Be a Contemporary Leader

There are many inspirational organizations where we can learn from to become a contemporary leader. Netflix is one of them. It’s CEO, Hastings, shares his learnings in his latest book: No Rules Rules.

To get a first impression about his Leadership mindset, you can watch this short video.

These are the 5 learnings he shares:

  1. No rules rules. At Netflix they don’t have a vacation or expenses policy. The only guidance is to act in Netflixes best interest.
  2. Have a global culture. Understand the differences of our global nationalities and leverage their strengths to the max.
  3. Disagree openly. Ensure there is a culture of trust to say what might be wrong. Embrace farming for dissent; constructive conflict to come to the best decisions.
  4. Inspire, don’t manage. High Performing Employees only need to understand the context and get inspired. That’s what you need to support as a leader. Don’t (micro) manage.
  5. Open the books. Share all important information openly with all staff to enable them taking the best decisions. recently had an interesting interview with Hastings. During this interview Hastings clarified the above learnings with these (freely translated from Dutch to English) words:

  1. ‘Most organizations have policies to manage staff that shows irresponsible and unprofessional behavior. If you just send away or not hire the people that show this behavior, you don’t need policies!
  2. ‘If you desire an open culture you need to get rid of jerks. Jerks destroy your organization from within. Their preferred approach is to do that by slipping a knife in their colleagues back.’ 
  3. ‘You need to lead by inspiring and empowering staff. In a hierarchical organization you want to review every press release and script. In a large organization that is simply not possible.’
  4. ‘Jazz is about improvising. You play with others ad you don’t know what they are going to play. It’s unpredictable and thus scary. So, you just play creatively along. That’s different then an orchestra where you follow the conductor who tries to manage all. A traditional organization is like an orchestra; it makes beautiful music. We as a contemporary organization improvise like the jazz musicians. We are creative, sometimes chaotic and dissonant.’

Read the full article in Dutch here: