Lifetime Alliances and Exponential Value [feat. Reid Hoffman, Jeff Weiner, Ben Casnocha]

Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn Founder, is known for his natural talent for nurturing great relationships that builds value over time. For Reid, the “lifetime alliances are exponentially more valuable than transactional ones.

In this essay, based in the “LinkedIn Speaker Series: Jeff Weiner, Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha”, I focused in the challenge presented by Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn CEO —a reflection for what is special about individuals that can build strong relationships. Jeff points out that Reid is great in “Understanding how to continue to build these relationships”, in making “sure that people feel like they are generating value” and building the recognition that it is “both parties best interest to continue to fuel that relationship.”

Reid’s Theory of Small Gifts

The context in Reid’s view is “How do you essentially help each other as you go through your work lives” Reid Hoffman 31:48 @ Linkedin 2014.

His theory of Small Gifts consists in the recognition that there are kinds of supportive interactions that are not expensive for the giver but at the same time may produce large impact to the taker. He emphasises that if when you detect that, you should focus on those things and “do that all the time!”

When that exercise develops in a long-term interaction, it means to the other person a sign of caring, a sign that you want to work together, and also a commitment; it generates value. Reid gave examples for these kinds of small interactions:

  • Introductions like “I know this person you should talk with her” @32:56
  • “I ran across this information that it can be value to you.”
  • Or even feedback like “Do you realize that when you speak this way you might be heard this [other] way?.

All of these things can be easier, for a giver to do, and then can be beneficial on the other side. Ben Casnocha adds that “It’s not coincidental that it sounds like a LinkedIn Product: Introductions Sharing Intelligence.

However for Jeff Weiner, doing that without being genuine won’t work

Jeff added a great point (we should keep in mind he was the “foundational” partner chosen by Reid to engage and take the challenge of being The LinkedIn CEO ) that “Doing this, for the sake of getting information out of the other person — won’t work. People will sense it immediately.”

Jeff points out that this kind of interaction won’t work when it lacks authenticity — adding that Reid is a great example of The Authentic Kind:

There is an authenticity [component] to Reid’s relationships and the way he so deeply cares about the well being of the other person.Jeff Weiner @ 34:05 @Linkedin 2014

He emphasises the idea that one needs to be genuine, to be willing to help, and that this trait is the root characteristic.


Linkedin 2014, Jeff Weiner, Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha. LinkedIn Speaker Series: Jeff Weiner, Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha. Published on Jun 30, 2014 —