6 Entrepreneurial Lesons I Learnt from Jeff Weiner and LinkedIn

I recently watched Cory Johnson interview Jeff Weiner on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg West” and it was mind-blowing for me as an entrepreneur and that’s why I’ve decided to share. You also might learn a thing or two.

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ON THE MAJOR CHALLENGES FACED BY HYPER-GROWTH COMPANIES

The challenge we had before are similar to the ones we have now; remaining focus clearly defining the core of the and staying true. (With) Hyper-growth companies it’s easy to get distracted by the numerous opportunities ahead of you.

One of my favourite lines in business is managing hyper-growth is like putting a rocket out in the space; if you’re off by inches at launch you can be off by miles in orbit.

ON SCALABILITY

Making sure you have the right foundation so you can scale. Not only having the right team, which is paramount, but also the right infrastructure, the right processes and I think that has made a huge different for us.

ON THE SPEED OF GROWTH
…Making sure you’re prepared for the variability. It’s a very dynamic environment so you have to be comfortable with change. I think you have to be really focused

We talk about focus so often, we actually created an acronym:

F- Fewer things done better
C- Communicating the right information, to the right people at the right time.
S- Speed and quality of our decision making

ON OPEN COMMUNICATION

I hold town meetings every other week. I think open communication is so important and again it comes to the notion of managing speed. The more optics we can provide to our employees, not only of what’s working but also of what’s not working, the better we can all come together to improve what needs to be improved upon or to learn from the things that are working and to continue to invest and share that across all 26 cities that we operate around the world.

ON CULTURE AND VALUES
…For us is taking the time and investing in our culture and values, defining what those mean. For us culture is the collective personality of our organisation and it’s not only who we are, it’s who we aspire to be.

And I think that adding that element of aspiration gives you the permission to dream a bit about the kind of organisation you wanna build

Values are the operating principle we use to make day to day decisions which is a subset of that culture. And once you understand those elements of your organisation you’ve gotta hire against it, you’ve gotta ‘unboard’ against it, you gotta do learning development against it, you gotta evaluate performance against it and it’s all about leadership manifesting it day-in day-out. It’s not enough to put it on the wall, you’ve gotta leave by it.

ON TRANSFORMATION
They key word about this company is transformation; cultural transformation and We think about that in 3 ways:
– We think about transforming the trajectory of our employees’ careers
– We think about transforming our company and realising the full potentials of our platform
– And we think about transforming the world and realising our vision to create economic opportunity for every professional in the world. Where we’re defining professional as the 3.3billion people in the world of course

Jeff Weiner is the current CEO of LinkedIn and former Vice President of Yahoo’s network division. LinkedIn is a a business-related social networking website with over 25 million users around the world.

By  Adejuwon Isola-Osobu, CEO 1500naira.com

Technopreneur: Adejuwon Isola-Osobu

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Meet the man told to leave Saudi Arabia for being ‘too handsome’

Omar Borkan Al Gala

Meet the ridiculously good-looking man who was reportedly told to leave Saudi Arabia for being too handsome.

Omar Borkan Al Gala, an actor and photographer from Dubai, was given his marching orders along with a number of other men at a cultural festival earlier this month.

With his perfectly formed cheekbones, captivating gaze and well groomed appearance, it’s easy to see why authorities felt so threatened by his good looks.

They were so worried, in fact, they thought the United Arab Emirates delegates might corrupt impressionable women at the annual Janadriyah Festival.

Good looking Continue reading

Pilot at 20: Nigerian set record as youngest commercial licensed pilot in Africa

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Favour Odozor: Youngest commercial pilot in Africa

20 year old Nigerian, Favour Odozor has set a record as the youngest commercial licensed pilot in Nigeria and Africa.

He just graduated alongside 15 other trained pilots at the Afrika Union Aviation Academy (AUAA), Mafikeng, South Africa by completing all the required 37 flying procedures in record time.

I feel really inspired by the achievements of this young man. You have made yourself, your family and the whole nation proud.

#DCCSocialMedia: Understanding Social Media Evolution in Nigeria

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Daystar Christian Centre held a Social Media Business Seminar tagged “Understanding Social Media Evolution in Nigeria” on Saturday 13th, April, 2013. The main aim was to help entrepreneurs reach a larger market and tap into the enormous potential of Social Media. The event held the Annex 2 of Daystar and was also live on twitter via the hashtag #DCCSocialMedia. The guest speaker were Deolu Akinyemi, Japhet Omojuwa and Chude Jideonwo and they all carried the conversation via their respective twitter accounts. (@deoluakinyemi @daystarng @Chude @omojuwa).

