Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Advice from LinkedIn

Under the recurring theme that I'll post good advice regardless where I find it, consider this article from LinkedIn:

"Best Advice: Lessons From My Dad and Steve Jobs" by Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn CEO)

Jeff's advice?
You can do anything you set your mind to -- My dad
As simple as it sounds, the short version of my response is that you have to know what it is you ultimately want to accomplish (optimizing for both passion and skill, and not one at the exclusion of the other). As soon as you do, you'll begin manifesting it in both explicit and implicit ways.
Everything that can be converted from an atom to a bit, will be -- Nicholas Negroponte
Do you want to push paper around or do you want to build products that change people's lives? -- Dan Rosensweig
This next one really intrigues me.
We are the stories that we tell -- Deepak ChopraSeveral years ago, I asked Deepak how massively scaling consumer web platforms could best contribute in a world that felt increasingly besieged by secular challenges. His response was that ultimately we are the stories that we tell; that the importance of storytelling was as old as humanity itself, dating back to the time of cave drawings. He went on to explain that if society was exclusively focused on rehashing the problems of the world, e.g. rising unemployment, global warming, threat of terrorism, etc, it would create anxiety, stress, and a planet steeped in self-fulfilling negative energy. However, if we came together and focused on not only identifying the problems, but developing the solutions and shining a light on those success stories, we could change the dialog and manifest more positive change. That discussion forever changed my appreciation for the power of narrative, regardless of the size of the audience.
If you could only do one thing, what would it be? -- Steve Jobs
Shortly after Jerry Yang became the CEO of Yahoo, he invited Steve Jobs to address the company's leadership. Among many insightful things that Steve shared that day, the one that continues to have the most profound influence on me was his discussion regarding prioritization. Jobs said that after he returned to Apple in 1994, he recognized there were far too many products and SKUs in development so he asked his team one simple question: If you could only do one thing, what would it be? He said that many of the answers rationalized the need to do more than one thing, or sought to substantiate bundling one priority with another. However, all he wanted to know was what "the one thing" was. As he explained it, if they got that one thing right, they could then move on the next thing, and the next thing after that, and so on. Turned out the answer to his question was the reinvention of the iMac. After that, it was the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Interestingly enough, years later I heard Jobs speak at All Things D and he explained that the company had actually been working on the iPad before the iPhone, as he had long written off pursuit of the phone as being prohibitively challenging given the carrier landscape. However, once a window of opportunity opened up to successfully bring a phone to market, he hit the pause button on the tablet, and only returned to it once Apple got the iPhone right. Pretty mind blowing to think that a company as large and successful as Apple, and someone as prodigiously talented as Steve Jobs, would temporarily shelve something as important as the iPad for the sake of focus, but that's exactly what he did.
Wisdom without compassion is ruthlessness, compassion without wisdom is folly -- Fred Kofman
Five steps to happiness -- Ray Chambers
As one of my mentors, I've learned a lot from Ray through the years, but the one piece of advice that I find myself coming back to most often are are his five steps to happiness:
Live in the moment
It's better to be loving than to be right
Be a spectator to your own thoughts, especially when you become emotional
Be grateful for at least one thing every day
Help others every chance you get