Jeff Bezos Leadership Style & Principles In The Spotlight
How to define the leadership style of the famous entrepreneur Jeff Bezos? What leadership principles does Jeff Bezos apply at Amazon? What core principles of leadership should we be guided by when we lead our teams if we aim to get the same results as Jeff?
Whatever you think of Jeff Bezos, he should be able to teach us a thing or five about leadership.
Jeff Bezos has managed to grow an empire and run one of the top companies in the world. Jeff Bezos currently has a net worth of $190 billion, and for a while, he was the richest man in the world.
While his upbringing may have been out-of-the-ordinary, his leadership style is even more unconventional.
ImportantSuccess, whether of a small business or a giant enterprise, has something to do with the kind of leadership it has. This is no different to that of Amazon’s stature, with Jeff Bezos on its helm.
Clearly, his leadership principles are most sought after today by people living all across the world.
These leadership principles are game-changers as they cover everything from team dynamics to the culture of the business.
Led by Jeff Bezos, Amazon leadership principles are a guideline on how to make a business work and scale.
These fundamental principles are the basic values that govern the company and its employees.
Below is the detail about all the leadership principles inspired by Jeff Bezos for a successful business approach.
Read on to know everything about the Amazon leadership principles inspired by some of the most valuable leadership styles.
One of Jeff Bezos’ key strengths is how he adopts a long-range view of business. While other entrepreneurs may be tempted to maximize short-term profit, he engages in strategies that ensure Amazon’s long-term relevance in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Jeff Bezos believes that a long-term view gives the business more room to innovate, experiment, and get over any failures.
He believes that Amazon’s key offerings such as the Kindle, Amazon Prime and Amazon Web Services would not have come to fruition if the company focused on short-term financial gains. These were projects that required a longer seeding period and time before the company would reap its benefits.
Having a long-term view gives you an advantage over your competitors because you put yourself in a different playing field.
WarningYou’re focused more on your vision and building success that is sustainable. Instead of considering where you and your organization will be in few years, look forward further?
Give yourself the time and space to explore and experiment with different ways of achieving your vision.
When Jeff Bezos started Amazon in 1994, it was not very easy because by the time, he knew the importance of the Internet and the role it will play in the lives of people. However, that time, people were still clueless about the Internet. This was a manifestation that Jeff Bezos was thinking long-term and way ahead of others.
Once you’re on top of the world you can defy criticism and stay true to your principles.
Like any company, Amazon must have experienced countless struggles behind the scenes. Sticking to a long-term vision in the face of such tribulations is hard. It takes guts, conviction, and a plan that makes sense.
Leaders own up to tasks and shortcomings for the good of the company.
ImportantThey think and plan ahead, and do not prioritize short-term results over long-term goals. While they work as part of the team, they never work on their own accord or refuse to take accountability.
Customer Is King
Amazon is complimented as the ‘place for everything’, and the reason behind their burgeoning success is the stellar customer experience that they provide to their clientele.
If anything goes wrong Amazon always puts the customer first.
ImportantWith Jeff Bezos leadership style it is clear that the core of Amazon is their customer. The idea itself instilled employees to get obsessed with the user, which attributes to the success of Amazon.
Jeff Bezos places a great deal of focus on what the customer wants and doesn’t want.
WarningAs a leader, you don’t just need to put the customer first, you need to put yourself in their shoes and gauge how they feel when they use your product.
Amazon learned that customers hate delays, defects, and out-of-stock products. So each of these issues are continually addressed, even to the smallest detail. In fact, Amazon’s metrics revealed that 0.1-second delay in the loading of a page equals a 1% drop in customer activity so they work tirelessly to improve the loading rate.
For any business or organization, your customer should be your focal point.
ImportantIt’s important to remember why your organization exists and the value it adds to the lives of your customers. As a leader, ask yourself if the work you are doing ultimately adds to the customer experience.
What’s great about how Jeff Bezos runs his empire is his focus on customers and not on competitors.
Instead of wasting his time formulating plans to have leverage over other businesses in the industry, he diverts his attention on customer satisfaction. He sees to it that the needs and interest of his target market come first.
Jeff Bezos leadership style always puts his customers at the top. Ahead of his own staff and employees.
In meetings he has an empty chair, which is for an imagined customer for his managers to focus on. Jeff Bezos calls this ‘The Most Important Person in The Room.’
Set High Standards
Leaders are continually raising the bar and driving their teams to deliver high quality products, services and processes.
Leaders have relentlessly high standards — many people may think these standards are unreasonably high.
WarningJeff Bezos is known for sending the ‘Question Mark’. Yes that’s right a single ‘?’ on an email to an unsuspecting employee.
His ‘fear driven‘ leadership approach is unusual in today’s workplace. However, it does have the desired effect.
