The Success of an Online Giant : Amazon CEO – Jeff Bezos
Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, explains how a perfect mix of leadership, customer-focus, long-term planning, and invention form the recipe for success.
Amazon.com is the largest internet company in the world. Founded in 1995, the company spans the globe with separate retail sites across many countries, selling not only books, but electronics, ebooks, DVDs, CDs, video games and much, much more.
Amazon is certainly a tech giant. But its CEO, Jeff Bezos doesn’t allow the company to become lazy. He pushes for a focus on the customer, rather than the competition, and encourages invention and long-term planning.
In a recent interview for the Four Peaks TV show in Seattle, USA, hosted by Hanson Hosein, Jeff Bezos gave an insight into the tech giant’s secrets to success.
Leading an inventive team that anticipates bumps in the road
Bezos has the perfect attitude that makes for a successful leader. He believes that failure (and preparation for failure) is absolutely vital for growth. If we set a clear vision in sight, but prepare for and anticipate the bumps in the road, small failures and set-backs along the way won’t harm the long-term success of our mission. He believes that creativity and invention is inevitably going to lead to some failure, but this isn’t a bad thing:
“I don’t think that you can invent on behalf of customers unless you’re willing to think long-term, because a lot of invention doesn’t work. If you’re going to invent, it means you’re going to experiment, and if you’re going to experiment, you’re going to fail, and if you’re going to fail, you have to think long term.”
A great leader not only overcomes obstacles, but also leads and inspires others to also pick themselves up and brush themselves off when they stumble. Learning from mistakes becomes a key to success. For Bezos, building this culture of positivity and perseverance continues to drive the Amazon organisation.
Keeping a focus on the customer, no matter how quickly you reach your goals
Bezos believes in customer-focus, and this applies no matter how large the organisation becomes. It’s easy for big companies to think of their customers as numbers and any feeling of personal service is lost. For Amazon, a customer-focussed culture is key.
“If you have a customer-centric culture, that cures a lot of ills. Let’s say you’re the leader in a particular arena, if you’re competitor-focused and you’re already the leader, then where does your energy come from? Whereas, if you’re customer focused, and you’re already the leader, customers are never satisfied.“
So how do you keep the customer satisfied? For Bezos, impressing customers is still as important now as the day Amazon.com launched.
“If you’re customer-focused, you’re always waking up wondering, how can we make that customer say, wow? We want to impress our customers — we want them to say, wow. That kind of divine discontent comes from observing customers and noticing that things can always be better.”
What we can learn from Jeff Bexos
Being CEO of such a successful company could easily go to anybody’s head! But Jeff Bezos remains humble. He recognises the importance of a team. A team that not only works well together, but also where team members continue to support each other even through failures and hard times. Bezos encourages invention, but realises that the nature of invention means that mistakes will be made and there will be a need to try, try, and try again.
But perhaps most of all, Bezos leads. He leads by example. His down-to-earth, realistic but positive outlook towards his vision makes for the perfect role model for employees of Amazon, as well as would-be entrepreneurs and budding business minds.
We can all learn something from the great mind and spirit of Jeff Bezos.