Amazon’s Leadership Principles

In just twenty years, Amazon.com has gone from a start-up internet bookseller to a global company revolutionizing multiple industries, including retail, publishing, logistics, devices, apparel, and cloud computing. But what is at the heart of Amazon.com’s rise to success? Is it the tens of millions of items in stock, the company’s technological prowess, or the many customer service innovations like “one-click”?

An organisation’s long term success is based on its culture. The ones with strong cultures thrive while the ones with weak ones die. Every Amazon employee is expected to adhere to these principles or find a new employer.

These are the Amazon’s Leadership Principles:

  1. Customer Obsession: “Start with the customer & work backwards”
  2. Ownership: “Don’t sacrifice long-term value for short-term results”
  3. Invent and Simplify: “not limited by ‘not invented here’”
  4. Are Right, A Lot: “Have strong business judgment & good instincts”
  5. Hire and Develop the Best: “Recognize exceptional talent & willingly move them”
  6. Insist on the Highest Standards: “Ensure that defects do not go down the line”
  7. Think Big: “Thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy”
  8. Bias for Action: “We value calculated risk taking”
  9. Frugality: “Resourcefulness, self-sufficiency, & invention”
  10. Vocally Self Critical: “Benchmark themselves & team against the best”
  11. Earn Trust of Others: “Willing to examine their strongest convictions with humility”
  12. Dive Deep: “Operate at all levels – no task is beneath them”
  13. Have Backbone, Disagree and Commit: “Do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion”
  14. Deliver Results: “Despite setbacks, they rise to the occasion & never settle”

Summing-up: The sustainability of a strong organisational culture is dependent on effective organisational leadership. Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, is the number one internal champion of these leadership principles. He insists that these principles influence every strategic management decision made at Amazon.

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7 Comments

  1. Priya

    Wow.. What a brilliant read !! Thanks of that… anyway to follow your blog ? Even though I don’t mind coming back to your website time n again !

  2. Pingback: Amazon 9th Principle: Frugality | Jesús Gil Hernández

  3. Bikesh Chaurasiya

    I did read all of the 14 leadership principles and those are great attributes to have as a leader.
    One thing I could not see anywhere is “Safety 1st mindset” of those leaders for all the customers (inside & out).
    It is critical to be vocal about safety of the employees, work/environment & the final customers are not compromised at any phase of operations and leaders should practice their vital role in establishing the culture of empowering employees to STOP-the line if it has to be for maintaining safe condition.

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