Workplace success, inspired by Netflix

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Check out this slide presentation on Netflix workplace culture.  It has 5 million views, but somehow I just came across it.  Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg called it one of the most important documents ever to come out of Silicon Valley.  Many of the things Netflix values in employees would help you stand out and succeed in any workplace, and in any job interview.  And with 81 million subscribers, how can you not want a peek into the culture that helped them get there?  

Here’s just one of Netflix’s values that jumped out at me, as something I’ve definitely looked for when hiring, and that has helped me in my own career:

PICK UP THE TRASH LYING ON THE FLOOR

In other words, think about the interests of the company overall (trash on the floor looks bad; I’ll pick it up) and not just what you’re officially responsible for (picking up trash is not my job, and it’s not my trash anyway).   A great employee at Netflix, or anywhere, takes initiative.  They don’t wait to be told what to do.

A few months ago there was a Personal Branding workshop at Community Connections.  We worked on the stories you can tell an interviewer about great things you’ve achieved and challenges you’ve overcome in past jobs – stories that are far more compelling than your past job titles and descriptions.  Some of the most persuasive stories were ones where someone had spotted a problem or an opportunity and took the initiative to work on it, usually with outstanding results.

We heard great stories about how someone noticed a potential audience for the company’s services that wasn’t being targeted, researched it and presented a plan to seize the opportunity.  We heard about quick reactions to crisis that transcended the person’s job description and protected the interests of the company and its clients.  The effect of telling and hearing all these stories was amazing. The confidence, energy and passion of the people in that room was powerful.  As one of our dear Community Connections leaders Teresa Tao put it, you could feel the electricity in the room.   You can create electricity in a job interview with stories like these.

You probably have at least one story of noticing and picking up “the trash lying on the floor”.  Build these stories into your interviewing, networking, resume and LinkedIn profile.   When you demonstrate that you see the big picture and take initiative, you become more valuable to any workplace. 

What do you think of the culture Netflix describes in this presentation?  Would you like to work in such a culture?

Your comments welcome below, as always.

Kim Koster

Brand Strategist and Board Director

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2 thoughts on “Workplace success, inspired by Netflix

  1. Brilliant slide presentation by Netflix. Wonderful writing by Kim who has such an amazing memory – Kim, I couldn’t believe you still remember all the details of what happened during your Personal Branding workshop few months ago…

    Really impressive!

    Like

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