Amid the whirlwind of work and life in the digital age, losing sight of the things that really matter is an easy trap to fall into.
However, with time comes perspective, as LinkedIn chief executive Jeff Weiner reflected in a tweet towards the end of last month.
Taking to the social media platform, Weiner tweeted:
“One of the benefits of my getting older: Far greater appreciation for three things that are too often taken for granted: Health, love & time.”
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Marcel Schwantes, principal and founder of Leadership from the Core, has reflected on these three elements for Inc., considering how these relate to Weiner’s leadership philosophy.
“As I’ve gotten older myself, I can attest that I do take those things for granted, so this was a wake-up call to reset my GPS toward my true north,” Schwantes reflects.
Schwantes notes that “Weiner has always stressed the importance of meditation in the business world”, and points to advice that Weiner has previously outlined from his mentor and friend Ray Chambers.
“I’ve learned a lot from Ray through the years, but the advice I find myself coming back to most often is his five keys to achieving happiness,” Weiner writes.
Weiner writes that the five keys are:
1. Live in the moment.
2. It’s better to be loving than to be right.
3. Be a spectator to your own thoughts, especially when you become emotional.
4. Be grateful for at least one thing every day.
5. Help others every chance you get.
It can be difficult finding time for yourself in a fast-paced working environment, let alone if you’re the chief executive of a global organisation with no time in which to do nothing, yet this, Schwantes writes, is exactly what Weiner does.
Schwantes notes that Weiner has previously pointed to the benefits of buffers to break up busy workdays, with noting the potential to feel a loss of control amid back-to-back meetings.
“The solution, as simple as it sounds, is to periodically schedule nothing,” Weiner advises. “Use that buffer time to think big, catch up on the latest industry news, get out from under that pile of unread emails, or just take a walk.
“Whatever you do, just make sure you make that time for yourself – everyday and in a systematic way – and don’t leave unscheduled moments to chance. The buffer is the best investment you can make in yourself and the single most important productivity tool I use.”
Love can manifest itself in many forms.
Schwantes notes that “we hardly ever associate love as a business principle”, and points to Weiner’s principle of “managing compassionately”.
“There are three elements of managing compassionately I’ve learned through the last decade or so that have very much influenced my career path and management style,” Weiner writes.
“They are the meaning of compassion, and specifically how compassion differs from empathy; the fact that compassion can be learned, and is not solely innate; and the importance of striving to achieve both compassion and wisdom, and not one without the other.”