Cloudflare TV

Yes We Can

Presented by Michelle Zatlyn, Shyvee (Xinyu) Shi
Originally aired on 

Yes We Can is a recurring series presented by Cloudflare Co-founder, President, and COO Michelle Zatlyn, featuring interviews with women entrepreneurs and tech leaders who clearly debunk the myth that there are no women in tech.

This week's guest is Shyvee (Xinyu) Shi. Shyvee is a Product Manager at LinkedIn Learning, where she creates inspirational learning products that help millions of people upskill and reskill. Shyvee is a compassionate leader with wide experience across product management, design thinking, digital strategy, and sales technology. She firmly believes in the power of mentorship and coaching and has spent the better part of the last decade helping hundreds of high-achieving individuals make progress in their careers and find meaning in their work.

Shyvee also believes in the power of active communities and transformative relationships. Shyvee leads the Community Track for LinkedIn Women in Product and organizes community events with 1K+ attendees, from speaker series, mentorship programs, to product meetups. She is the President of the Kellogg Alumni Club of San Francisco Bay Area, serving 5K members strong. Shyvee hosts masterminds and peer coaching circles to inspire women to play bigger, and she is a mentor at First Round Capital, helping EdTech entrepreneurs in their journey.

Outside of work, Shyvee loves reading books, riding her Peloton bike, traveling, home cooking and doing craft projects.

To watch more episodes of Yes We Can — and submit suggestions for future guests — visit

Women in Tech

Transcript (Beta)

Hi everyone, welcome back to this week's episode of Yes We Can. I'm just so honored to have Shyvee here today.

Hi Shyvee, how are you? Hi Michelle, how are you? I'm really good.

I'm this is my second episode of Yes We Can this week, so I'm extra good because I'm really looking forward to this conversation.

And so just to start us off for the audience, why don't you give us a one minute kind of overview of yourself and tell the audience more about yourself?

Yeah, definitely. So my name is Shyvee. I'm a product manager at LinkedIn Learning, where I build learning products to help people accelerate their career growth.

Before joining LinkedIn, I was also a management consultant for a number of years, serving Fortune 100 companies, spending, you know, six different industries and global offices, advising them about their digital transformation program.

So a lot of my experience, lights and tech operations and also digital strategy.

Outside of my LinkedIn and consulting work, I also see myself as being a career and leadership coach, where I using coaching to help people make progress in their career, navigating, you know, tough career decisions and becoming better versions of themselves.

Very excited to be here today to share about my experience and what I learned throughout the journey.

Amazing. There's so many things there that you just said. Digital transformation, Fortune 100, product manager at LinkedIn, helping us all be better versions of ourselves.

I definitely want to dive in deeper there what that means.

And then, of course, learning and development. So let's start where your current job, where you're currently a product manager at LinkedIn.

Great company.

Amazing. And you're working on a new product coming out of LinkedIn for learning and development.

So maybe tell us a little bit more about what this product is and when we can expect to see it live.

Yeah, definitely. So this part of LinkedIn Learning product.

So it's an enterprise product that we will be launching this fall.

So coming in a couple of months, the team is very busy getting ready for the general launch.

We see it as a intelligent skill building platform where we allow companies to aggregate different type of learning sources under this learning hub.

So we call it LinkedIn Learning Hub and our AI recommendation algorithms will push relevant skill building, learning contents to help learners to discover the skills that they need to learn as well as building those skills.

We like to see ourselves as like Netflix of learning and skill building.

So you come to this one central hub and then you go from there to discover what you need to learn.

So in addition to the content aggregation and kind of personalized recommendation, there's also the community building aspect for social learning.

So today on LinkedIn Learning, you can ask questions in like Q &A format or joining a learning group on LinkedIn to learn with others.

But we like to bring in more life instructions, interactions with the instructor.

So coming in actually this summer, learners can also sign up for office hours to interact life with LinkedIn Learning instructors to deepen their applications of course concept and learn with other peers in the community as well.

So very exciting. I have posted a feature, a couple blog posts about the products on my LinkedIn profile.

So feel free to visit it or follow me for more updates as the product gets released in the summer and fall.

