Powerful: Summary Review

This is a summary review of Powerful containing key details about the book.

What is Powerful About?

Powerful by Patty McCord is a book that provides insight and practical advice on how to build a culture of high-performance and innovation within an organization, by challenging traditional HR practices and encouraging leaders to empower their employees to take ownership of their work. McCord's experience at Netflix provides valuable insights into building a successful, people-focused organization.

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Powerful will change how you think about work and the way a business should be run. The author advocates practicing radical honesty in the workplace, saying good-bye to employees who don’t fit the company’s emerging needs, and motivating with challenging work, not promises, perks, and bonus plans. He argues that the old standbys of corporate HR—annual performance reviews, retention plans, employee empowerment and engagement programs—often end up being a colossal waste of time and resources.

Summary Points & Takeaways from Powerful

Some key summary points and takeaways from the book include:

* Build a culture of freedom and responsibility: It's important to create a company culture where employees feel empowered to take risks and make decisions without fear of punishment. Leaders should focus on building trust and providing transparency in communication to create a culture of responsibility.

* Hire for the future: When hiring new employees, it's important to think about the future needs of the company. Look for people who have a growth mindset and can adapt to change, rather than just filling immediate needs.

* Reinvent performance management: Traditional performance management systems are often demotivating and ineffective. Instead of annual reviews, create a culture of continuous feedback and improvement, where employees are encouraged to seek out and act on feedback.

* Focus on results: In a results-driven culture, it's important to measure success based on outcomes, not just effort. Leaders should clearly communicate goals and expectations, and hold themselves and others accountable for achieving them.

* Be transparent: Transparency is key to building a culture of trust and responsibility. Leaders should share information openly, and encourage their teams to do the same. This helps to build a sense of ownership and accountability among employees.

* Embrace change: Companies that are successful over the long-term are those that can adapt to change. Leaders should encourage experimentation and risk-taking, and create an environment where failure is seen as a learning opportunity.

* Build a diverse team: Diversity of thought and background can help drive innovation and success. Leaders should actively seek out and value different perspectives, and create a culture of inclusivity where everyone feels welcome and valued.

Who is the author of Powerful?

Patty McCord is a human resources consultant and executive. She was the chief talent officer at Netflix. She joined Netflix in 1998. McCord's path to Netflix started with her working with Reed Hastings at Pure Software.

Book details

  • Print length: 228 Pages
  • Genre: Business, Leadership, Nonfiction

What are the chapters in Powerful?

Chapter 1: The Greatest Motivation IS Contributing to Success
Chapter 2: Every Single Employee Should Understand the Business
Chapter 3: Humans Hate Being Lied To and Being Spun
Chapter 4: Debate Vigorously
Chapter 5: Build the Company Now That You Want To Be Then
Chapter 6: Someone Really Smart in Every Job
Chapter 7: "Pay People What They're Worth to You: Compensation Is a Judgment Call"
Chapter 8: The Art of Good Good-byes

What do critics say?

Here's what one of the prominent reviewers had to say about the book: “If your company is pursuing greatness and comfortable with the idea of embracing change, this book is a must-read. It’s as simple as that. Patty McCord articulates what many leaders need to hear, then teaches you how to implement it.” — Neil Blumenthal and Dave Gilboa, co-founders and co-CEOs of Warby Parker

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* The editor of this summary review made every effort to maintain information accuracy, including any published quotes, chapters, or takeaways. If you're interested in furthering your personal development, I invite you to check out my list of favorite personal development books page. On this page, you'll find a curated list of books that have personally impacted my life, each with a summary and key lessons.

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Chief Editor

Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.

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