Jeff Weiner talks about waiting for the right time to make decisions and how you shouldn't be afraid to admit if you make a wrong decision. At LinkedIn, he tries to make quality decisions fast, but he isn't afraid to press the pause button if more time is needed to make the right decisions.
- To not make a decision before I'm ready, which took a long time to realize. Sometimes you won't always have that luxury. Sometimes you're going to have to make a decision before you're ready to. But if you're not forced to make a decision before you're ready to make a decision, give it time. Give it time. And I think too often people rush it. They don't have the right set of information yet. And I'm not talking about analysis, paralysis. I'm not talking about having the perfect amount of information. There's no such thing as perfection.
But often times effective decision makers, they have pretty strong conviction. They're relying upon pattern matching and experiences. They're relying upon people around the table, that diverse set of decision makers and influencers. And they know. They know. They'll make the right decision more often than not. Not going to make the right decision every time. But if they're not feeling it, it's okay to hit the pause button. I'm not ready to make this decision. And I'm not sure everyone fully appreciates the fact that they have that ability. They have that opportunity.
Also, once you make a decision, if you made the wrong decision, don't be afraid to admit it, learn from it, and then move in a different direction. That's another common mistake. Which is you feel like as the person responsible, or the leader, or the manager, that you can't show any vulnerability. You have to be perfect. Nothing could be further from the truth. The last thing in the world I want is to be surprised. If teams understand that things aren't performing the way they had expected, I want to know that as soon as possible so we can do something about it. And I want to model that behavior for my team.
Another corollary, is that at some point you do need to make a decision. The worst possible thing you can do, is just allow it to sit there, and it just builds over time. And we're talking about scaling organizations, those things, they compound and compound. So after leaving Yahoo and I became an EIR, I didn't know if I was burnt out on Yahoo. It was tough going towards the end. It was an extraordinary experience, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Invaluable. But towards the end, it was pretty challenging on a number of different fronts.
And I didn't know if I was burnt out on that specific situation, or I was burnt out on operations. So I wanted to take some time off and I was an EIR. And then the first day, literally, this sounds like I'm just making this up, but it's a true story, the first day I set foot at LinkedIn, I couldn't wipe the smile from my face. And one of the reasons was because we could make decisions in minutes or hours that in previous rolls, I found companies requiring weeks or months, if they ever made the decision at all. And to this day, when we're able to make a decision, a good decision, and we're able to make it in a timely way, I start smiling to myself.
I'm thinking about that's how you do it. Speed and quality of decisions. I can't emphasis it enough.
- 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