I love that. I love that it's both online learning but mixed with a course instructor where I can go do office hours because that sometimes is missing from these online platforms.

That's a really good idea. Yeah, thank you. We're very excited about it too.

Good. That's good. Well, I can't wait to check it out when it comes out in the fall.

And so one of the things that I've heard you say, as I've gotten to know you a little bit through this process at Yes We Can, is that you're really passionate about using learning to advance your career.

So maybe you could share with the audience, what do you mean by that?

Because one of the themes that have come up so many times on Yes We Can is learning, the rate at which you're learning, being curious.

What do you mean by using learning to advance your career? I'd love for you to share more with the audience of your point of view around that.

Yeah, definitely. I think there are a couple of aspects. I think first and foremost, the most foundational aspect is we at LinkedIn believe that the future is skill first.

What we mean by that is that instead of where you go to school, your credentials, your degrees, it's more about what you know, the skills that you have, and how do you prove that you can, you actually have those skills, your competency level and those skills.

So skill is the new currency in this digital era.

So learning to acquire those skills, proving that you have those skills, I think is the foundation for accelerating future career growth.

I think there are a couple other aspects that are a little bit more nuanced and not so much talked about that I really like to bring more awareness to.

I think first is like you mentioned about being curious, staying curious, you know, being a lifelong learner.

So learning doesn't really end when you finish your college age 22, right?

That's really the start of like, learning more, learning on the job, learning in the flow of work.

I think there's a lot of like, when you stay in the student mindset, being a student of life, that's how you really embody a growth mindset and where your careers start to, you know, take shape and accelerate.

I think there are two other aspects of learning to accelerate career that's not as obvious.

One is learning how to think and think smart and work smart.

I think a lot of times as myself included early in my career being a very good student, you know, we carry a lot of habits from school, you know, being overly prepared, trying to be perfect, every aspect of our work.

But really, when you try to accelerate your growth, you should learn things such as how do you build leverage?

How do you work smart, such that you spend 20% of the effort to accomplish 80% of the result, right?

How do you make one decision that saves 1000 of decisions that you need to make?

How do you simplify and really accelerate your career growth? I think there are a lot of nuances of like mental models like that.

I would love to bring more awareness.

And actually, I decided to like do some couple feature LinkedIn posts, I think in the coming months to share that kind of mental models to help more people to embrace it.

I think the last aspect of learning to accelerate career is what I call learning in the open.

So a lot of times when we learn, it's very passive, you're consuming the content, you're either reading a book or watching a video.

And maybe you learn it, maybe not. Most of the time, we probably retain like one to 10% of the knowledge when we read a book or watch a course.

But your learning gets more accelerated.

When you share what you learn in the community, people maybe critique you offer new perspective.

That's what I call learning in the open.

So you learn with others, others get to benefit in the journey, you drive the velocity and retention of your learning a lot more through this kind of rapid feedback loops by learning from from others.

So those are, I guess, a couple interesting learning concepts and learning science that I like to bring more awareness, just like more passion and more movement and momentum in that space.

I love that so many of the things that you're saying, like really resonate, I find myself nodding along and the one learning in the open, which I, you know, we when we were getting ready for this conversation, you told that to me, and I kind of thought about it last night, but I didn't really contextualize until you just shared that with me.

And I was thinking about when I went to business school, we kind of had these learning teams before class.

And I used to go, you do your assignment, you come with a point of view.

And I always feel like I know exactly what I thought.

And I'd leave that learning team thinking something totally different, because you hear from others.

And I'm like, wow, you have a very different approach.

And it made me think twice. And so then I go to the class with, you know, we were groups of six, then I go to the main class with 90 people thinking, okay, now I know exactly what I think.

And sometimes I'd leave that class totally of changing my mind again, because you're just like, oh, my God, that's such a different point of view that I hadn't even considered.

And I really think this, like learning with others or learning in the open is a really, it's good as an adult to find opportunities to do that.

Because I think as we get older, we almost close ourselves off or even more senior in your career, because you think, oh, everyone expects me to know all the answers.

So that's a, that's a really good reminder for all of us.

Yeah, thank you. Glad that that resonates with you. Yeah, I love that.

