Question-   Assignment on Leadership



The leader is described as the one who can influence others and has managerial authority. Each leader has their own leadership style, by which they can lead and influence their groups to purchase and achieve the goal. Leadership style bears the impression of a manager and contributes to forming the culture of a company.

This report is about one of the leaders who successes in building the own specific culture of the company and inspiring the employee to work and achieve their goals. This leader built up one of the most famous entertainment business in the world. It is Reed Hastings, the co-founder, and CEO of Netflix, the one who has a great impact on changing of the media rental service.

Wilmot Reed Hastings Jr. was born in 1960 in the U.S. After finishing the bachelor’s degree of mathematics at Bowdoin College, he spent two years with the Peace Corps to teach mathematics. This was the first place that helped Hastings discover and tend to develop his entrepreneurial spirit. Then he went to Stanford University to get a master’s degree in computer science. The time when Hastings running his first company – Pure Software, he found that he was lack of managing experience and it made the work much challenging. It was 1997 that the time Reed Hastings and his partner Marc Randolph incorporated Netflix – a medial rental service that let customers in the USA borrow the films at a fixed rate by mail service. And from that time, Netflix has developed substantially, reaching its 21st anniversary this year, now it is available worldwide and has continued to increase its value.

Reed Hastings is stand out of other famous leaders in the world because of his extraordinary statement about leadership: “I take pride in making as few decisions as possible. When you get to real scale, most of my job is just vision”. Different from famous managers of other billion worth companies, Hastings believes in his employees and inspires these people to believe in themselves by the sentence: “If I want to make a difference, I can make a difference”. He has his own style and builds it into the company’s culture that every employee really has that culture by themselves. With his famous quote: “I’ve worked very hard, but my life’s always been fun”. It inspires people to work effectively but also needs to have passion in their job, which helps people to obtain the goals in a favorable way. And the result of this lifestyle, as well as leadership style is the success and sustainable development of Netflix.

To lead Netflix to success as now, it is certain that Reed Hastings has his own good qualities. First of all, he has the ability to set up long-term plan for the company and stay ahead of the competition. At the time when Hastings started his business, it is difficult to change people habit of going to a video store to borrow DVD or VHS tape, Netflix was the pioneer and had lots of competitors. However, Hastings never gave up, kept chasing his dream and chose the name of the company as Netflix that means flicks over the net. Secondly, it is clearly seen that Hastings has the ability to build a strong corporation culture that is “Freedom and Responsibility” model. He knows who is a potential employee to recruit, then giving their freedom in work, high salary, opportunity to choose salary in cash or in stock. Moreover, he always goes around the office to meet people, share and talk with employees, which is a good way to be a part of a positive business culture.

On the flip side, there are some lessons from the negative qualities of Reed Hastings. Initially, Reed Hastings is excessive risk-taking sometimes. His decision of making the bold move of raising prices significantly and changing the delivery of Netflix services made the company lost a large number of customers and drop the stock price. Besides, Hastings has quite strict management in employees’ working hours. Netflix is well known for a no-vacation policy, which means no time-off until they get their work done. This decision made the employee be under pressure and can work less efficiently.

After considering both positive and negative side in leadership style of Reed Hastings, he is still a good model of leader to be learned, especially for start-up companies. Hastings is always willing to learn from his mistakes and never stops to build Netflix to be more perfect and develop in the future. His inspirational quote: “Most entrepreneurial ideas will sound crazy stupid and uneconomic, and then they'll turn out to be right" can help a lot of young people who are on the path of building their own business have more motivation. It is the lesson for everyone to focus on our work to turn our dream into reality.



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