1. Identify two leadership traits that this person displays or displayed, and explain, whether these traits are/were appropriate given this person’s leadership position.
The Community offers a broad variety of concepts linked to leadership effectiveness, the potential to have a meaningful impact on the improvement in the workplace, and eventually serves to promote best-in-class outcomes through the use of transformation, strength, and knowledge. One such leader is Reed Hastings, current CEO of Netflix which is a media rental service. He is a leader who displays a transformational leadership style.
Two leadership traits that Reed exhibits are intellectual simulation and inspirational motivation. These traits were absolutely appropriate given his leadership position. Inspirational motivation is appealing to others to perform more than the expectations. And intellectual simulation, the leader encourages his followers to be creative and innovative in their work. Both of the things have been visible in the leadership style of Reed Hastings.
Reed Hastings provided his team with autonomy to manage their work, thus by inspirational motivation he was able to foster reciprocity where the employees felt obligated and repaid the company by performing better than the expectations of their managers. Reed Hastings, through intellectual simulation, gave his employees the freedom to be creative in their work which helped his employees in taking ownership of creating new products or themes and fostering innovation in their work.
2. Identify and describe a challenge this leader faces/ faced.
There are no leaders, who do not have flaws. No matter how successful they are but every leader at some time or the other faces challenges in their career. Reed Hastings also faced a challenge when he announced that Netflix would have two separate businesses one mail-order and another online streaming business, and would be charging its customers separately for the two businesses. Following which the consumer cost was increased by 60% and as a result, the share prices fell and the consumers distanced themselves from Netflix.
This decision of the company proved to be a poor decision which left the company with 5.3 million subscribers from the 20 million mark that they previously enjoyed. This is primarily attributed to the creative intelligence and transformational style of Reed Hastings that the company failed. It is stated that because he did not want to be next Kodak or AOL, he took this step. Thus, the decision taken by Reed Hastings backfired and proved that transformational leaders can become too obsessed with the vision and take decisions that can prove to be detrimental to the employees or the customers. And because they are the inspirational leaders, the not so beneficial decisions are carried out and results in negative implications.
3. Evaluate, analyze, and critique how your leader’s behaviors and characteristics affect/ affected employees, business, situations, or outcomes.
Today, everyone is experiencing an age of almost limitless leadership-based theories and structures that give tremendous value-added benefits to leaders and followers alike. Reed Hastings has eloquently demonstrated that it takes extraordinary leaders to make such an impact. His style of transformational leadership is best described using creative intellect and reciprocity. His ability to understanding a need, designing a plan, and taking it to the market is proof of his creative intellect and transformational abilities as a leader.
His style of allowing his employees to take ownership of creating new products and taking initiatives and developed a culture of freedom and empowerment in the organization. Taking decisions becomes easier because the employees do the background check for the feasibility of the product or project. Additionally, his belief of not developing a corporate culture on the traditional beliefs proved to be extremely beneficial. According to him the traditional beliefs around the corporate culture would negatively impact the motivation, attitudes, behavior, and performance of the employees. Hence, the positive culture developed by Hastings has motivated the employees to perform better and exceed their potential. Therefore, increasing the potential of the company along with its worth and increase in the stocks.
4. Propose a future or different course of action that this leader could take or could have taken and justify your recommendations.
Any other leadership style would not have been better for Reed Hastings, for running and successfully leading Netflix. However, there are a few changes that can be recommended are:
1. Before announcing his decision for separating the two business segments of the Netflix: the online streaming and the mail-order. He could have jointly researched his thoughts along with the workers for having a better functional model and for eliminating the possible risks which led to the failure of the business decision and took the business many years backward.
2. Along with focusing on employee behavior and their performance quality, Reed should have also focused on productivity. Because, when the company provides a lot of autonomy to its employees, some employees may take it for granted and not work up to their full potential let alone, exceeding the potential.
3. Along with employing participative leadership styles for motivating their employees for actively participating in the functioning of the business. He should also employ some sort of powers because if the leaders give complete autonomy to the employees, at times, it can be taken for granted because of not exercising their powers at all. Thus, a balance should be administered by the leader.
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