So, you know, we both work in technology. I mean, again, and you're currently working on a learning product.

So how can technology help, you know, individuals advance their career using learning to advance their career?

Like, how do you see where do you think that we're doing a good job or some services that are doing a good job?

And where do you think are there are gaps or opportunities for maybe new products or services in the future that me and all the audience should look out for?

Yeah, definitely. I think what it has done well in the past decade, obviously, with the movement of MOOC, right, Massive Online Open Course.

So there's a lot of like, creates so much just accessibility, flexibility, anyone can learn any place anytime.

Imagine a kid in like, you know, Africa and like a euro part of China can, you know, log as long as they have access to Internet can listen to professors from Harvard teaching about justice or MIT about physics and all of that.

That's really magical and really revolutionary. I think that's what happened in the past decade.

The opportunity that it presents, though, is the fact that most people probably don't know the average completion rate of a MOOC course is astonishing, only 4%.

So if 100 people who started a MOOC course, only 4%, four of them actually completed the course.

So that's where the opportunity actually presents because learning is actually is hard.

It takes a lot of motivation, right?

A lot of times, if you are just passively sitting there and consuming the content, you're not gonna really master the concept that's being taught.

So I think there are a couple of new emerging sort of technologies and startups that are exploring the space is very, very interesting.

I think the first is this notion of a cohort based learning, where you have an instructor who's specialized in a specific domain that's really well known, have been there, done that, teaching a course.

A student can consume that content either asynchronously through videos, but also hop on through Zoom calls to interact with peers, completing homeworks, and then completing them also in a period of time, usually four to six weeks.

So it creates kind of getting the best of both worlds of school education.

You're interacting with humans synchronously, and then you are learning with this community, but you also have the flexibility of being anywhere in the world, learning the material.

So I think platforms like Maven, which is a new player in that space, trying to help certain creators, teaching very niche course on women in leadership, or decentralized finance, how does it work, crypto, teaching people how to become a creator on YouTube.

So those are all very niche topics where you can learn, and then that's how you master with a short period of time simulating a school environment.

I think the second one is technology really helped unbundle an education.

So when you think of going to Stanford or Harvard, you think about the brand, the curriculum that you're going to learn, the network that you're going to build for a period of two years that comes with lots of opportunity costs too, and a lot of tuition.

But if you really unbundle that and think about it really comes down to world-class content, having a community of operators and executives who have either become your mentor or be your peers that you can learn from, and then break down that cost to one or two percent.

And in a membership model where let's say you sign up for a year, and then you can learn every year after that with some assets.

So like companies like Reforge, On Deck, I think have really been like more like, you know, kind of promoting that kind of learning model, which I think it's very exciting that it kind of disrupts the traditional education, especially master and MBA education that I'm pretty excited about.

I think last but not least is moving beyond like a digital resume, like LinkedIn where a lot of people think of us like a resume site, right?

Or you have your PDF or Word doc where you say, okay I was a product manager, a program manager, a certain firm, this is my accomplishment, and no one can really validate.

I think we will start to embrace this concept of building a skill-based portfolio.

I think engineering and design have really moved ahead, right?

Like where engineers have like githubs where they show the co-base, or designers have their portfolio showing off like works that they've done in the past.

I think that would apply to a lot of occupations in the future where you learn something either through a side project or work project, you start to build that portfolio and that becomes part of your digital identity, and that carries with you as you go.

So it promotes this like skill first, what do I know, what have I done, what are the impact I'm able to create, then a resume of like where are you in a school, where you work.

So it creates, it leveled the playing field a lot more, I think, the traditional way of thinking about education and brand that the school carries.

Oh my god, I love this. I mean there's so many things that you brought up today that I'm like that I want a world where that's, a future where that's how it operates.

And one of the other topics that's come up over the course of the year is this idea of before talent had to move where opportunity was based, but now that it feels like with our distributed workforce and COVID helping to accelerate that trend, these trends feel like they're going to accelerate as well because now it's about building a portfolio based on skills and it doesn't matter, you don't have to move to where the opportunity is, it's you can demonstrate in different ways and you don't have to move to Boston to go to Harvard or Palo Alto to go to Stanford, you can do it from Malaysia or wherever you live, which is an amazing equalizer.