Here are some excerpts from twitter:

“Your job is to cut out all the noise and focus…you need not join every platform” ~ Chude

“Not every new platform is meant to be used by you” ~ Chude

“Your choices must be informed by utility” ~ Chude

“BlackBerry may not be effective everywhere in the world but it is a very effective tool here in Nigeria” ~ Chude

“Find where your audience is” ~ Chude

“Follow your market wherever it is. Big businesses know they should follow their market. Where are they? Follow them!” ~ Deolu Akinyemi

“As a business owner, you need to have values you are offering to clients.” ~ Deolu Akinyemi

“Your values should be clear. Once you have values, then you need to identify those who need them.” ~ Deolu Akinyemi

“when i tweet, i don’t see numbers i see human beings” ~ Omojuwa

“Any time i tweet fooltball there has to be something behind it” ~ Omojuwa

“there are 2million google searches every second” ~ Omojuwa

“272,000 dollars is spent online every second” ~ Omojuwa

“On Social Media platforms, don’t see numbers, see humans” ~ Omojuwa

In all, the seminar opened the eyes of many prospective and actual entrepreneurs to the vast resources and limitless opportunities that abounds online via the effective use of social media. Attendees were taught basic principles about value creation, finding the right audience and achieving best results by monetizing their efforts.

To get a full gist of what went down use the hashtag #DCCSocialMedia to follow the discussion from the guest speakers as well as reactions from various people on twitter.

I AM INNOCENT BUT I SPENT THE LAST 13 YEARS OF MY LIFE IN PRISON

The encounter that will live with me for a long time

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It was a sunny afternoon in Lagos and I had just boarded a bus from CMS when a man in a blue polo shirt and black trouser, who looked emaciated and a bit unkempt, stood up to speak. He introduced himself as Daniel and was quick to point out that he was not a madman neither was he a beggar; he just wanted to share his experience.

The man regained his freedom on Wednesday 13th March, 2013 after spending 13 years behind bars. He was arrested in 1995 alongside 708 other people by General Sani Abacha’s operative as part of a suppressive measure against anti-government crusaders following the mass protests that greeted the cancellation of the June 12, 1993 election and Abacha’s rise to power. These indiscriminate arrests were known in the Southwest as “Won ko #Roga” and more often than not innocent people were usually the victims.

After his arrest, Brother Daniel was remanded in Ilesha Prison where he was until 1998 when a riot broke out and some inmates escaped following the news of Abiola’s death. The escapees we later recaptured and the prison authorities decided to relocate them. The prisoners were transported under inhumane conditions, a great number of them were squeezed into a Black Maria, they could not sit or stand comfortably coupled with very poor ventilation. Brother Daniel thought his end had come.  They were scattered all over Lagos –Kirikiri, Ikoyi and Badagry – and the prisoners believed that it was in a bid to frustrate their friends and families who might want to locate them. He was remanded in Kirikiri.

During his 13 years stay in Prison, Brother Daniel only had two court dates that did not yield into anything meaningful. They were fed twice daily – Half cooked beans in the morning and Eba with terrible soup in the night. Often time they spiced their food with ajinomoto that had been smuggled in to enable the swallow the food. The only access they had to information was through the radios wardens brought with them when they made rounds. The living condition is unfit even for animals and they had very little going for them in the way of care from the wardens. The little respite they had was from RCCG, other church missions and Major Al-Mustapha who provided food, medical supplies and assistance to pregnant inmates.

More on prisoner welfare in Nigerian Prisons

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There he was in the bus, fully given his life to Jesus – the only thing that sustained him all through his time in confinement. Fresh out of prison with no money in his pocket, no idea where to start from, no assurances about his welfare and security, no guarantees on how the society will react to him and no compensation for the years he had lost and for the pains he had suffered. After addressing us, he was lost in thoughts every now and then, interrupted by commuters offering him money, some N20, some N50, others N100 and he expressed heartfelt gratitude to each of the donors. As he was about to alight, I squeezed N1,000 note into his palm, he was too stunned to say thank you and was almost moved to tears. My only prayer was that he could find meaning in life again…. And joy!

A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS

–          How many innocent Nigerians are currently rotting in Jail?

–          How many of them have dreams, aspirations, loved ones and desire to live like you and I?

–          Why is the standard of living so poor? Is the point of incarceration to debase their minds or to correct them?

–          Why would you release an inmate without making adequate plans for his welfare and security at least to help him find his feet and adjust back into society?

–          Why do the billionaire thieves get pardons and national awards while common ones/innocent people rot in Jail?

–          What is wrong with our (in)Justice system?

–          Is there hope for Nigeria?