Great ideas can come from anywhere, but it's hard to find them when we're in a constant state of information overload. As a result, we have to be strategic in where to source new ideas, how to find them, and how to take action. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner knows a thing or two on this front and used the professional networking site to teach us a valuable lesson.
Earlier this week, a LinkedIn professional posted an innovative idea involving business networking and tagged Jeff in the post. The CEO then commented on the post, endorsed the concept, and subsequently tagged key players in his organization. Watching the genuine interaction and series of events was truly remarkable, though. For your visual edification and to save you about 10 minutes finding the right comments, here are the highlights:
- Josh pitches Jeff
- Jeff responds, tagging his VP of Product (Kiran) and Sr. Director of Product (Chris)
- Kiran responds, adding some context, and loops two Product Directors (Pete & Liz) and his Product Lead (Ashu)
- Liz responds and asks a clarifying question to Josh
- Josh responds with more specific feature detail
- Liz responds with more, tagging the main Product Manager (PM) steering LinkedIn Events (Ashu)
- Ashu responds, alluding to taking the conversation offline to understand the need in more detail
So, what do we learn from all of this? There's a powerful takeaway here that all entrepreneurs and business leaders would do well to key in on:
Visible, engaging leadership is effective, attractive, and more feasible than ever.
It's probably easy for many CEOs to convince themselves that they're maximizing productivity by locking their office door, strategically deciding when to respond to emails, or staying away from the likes of a social network (albeit, a professional one). Not so for Weiner and fellow thought leader Elon Musk, who both clearly believe that engaging with their broader networks is a viable way to improve their respective organizations.
Of course, in order to employ this leadership style and actionable trickle-down impact, you need to use clever tactics and a winning strategy--something that LinkedIn and other digital platforms help immensely with. An example of good strategy might be to focus personal responses on those attempts at communication which are clear, concise, brand-aligned, and idea-rich.
Meanwhile, the accompanying tactic could be to respond in kind and delegate wherever possible--which is exactly what Weiner did when looping in the right people for the specific job at hand.
This isn't to say there are a limited number of winning strategies or effective tactics. Yours may look radically different than Weiner's; the important thing is that you have them. Just remember: empower through delegation.