LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner: Here's what separates successful leaders from managers

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner sat down with O, The Oprah Magazine editor-at-large Gayle King at Hearst Tower.
Philip Friedman | Studio D

Since becoming CEO of LinkedIn in 2008, Jeff Weiner has grown quite the employee fan base.

As one of Glassdoor's highest-rated CEOS, Weiner apparently has what it takes to be a successful leader and he is sharing that knowledge with others.

During a Master Class Q&A at Hearst Tower between Weiner and Gayle King, co-host of CBS This Morning and editor-at-large of "O, The Oprah Magazine," Weiner described several attributes of a good leader including being mindful of others, being self-aware and understanding of how others are feeling and being focused on moving your team forward.

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When King asked the LinkedIn chief executive whether there is a difference in leadership and management, Weiner immediately said "yes."

Meanwhile, he defines a manager as someone who will tell you what to do, while a leader inspires you to do it. According to Weiner, that inspiration is derived from these three things:

  1. The clarity of your vision
  2. The courage of your conviction
  3. The ability to effectively communicate those two things

"You need managers, but you also need leaders," Weiner says. "You need people who can inspire. You need people who say, 'that's the mountain that were going to climb together and this is the reason we're going to climb it together and this is why it's never been done and this is why we're gong to be successful.'"

Weiner also says just having a vision for your team is not enough.

"True vision is rare in and of itself," he says, "[and] what is really rare are those other two ingredients in combination with the vision."

Highly successful managers use this communication style

He adds people need to feel that vision or else they will not follow you as a leader.

"As a leader, you have to believe in that vision with every fiber of your being," Weiner says. "Then you have to effectively communicate that, whether it's through word or it's through deed or ideally both.

He adds, "That's what I think separates great leaders from others."

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