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Jeff Weiner Quotes

Jeffrey Weiner

Jeff Weiner quotes: LinkedIn CEO sounds off on the not-so-sexy aspects of building a big company.

“You have to maintain a culture of transformation and stay true to your values.”

“You can do anything you set your mind to.”

“Do you want to push paper around or do you want to build products that change people’s lives?”

“It starts with vision, and the clarity of vision.”

“The faster a company grows, the more opportunity there is to experience both successes and failures.  While it’s important to celebrate the successes, and reflect on a failure, you ultimately have to move on and focus on the ‘next play.’”

“If you have true vision and you want to try something that hasn’t been done before, there’s gonna be a lot of naysayers, there’s gonna be a lot of skeptics, there’s gonna be a lot of people who feel threatened and try to get in your way.”

“You have to feel it deeply to be able to overcome those challenges and for people to want to follow you.  And if you’re not authentic in that belief and you don’t have true conviction, they’re not gonna be behind you.”

“The mission is the overarching objective that the whole company participates in to achieve.  A mission is measurable and realizable.”

“The vision is the dream.  The vision is the true north of the company designed to inspire the people in the company.  Historically the vision isn’t realizable nor measurable but instead creates a shared sense of purpose.”

“Don’t let your fear paralyze you.  Prepare yourself not only technically but also emotionally.”

“Don’t give away your power to things you can’t control.”

“I believe it’s first important to have a shared understanding of what culture is.  Culture is the collective personality of the company .  Namely, the people inside the company.  Culture is not just who you are but who you want to be .  It’s aspirational.  It provides the company a reason to want to reach something that is even better than where they are today.”

“In order to make sure people believe in your values and culture, you have to reinforce it, hire against it, reward against it, and you need buy-in from everyone in the organization.”

“Working professionals should take time to ask themselves: ‘If you had to look back at your career 20-30 years from now, what do you want to say you have accomplished?’  Instead, far too many focus on the next job role, next title, or next compensation package, without knowing what it is you want to leave the world.  Once you take time to articulate this to yourself, you begin to manifest this to others and before too long, you start on a path to realize your vision.”

“Prioritization sounds like such a simple thing, but true prioritization starts with a very difficult question to answer, especially at a company with a portfolio approach: ‘If you could only do one thing, what would it be?’  And you can’t rationalize the answer, and you can’t attach the one thing to some other things.  It’s just the one thing.”

“I’ve come to learn there is a virtuous cycle to transparency and a very vicious cycle of obfuscation.”

“We take culture very seriously, and we do draw a distinction at LinkedIn between culture and values.  Culture is who we are.  It’s essentially the personality of our company – who we are and who we aspire to be.  Values are the principles upon which we make day-to-day decisions.  And of course your values are a subset of your culture, so they’re very much inextricably linked.  Getting that right helps with recruiting.  It helps with motivating.  It helps with inspiring.  It helps with productivity.”

“Inspire, empower, listen, and appreciate.  Practicing any one of these can improve employee engagement; mastering all four can change the game.”

“The important word there is inspire.  The key difference between managers and leaders is that managers tell people what to do, while leaders inspire them to do it.  Inspiration comes from three things: clarity of one’s vision, courage of their conviction, and the ability to effectively communicate both of those things.”

“In order to inspire people, that’s going to have to come from somewhere deep inside of you.”

“If you truly want to inspire, forget about trying to impress others with what school you went to or what you’ve already accomplished.  None of that matters to the people you’re leading right now.”

“Managers will tell people what to do, whereas leaders will inspire them to do it, and there are a few things that go into the ability to inspire.”

“Leaders who recognize the importance of humility and emotional intelligence are the ones who are able to inspire.  These leaders concern themselves with action instead of position.”

“Effective leaders know that good listening is an art.”

“Of course, good leadership involves maintaining interest in your people’s work, and offering helpful advice when appropriate.”

