some of our clients:
  • Johnson and Johnson
  • YPO
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • US Army
  • Air New Zealand
  • WB
  • Red Bull
  • Frito Lay
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Delta Airlines
  • bp

How Jeff Weiner Thinks


Voted as the most admired CEO in America by employees in a 2014 poll, Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, Inc. is a  masterful communicator. While leading the largest global networking platform for professionals, Weiner clearly knows how to achieve acceptance even when confronted with probing investment analysts during earnings conference calls.

I analyzed the thinking he revealed during LinkedIn’s 2013, 2014, and 2015 first quarter calls. I then rated his commentary based on our Hierarchy of Thinking Styles.

Jeff Weiner Thinking Profile

While reading the text, I was fascinated by his choice of language.  A seemingly born networker, Weiner uses moderate positive thinking to connect with his audience and gain their acceptance.  Weiner uses words like “pleased”, “healthy”, “nicely”, and  “manage”.  He also uses phrases like “delivering value”, “useful offerings”, “more accessible”, “nice rate of growth”, “good progress”, and  “good traction”.

Rather than differentiate LinkedIn with extraordinary qualitative comments, he employs hard facts and numbers to articulate LinkedIn’s exceptional performance.

We are approaching 3.5 million active company profiles, 300,000 jobs, more than 3 billion endorsements, more than 24,000 university pages, and billions of weekly updates flowing through the network.

LinkedIn’s moderately positive mission statement “to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.” is aligned with the thinking required to achieve acceptance.

Why Jeff Weiner Needs Optimal Thinking

Optimal Thinking enables the pursuit of the best ends by the best means.  Optimal Thinkers focus on the best actions to achieve what is most important.

Weiner deploys Optimal Thinking skillfully to encapsulate the context of the company’s standards and direction.

In 2013, LinkedIn furthered its efforts to become the definitive professional publishing platform, delivering the right content to the right member, at the right time..

Weiner uses Optimal Thinking to articulate how LinkedIn creates value.

LinkedIn creates value for members by connecting them to the people, knowledge, and opportunities that matter most to them professionally.

He also uses Optimal Thinking to define LinkedIn’s priorities.

Mobile was a top strategic priority for LinkedIn in 2014, and we focused our resources to ensure that our product and engineering organizations were fully mobilized

LinkedIn monopolizes the knowledge worker, professional networking space, and there is an absence of extraordinary negative thinking and totally negative thinking in his statements.  Having created an extraordinarily high, almost insurmountable barrier to enter this networking arena, Weiner succeeded in convincing me that only a hugely disruptive innovation could curtail LinkedIn’s market domination.

How Do You Think?

To definitively assess your thinking and compare it to how Jeff Weiner thinks, take the Optimal Thinking 360 Assessment now. I developed this assessment for my executive coaching clients over 27 years. More than one million executives and 6500 companies have used the assessment. They discover their primary thinking style, thinking profiles, core motivation, decision-making and communication styles, and how to best interact with others.  Take this assessment (designed for desktops and tablets) on your own as a Self-Optimization Assessment or with your team as a 360 to confirm your strengths and weaknesses, discover your blind spots, and optimize every situation.

The transcripts used in this article are © 2013, 2014, 2015.

Read my analysis of  “How Indra Nooyi Thinks” (former CEO of PepsiCo). These posts are part of the “How CEO’s Think™” Optimal Thinking article series.

If you would like to nominate a well-known leader for a How CEOs Think analysis, feel free to include them in your comments below.

3 Responses to “How Jeff Weiner Thinks”

  1. Uju Onwuzulike says:

    In my view, every executive should take the optimal thinking assessment. Knowing our dominant thinking pattern will help us to know the areas to optimize.

  2. Abrar Ali says:

    I really enjoyed about how CEOs think especially the graphs given here for comparison. I would like to take your 360 assessment to compare myself. Thanks.

  3. Sally R says:

    I’m enjoying your thinking series. Very fresh perspective and enlightening. I learned a lot from the way you described how Jeff Weiner uses language to connect. I guess that’s why he’s leading the global “connection” organization. I am going to take your 360 assessment now and see how I compare.

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