Amazon is one of the leading e-commerce companies in the world. The e-retailer giant’s founder, Jeff Bezos, made it a multi-billion dollar brand, and some credit goes to Amazon leadership principles.
The 16 Amazon leadership principles are the guiding stars for the outstanding growth that help leaders make decisions. If you’re an entrepreneur and starting your own business, you’ll gain much from the company’s core values.
Table of Contents
Amazon Leadership Principles and Key Takeaways
Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.
“If we can keep our competitors focused on us while we stay focused on the customer, ultimately, we’ll turn out all right.” These are the exact words of Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon. The online store giant revolves around its customers and works backwards from there. Free and convenient returns, fast shipping, follow-up, and reviews are all geared toward making the customer happy.
And it all makes sense.
If your products can’t serve their customers, they will eventually fail. And if you don’t prioritize your customers, they’ll go to someone who does.
Leaders are owners. They think long-term and don’t sacrifice long-term value for short-term results. They act on behalf of the entire company, beyond just their team. They never say, “that’s not my job.”
Successful leaders work for the common goal. They take ownership of what they do. It’s much more than punching hours and trading time. They go above and beyond and take pride in what they do!
Invent and Simplify
Leaders expect and require innovation and invention from their teams and always find ways to simplify. They are externally aware, look for new ideas from everywhere, and are not limited by “not invented here.” As we do new things, we accept that we may be misunderstood for long periods of time.
Innovation and invention are a way of life. It is the only way a company evolves. As a business leader, you must always try new things no matter how many times you’ve been unsuccessful. Success is one step ahead of failure.
There are already so many complications in life; therefore, everybody wants a simple solution to their problems. Your product or service should simplify people’s lives.
Are Right, A Lot
Leaders are right a lot. They have strong judgment and good instincts. They seek diverse perspectives and work to disconfirm their beliefs.
A leader must know where s/he wants to lead their company. S/he should have a clear vision of where the company is heading and where s/he intends to take it. Nobody knows your business more than you do. At times, you’ll have to work against other people’s perspectives.
Learn and Be Curious
Leaders are never done learning and always seek to improve themselves. They are curious about new possibilities and act to explore them.
Self-improvement is an essential quality all should develop. It not only applies to leaders. Life is not a race against each other. If you’re not doing better today than how you were doing yesterday, your life is stagnant. We all must seek and learn and always be curious about new opportunities. It is vital for the growth of a company.
Hire and Develop the Best
Leaders raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion. They recognize exceptional talent, and willingly move them throughout the organization. Leaders develop leaders and take seriously their role in coaching others. We work on behalf of our people to invent mechanisms for development like Career Choice.
You can take your company to a level without anyone’s help. But it would be best if you built a team to take it to the next level. If you expect exceptional results from them, you’ve to be a driving force with coaching, encouragement, recognition, and promotions. As a leader, you have to show them your vision.
Insist on the Highest Standards
Leaders have relentlessly high standards—many people may think these standards are unreasonably high. Leaders are continually raising the bar and drive their teams to deliver high-quality products, services, and processes. Leaders ensure that defects do not get sent down the line and that problems are fixed so they stay fixed.
The high standard does not mean getting everything right the first time, but what you do about it when it’s not right. Insisting on the highest standards is a mentality that pushes everyone beyond their limits. You’ll evolve when you are trying to go beyond your limit. It will transform you with new boundaries and motivation to achieve them.
Thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Leaders create and communicate a bold direction that inspires results. They think differently and look around corners for ways to serve customers.
You have to stay away from limiting beliefs and think big. Thinking big is a reminder to self about one’s/company’s purpose. A bigger picture gives you a clear vision. Leaders are always motivated.
Bias for Action
Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk taking.
Nothing happens without actions. You can plan all day long, but you need to move to realize if the plan works, let alone see the results. A quick, thoughtful action prevails over inaction, even if it fails, because it gives you an experience.
Accomplish more with less. Constraints breed resourcefulness, self-sufficiency and invention. There are no extra points for growing headcount, budget size, or fixed expense.
It applies to anyone who is just starting. There are many limitations when you’re new, and you should not stop. You should explore options, innovate and learn. There is always a way; you have yet to figure out.
Leaders listen attentively, speak candidly, and treat others respectfully. They are vocally self-critical, even when doing so is awkward or embarrassing. Leaders do not believe their or their team’s body odor smells of perfume. They benchmark themselves and their teams against the best.
Earning trust is the number one priority for a leader. A leader can’t lead with mistrust. You can’t get or gain information without trust. The only way to earn trust is by connecting with the people that work for you.
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.
To be a true leader, you have to work at every level. They should be meticulous and self-evaluate their performance. They’re constantly looking for ways to improve and grow.
Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit
Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly.
When things are incorrect, a leader should have the audacity to differ. Getting ostracized should not keep them contrasting from a common belief. They must have a strong determination and stand by it.
Leaders focus on the key inputs for their business and deliver them with the right quality and in a timely fashion. Despite setbacks, they rise to the occasion and never settle.
Every business leader must be goal oriented. They’ve set many goals they’re trying to accomplish within a time frame. They focus on the goal’s key points and deliver results. Failures and misfortunes are inevitable, but leaders rise above all to achieve great results.
Strive to be Earth’s Best Employer
Leaders work every day to create a safer, more productive, higher performing, more diverse, and more just work environment. They lead with empathy, have fun at work, and make it easy for others to have fun. Leaders ask themselves: Are my fellow employees growing? Are they empowered? Are they ready for what’s next? Leaders have a vision for and commitment to their employees’ personal success, whether that be at Amazon or elsewhere.
To become Earth’s best employer, you have to understand your employee at a deeper level. You must get down to their level and understand their growth and shortcomings. You must create a favorable environment for employees and help them join you for the common cause.
Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility
We started in a garage, but we’re not there anymore. We are big, we impact the world, and we are far from perfect. We must be humble and thoughtful about even the secondary effects of our actions. Our local communities, planet, and future generations need us to be better every day. We must begin each day with a determination to make better, do better, and be better for our customers, our employees, our partners, and the world at large. And we must end every day knowing we can do even more tomorrow. Leaders create more than they consume and always leave things better than how they found them.
As the great saying goes, Greater power comes with greater responsibility; your company should incorporate sustainable development to create a better place for future generations. Building the biggest brand also means that you have a more significant role in society to make most people’s lives better. The world relies on great leaders to carry them in the right direction.
The Bottom Line
Amazon leadership principles teach everyone a valuable lesson about what it takes to become the best in the world. With these leadership principles, Amazon could evolve, innovate, and become the best brand Americans love and trust. It applies to anyone wanting to work at Amazon, build leadership traits, and set up a company.
If you apply for a position at Amazon, the Amazon leadership principles interview questions test a candidate’s understanding of the company’s core values. They’re not only looking for an employee to follow a command. They’re looking for a future leader, so your response to the Amazon leadership principles interview questions will exhibit your personal quality and professional mindset.