The Management Lesson Of A Silicon Valley Icon
Self-esteem is worth all the money in your world.
Reid Hoffman was one of the top executives of online payment site PayPal before it was sold to eBay and then co-founded the professional’s social network LinkedIn. He is also one of the most talented investors in Silicon Valley – having notably invested in Facebook, Zynga, Flickr, Digg and Last.fm.
Whenever I read or listen to Hoffman, I am impressed by his ability to combine a very articulate intelligence with visionary impulses. Billionaire Hoffman continues to support young companies within the investment firm Greylock Partners and has just released a book, The Start-Up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform your Career (read my review here), which is already a best-seller.
A few days ago, I found on Hoffman’s Twitter feed a sentence that is so in tune with one of my fundamental management principles that I had to share it with you: “When any one thing becomes all that you stand for, you’re vulnerable to an identity crisis the second you pivot to a Plan B.”
I am firmly convinced that you should never invest all of your self-esteem in your professional life. If you know that you exist outside of your work, you will be all the more disinterested vis-à-vis your job and – maybe paradoxically – more invested in your work. Indeed, you will be committed because of your passion for what you do and not the fiction of what you want to be. You will serve the general interest of the Company rather than the sole benefit of your personal career.