Thriving on Responsibility and Freedom

by Bob Poole on August 30, 2010

Last week I wrote a blog post at The Water Cooler Blog expressing my opinion that having average employees is a recipe for failure for small companies. Actually, I think it holds true for all size companies but I’m more concerned about smaller business and start-ups like some of you might have or be contemplating.

I said:
Big businesses tolerate and cultivate average employees.

Small companies can’t afford to have average employees.

Everyone working in a small company must be exceptional leaning towards extraordinary.

Average in small business leads to failure.

Always.

Today, a friend sent me a link to a slide deck written by Netflix CEO Reed Hasting that reinforces my opinion. For example, Hasting says at Netflix “adequate performance gets a generous severance package.” They cannot tolerate average or adequate. I don’t think of Netflix as small as they are now a public company. But, if a public company can think this way, I can only imagine how this kind of progressive thinking might help a small company.

I’m going to give you the link to the slide deck. It very well may be the best expressed description of what a company expects from itself and its employees and what it is willing to do in return that I’ve ever read. He calls it a Reference Guide on Freedom and Responsibility Culture.

Take time to read it and see if it resonates with you. You might really enjoy reading about their vacation policy. Hint:  They don’t have one! In fact, they don’t have many corporate policies. I think you’ll find their thinking quite unlike what you may have
experienced in your careers. It doesn’t have to be that way.

One last thought from the deck just to convince you to take the time to read it.

Hastings also says:
Responsible People
Thrive on Freedom,
and are Worthy of Freedom.

Maybe this is how you’d like to see your company.

Imagine the possibilities.

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