Netflix, The Ideal Partner, The genius with 1,000 helpers, Corporate psychopath, Building to flip or last? & Agile Leadership Summit
21st March 2021 Evolution Partners Newsletter
“In a long term game everyone is making each other rich, in a short term game everyone is making themselves rich” – Nivi
Hope you’re Thriving!
I’ve had a good week with several impactful meetings and a Zoom workshop (starting at 5:30 am) which turned out to be an awesome day. I’ve been working with this team for about a year and their pivot through the COVID pandemic has been remarkable. Every time we meet we’re learning more about the business model and iterating higher up the spiral, as I discussed in last week’s newsletter. That team lost almost all their revenue a year ago, then looked inside for opportunities, and pivoted their effort to one of their really small revenue streams which is now growing really quickly.
Netflix looks inside for revenue growth
And that’s what Netflix did this week when they announced that they’re cracking down on password sharing. Of course, I’m sure that password sharing has been written in huge letters on a whiteboard in someone’s office at Netflix Headquarters for many years. With millions of users sharing passwords, it’s been an opportunity to increase revenues for a long time, but they needed their strategy to hook customers on to the habit and then when the time is right, and they were confident enough that they ‘owned the real estate’ of the customer commitment, they could crack down on password sharing.
In a recent Bloomberg poll, 65% of 200,000 people surveyed said they currently share their Netflix password, and a couple of weeks ago Netflix started rolling out a new user verification feature where accounts at different physical addresses are asked ”Is this your account?, We’ll send you a verification code” to email or text and authenticate them as the account owner.
With millions of users sharing, who Netflix believe should instead be paying, Netflix is looking inside for revenue growth. To get more from the existing asset they have. In many organisations when you think about the Pareto 80 20 rule perhaps there could be more opportunity for revenue growth inside rather than outside.
So it’s important to consider how you can get revenue growth from inside your organisation. One last thing to consider about Netflix from the Netflix Core Values and Culture deck. When talking about their employees they practice “Adequate performance gets a generous severance package”. They’re tough on their own team members and will likely be tough on customers as well!
The Ideal Partner
This week I was listening to a podcast from Naval for the second time and came across a quote at the beginning from Nivi, the interviewer. “ In a long-term game everyone is making each other rich, in a short-term game everyone is making themselves rich”. Now today ‘rich’ may seem a little uncool, and perhaps get rich quick schemes are designed to make only the seller rich, but this quote really resonated with me and it’s part of the underlying reason why I only work with teams for a long time.
But the context from that is whom do you decide to partner within a long-term game? And for me, that context applied to the coach you work with, but it could be a business partner, joint venture partner, a CFO or any other type of partner.
To win within a long-term game, you need the right partner who has high integrity, high IQ and high passion.
If you select a partner who is high passion and high integrity, but not high IQ, eventually they won’t be able to cognitively keep up.
If you select a partner who is high passion and high IQ, but not high integrity, eventually they will act without integrity.
If you select a partner who is high IQ and high integrity, but not high passion, eventually you’ll end up carrying them.
And that Venn diagram, of the ideal partner, has really been resonating with me this past week.
It then made me think about how that potentially connects with a similar model of The Ideal Team Player, from the book of the same name by Patrick Lencioni. The Ideal Team Player concept is described below.
Ideal team players are humble. They lack excessive ego or concerns about status. They are quick to point out the contributions of others and slow to seek recognition for their own. They share credit, emphasize team over self, and define success collectively rather than individually.
Ideal team players are hungry. They are always looking for more—more things to do, more to learn, more responsibility. Hungry people rarely have to be pushed by a manager to work harder because they are self-motivated and diligent. They are constantly thinking about the next step and the next opportunity.
Ideal team players are smart. They are emotionally intelligent and have common sense about people. They tend to know what is happening in a group situation and how to effectively deal with others. They have good judgment and intuition around the subtleties of group dynamics and the impact of their words and actions.
Then what if your team was full of hungry, humble and smart ideal team players, and all your partners were ideal partners, being high integrity, high IQ and high passion. It would indeed be a formidable organisation!
But, there could possibly be one thing missing.