So that's exciting. How do you stay on top of all these trends?

I mean this is not, I feel like we just got a master class from an expert in very succinctly five minutes.

How do you stay on top? What are you reading?

How do you stay on top of this? Are there people you follow on LinkedIn or Twitter that you can maybe share with the group?

Yeah, definitely. It's funny because I did spend this holiday, the 4th of July holiday, trying to curate a list of sources that I consume.

I do follow roughly about maybe 60 different newsletters on my inbox.

I use like pockets to make sense and prioritize which one to consume, but I did build two lists on Twitter.

So if you follow me, you can see I have one list on education tech and another one focused on product.

So those are some of the top influencers in the field that are very vocal on Twitter.

I also have another list on LinkedIn that I follow.

Most folks are like Adam Grant, you know, Ray Dalio, that kind of thinkers in the world, but also people who are like Deb Liu or Julie Zhou, who's been in tech for a long time and they know a lot, and they're operators.

So I just try to keep abreast of them. And a lot of times I also try to post stuff as a way to like force myself to re-flag on my learning and share out.

So, yeah. Lots of great lists. Okay. And so for the audience, your Twitter handle is at shivvy with a Y S right?

Yeah. Yeah. Perfect. Okay, good. So S H Y V E E S.

Okay, good. Yeah. That's great. So we can all become better experts. Thank you.

Okay. So switching gears, although we could spend the last 14 minutes talking about this, but the, one of the things that you said in your opening, when you're describing yourself is that you love people have to help coach people to be better versions of themselves.

And I mean, I made a joke about saying, well, I want to be a better version of myself, but I mean, I really do.

So maybe you can share with, start with the audience by telling us what do you mean by that?

Yeah, definitely.

I think when I say coaching is a very, it's a concept of that's pretty transformative to me.

I first encountered it during my time at Kellogg when I was a business school student, I took a course called coach, coach as a leader.

So a lot of times when we think about leadership or manager or mentor, we think about giving advice to others based on our experience.

But actually that's not necessarily the best path or the best advice for someone who's not you, who doesn't have the same sort of perspectives and experiences you.

So the coaching method is really about putting the coachee at the center of everything and then activating your active listening sense to really be on this journey using powerful questions to help, you know, the coachees to discover about themselves.

It's about exploring different paths about, you know, doubling down on reflecting on certain experience and then coming out refreshed and ready to commit to a set of actions that they self discover as being the best course of action for them.

So I try to, I guess, ever since I learned this concept, I try to practice them everywhere I can.

I started making friends who were coaches themselves.

So we coach each other during coach exchange.

And when I say I coach people to become a better version of themselves, I think I mean more specifically in the career and leadership space where most technically I help people prepping for their interview, but more philosophically helping them navigating between like career decisions.

A lot of them are also mid-career pivoters.

They're, you know, trying to make some hard decisions between like jobs and then overcoming imposter syndrome, which is a really big one as well.

And trying to help people just find more happiness in their job and then achieve more sustainable success.

I think burnout has been really real in modern society with people having really high expectation, but then a very low sense of self-esteem or like security.

I think there's a lot of inner work that could be done that we're not taught at school, but are very, very powerful.

So I like to bring more awareness to that.

And it's also part of my learning journey because I learn a lot throughout the years, but from my personal experience, interacting with coaches, being coached or reading books and following others.

So I think coaching is a very transformative method that it's not very, like it's a master of opts.

I mean, it's amazing. When you say like active questions, like by asking questions to the coachee, can you give us some examples of what you mean by that?

Because I think that might help contextualize, you know, just give some examples when you say asking better questions so people can self-discover.

Well, maybe give a couple of examples.

Yeah. I think some examples would be like people usually come to me saying like, hey, I want to become a product manager.

I'm not in that space yet.

How can I becoming one? So a lot of questions that come to me is like the what and the how, but the most important thing is why do you even want it to become a product manager?

Like, what is it about it that you like? What are you optimizing for, for your career?

Like, how do you see yourself growing, let's say in 25 years, not two years?

And what are your paths to get there?

So like bringing perspectives, helping people to understand what exactly is the most important.