This type of email sends the recipient employee into panic mode, and is usually sent as a result of a customer complaint or other issue which has hit Jeff Bezos’s desk.
Thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
ImportantLeaders create and communicate a bold direction that inspires results. They think differently and look around corners for ways to serve customers.
Working for Jeff Bezos isn’t always a walk in the park.
He has high expectations for his employees and doesn’t apologize for it. By 1999, Amazon had 500 employees for the sole task of answering emails. They were each expected to answer 12 emails per minute, and could possibly be fired when that number dropped below 7.
Jeff Bezos is a bit of a perfectionist. This perfectionism is born out in his leadership style too. Back in 2011 and leading up to Christmas he was proud of the 99.9% delivery success for Christmas. However, he said that “We’re not satisfied until it’s 100%.”
Leaders act on behalf of the entire company, beyond just their own team. They never say “that’s not my job.”
ImportantLeaders are owners. Because of the ownership, employees respect the phenomena of accountability and show commitment to their organization.
Jeff Bezos recommends adopting a mix of stubbornness and flexibility in your leadership style.
Once you have set your vision, stay the course regardless of any difficulties and obstacles in your way. Then give yourself and your team enough leeway to innovate and get creative about how you can achieve your goals. Focus on the end goal, not the path to get there!
Finally, nobody in life ever finishes learning, and this includes leaders at Amazon.
People in charge at Amazon should always be looking for how to know better and be better. Leaders are always seeking options as well as looking for ways to explore them.
Less Is More
Restraints breed ingenuity, independence, and creation. There are no additional points for growing headcount, financial budget size or fixed expense. It can lead to wise decision making especially regarding financial concerns.
This is the reason why Amazon leadership principles stress on achieving more with less.
ImportantWhile Amazon is known to be a rapidly-growing company, nothing benefits just by having more employees or more money.
Amazon executives don’t get extra points for headcount or budget size.
WarningThe firm discourages employees from measuring their importance by the amount of money they spend. Empire-building by managers is virtually impossible, in part because there’s just no money for it.
Just as he did in 1997, Jeff Bezos fundamentally believes that Amazon is still in day one, and so he runs it with the cost-minded discipline normally applied to a brand new start-up.
Amazon has always been tremendously deliberate about keeping a cost-conscious, even cheap culture.
ImportantEvery dollar saved is another opportunity to invest in the business. Eliminating cost structure from the business drives low prices, which drives the virtuous cycle flywheel.
Keeping costs down is one way of fending off complacency.
Jeff Bezos fears and loathes complacency — especially since the company still operates on razor-thin profit margins, relying on high and growing volume to pay the bills.
Invent The Future
Amazon as a company is always willing to try new concepts and ideas if it means the company can benefit. Leaders need teams to be creative and innovative, but they do so to be simple rather than complex.
Leaders have to be open to new ideas wherever or whomever they come from.
ImportantAmazon is always on the brink of capitalizing on new technology. With so many tech giants ignoring the change and failing to evolve, Jeff Bezos is more focused on chasing after a host of new opportunities.
Amazon wants to be the store for everything, A-Z.
From employees to all stakeholders, everyone understands the science behind the vision. When people in an organization know where to go, they align themselves with an ulterior goal.
A vision is something that directs all the people in one direction, leaving no room for discrepancies and fuss.
While Apple has few items to offer, Amazon is exactly the opposite. This is because Jeff Bezos believe that entrepreneurs need to invent things. He encourages his team to invent and at the same time be resourceful.
Good leaders look for new ideas from far and wide perspective.
ImportantThey always expect innovation from their teams and always seek ways to streamline them.
Jeff Bezos notes that leaders are right because a leader has the potential to look for perspectives that an employee cannot.
They have definite decision making power and good instincts with proper markups for a business. They seek diverse viewpoints in light of giving innovative products to the target audience.
Amazon has taken a lot of risks, and not all of them have paid off. But many of them have, and it’s because of Amazon’s sheer strength and leadership.
Amazon seems set to be with us for a long time. It’s well worth understanding how they operate and where they come from.
ImportantIt’s no secret that Amazon has been able to grow due to a great service and countless opportunities to contribute, tied together by a firm and successful leadership from Jeff Bezos.
By creating an entire company capable of taking ownership, Amazon has been able to both give employees control of their work and the market.
WarningNot every company can become a giant like Amazon, but every company can learn a few leadership tricks from its massive success.
How many leaders are actually demonstrating these leadership principles? Not enough in my opinion!
Jeff Bezos is THE role model customer centric leader and is instilling global best practice leadership into the way his organisation works. I am inspired by this — I hope you are too!
If you enjoyed reading this article about Jeff Bezos Leadership Style & Principles, please share. Choose your favorite social media channel on the top of the page. I’d also appreciate your comments below too, and thank you for reading my blog.