What Reddit Can Teach You About Leading People

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.

Here are 3 observations about Reddit that you might consider applying to your leadership approach:

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, everyday, 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 own 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-



Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash