that if you are not prepared – it could leave you in the dust.


For Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn’s CEO, he never dreamt of becoming CEO in the first place – perhaps the thought of “pressure” sort of stressed him out. This issue even brought some tension between Weiner and his father. Yet sometime in December 2008, Weiner ended up as CEO of the world’s most influential site for professionals, LinkedIn.

So what’s really inside the profile of Jeff Weiner? Experience? Too common and expected. Education? Only a BS. Then what? Areas more valuable than either of them.

VISION. LinkedIn wants to be the link amongst every professional and company in the world just as when it comes to hiring and selling. Good. But if the world has 3.3 billion professionals and LinkedIn has 187 million of them registered, it’s obviously a long way to go that if they do not watch out, they could be challenged one day… insurmountable as it may seem. Weiner should be reminded that just like any other networking sites, some of the profiles could have duplicates, some may be fakes, and interestingly, for whatever reason, some may even have essential data that they have yet to include or clarify. The key then is to learn to listen to these people – you might even get some ideas on melting that friction, as Weiner said “… to allow human and economic capital to flow where it’s most needed”.

ADVICE. This aspect, whatever you cough out, reflects your attitude and capability. And for Weiner and many other men of history like Napoleon Hill – the big career mistake most people make is not having a real goal in mind. Hence, his question to those who seeks his counsel is: “In 30 years, what do you want to have accomplished?”

Actually, the answer to this question is one of the keys you really need to consider when you are hiring. A person’s perspective on the future says so much more of his elan and abilities rather than his work experience which is of the past; a past that could even be attributed to luck or circumstances.

MANTRA. Next Play – Weiner made this the unofficial mantra of LinkedIn. It’s something he borrowed from Coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils. Here, every time the basketball team goes up and down the court, Coach K screams “next play” so the team doesn’t linger long, whether celebrating or deploring or whatever, on what just happened. It’s simply about moving on.

More than just basketball or any sport for that matter, we could see that sports and business management are linked specially that of team sports. And if you look very carefully, you would notice that those who comprehends and practices its nuances are more well-rounded in handling people and objectives. Look at Weiner… and many others. Simply put – Leadership in whatever field is transferable. It’s just a matter of understanding the organization, efficiently utilizing its resources, and effectively executing plans towards a shared goal.

And for Jeff Weiner and LinkedIn, that goal is about “transforming LinkedIn to an economic graph that maps the global underpinnings of the global economy”.

What’s your take?