Jeff Bezos Adds 2 New Rules to Amazon’s Leadership Principals That Every Leader Should Follow
Most people recognize the name Jeff Bezos and associate him with the online megastore that is Amazon. Bezos has been at the helm of Amazon since the beginning and has created not just an impressive company, but also top-of-the-line leadership skills. Through his efforts at Amazon, he has made remarkable advances in both customer service and employee culture shifts.
These leadership skills allowed him to create guiding rules for not just his staff, but a standard for businesses around the world to model. Amazon’s founder has recently stepped down from his role as the company’s CEO, but not without leaving some guiding principles to continue his legacy.
What was Bezos’ claim to fame?
Bezos didn’t start out as a billionaire. In fact, he comes from a relatively average family — only if you consider parents who can invest $250,000 in your company, according to CNBC, “average.” His mother was only 17 when he was born in New Mexico, but he did have the advantage of some impressive family members.
His grandfather worked at the U.S Atomic Energy Commission as a regional director. From a young age, it was evident that Bezos had impressive engineering skills as he worked on his family’s ranch.
After graduating from Princeton, Bezos went on to found what we all know today as Amazon, the retail giant that promises us almost anything within two days. Amazon started out in Bezos’ garage as a simple online bookstore. This took off and grew into the online shopping giant it is today, a journey that led Bezos to surpass Bill Gates in wealth.
Bezos’ game-changing leadership principles
As Amazon’s leader, it was Bezos’ responsibility to be sure the company was not only profitable but also a world-class company. With a global impact and so many watching each move the company makes, it is important to create a responsible, caring environment for both customers and employees. That is why Bezos added two new guiding principles to his list for his teammates at Amazon.
Inc. broke down these new principles, the first being “Strive to be Earth’s best employer,” which seems like an enormous feat. “It’s clear to me that we need a better vision for how we create value for employees — a vision for their success,” Bezos said while explaining his new principle. The purpose is for leaders to have a vision for and commitment to their employees’ personal success, whether that be at Amazon or elsewhere.
The next new rule Bezos created is “Success and scale bring broad responsibility.” Bezos explained this rule:
“We started in a garage, but we’re not there anymore. Our local communities, planet, and future generations need us to be better every day. Leaders create more than they consume and always leave things better than how they found them.”
Bezos’ philosophies behind leadership are admirable, however, they’re not always implemented with consistency. Reports from The Intercept and Vice from March 2021 revealed disturbing patterns of poor working conditions and unfair policies that were forcing employees to skip bathroom breaks and instead, relieving themselves in bottles and bags. This just goes to show how complicated leadership is: no matter your philosophies, there will always be challenges and setbacks.
Retirement and his next big plans
Bezos may be stepping down as the CEO of Amazon, but he won’t be completely leaving the company behind. According to Forbes, he plans to serve as the chairman of Amazon’s board. This position will allow him to be involved in creating new products and early initiatives. “I’m an inventor. It’s what I enjoy the most and what I do best,” Bezos said of his new role.
Amazon, of course, isn’t Bezos’ only project he’ll have to work on in his retirement. In addition to Amazon, he also purchased The Washington Post several years ago and started his own space exploration company called Blue Origin. The richest man in the world is also heavily involved in healthcare advancement. So while he is stepping down as CEO, one thing is for sure, he’s not planning on slowing down in retirement anytime soon.