And then there's a lot of arts, I think, in framing the question too.

Like if I just asked like why, I think it creates a sort of defensiveness in people trying to justify their decision.

But if the goal is to help them embark this journey to be reflective, to embody more perspective, not just like, oh, product management is very hot, so I want to be in this area, is like you take them to this, what I call usually is like a funeral visualization.

I said, when you walk into your funeral, like what kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?

Can you start from there and then work backwards?

Then we know, like, is product management the right way to move forward, like to pursue your career?

That's one example.

I think there are like a couple other more, but just, yeah. No, that's a really good one.

And you know, it's so interesting. You said learning is hard. Well, this must be hard reflecting, going through that reflective nature.

That is not like why do you want to embark on this and where do you want your legacy to be?

Those are hard questions for, I think, anybody to sometimes have answers to.

So is that something that's easy for people or is it sometimes hard for people to really get to the root causes?

Yeah, I think it definitely depends. I think usually what I do is that I have one session where they come to me with very tactical questions and then we would break it down.

I will leave them with some more philosophical, deeper question and then some tactical tips.

And then I told them, come back to me in a week or two weeks, but you have to find yourself time to have this space to like really get into the flow, to start thinking about some of this question.

Sometimes there are some audio exercise to help people visualize. Sometimes I share them.

They're freely available online as well. So like, but I would encourage them to get into that zone to think about it.

It's not like in the middle of the day, like you can just think about, okay, what my legacy is.

It takes time.

It takes energy, sometimes takes multiple iteration. And then usually people come up with like interesting and very surprising perspectives that they didn't realize.

And so we would dive into like, actually talk through what that visualization means and how you should, what's that value that you embody and how you should then align what you do and your work and your sense of purpose and join to that sort of true north that you're defining for yourself.

It is a process I would say, not like a 30 minute coffee chat would give you, but I usually leave people with some question to ponder around.

Well, it's so funny. I think you're doing an amazing job of describing this because I once spoke to an executive, a founder executive of a very successful company.

I'll keep them private. And his point was like, oh, I just spent time with my coach.

And I feel like I just got like a mental workout.

Like I'm exhausted because this is exactly like, it's they're hard questions that are not, it's real work.

It's like a mental workout almost to have to think through all that and why and all the different branches.

So you did a really good job.

So do you have a coaching practice? Because now I think there's a lot of people listening who want to sign up for your coaching services.

You do that as well, in addition to being a product manager on LinkedIn, or is this just something that you are passionate about and you do with your friends and community?

It's a little bit of both. I do it with friends and community. I do have a burgeoning, I guess, coaching practice that I only take three client at a time because that's the maximum that I can serve.

I do try to practice self-love as well.

So I don't burn out and work crazy number of hours in order to serve more customers.

And I do want to share more sort of tools and mental models online as well.

And that would be my focus in a couple of weeks in July and September that I wanted to share more online.

So I think the easy way is to follow me on LinkedIn or Twitter as I share.

And then I'm always, you know, have certain slots open for people to come in and talk to me as well.

Amazing. That's great. Well, you're practicing what you preach.

Obviously, you love this. You can tell that you're so passionate and clearly really good at it, which is great.

So there's two, we have about six minutes left and there's three things I really want to cover.

So the first is, you know, you just, you've worked with a lot of people, obviously, you're super deep in this.

So what, and I think, again, we all want to be a better version of ourselves and that might mean different things to different people.

What are some blockers or pretty common blockers that you see that inhibits people from reaching better versions of themselves?

That's the first thing I want to cover.

Yeah, definitely. I think I mentioned about imposter syndrome. I think that's probably the most predominant one.

So the negative chatters inside your mind that you always think that you're not good enough, you're not worthy enough.

And a lot of people, especially high achievers use that as a way to motivate themselves to do more.

So they're being very hard on themselves. And they also see that doing more means more productive, more success.

And those are very outward driven. And that leads to burnout, that leads to not sustainable success.

And sometimes self -doubts, a lot of insecurity.

I think that's the most predominant one for both male and female.

And then I do specialize a lot more on helping female as well, myself included, and some of the patterns that we have in addition to imposter syndrome and this tendency to like do more and being hard on ourself.

