< Our podcast: Interchange

Lessons In Leadership from Ex-Facebook Executive and Bond Investor, Dan Rose

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Zach Anderson Pettet
Date Published
August 17, 2021
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Dan Rose looks back on a moment at Facebook where he had to rethink the way he approached his career and reconsider what it means to be a leader.

As part of Bond’s commitment to a culture of learning and nurturing  our employees’ growth, we hold a monthly speaker series with outside luminaries. Recently, Dan Rose, Chairman of Coatue Investments and an investor in Bond, spoke to us about his time as an early leader at Facebook. His leadership lessons were so impactful that we are  sharing them with you.

Dan remembers one moment from his tenure at Facebook very clearly.

At the time, Facebook only had about 400 employees, compared to the roughly 58,000 they have today; Sheryl Sandberg was brought on to help the company manage an inevitable massive hiring surge and expansion. The rocketship was about to take off and Dan's meeting with Sheryl would determine his station onboard.

Sheryl and Dan were going through his very first 360 review. Sheryl said he was seen as an exceptional performer in negotiations, deft at business development and well-versed in company strategy. Dan had his eye set on leading Facebook's monetization strategy, so that last bit of feedback only heightened his anticipation for the new role that awaited him. There was just one problem — no one trusted Dan.

Dan's peers felt he was too political and likely to put his own career ahead of the best interests of the company and also the team. Then, Sheryl laid out the next steps for Dan in quite stark terms. If Dan couldn't fix this problem, not only would he not have a new role, he wouldn't be able to continue working at Facebook.

The meeting Dan thought would open the door to his new career opportunities turned into one where that door was closing quicker than he would like.

Leaving wasn't an option for Dan so the only way out was through. But what did that actually look like? It meant having to directly confront his own shortcomings and talk candidly with fellow coworkers who had misgivings about Dan being in a leadership role.

By embracing vulnerability and radical transparency, slowly but surely, Dan was able to change the behavior that gave his coworkers misgivings about his potential promotion. And, he learned to be the leader he thought he was going into his meeting with Sheryl.

The meeting itself proved to be a crucible moment where Dan went from being a star individual contributor to a real leader.

By not only addressing his weak spots with his team, but sharing them openly, honestly and widely, Dan was able to nudge team culture towards transparency and away from one that prized individual contributor's wins over the greater fate of the company.

Ultimately, Dan got that dream job he wanted and ended up playing a massive role at Facebook. He helped empower staff along the way during his Facebook tenure as well.  

Looking back on his time at Facebook and that fateful meeting with Sheryl, Dan sees two major takeaways that any company, no matter the headcount, needs to hold close.

1. Make sure your culture is yours and own it.
2. Make sure your employees adopt and embody that culture.

Using two of Dan's favorite ingredients — vulnerability and transparency — he bets building a successful company will be that much easier.

Our team at Bond values all avenues of feedback; we try to see it as a gift. Knowing how to give feedback but also receive it is also key. The vulnerability, understanding and transparency that our leaders bring to the table make them successful which, in turn, makes our team successful.

If you’d like to hear from inspiring leaders and help build a culture here at Bond, we’d love to hear from you. Email us at careers@bond.tech or visit our list of open jobs to apply now!


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