Jeff Weiner talks about bringing in a professional coach named Fred Kofman who he met at Yahool Fred is the author of the book "Conscious Business". He asked Fred to join LinkedIn and be part of the team.
- I've been at companies where you bring in coaches or you bring in HR experts, or... I mean, we've all been there, and it's an eye-rolling experience, and it doesn't feel like it's worth the time, and the last thing in the world a startup that's just going wants to do is bring somebody in to do that kind of stuff, but, if you want to successfully scale, you're going to need a leadership team underneath you who's going to help you make that happen. Otherwise, you're not going to be able to execute at scale. And once you begin to recognize the importance of coaching, of mentorship, of development, of understanding and taking the time to understand what someone wants to accomplish with their career, their hopes, their dreams, their fears, their insecurities, their vulnerabilities, you can start to play to their strengths.
You can start to compliment those areas where they need help. And that requires time, and it requires people that know how to coach, and if you're fortunate enough, you'll have a leadership team that inherently is good at coaching. I think you would be, I think it would be an unusual set of circumstances where an organization that is just in the throes of scaling would find themselves in a situation where they couldn't benefit from professional coaches, and so, in our case, one example would be a guy named Fred Kofman, who wrote a book called Conscious Business, and I had a chance to meet Fred at Yahoo, he was brought in to help, and it was one of those situations where I expected an eye-rolling experience...
As a matter of fact, I don't even think I went to the first session that I was supposed to go to, and members of my team came back and said, this guy's amazing, and they gave me a handout that had been, I think it was an excerpt from the book, and it stayed on my desk for a while, and at some point, I actually remember flipping through it, and I was like, this is different. And eventually, the executive team at Yahoo was encouraged to spend some time with Fred together, and I was extremely impressed, and we just developed a friendship.
I consider him a mentor, and so, he's been enormously influential on, on my career ambitions and what I'm hoping to accomplish in the way he's provided some feedback and guidance there. And at one point, I just invited him to join LinkedIn and to be a part of our team, and he thought he was done ever working for a company again, but I think the platform is so uniquely positioned to help Fred accomplish what he wants to do, which is, for lack of a better term, open-sourcing his wisdom and his experience and the things that he's written about and sharing that with the professional world, which he's in a position to do uniquely on LinkedIn, so, that would be an example, and he's been, as you know, he's been invaluable.
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- Defining the vision
- Fostering a healthy culture
- Growing a leadership team
- Planning with critical mass and scale in mind
- Coaching others to be able to solve problems
- Evolving communication strategies
- Maintaining focus during change
- Hiring smart at scale
- Empowering talented people