I think it's things like, as females, sometimes we use a lot of shrinkers in our communication.

So things like sorry, overly saying sorry for things that are not our fault, or saying, oh, this is just my two cents.

Oh, maybe this opinion is not that important. So when we do speak up, we kind of minimize our capacity to lead a service.

I think other things are something like over -preparing, like valuing expertise.

I tend to, when I start a new job, I usually read a bunch before I even make any statement or connection with others.

And we're over -preparing, trying to be perfect in everything, but where we need to learn to be improvising and taking leap of faith a little bit more.

Yeah, just like when you apply for a job, male colleagues look at a job qualification of 10.

They see two, they check box for two and like, yeah, I can apply for this job, and I'll learn the rest on the job.

But for us, we need to apply for all 10, plus maybe one or two to feel like, oh, we're confident we'll qualify for this job.

So there are just nuances in our thinking patterns, I think, that we can better reframe to overcome them, to become better versions of ourselves.

I love that. All right, well, we could spend a whole episode talking about that.

But OK, so the second thing I want to talk about, we have about three and a half minutes left, is this notion of sustainable success, which I think sustainable success, avoiding burnout, enjoying your career more, being in the moment more.

So maybe tell us a little bit more about what do you mean by sustainable success and any sort of insights you can share with the audience of tips that you can do to have more sustainable success.

Yeah, I think a good way to visualize it recently, I actually also share on my LinkedIn, is a two pie charts.

Traditionally, when we think about success, we think about 50% title, 50% your compensation.

But a better way to measure success is not so much the quantity of your accomplishment, but the quality of your life.

So think about a pie chart where you have title maybe being 10%, compensation 15%.

But you also have free time to do what you like, you love what you're doing, you have mental health, your physical health.

So those are a better way to measuring success. I think some of the better way to do it is like very quickly, how you manage your energy as opposed to your to do list.

Do more of the things that give you energy and do less of the things that you're ruminating about or is suck your energy.

And then I think the other notion is like try to do less as opposed to do more.

And prioritize just like insanely and ruthlessly how you want to spend your time, your energy.

I love that this quality of life.

And of course, there's a whole comment, well, your pie chart that has all these boxes, well, how can you do it all?

What would maybe the skeptics or the cynicals be like, it's impossible to have all of that quality of life.

I do have one quote to address that. Oh, good. Which actually came from Opry.

Basically, you can have it all, just not all at once. Oh, I see. Yeah.

So think about a circle is all you can have, like you can have it all, but you will have it over time.

Yeah. Well, I love that. And I shared when we were getting ready for this is at some point, I kind of had a moment, an aha, a personal discovery along my entrepreneurial journey.

I'm just like, OK, I want to try and enjoy what I'm doing more.

And so I think even just being awareness of, OK, I want to do all these things and I want to add more.

I have to simplify, get some things off my plate.

But it's more like just enjoying the journey a little bit more was really important.

And so I'm going to add this pie chart is a good quality of what you're doing, I think, is a good reframing of am I spending time on the things I want to be spending time on?

And if not, how do you start to add that in?

OK, the last minute and you talk a lot about pushing to your LinkedIn. And so you did a posting challenge where you posted for 30 days your LinkedIn.

We're all going to go read it because you have so much great content.

What were what what did you learn by posting for 30 days and what was your favorite post?

Yeah. So what I learned, I think, is I do enjoy this discovery.

Like I see it more as a a way to share my learning, to discover myself, where my voice is at, like always learning.

So I do enjoy the process a lot more than the actual result. So I gain a net of like one hundred and fifty followers where my goal was five hundred.

So that was for sure my goal.

But I do really enjoy this process. And I connected with more than 10 people.

They're in the space. They're very interesting. So focusing on quality rather than quantity and the process.

What do I like? What's my favorite post?

I think some of the personal stories, including the first post where I announced that I'm starting this challenge and the concluding post where I say, hey, I'm really glad I did this and here's what I learned.

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Yes We Can
Join Cloudflare Co-founder, President, and COO Michelle Zatlyn for a series of interviews with women technology leaders. We hope you will learn, laugh, and be inspired by these conversations.
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