- Kimberly White/Getty
As the head of HR for LinkedIn, the professional social network with more than 400 million active users around the world, Pat Wadors is constantly having conversations about what tools and resources managers and their employees need to succeed.
She says learned two fundamental truths about management:
1. Great managers need to be passionate about developing the talents of others, but they don’t need to fit into a certain personality type.
2. To make the most of a team, its leader needs to discover what motivates each employee, and then be transparent about ensuring their needs are met.
We recently spoke with Wadors, and she shared the “trifecta” of business books she recommends all new managers read.
‘Quiet’ by Susan Cain
Wadors, a self-described introvert, said that she learned in her early 30s that she wouldn’t have to pretend to be a different person if she wanted to succeed as a leader.
At LinkedIn, Wadors wanted to let other introverts know that they could follow in her footsteps even if they weren’t loud, outgoing, and aggressive. Last fall, she partnered with “Quiet” author Susan Cain to implement a leadership program at LinkedIn for introverts, and it launched this month.
Whether you’re an introvert yourself or about to lead a team with introverts, Cain’s book from 2012 will dispel socially ingrained myths of what a successful person must behave like
‘The Alliance’ by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, and Chris Yeh
Reid Hoffman, the billionaire cofounder of LinkedIn, is rethinking the relationship between managers and employees.
In his 2014 book “The Alliance,” he and his co-authors argue that we’re long past the age of spending an entire career at a single company. But, they say, our workplaces haven’t adapted to the change.
They explain that by establishing an alliance between the company and its employees through “tours of duty,” tailored to what the employee wants to get from his or her time at a company, it can “invest in the long-term future without sacrificing adaptability,” much the way a dominant professional sports team operates.
“‘The Alliance’ shaped career conversations in a way that was way more visible and healthy than I’d ever seen done,” Wadors said.
‘Drive’ by Dan Pink
Pink is the bestselling author of some of the past decade’s most popular and insightful career guides, and Wadors has found his work tremendously helpful in finding ways to connect with her employees on a more personal level.
In his 2011 book “Drive,” he argues that the typical rewards-based approach to motivating people through something like a bigger paycheck is insufficient on its own, and that people instead are driven by an increase in autonomy, a path to mastery, and work with purpose.