Being a Genius Does Not Mean You Have To Fail
I mentioned Ken Thomson’s leadership recently and today want to mention Reid Hoffman. Ken Thomson is not a genius, but got good people (also not geniuses) who had the same values and direction. Reid Hoffman is a Genius. He started and led LinkedIn. Ronen Shilo says, ” First, he had a vision which he executed brilliantly. Secondly, he never let his vision get in the way of listening to what users and the market were saying.
His goal everywhere is to make a positive lasting impact. That is vision. After the LinkedIn model was proved and exploding, in 2009, he brought in a CEO to replace himself named Jeff Weiner. Jeff asked him how they would split power, and Reid said he could take it all. It was his to run. This is genius and character. He found a good man and let him do it without meddling or second guessing all the way along even though it was his money/company. Cyriac Roeding of Shopkick says “Reid Hoffman is the proof nice guys can win.” To get more details and information in a video about Reid, go to Bloomberg here
The risk of Genius or even experience is we think we know it all. Genius does not mean you have to fail. Think of why Reid can succeed despite the handicap of being a genius.
He never let his genius get in the way of really listening to others. He could hire people and let them do it their way. He cared about people, and they were attracted to him. He brought a positive vision for his work and applied it in everything he did.
So, if you are not a genius, then Ken Thomson is a good model. If you are a genius, then learn from Reid. Well perhaps we can all learn from both.
by Ronen Shilo