Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, frequently borrows a phrase from legendary Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski. In Weiner’s informal meetings with employees, he often says, “Next play.”
Krzyzewski likes to say “next play” after every sequence on the basketball court. It’s a way to focus players on what they need to do to succeed.
Similarly, Weiner will direct his team’s attention to what’s next so that they briefly reflect on what just happened—highlighting success or learning from mistakes—while moving on to the next challenge. It helps them learn from experience and prepare for what’s ahead.
Weiner runs a fast-growing company with more than 3,000 employees and 200 million members.
Unlike many CEOs, Weiner actively solicits ideas from his subordinates to sharpen hisskills. After meetings or presentations, he often asks, “What could I have done better?”
His empathy endears him to his staff. By seeing situations through their eyes and being sensitive to their feelings and perceptions, Weiner earns their trust. They are willing to work harder because they know he values their contribution.
Weiner doesn’t chastise employees for their mishaps. Instead, he assures them they can do better next time.
“You feel like you’re part of a supportive team, and ultimately you feel like Jeff is behind you,” says David Hahn, LinkedIn’s vice president of product.
— Adapted from “5 Influential CEOs Weigh in What Makes a Good Leader,” Jim Morrison, www.entrepreneur.com.
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