Amazon 10th Principle: Vocally Self Critical

The tenth Leadership Principle of the Amazon Way is:

Vocally Self Critical
Leaders do not believe their or their team’s body odor smells of perfume. Leaders come forward with problems or information, even when doing so is awkward or embarrassing. Leaders benchmark themselves and their teams against the best.

Have you been tempted to cover up mistakes and bad news? It’s tempting to give the appearance that you or your team are progressing more quickly than you actually are, especially when reporting to upper management. It’s tempting to remain quiet while others are telling a rosy story or making promises that are nicer than reality.

As leaders, we should speak up and make sure the truth is heard even though we risk making our team (or ourselves) look bad. When you tell the truth despite its social repercussions, you encourage others to give you honest feedback and many times pre-empt the need for others to criticize you.

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