Saturday, September 20, 2014

Appreciate Growth, Focus on One, Be Compassionate

Actually this post is a long pending one and thanks to Jeff, who prompted me to post this without any further delay. One of the big wins in my life is to get an offer from LinkedIn and to be part of the awesome Talent Community. It surely has been one of the key decisions in my life considering the fact that I got an opportunity to work with one of the dream companies of mine. Having read both the books of Reid Hoffman, I was very tempted to work for LinkedIn for its inspiring set of culture and values. It has been little over a month at LinkedIn and right from the day one, I have placed myself in a ‘curiosity’ mode and I am truly enjoying the new phase.
Before joining LinkedIn, I had watched several videos of Jeff and have been his fan since then. He is one of the coolest CEOs I have ever seen and listened to. I am fortunate to join him and his efforts of creating a world with immense economic opportunities. I was awe-inspired watching his talk on creating the global economic graph and his vision for LinkedIn for the next 10 years. And after reading Reid’s new book ‘The Alliance’ I was convinced that LinkedIn, with its inspiring set of culture and values and an energetic CEO like Jeff, is one of the coolest companies in the world. (By the way, I had read the book before I joined LinkedIn)
What prompted me to write this post is the recent ‘Fire Side Chat’ with Jeff happened at our LinkedIn office in Sydney, Australia. Jeff answered a lot of questions and one of the answers that got me hooked onto is for the question on ‘fun’. It was absolutely interesting when he said that he likes ‘growth’ everyday and ‘growth’ is fun for him. Jeff went on to the extent of explaining how he likes growth by giving examples of him getting up early in the morning, going to his garden and deeply appreciating the growth of the plants, flowers, the whole garden etc., he likes to see them grow and likewise he likes to see growth around him all the time (everyday, every minute). It was particularly interesting for me because I could easily relate to what he said.  Me being a nature enthusiast, what I observe in nature is the same. It is a natural phenomenon to grow everyday. Nature does not wait for anything; it just follows its cycle. We all see growth all around us and no one can stop it. It takes some effort to appreciate the growth around us and to understand the philosophy behind the same. 
All of us expect ourselves to grow everyday; we like little improvements in everything we deal with on a daily basis.  We always like to see our gardens giving more flower blooms every year; we like to see ourselves moving higher in our career graph; we are always ecstatic to see our bank balances progressing north and we never like to see any graph seeing south.  But calling it ‘fun’ takes a lot of courage and craziness for anyone. And Jeff is surely as crazy as he sounds for sure. 
The next thing he spoke about was focusing ‘one thing at a time’. He said those who have read Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs knows the story of how Apple flourished because of Steve’s philosophy of ‘focusing on one thing at a time’.   Even though Apple had started working on iPad before the iPhone, for a good reason, they had to stop everything they worked on iPad for a long time until they shipped their first iPhone. They never did work on both the things simultaneously. And they became successful and working on ‘one thing at a time’ became their mantra. Investing the whole energy on that ‘one thing’ is the key for any business to flourish. And for that matter, (I should not be saying this given the gamut of things I am part of) every individual will succeed by doing ‘one thing at a time’.
The next thing that was very enticing for me was when Jeff spoke about this interesting topic ~ ‘managing compassionately’. Drawing his experience from his ‘Yahoo’ days, he gave good examples of how he evolved to this philosophy of building a culture of compassion. It takes a lot of courage and honesty to share transformative stories and having heard some of the examples Jeff gave us, made me think that we seldom realize the fact that without ‘compassion’ or ‘being compassionate’, it is very difficult to work with people around us.
Well, I already like this new phase of mine and thrilled to have listened to some awesome stories from the people I admire. I guess the three interesting points listed above are absolutely cool to reflect upon and they are much evident in every success story we come across everyday.