Leadership Required

The science and principle of leadership is of great interest to me. Everyday, in my Business Coaching practice, I see examples of good and bad leadership. In fact, when working with a new client, one of the first things I look for are the tell-tell signs of poor leadership. Many times, when we correct this, all other issues begin to improve.

I recently found a very interesting post titled LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLES, which describes the every day foundational principles that Amazon uses “whenever discussing ideas for new projects or deciding on the best approach in solving a problem.”

Here is a synopsis of their list of these simple yet powerful principles which remain part of their backbone for the powerhouse entity that they are. I’ve paraphrased the list below. If you would like to see the entire list, just go to (https://www.amazon.jobs/principles)

  1. CUSTOMER OBSESSION: Leaders “obsess” over customers with the goal to earn and keep the customers trust.
  2. OWNERSHIP: Leaders are owners. They think long term, never sacrificing long term value for short term results. They never say, “that’s not my job”.
  3. INVENT and SIMPLIFY: Leaders expect and require innovation and invention from their teams. They look for new ideas from everywhere.
  4. ARE RIGHT, A LOT: Leaders are right a lot. They have good judgement and good instincts.
  5. LEARN and BE CURIOUS: Leaders are never done learning and are always improving.
  6. HIRE and DEVELOP the BEST: Leaders raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion. The recognize exceptional talent. Leaders develop leaders.
  7. INSIST on the HIGHEST STANDARDS: Leaders have relentlessly high standards and continually raise the bar.
  8. THINK BIG: Leaders know that thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Leaders create and communicate a bold direction that inspires results.
  9. BIAS FOR ACTION: Leaders know that speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk taking.
  10. FRUGALITY: Leaders accomplish more with less. Constraints breed resourcefulness, self-sufficiency and invention.
  11. EARN TRUST: Leaders listen attentively, speak candidly, and treat others respectfully.
  12. DIVE DEEP: Leaders operate at all levels, stay connected to the details, audit frequently, and are skeptical when metrics and anecdote differ. No task is beneath them.
  13. HAVE BACKBONE: DISAGREE and COMMIT: Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable.
  14. DELIVER RESULTS: Leaders focus on the key inputs for their business and deliver them with he right quality and in a timely fashion. Despite setbacks, they rise to the occasion and never settle.

Whether you’re a multibillion dollar corporation or a boot strap start-up, these rules are worth taking note of. Amazon knows what they are doing, and they know that living by these simple but direct rules for hiring and developing current leaders and leaders of the future is the key to their long term, continuing dominance and success.

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