Fifteen years ago, the book First Break All The Rules, had a profound impact on me as a relatively green people manager – responsible, in part, for the career development of others.
Among the invaluable lessons in the book was one section “Keep the focus on outcomes” that became my greatest take-away. “Strong companies become experts in the destination and give the individual the thrill of the journey.” Employees don’t want to be controlled – they want to be empowered. This was particularly formative in my own growth as a manager.
Last week, the former chief talent officer for Netflix, Patty McCord, provided more color in a Harvard Business Review piece about a PowerPoint she (and Reed Hastings) penned that explained the performance culture at Netflix – a slide deck that got a ton of buzz in 2013.
There’s some ridiculously great stuff in the HBR piece (as well as the PowerPoint) –One thing in particular jumped out at me: Context, not control: “The best managers figure out how to get great outcomes by setting the appropriate context, rather than by trying to control their people.”
Whether also inspired by Buckingham & Coffman’s book or simply lessons Patty learned on her own, it’s a poignant affirmation on the importance of this kind of management culture – especially as we begin a fresh new year…