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Career visualization, creating a pre-transition thesis & expanding your leadership to lead an entire business unit

with Prashanthi Padmanabhan

February 13, 2024

ABOUT PRASHANTHI PADMANABHAN

Prashanthi is a seasoned technologist and product builder with over two decades of experience in the tech industry. Currently, she leads Engineering for LinkedIn Premium, building a world-class subscription platform, helping deliver customer value for millions of members, and growing LinkedIn’s online subscription business line. Prior to joining LinkedIn, she led engineering for large-scale consumer products at Yahoo and Verizon Media. She excels at operating at the intersection of Business, Technology, and People, and her leadership style is rooted in compassion - for her teams and her customers.

Prashanthi also leads the global Women In Tech community at LinkedIn and routinely mentors emerging women leaders inside and outside LinkedIn. She writes on LinkedIn on topics spanning engineering, leadership, organizational culture, well-being, etc.. Outside work, she is passionate about maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.

"I wrote a half pager about how I'm looking at my career at LinkedIn, what am I passionate about, and these things that I'm passionate about needs to continue to be ingredients in my journey. And then I wrote like, short term micro-transformations that I want to go through. And then, like, longer term, what is the macro transformation that I want to experience? And that macro transformation was I want to lead as an engineering leader, or maybe even a product leader, a line of business.”

- Prashanthi Padmanabhan   


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SHOW NOTES:

  • Prashanthi’s early career days to leading LinkedIn Premium (3:12)
  • Deeply understand who you are building a product for (5:10)
  • The pivotal moment that drove Prashanthi’s involvement w/ LinkedIn Premium (8:23)
  • Strategies for creating a career half-pager to think about what’s next (11:49)
  • An example of DEI for micro & macro transformation opportunities (13:35)
  • Steps to ensure your team embodies your values day-to-day (16:05)
  • Creating a pre-transition thesis before stepping into a new role (19:11)
  • Using other leaders as a sounding board for your thesis (21:48)
  • Important skills / capabilities to learn when shifting to a new role (24:13)
  • Employing empathy within a cross-functional leadership team (27:09)
  • Challenges faced & lessons learned during Prashanthi’s leadership evolution (30:06)
  • Demystifying the business (32:07)
  • Why eng teams need to hear from customers & empathize with them (33:06)
  • What gave Prashanthi’s team the confidence to reimagine LinkedIn Premium’s roadmap (35:49)
  • Use cases for generative AI in the business model (37:44)
  • Rapid fire questions (40:31)

LINKS AND RESOURCES

  • Possible - a new podcast that sketches out the brightest version of the future—and what it will take to get there. Most of all, it asks: what if, in the future, everything breaks humanity’s way? Hosted by Reid Hoffman and Aria Finger, each episode features an interview with a visionary from a different field: climate science, media, criminal justice, and more. The conversation also features another kind of guest: GPT-4, OpenAI’s latest and most powerful language model to date. Each episode has a companion story, generated by GPT-4, which will serve as a jumping-off point for a hopeful, speculative discussion about what humanity could possibly get right if we leverage technology—and our collective effort—effectively.

This episode wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our incredible production team:

Patrick Gallagher - Producer & Co-Host

Jerry Li - Co-Host

Noah Olberding - Associate Producer, Audio & Video Editor https://www.linkedin.com/in/noah-olberding/

Dan Overheim - Audio Engineer, Dan’s also an avid 3D printer - https://www.bnd3d.com/

Ellie Coggins Angus - Copywriter, Check out her other work at https://elliecoggins.com/about/

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