Brian Chesky

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Brian Chesky is the cofounder and CEO of Airbnb,  the multibillion-dollar hospitality company. Under his leadership, the company is being used by more than 500 million customers in 191 countries. Despite being one of the biggest success stories in his entire generation, Chesky is down-to-earth and shared some valuable insights from his life during our conversation.

Both of your parents were social workers, so you are a true rags-to-riches story. What values did they instill in you that made you the leader you are today?

Because my parents were social workers, they always assumed that people were fundamentally good, and that they were interesting — all you had to do was listen to their story. My mom always wanted to hear someone’s story and always assumed, no matter what pain or what challenges that person was dealing with, that they had some redeeming quality. My parents also instilled in me this idea of rooting for the underdog. I remember my dad always rooted for the underdog sports team. 

So that really made me believe in these two almost preposterous ideas that started Airbnb: that people are actually fundamentally good, and that we’re 99% the same. You just need to learn people’s stories, and you’ve got to help stick up for people — especially underdogs, especially people like our hosts. Because we have 4 million hosts in our community, and they remind me a lot of my parents.

The hospitality industry was one of the biggest victims of the pandemic. You and Airbnb reacted to COVID by creating online experiences and offering a $250 million support package to hosts. Can you talk about how you’ve managed the mental and emotional hardship of navigating the crisis while overseeing thousands of employees and millions of hosts and customers worldwide?

In times like these, the hardest thing to manage is not the team or even the crisis. The hardest thing to manage is your own psychology. If you think you’re screwed, then you probably are. But if you instead believe that this crisis could be your defining moment, then you’re going to see it as an opportunity. And in fact, Airbnb was born in a crisis where my roommate and I couldn’t afford to pay rent, but we saw it as an opportunity. 

I believe that your thoughts become actions. And if you have an optimistic point of view, then your optimism will become contagious in the company. …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky on how the company persevered through the pandemic: ‘If you think you’re screwed, then you probably are’

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