GeneralHr Library

Your career journey doesn’t have to be a solo trip

Source | LinkedIn : By Kevin Scott

Life is a challenging thing to navigate alone. Most of us are inherently social creatures, and to varying extents benefit from sharing both our defeats and our triumphs with others who have a genuine stake in our lives. Some people come into our lives and become so invested in our well being and success, and we in theirs, that they become partners. They fearlessly enter the fray with us as we throw ourselves against life’s challenges. They celebrate with us when we win. They keep us grounded and centered. They comfort us when we are weary and beaten down, and they help us pick ourselves up so that we can continue fighting the good fight. Without them we would be less. Incomplete. Incapable of achieving our full potential.

It is no accident that startup advisers and investors strongly encourage entrepreneurs to have a co-founder or co-founders. It isn’t surprising that one of the best ways for businesses to achieve success is aligning employer and employee interests through alliances. Partnership, or the lack thereof, can be a critical factor in the success or failure of companies, teams, and projects.

When I think about my own career, I’ve had many partners who have contributed to my success. I had a number of amazing teachers and professors. My Ph.D. advisor, Jack Davidson, in particular, was a great partner. We had a productive, super fun period of collaboration where we bounced ideas off of one another, had a few epiphanies, and did some interesting research that we published while I was a student. I’ve had amazing coaches and mentors, like Bill Coughran, Maynard Webb, and Reid Hoffman, who have been so gracious and generous to me over the years sharing their time, wisdom, and perspective. I now have the honor, privilege, and insurmountable-but-happy task of trying to repay that generosity by partnering with them on occasion to help entrepreneurs do great things.

I have had amazing partners with whom I have collaborated to lead big groups of people building big software systems and companies. God knows how they managed to put up with my sub-optimal temperament and foul mouth. Omar Hamoui and I, and a truly kick-ass team of folks, spent several years at AdMob trying to bring something new and meaningful into the world. We had each other’s backs for three rather intense years trying to change and reinvent mobile advertising, giving mobile app developers a way to distribute and monetize their work. David Henke, Bruno Connelly, Sonu Nayyar, Igor Perisic, Alex Vauthey, Mohak Shroff, and I, alongside a team of folks I feel insanely honored to have the privilege of working with, have spent the last bunch of years as partners building and scaling technology at LinkedIn through an IPO and six years of super fast growth. And trust me, we needed our partnership given the magnitude of the task and the obstacles we encountered. Jeff Weiner and I, particularly over the past couple of years, have been very close partners, offering each other support at critical moments when we most need it, striving everyday to do right by LinkedIn’s members, customers, and employees.

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