How Reddit Changed the Game and What You Can Learn from It
Reddit gained attention for the role the platform played in GameStop’s stock price. As PCGamer put it, Reddit “messes with investors by driving GameStop stock price to record heights.”
The self-proclaimed “front page of the internet” is big – very big. With over 174 million unique visitors each month, hailing from over 186 different countries, Reddit (www.Reddit.com) may have a few things to teach you and your organization about leading and engaging your people.
I’m a big believer that we can learn about leadership from a wide range of sources. This includes Reddit. So, I stepped back from the story of the day and considered what can Reddit’s platform teach us about leadership. I offer three observations:
1- Authorize – Who can fix a Reddit problem or add a feature?
Changes don’t have to wait for the next product release date or require a team of programmers on payroll working through a cue of issues. General users (called Redditors) actively participate, every day, to make Reddit better. Arguably, this means that ‘Redditors’ feel ownership of Reddit because they make it better.
- How could you apply this concept to your people?
- Are there opportunities for your employees to play a more active role in improving your processes, products, or services?
- What would it be worth for your people to feel like ‘owners’?
- What risks are you willing to take in leading your people?
2- Customize – Who establishes communities & connections in Reddit?
Redditors create their communities. Right now, there are over 8,000 user-generated communities. Communities and connections are created, used, reconfigured, and disassembled by Redditors.
- Could your employees play a more active role in creating relationships outside the silo of your team or function?
- What ‘communities’ could you facilitate assembling that would benefit your people and your organization?
- What problems or issues are you having trouble resolving using your current configuration?
- What are you willing to try to better lead your team?
3- Prioritize – Who determines what gets seen on Reddit?
Every Reddit user can vote a story ‘up’ or ‘down’. These votes, over 21 million cast per month, determine what content is pushed to the top of computer screens and what descends to the bottom. The all-powerful company doesn’t determine what matters most – customers do.
- Are you willing to let your employees determine what matters in a more interactive way?
- What risks are you creating by assuming you know what are the most important goals without the active involvement of your employees?
- How could you apply this concept when leading people?
All the best-
Patrick Leddin, PhD is a speaker, global leadership consultant, and The Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Five-Week Leadership Challenge. Patrick is an Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University with a thriving leadership blog and podcast, and 25-years of leadership experience. He offers an unparalleled mix of academic rigor and real-world experience.