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Reid Hoffman: Mastering Your Scale For the Unexpected – The Jordan Harbinger Show (Part II)

Check out The Jordan Harbinger Show Episode Page & Show Notes

Check out the Podcast Notes for Part I

Key Takeaways

  • View every difficult circumstance as a learning opportunity
  • Steer into relationship crises, don’t run from them
    • Disagreements, if handled well, can really strengthen the relationship
  • A team comes together when everyone feels that their personal contribution is meaningful
  • Lifelong careers are long gone
    • “It’s no longer a career ladder, it’s no longer a career escalator, it’s a jungle gym”
  • If you’re running a startup or hope be among the top earners of the world, work-life balance is a myth
  • If you don’t have a good relationship with your boss, you should be thinking about your next job


How can you develop grit?

  • Grit can be learned”
    • “Anytime you run into a difficult circumstance, realize it’s a learning opportunity”
    • EVERYONE can learn it
  • What you shouldn’t do – take yourself out of the game/stop playing
    • “There are people in war-torn regions, like Syria, who literally take life-threatening risks to cross an ocean to try and make a life for themselves and their families. You can take some risks in life.”

On Assessing Feedback

  • It’s best, when you can, to integrate data from multiple data points
    • (feedback from different people)
    • This is important – insights rarely come from one data point

Marriage Advice

  • Address problems early on – don’t ignore them
    • Think about getting marriage counseling
  • Reid likes to say “look for the crises”
    • Disagreements, if handled well, can really strengthen the relationship
    • He adds: Don’t avoid crises, steer into them

Make Everyone a Hero

  • A team comes together when everyone feels that their personal contribution is meaningful
    • Composing a good team revolves around each person fulfilling a “hero role”
    • It’s a non-zero sum game 
      • When everyone on the team is a hero – the pot grows and everyone wins more

Lifelong Careers Are Long Gone

  • Reid’s second book – The Alliance – talks more about this
  • “It’s no longer a career ladder, it’s no longer a career escalator, it’s a jungle gym”
    • “This is the nature of modern work and the whole world is better off for it”
      • Individuals can have multiple careers
      • Businesses can constantly be infused with new talent from different areas and adjust how they operate
        • This happens frequently in Silicon Valley – companies are learning machines spurred by the motion of talent between them
  • Sure – From a company’s standpoint, the more people they retain for a longer period of time the better
    • But, this should probably be a small minority
  • How should you bring it up with management that you probably don’t plan to stay long?
    • Say: “Look, I love this company. I love the mission. It would be awesome for me if it worked out that I was working her for 20 years. That’d be great…. but it’s possible that’s not the case. It’s possible you guys don’t think I’m the right fit for the next progression. I want to be clear now that in the future, I’ll consider both opportunities here at this company as well as opportunities elsewhere.”
      • This establishes honesty up front and aligns expectations

The Career Tours of Duty

  • This is another concept in Reid’s book – The Alliance
  • There are 3 different tours of duty:
    • Rotational
      • “You’re a hired gun, you’re doing the work, and not really tied to the mission”
    • Transformational
      • This has to do with how both you as an employee/individual are transformed and how you also transform the organization
    • Foundational
      • This is when your mission is so closely aligned with the organization that the organization is part of your own mission as an individual
  • Reid adds:
    • The initial focus of your career should be a transformational tour of duty
    • You may eventually find a company to work for whose mission is totally aligned with yours – if so, do everything you can to work for them

Work-Life Balance

  • “If you’re doing a startup [which Reid likes to say is similar to jumping off a cliff while trying to assemble an airplane on the way down], you’re all in. There is no work-life balance. You either assemble the plan or crash.”
    • BUT remember, you need to rest enough that you’re cognitively functional – it’s a marathon
  • Jordan adds that of the many successful people he’s had on his show, very often they’ll say – “At no time in my 20s and 30s did I have any sort of work-life balance.”
    • Scott Galloway said: “Look, if you want balance before yours 40s, that’s fine. But you need to accept you probably won’t be as economically successful as people who just burned it for 20 years and were obsessed with every business they were involved in.”
  • “If other people are working 80 hours a week and you’re working 40, and you think you’re gonna win… you better be lucky or amazingly good… or both”
  • Consider asking yourself: “What can I do to make the marathon work for me?”
    • Maybe take every Saturday afternoon off
    • Maybe commit to 7 hours of sleep vs. 8
    • Aim to have brief periods that recharge you

What’s next for Reid?

A Parenting Lesson

  • Aim to expose kids to life-altering experiences early on
    • Like getting them a ride in a self-driving car
    • Why? – Imagine that these types of experiences shift their life path just by one degree, but since it’s so early on, this sets them down a completely different trajectory and changes what they view in this world as possible
  • Reid expands: “What kinds of experiences can you help people have that serve as an anchor moment in allowing them to realize a whole new potential life path to go down?”

What’s the best way to get in touch with busy people?

  • Get referred – a warm intro is the best route
    • A cold email won’t do it (too many people send them nowadays)

Additional Notes

  • “If you don’t have a good relationship with your boss, you should be thinking about your next job”
    • Don’t ignore this – this isn’t the type of thing that improves accidentally over time
    • If you don’t think you can fix the relationship – move on
  • Reid has said in the past he eventuality hopes to rewrite The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli for a modern day Silicon Valley
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Notes By MMiller

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