“Work to understand how the other person’s thinking is similar or different than your own, along with the reasons for this.  Focus on learning from the other person’s perspective.  Then, use those learnings to improve your understanding of others and their situations, deepen your relationships, and broaden your overall thinking.”

“But if you really want to see what your people are capable of, don’t be afraid to get out of their way.”

“Once you identify talented people, you can find out what they want to accomplish, tell them what you want to accomplish, and then hopefully find alignment between what they want and what you want.  If you can find common ground, you can authentically say why their skills can help achieve this goal and hopefully they will want to join you and do that.”

“People who I look forward to working with – over time I have learned it’s not worth it to work with assholes – no matter how much they contribute.”

“The most valuable lesson is when you recognize someone might not be the right fit for the role they are in now – you already know the answer to the question.  The question is what are you going to do about it?  The key part of scaling an organization is not only identifying the right talent to bring into the organization – but it’s also about assessing the talent you currently have and making hard decisions.”

“True appreciation is looking for the good in others, getting sincere and specific about what you appreciate, and why.  It means seeing their potential.”

“It also means commending right away when you see something good.  After all, if you saw an employee engage in a dangerous behavior, you wouldn’t wait too long to correct it, would you?  Similarly, you should positively reinforce your employees’ good behavior when you see it – to encourage them to continue.”

“Each of your people is talented in different ways.  By learning to identify, recognize, and praise those talents, you bring out the best in them.”

“A CEO and the leadership team must understand the importance of growing their skills from solving problems to coaching others to achieve business results.”

“People think compassion is a soft skill.  The strongest people I know are the most compassionate.  True compassion requires superhuman strength.”

“Almost without exception, the best products are developed by teams with desire to solve a problem; not a company’s need to fulfill a strategy.”

“Facebook is massive in scale and scope.  Twitter is a public communication forum, but if I’m following you, you’re not necessarily following me.  LinkedIn is, simply, a professional network.”

“You don’t necessarily have to go public to get to the next level.”

“Stay in the moment.  Step back and become a spectator to your own thoughts.”

“It’s more important to be loving than to be right.”

“Go out of your way to serve others.”

“Take time each morning to write down what you are grateful for and read it throughout the day.”

“If you are going to try to do more than one thing – it goes back to what you are trying to accomplish  –  which is your mission, vision, and story of the company.  Storytelling is the oldest form of communication.  It’s part of the fabric of humanity.  We communicate through stories.  We are the stories we tell.”

“For a company –  the vision, mission, culture, goals, etc. – this is the story of your company.  You need to define your story and reinforce it.”

“What shouldn’t change is your culture and values.”

“At the end of the day, Silicon Valley companies create value through their products.  The further removed a CEO is from the product, the more challenging it’s going to be for that company to create value over time.  Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, you all know the names  – these people are all product people first and foremost.”

“Among many things that Ray Chambers has taught me are five rules for happiness.  So the first one is living in the moment.  The second is that it’s better to be loving than to be right, and if you’re in a relationship, you know how challenging that can be.  The third one is to be a spectator to your own thoughts, especially when you become emotional, which is almost impossible to do.  The fourth is to be grateful for at least one thing every day.  And the last is to help others every chance you get.  So I’m incredibly fortunate to have people in my life like that.”

“I was out to dinner with my parents about 10 or 12 years ago, and my dad said to me, ‘You’re going to be a CEO one day.’  And I said, ‘No, I don’t want to be.’  He said, ‘No, you’re going to be.’  And I said: ‘Dad, you’re not listening.  I don’t want to be.’  And literally we started arguing about this.  But he was right.”

“Looking back over my career to date, I can identify at least three clear influences that forever altered my career path.  In retrospect, it’s interesting to see how different the context was for each: parental advice, a passage in a book, and a persistent boss.  Despite the contrasts, all three share one thing in common – reinforcing the importance of knowing what it is you ultimately want to accomplish, and being open to allowing outside forces to help clarify, reinforce, and facilitate the path to making it happen.”

Wash this down with Mark Zuckerberg quotes.

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