What Jim Collins calls the Level 5 leader.
The genius with 1,000 helpers
If you take a look at the companies of Level 5 leaders in Jim Collin’s research, you will see that they created strong teams all around them. In doing this they ensured the success of the company long after they left. However, should you look at the Level 4 leaders, they tend to follow the “genius with a thousand helpers’ approach” in which they were the driving force behind the company’s success. Usually, they were the ones who came up with great ideas and delegated them to their followers to implement. In essence, the team was no more than a bunch of mindless robots taking orders from their “master”. When the time comes, and the “master” leaves they will often be left lost without direction and end up like rabbits staring into headlights, not knowing what to do.
He found that instead level 5 leaders build enduring greatness through a paradoxical combination of personal humility plus professional will.
Many level 4 leaders are quite effective. Many actually achieve great results with their teams, they have a compelling vision and they set high standards for the team to achieve. But the vision ultimately is only about them and their tenure within the organisation. They are never really able to achieve enduring greatness because they don’t empower others to do great work.
And one of the great signatures of these leaders, whom Jim Collins identified as level 4 effective leaders, was they all appeared to be geniuses with 1,000 helpers.
And this is a real problem that I’m sure you might have observed in many of the leaders that you know. Ultimately the decisions need to be made by them or at least have their involvement. They can’t really rely on the people around them to have full autonomy, not because of their lack of ability, but because of the situation that the leader has created. They might often say things like “we can’t find good people” or “all the good people go to our competitors” or “there’s a lack of talent.”
Now maybe that’s all true, but if you consider the concept of a genius with 1,000 helpers, perhaps the person could be surrounded by people who might just be smarter than them, perhaps the person has co-workers who are simply doing tasks instead of taking ownership. Perhaps that individual, which might in fact be you, could be suffering the effective leader issue, and be stuck at level 4.
In this week’s podcast, Kevin Lawrence and I have a great conversation about the problem of the genius with 1,000 helpers.
We discuss the problems with being a genius with 1,000 helpers, how it prevents the best people from joining your team and those who do from achieving their best, and it damages your business. Finally, we talk about if you are a level 4 leader, how you can move to become a level 5 leader.
Listen or watch here to episode 49 – Are you a genius with 1,000 helpers? If so, how do you become a level 5 leader?
How to protect yourself from a corporate psychopath
Finally, this week I came across an interesting read about psychopaths in the workplace. Now I know that immediately you read that statement, a colleague might come to mind!
From the article
“The research generally agrees about 1 per cent of the population is psychopathic. This means they fail to develop the normal range of emotions, lack empathy for others and are more disposed to antisocial and uninhibited behaviour.
Among prisoners, the percentage with psychopathic traits has been estimated at 15 per cent to 20 per cent. But psychopaths are also disproportionately represented in corporate culture. Among the higher echelons of large organisations, the psychopathy rate is an estimated 3.5 per cent. Some estimates for chief executives go way higher.”
An interesting article. It talked not only about having a psychopath as a boss, but it also talks about the challenges of accidentally hiring psychopaths.
I hope you enjoy the article here How to protect yourself from a corporate psychopath
This week on The Growth Whisperers podcast
Are you a genius with 1,000 helpers? If so, how do you become a level 5 leader?
Do you find yourself or a colleague surrounded by people who are helping, but not taking ownership? Do you notice that if you want to get a project done, then it’s up to you to ensure that it gets done?
If this is the case, then perhaps you’re an effective leader or a level 4 leader, but not a level 5 executive. In order to build a truly great, enduring company a level 5 leader is required which occurs through a paradoxical combination of personal humility and professional will.
The problem is that for most leaders the capabilities necessary to get to level 4 will actually prevent them from getting to level 5.
In this episode of The Growth Whisperers, Kevin and Brad discuss the key symptom of a level 4 leader, what Jim Collins calls ‘the genius with 1,000 helpers’. They discuss the problems with being a genius with 1,000 helpers, how it prevents the best people from joining your team and those who do from achieving their best, and it damages your business. Finally, they talk about if you are a level 4 leader, how you can move to become a level 5 leader.
Listen to The Growth Whisperers
From the vault
Building to flip or building to last?
