Sunday, May 20, 2007

Empowering People thru Entrepreneurship by Ebay's Meg Whitman at TIECON2007

Meg Whitman gave an awesome keynote session at TIECON 2007 at Santa Clara Convention Center Sat May 19th, 2007.

First, I loved how down to earth Meg was and very personable with a honesty in her answers.

Meg presented lot of stats about Ebay as a business. Interesting she sorted it as the core ebay auction business, craigslist, paypal and skype.

Her lessons on leadership were inspiring:

- Right person for the right job at the right time with the right values
- Reorganize early and often (change is good and keeps you alert)
- Hire ahead of the curve
- Focus - she mentioned art of exclution not inclusion.
- Mission motivates
- Get out enough - meet customers, goto conferences, stay in touch with market.

One theme that resonated throughout the talk was "Don't compromise your integrity". She said to cultivate this in the company she tells her staff"would you make this same decision if your mother or sister or kid was in the room?", that would serve as a guiding principle to always make decisions with integrity.

More on leadership that has worked for her always, that can help all entrepreneurs:
- Enable, don't direct
- Its always about customer experience
- Level the playing field often
- Make size an advantage (for large companies)
- Distruptive Ideas are vital (she calls people in companies who are good at distruption and innovation and not structured execution as "baby tigers" and says companies should promote them among all the big structured managers)
- Constant innovation of core business should come from within (its an mindset,its in the DNA, cannibalization doesn't scare Ebay)

She had a piece of advice for women entrepreneurs and CEOs (woman and men) to let go, the ability to not be a perfectionist in all your roles as parent, spouse, home maker will help to get more productive in all of them.

All in all a very inspiring and intellectually stimulating hour spent well that will linger in our minds for a long time!


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