By Deep Nishar – SVP, Products & User Experience at LinkedIn
Silicon Valley was built on amazing products, not on stellar leadership skills. In fact, veterans of some of the world’s most successful tech companies often look with skepticism, even disdain, on efforts to build strong management skills. The premise is that all energy should be focused solely on turning fabulous ideas into hyper growth. It’s true that if a start-up fails — or is sold — the need for enduring leadership may never arise. And in the earliest stages of a company, the need to organize, motivate and inspire large groups of people to accomplish shared goals may not be obvious.
But neglecting the art of people management has significant costs for any company that aspires to be around for a while. Despite employment woes in many sectors of the economy, the talent wars are alive and well in the tech field. Recruitment and retention take up significant mindshare for most leaders. It’s well-documented that dissatisfaction with a manager is a top reason for employees to leave a job. Great managers can help improve job satisfaction and employee retention by leading their organizations with a strong vision, strategic execution and opportunities for career growth. My prediction is that in the next five years, we’ll see a focus on people management catch on with the same enthusiasm that product management has in Silicon Valley and beyond…….