Imagine two people who are spending time and effort on their house.
The first person is spending money and time to flip the house.
They are making it look good on the surface, repainting, cleaning carpets, perhaps some new light fittings and new plants.
Their effort goes to superficial, surface items that look good, in order to sell it in a state which looks good. They probably wouldn’t buy a house that required major repairs, and their focus is exiting with a profit.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Now imagine the second person who is spending money and time building a house that will last.
They are selecting quality craftsmen & women to develop enduring components of the home. Kitchens selected to last. Doors built to last, design that is timeless, fixtures that are designed to last. They probably wouldn’t buy a house that didn’t have the capability to last, and their focus is living in a quality home for a long time. A home that people would love to live in.
And it’s exactly the same with a business.
Read the full article here Building to flip or building to last?
Patrick Lencioni event
In partnership with The Growth Faculty, Evolution Partners is delighted to offer you $100 discount to see Patrick Lencioni in a live virtual event this April: Patrick Lencioni: 4 Pillars of High-Performance Cultures.
New York Times best-selling author of The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team (plus 11 others), Patrick Lencioni is the global pioneer of the organisational health movement.
McKinsey research shows a healthy organisation delivers roughly 3x the returns to stakeholders than less healthy companies. And, companies that institute initiatives to improve health see tangible performance increases in as little as six months.
Named “one of the most in demand speakers in America” by the Wall Street Journal, Patrick Lencioni will deliver a fast-paced, highly practical event teaching business leaders and their teams how to create a healthy organisation and high-performing culture that takes advantage of the talent within their teams.
YOU WILL LEARN:
Practical and highly entertaining, over 2.5 hours you’ll learn:
• The 4 Disciplines Model of organisational health
• The 5 Essential Behaviours required to build a cohesive and high performing team
• The Ideal Team Player framework for identifying, hiring and developing ideal team players
• The 6 Types of Geniuses – Identify your areas of working genius that allow you to thrive at and enjoy work
• PLUS, interactive Q&A with Patrick
You will leave with immediately actionable frameworks and tools that have transformed thousands of businesses globally.
2021 Agile Leadership Summit event
I invite you (and your leadership team) to join me at the April 2021 Agile Leadership Summit.
This virtual summit is going to be a high-value event with concrete, actionable takeaways.
The three featured Keynote speakers are;
Michael Bungay Stanier
Easy Change vs Hard Change“Easy Change” is likely something you’ve already mastered. But “Hard Change” … well, that thing you find difficult to make progress on.
In this practical session, we’ll dig into:
• the difference between Easy Change and Hard Change, and why it matters
• the most common mistake made in trying to “crack” Hard Change
• the hidden force that’s most likely stopping you make progress on Hard Change
What’s Next?! How to Navigate Customer and Employee Interactions in a Pandemic (and Post-Pandemic) EraAs the pandemic continues to shape the world, businesses face new challenges on a daily basis. Smart organisations recognize that the “old way of doing business” doesn’t work anymore and that waiting and hoping for things to “get back to normal” isn’t a viable strategy. In this practical session, we’ll discover: “what’s next” in order to acknowledge the new reality, adapt to a shifting landscape, and thrive in this new environment
Radical Alignment to a Core Strategy
What are the symptoms of a lack of Core Strategy in a company? What struggles do companies face when they aren’t radically aligned around their BHAG? What strategies and tools will this monograph cover (high-level) that will allow you to address these issues and form a Core Strategy for your company to align divisional strategy around?
Building atop highly-rated North American Summits, the first Australia/Asia Agile Leadership is an opportunity for you and your leadership team to come together for a premium learning experience via a half-day series of keynotes and practical, interactive breakout sessions. You’ll learn in three key areas: how to become a highly-skilled coach CEO for your teams, how to build vision through abundance, and how to implement practical tools that create award-winning companies.
Join us for this half-day of learning on April 29, 2021, from 9:00 am -3:00 pm AEST for only: $275 AUD.
Note that this is early bird pricing that ends on April 1st!
If you would like to receive our weekly newsletter as an email, simply complete the “subscribe to my newsletter” form at the top of this page.