Review of Powerful

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  • Well Structured
  • Concrete Examples
  • Insider's Take


Former Netflix chief talent officer Patty McCord explains Netflix’s innovative hiring, firing, talent evaluation and compensation culture with verve, directness and no-nonsense prose. She offers this memoir of her experiences at Netflix as a guide to both start-ups and long-standing businesses. McCord makes clear that everything she did was in pursuit of a loyal, high-performing, innovative culture. She explains the hard-nosed choices needed to sustain such a culture, including telling employees – despite their brilliance or superlative job performance – that when they outlive their usefulness to Netflix, they should move on. McCord walks a singular tightrope as she describes the need for company loyalty to employees and employee loyalty to the company, even as both know their connection isn’t permanent or even necessarily long-lived. Her blunt, commonsense and forward-looking advice will be useful to those who work in HR and to anyone starting a company or trying to revitalize one.

About the Author

Patty McCord served as chief talent officer at Netflix for 14 years and helped create the Netflix Culture Deck, which has garnered more than 15 million views. She currently consults with companies and entrepreneurs on culture and leadership. 


“Refine Your Culture”

Patty McCord  believes teams drive achievements. When people on a team have the freedom to solve problems as they see fit and a clear sense of their goals, she says, they produce their best work. In her construct, the members of high-quality teams are skilled, enthusiastic people who welcome other high performers and consciously develop mutual trust. In this atmosphere, McCord insists, team members revel in each other’s accomplishments.

Managers must find driven, accomplished people and build the most creative teams possible. Given the resources they need, high performers will drive and inspire one another. McCord asserts that you must provide your teams with the freedom and flexibility they need to do their best work by minimizing your rules, processes, instructions and approvals. Test to discover how many extra processes you can eliminate. If the resulting work quality suggests that your team performs better with a certain amount of governance in place, bring it back. Innovative, successful companies never stop clarifying their culture, McCord says, just as they never stop improving their products and services.   

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