Powerful: Summary Review

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

What is Powerful About?

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.

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.

What are good quotes from Powerful?

“In this ever-changing society, the most powerful and enduring brands are built from the heart. They are real and sustainable. Their foundations are stronger because they are built with the strength of the human spirit, not an ad campaign. The companies that are lasting are those that are authentic.”

“Mass advertising can help build brands, but authenticity is what makes them last. If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.”

“One of the fundamental aspects of leadership, I realized more and more, is the ability to instill confidence in others when you yourself are feeling insecure”

“People want guidance, not rhetoric. They need to know what the plan of action is, and how it will be implemented. They want to be given responsibility to help solve the problem and authority to act on it.”

“If you examine a butterfly according to the laws of aerodynamics, it shouldn't be able to fly. But the butterfly doesn't know that, so it flies”

“Authentic brands don't emerge from marketing cubicles or advertising agencies. They emanate from everything the company does...”

“Remember: You'll be left with an empty feeling if you hit the finish line alone. When you run a race as a team, though, you'll discover that much of the reward comes from hitting the tape together. You want to be surrounded not just by cheering onlookers but by a crowd of winners, celebrating as one.”

“To stay vigorous, a company needs to provide a stimulating and challenging environment for all these types: the dreamer, the entrepreneur, the professional manager, and the leader. If it doesn't, it risks becoming yet another mediocre corporation.”

“Early on I realized that I had to hire people smarter and ore qualified than I was in a number of different fields, and I had to let go of a lot of decision-making. I can't tell you how hard that is. But if you've imprinted your values on the people around you, you can dare to trust them to make the right moves.”

“There's a metaphor Vincent Eades likes to use: "If you examine a butterfly according to the laws of aerodynamics, it shouldn't be able to fly. But the butterfly doesn't know that, so it flies.”

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, . . . begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. —GOETHE”
“To be an enduring, great company, you have to build a mechanism for preventing or solving problems that will long outlast any one individual leader.”

― Patty McCord, Powerful
 

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

* The summary points above have been concluded from the book and other public sources. The editor of this summary review made every effort to maintain information accuracy, including any published quotes, chapters, or takeaways

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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