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Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility by Patty McCord
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Powerful Quotes Showing 1-30 of 34
“Great teams are not created with incentives, procedures, and perks. They are created by hiring talented people who are adults and want nothing more than to tackle a challenge, and then communicating to them, clearly and continuously, about what the challenge is.”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
“Trust is based on honest communication, and I find that employees become cynical when they hear half-truths. Cynicism is a cancer. It creates a metastasizing discontent that feeds on itself, leading to smarminess and fueling backstabbing.”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
“True and abiding happiness in work comes from being deeply engaged in solving a problem with talented people you know are also deeply engaged in solving it, and from knowing that the customer loves the product or service you all have worked so hard to make.”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
“The Greatest Motivation Is Contributing to Success”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
“Excellent colleagues, a clear purpose, and well-understood deliverables: that’s the powerful combination.”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
“The typical approach to growth in business is to add more people and structure and to impose more fixed budgetary goals and restraints. But my experiences at fast-growth companies that successfully scaled showed me that the leanest processes possible and a strong culture of discipline were far superior, if for no other reason than their speed.”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
“QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER • As you survey your company-wide policies and procedures, ask: What is the purpose of this policy or procedure? Does it achieve that result? • Are there any approval mechanisms you can eliminate? • What percentage of its time does management spend on problem solving and team building? • Have you done a cost-benefit analysis of the incentives and perks you offer employees? • Could you replace approvals and permissions with analysis of spending patterns and a focus on accuracy and predictability? • Is your decision-making system clear and communicated widely?”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
“Many people feel hesitant to speak so openly, but the truth is that most people really appreciate the opportunity to get a better understanding of their behavior and how it’s being perceived, as long as the tone of delivery isn’t hostile or condescending.”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
“When engineers start to whine about a process you’re trying to implement, you want to really dig into what’s bothering them, because they hate senseless bureaucracy and stupid process.”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
“Retention is not a good measure of team-building success; having a great person in every single position on the team is the best measure.”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
“what people most want from work: to be able to come in and work with the right team of people— colleagues they trust and admire—and to focus like crazy on doing a great job together.”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
“understood that part of the reason large teams are crippled in their ability to innovate and move fast is that because it’s hard work to manage them, companies build infrastructure to make sure people are doing the right things. But the teams I saw that accomplished great stuff just knew what they most needed to accomplish; they didn’t need elaborate procedures, and certainly not incentives.”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
“Part of being an adult is being able hear the truth. And the corollary is that you owe the adults you hire the truth. That is actually what they want most from you.”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
“Are we limited by the team we have not being the team we should have?”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
“Most of us feel that we can't tell the people who work for us or with us the truth because (a) they're not smart enough to understand it, (b) they're not mature enough to understand it, or (c) it wouldn't be nice. We want to treat one another well, and we think that means making one another feel good. But this desire to make people feel good is often as much a desire to make ourselves feel good as to do the right thing. It often leads to people actually feeling worse, because they're not correcting a problem in the way they're working, and eventually come home to roost. Part of being an adult is being able to hear the truth.”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
“We decided to use the metaphor that the company was like a sports team, not a family. Just as a great sports teams are constantly scouting for new players and culling others from their lineups, our team leaders would need to continually look for talent and reconfigure team makeup.”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
“An appreciation of the core elements of a company's early succes is so important, and it can be retained as companies adapt and grow. But nostalgia that inspires resistance to change will fuel discontent and often undermine growth.”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
“Great teams are made when every single member knows where they’re going and will do anything to get there.”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
“The Netflix culture wasn’t built by developing an elaborate new system for managing people; we did the opposite. We kept stripping away policies and procedures.”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
“Instilling belief in the practice gets easier as managers come on board. The greater the density of great team builders you achieve, the more you can spread the practice organically.”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
“That respect for one another’s intelligence and genuine desire to discover the bases of colleagues’ views drove intense mutual questioning and kept it mostly productive and civil, if often quite colorful.”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
“He said maybe some fear isn’t so bad. When you’re taking on a mountain the magnitude of Mt. Fuji or K2, you have to bring oxygen. It’s scary. But if you go up and a storm comes, you can go back to base camp, and nobody’s going to tell you that you’re a failure. I loved that because it expressed so well that not only were we engaged in a great challenge, which would involve setbacks, but we were also on a great adventure.”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
“While our debates at Netflix often got heated, they generally didn’t become mean-spirited or counterproductive, because we set a standard that they should all essentially be about serving the business and our customers.”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
“People should hear frequently about how well they’re performing. Even if doing away with the annual performance process is not feasible for you, institute much more frequent meetings to discuss performance.”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
“a business leader’s job is to create great teams that do amazing work on time.”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
“When engineers start to whine about a process you’re trying to implement, you want to really dig into what’s bothering them, because they hate senseless bureaucracy and stupid process. But they don’t mind discipline at all.”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
“Our first big realization was that the remaining people were the highest performers, and it taught us that the best thing you can do for employees is hire only high performers to work alongside them. It’s a perk far better than foosball or free sushi or even a big signing bonus or the holy grail of stock options. Excellent colleagues, a clear purpose, and well-understood deliverables: that’s the powerful combination.”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
“Employees at all levels want and need to understand not only the particular work they are assigned and their team’s mission, but also the larger story of the way the business works, the challenges the company faces, and the competitive landscape. ▶ Truly understanding how the business works is the most valuable learning, more productive and appealing than “employee development” trainings. It’s the rocket fuel of high performance and lifelong learning. ▶ Communication between management and employees should genuinely flow both ways. The more leaders encourage questions and suggestions and make themselves accessible for give-and-take, the more employees at all levels will offer ideas and insights that will amaze you. ▶ If someone working for you seems clueless, chances are they have not been told information they need to know. Make sure you haven’t failed to give it to them. ▶ If you don’t tell your people about how the business is doing and the problems being confronted—good, bad, and ugly—then they will get that information somewhere else, and it will often be misinformation. ▶ The job of communicating is never done. It’s not an annual or quarterly or even monthly or weekly function. A steady stream of communication is the lifeblood of competitive advantage.”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
“When I’m consulting to start-up founders, I often have to tell them that many of their people aren’t going to be competent in the new world order they’re heading into as they scale. Usually they respond, “But I like them and they work hard and they’re really great!” But the questions are: Can they do the job at scale? Are you going to need them to do tomorrow the same job they’re doing now? What’s your plan for them?”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
“Trusting people to be responsible with their time was one of the early steps in giving them back their power.”
Patty McCord, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility

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