As the architect and CEO of Amazon, one of the largest and fastest-growing corporations in the world, a case can be made that Jeff Bezos knows a thing or two about where to focus his attention. Recently, I read an article which discussed seven noteworthy components.
In the spirit of “leaders are learners,” I’d like to share some insights I discovered.
1. Bezos has a customer-first mindset – While not a significant revelation, I’d like to modify this slightly for my audience of leaders and suggest having a team member-first mindset is an area worth your focus.
If we were to look at our team as our customers, how would this mindset influence how we spent our time with them?
We would ensure they have all the information, tools, and resources they need to be high performers. We would ensure the environment we create maximizes their growth and development, realizing when they get better, our collective results and overall impact grows exponentially.
2. Bezos has a focus on the road map of the future – It has been said by many leadership experts a leader’s number one goal is to create a vision. This can only happen when we focus a good part of our attention on the road map of accomplishing this vision.
Bezos can have this focus because he does not spend any time on day to day operational issues. Instead, he has empowered highly capable people on his team to do this for him (and for the shareholders). We would do well to adopt this approach.
3. Bezos has a continuous creation of new opportunities – Much of the current business of Amazon was not part of the organization a few short years ago. Think of the items you can purchase on Amazon – they go well beyond just books, which was the original premise.
The company’s failure to launch an electronic or technology hardware product became the means through which they were able to figure out the massively successful Echo product.
And most of you likely know Amazon purchased Whole Foods, a $16B revenue organization in the grocery business.
How much of your company’s revenue comes from products or services not part of your portfolio 2-3 years ago?
4. Bezos has a willingness to take risks – I have always maintained risk-taking is a key competency of any successful leader. There is no growth by maintaining the status quo. There is no learning or development when there is no failure to learn from.
There is absolutely no one on the planet who is considered an expert at anything, who started out as an expert. We learn our greatest lessons from failure and recovery and this requires a willingness to try something for which we don’t have full assurance of the outcome.
What are your thoughts on the above? Do you agree or disagree? What other perspectives do you have? I am curious, so please let me know.