SHERYL SANDBERG: 'The Most Important Document Ever To Come Out Of The Valley'

sheryl sandbergSheryl Sandberg

Photo: World Economic Forum via Flickr

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, is a big fan of a presentation published by Netflix.She loves it so much, she said it “may well be the most important document ever to come out of the Valley.”

The presentation was created by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, and it was first published in 2011. It’s an easy-to-skim slideshow called Freedom & Responsibility Culture that explains the company’s management philosophy.

Why does Sandberg feel it is so important?

Hastings mentioned a number of new, controversial ideas in the document. For example, Netflix has a “no vacation policy” for its employees. Its staff is allowed to take off as many days as they want, as long as they do so responsibly.

Other things in the presentation that caused a stir:

  • “Outstanding” employees only. Netflix doesn’t accept anyone who does an “adequate” job (Hastings says those hires often lead to “generous severance packages”). 
  • “Freedom and responsibility” vs command-and-control: Employees get to make decisions; managers just give them the right context to do so.
  • No “brilliant jerks.” It doesn’t matter how good you are at the job. If you’re a jerk, you won’t stick around Netflix for long. 

The document has been read more than 3 million times on Slideshare and many of Hastings’ controversial ideas have been implemented by other companies, including Business Insider.

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