Join Jeff Weiner for an in-depth discussion in this video Competitive landscape, part of On Leadership by Jeff Weiner.
- Now you got to zoom all the way out. So we started with the micro and we're broadening the aperture. Now we're going to go macro. So what are the key things to be aware of at a macro level? With regard to industry and global awareness, there's a few dimensions that I try to be keenly focused on. Competitive dynamics, a competitive landscape. All too often, especially with earlier stage companies, the company becomes so fixated on its own execution and performance, and rightfully so, arguably so. It has a very clear distinct vision. It builds its prototype. It needs to raise financing. And it needs to develop a business model. These things require a lot of execution, and a lot of energy gets focused on what it is that you're trying to accomplish. And I'm sure you're paying attention to the competition in so far as trying to beat them to market. But it's very inwardly focused. Over time as you continue to scale as you have success, you need to be increasingly focused on the broader competitive landscape because the more success you have, what's going to happen? More competition, more folks are going to say look at the success that that company's having. Let's get some of that for ourselves. And you better be aware of what's taking place. Now do you want to be constantly reacting to your competition? No. Do you want to try to emulate your competition? No, you're going to beat the competition by being true to who you are as a company. By recognizing your own sustainable, unique, competitive advantages and playing to those strengths. And being highly cognizant of what the competition's doing. But as soon as you take the eye off of the ball that's in your court and start constantly looking over to see what they're doing, you've lost. You've lost, now you're playing their game. And if they've developed the right kind of competitive advantages, you're going to be in serious trouble. So you want to be conscious. You want to be cognizant. But you want to play your own game. So there's a number of different ways to collect competitive intel. There's certain, the equivalent now back in the day would be trade magazines. Today there's websites, there's blogs, there's publishers. Critical is leveraging your network, to understand what's happening with the competition. Sometimes your most valuable sources of information will come from people in your network who are much more aware of some of those deltas, and changes, and variances than you are. Okay, moving on even more macro now. And each of these drivers, technological, economic, political, social, environmental, they will directly impact your industry and your company. And they will directly impact the world. So for each of these dimensions, I'm not sure the extent to which you are paying close attention to them. But as you amass more influence within your organization, more responsibility, you need to be thinking more broadly. You need to think about the drivers, the variables that will increasingly alter the landscape in which you're operating. And it's becoming more and more dynamic, and exchanging faster than at anytime people can recall. And that's in large part due to technology and the rise of these massively scaling, incredibly fast technologies. Sometimes we are innovating as a society, as a global society, faster than our ability to keep pace with the impact of these changes. And you can see that in daily headlines. And so just keeping up to the best of your ability is going to become increasingly important. It's also really important. I know a lot of engineers are in the room today. To ensure that you have someone on your team who's got the technology chops to make sense of this world, because the world is increasingly technology driven. And so you're looking. You don't want to, remember I said five Steph Currys on one basketball team is potentially problematic? If every single person on your team is a technical visionary, I'm not sure that's as valuable as having the right cross-functional skills and abilities. But boy does it help in this modern era to have someone with true vision in terms of the application of technology. We spend a lot of time on the macroeconomy. You know, as LinkedIn has become larger, you could argue that the global and macroeconomic trends will have greater influence on our business, both positive and potentially negative. And we want to make sure we stay ahead of that. So we're not reacting to it. We want to be proactive in terms of how we navigate any change to the macroeconomy. We started to codify this. And our BizOps team now creates a quarterly update in terms of macroeconomic conditions that we distribute before we present and prepare our quarterly business review. Political, the political dimension, the techlash that's taking place right now, the regulatory environment, geopolitical dynamics, and where there's greatest risk. This is increasingly influencing the technology industry, our industry, and our company. And so again, we have to be as proactive as possible. We have to read the tea leaves. We have to understand where the world is headed, try to get ahead of that, because if we're reacting to regulation very abruptly, that can be massively disruptive. Building the right relationships with governments all over the world. We have a truly world class team in place when you take advantage of the intelligence that they're able to generate and set them up to be successful in terms of building these relationships. From a social perspective, one example of myriad examples, certain demographic groups, psychographic groups, the rise of millennials who do things and experience things very differently than previous generations. And they'll be followed by digital natives and people who've only grown up using this digital technologies. And the way in which they get a job, the way in which they use a feed, the way in which they learn, it's going to be generationally different. And we need to incorporate that learning into our business, just by way of example. There's many examples. And lastly environmental. This used to be a broader, more abstract issue five, 10, 15, years ago. And it seems like by the day, the impact of climate change is having an increasingly profound effect on the way the world operates, the way the world works. And so we need to be steeped in understanding the impact on our members, on our customers. How we operate as a business, and being more conscious of the way in which we are contributing or herding the environment in which we operate. So those are examples of variables, or macro-drivers. And it's important as you continue to gather more and more responsibility, that you're carving out the right amount of time and identifying the right sources to get ahead of these trends. And understand how it's going to impact the world, our industry, and our company.
Learn about the importance of maintaining awareness of yourself, your team, your industry, and the world at large. Explore the topic of synthesis, which you achieve through developing your vision and values and by focusing on the most important priorities. Plus, learn about the role of inspiration in leadership, both in terms of being true to your own values and motivating others.