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Netflix's Reed Hastings Doesn't Flip-flop, He Leads
Posted on October 10th 2011
Leaders will make executive decisions. They stick to their intuition in the face of adversity. They push their employees, their suppliers and their pricing models to the limit. They will live and die by the direction they take. And when they make mistakes, they fix them. This isn't flip flopping it's leadership.
Reed Hastings is a visionary. Reed is a leader. He pushed his business towards a radical transformation. When his incredibly active and loyal market spoke, he made the executive decision.
The resonating "flip flop" media coverage of Reed's recent experiment in radical business model revision is nauseating. This isn't flip flopping. It's leadership.
Waiting and seeing. Talking and debating. Listening and integrating. All good things. But it takes a leader to lead. Marketing people love to talk. There is a direct correlation between the size of the organization, the confidence of the marketer, the height of the stakes and the time spent talking rather than doing. The greater the fear, the greater the delay. Talking is a great way to push off making the difficult call. In the face of all of this advertisty, leaders find the strength to lead.
Great leadership is about more than making the difficult call. Greatness demands making and sticking to the unpopular decisions in the face of adversity. In today's day and age, greatness demands telling your PR and social media teams to stop addressing the negative market and start believing in the organization. Leaders don't just ask customers what they want, they build what they know their customers will come to demand.
Reed is a leader. So his bold experiment flopped, good for him. That was a jump few us of would have the balls to have made. Here's to leaders who know how to make a jump, and when to pull back. Here's to you Reed. Keep it up.
Now let's just hope this change in direction hasn't significantly impacted his consumer confidence.