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Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility

Length: 4 hrs and 21 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,141 ratings)
Regular price: $14.95
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Publisher's Summary

When it comes to recruiting, motivating, and creating great teams, Patty McCord says most companies have it all wrong. McCord helped create the unique and high-performing culture at Netflix, where she was chief talent officer. In her new book, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility, she shares what she learned there and elsewhere in Silicon Valley.  

McCord 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. McCord 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. Her road-tested advice, offered with humor and irreverence, provides readers a different path for creating a culture of high performance and profitability.   

Powerful will change how you think about work and the way a business should be run.

©2017 Patty McCord (P)2017 Missionday

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Brilliant & Insightful

I was first “introduced” to Patty listening to ‘This Week In Startups,’ a Podcast w/ Jason Calacanis. After listening to her episode I immediately downloaded the book and loved it. Great insights you can immediately incorporate into your current company culture. Very well written and very well read.👌🏼

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Great insight and ideas.

This was a great narration which shared some d
great insights and examples.

I really enjoyed it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Inspiring but not very insightful on practices

The book is very inspiring and also suiting as you understand that building a high productive culture is a process with lots of mistakes. Still, she does not give much of concrete advice on how to build your own culture but more guidelines. Still, I find it though provoking and useful.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Practical and Thoughtful

A refreshing perspective on employees as people who want to be treated as adults and how companies can rethink the HR role and value to organizations.

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Very insightful!

The book is based on Patty's personal experiences on Netflix during a 14 year period, time in which the company had to constantly reinvent itself. The lessons learned and shared in this book are a source of inspiration!

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Listened multiple times

Great book for companies who are shifting into a technology industry. Practical advice for building a sports team culture.

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Great for HR Practitioners!

I love this book. It's a fabulous guide to getting out of the way of progress.

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Great book for who doesn't like conventional HR

Very happy to see that small company agile hr is possible in big companies. Thanks Patty!

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Informative Read with Engaging Narrator

Non-fiction, particularly non-fiction that is more business orientated, is not usually something I gravitate towards, but the author had some fascinating insights and was a great reader.

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Good HR criticism - wrong alternative solutions

I think the author makes a really good point in regards to old HR practices that have no link to the business and are not even good for people. However looking one to one the alternatives suggested... well you’re only left with anew problem. Saying that one example of friend shows that engagement has no link to company success clearly shows how ill informed the book is. Yes obsession with any metric or practice is never good but doing away with all practices without clearly suggesting what works is dangerous advise.

She does make a good point explaining the benefits of candid feedback, proactively letting go of people and excellent hiring. The overall message let’s me with a taste of taking people as commodities, yes you will treat them with respect but you dispose with them as soon as something better comes across.

Yes employees should be the drivers of their own careers, but companies benefit hugely helping them build up their competencies for a future we don’t yet know. How can you find outside the skills needed for something you as a company are creating...

A pity that such good criticism of HR turns out so flawed

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-18-18

Loved it!

Loved this book! Eye opening and many Agh-Huh moments. The examples are very relatable. HR advice for fast moving, competitive businesses of today. Mother-Hen HR is no more!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Seb
  • 03-13-19

Short. Packed with thought provoking goodness

Patty has done. If culture is the strategy of the way we work, Patty is Silicon Valley's Sun Tzu.

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  • Ben
  • 08-20-18

Great read

Really enjoyed this book. One that gets you thinking and motivated to do something about it!

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  • Mr David Igoe
  • 08-10-18

Different perspective

I'm familiar with the Netflix culture so this was a bit of a slow burner (first 3 chapters.) However, the HR angle on hiring and building a great sports teams was really insightful and made me question numerous assumptions.

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  • PureSymmetry
  • 08-09-18

Worth buying, well read, great content.

Loved this audible and should have listened sooner. Will definitely be returning to this again and again.

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  • Sandy
  • 08-05-18

Thinking deeply about the culture you want?

Short, snappy and to the point. A great "listen" for any leader thinking about the culture they want or have in their organisation. Bags of challenge, ideas to test - ultimately every culture is unique but this will help you towards your best version - aligned to agile thinking, the goal, continuous improvement etc

Read along with the Netflix Culture Deck (both the current and the original versions).

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  • Liz Scully
  • 07-19-18

Fascinating and easy to absorb information

Great book - very enjoyable. Short and to the point - which I much appreciate in a business book!

If you're interested in culture building within a company, this will be surely be helpful.

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  • Ed Challinor
  • 06-16-18

Maevellous insight into how to turn HR into money.

This is a great story and a great insight into how to drop the old ways and learn how to deal with people at work in 2018 and beyond.

It's changed the way I do a whole load of things in my company. Must read for anyone who has or works in a serious business

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-20-18

Very interesting.

Good advice, well narrated and not too full of waffle and padding, quite good, would recommend if your interested in the Netflix culture

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  • jc
  • 03-05-18

Great simple take home and action learnings

Where so many books struggle, caught up in overly complex stories and concepts, this book shares some good examples that I will take away and learn from.

The delivery is relaxed, self assured and very listenable, certainly not forced or droney, the killer for audiobooks.
Highly recommend, enjoy the book/audiobook.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-09-19

How to make a difference

Highly recommend! an interesting audio for anyone wanting to make a difference in the system. Easy to listen to, many good points. Would accompany with the book "Beyond Civilization" by Daniel Quinn and the audible "The Culture Code- the secrets of highly successful groups" by Daniel Coyle

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-16-19

Great story, not sure about the performance

This book came highly recommended to me and after listening to some of Patty McCord's interviews I thought I'd give it a shot. I really enjoyed the story, however Patty's reading was a little robotic. I found that Patty sounded disconnected from the words and 'just reading', which sounded so different to her interviews - there was much more personality during her interviews on this book.

Must add that I'm not a big reader and this was my first experience with an audiobook iso don't have much to compare with.

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  • Fargeot
  • 01-26-19

Interesting take

Insteresting take on Culture and HR as a whole. Some innovative ideas I'd agree with, some where I'd be more on the fence as it feels it is not taking some elements into account. Still very glad I read it.

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  • Joshua
  • 11-26-18

A must read for all team leaders

Amazing content coupled with great narration. Highly recommended. Lots of great insights into how to approach people and culture within the organisation.

If you lead teams or have aspirations to, this book will disrupt the traditional convention of what you think (largely due to our experiences) and provide good food for thought.

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  • raj
  • 10-15-18

great book

loved it, great insight and love the narration. thought provoking, my organizations going through some of the transformation. book really helped thinking outside of the box

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  • KKOK
  • 02-05-18

Absolutely must listen/read for any manager

Would you listen to Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility again? Why?

I'm a wheels and handles girl - it had some many practical tips I could implement right away

What did you like best about this story?

It came from a richness and depth of experience. You knew, she wasn't telling you things she "thought might be a good idea" but rather - these were things I tried, out of lots of things I tried and these were the things that worked and why

Have you listened to any of Patty McCord and Alex Hyde White ’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No

Any additional comments?

This is a fantastic book, I have recommended it to everyone that I know would be interested. If you're on the fence, jump off it and get it. There is so much good stuff in it, I've written notes and notes of things and I know I'll be re-reading again.
Thank you Patty - I was really inspired!