Jeff Bezos’s Unconventional Steps to Becoming a Great Leader

Jeff Bezos’s Unconventional Steps to Becoming a Great Leader

Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos is an unconventional leader but what can you learn from his different approach to business and how can you instill the same qualities in your own company?

Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon, has made waves in the e-commerce market, creating the world's most popular online shopping retailer and helping it grow from strength to strength each year.

He is something of an unconventional leader, and has broken away from many of the traditional formats for developing a business. However, now the second-richest man in the world and having garnered the respect of peers around the globe, it seems to be working for him.

So what lessons can you learn from Jeff Bezos and how can you replicate his style of working in your own business?

Ignore the peer pressure

It may be easy to forget where the massive billion-dollar e-commerce retailer started, and the tough journey it went on. When Amazon decided to offer free shipping, businesses all around the world scoffed at Bezos, saying the move would cripple him. However, it has seen the company grow and become more dominant than ever.

"We are stubborn on vision. We are flexible on details."

The Amazon boss was confident about his approach to online retail and kept his eye on the prize. He was uncompromising, even though nearly everyone around him doubted his actions.

In order to succeed, you need to have this same level of confidence in your own business model. Of course, you can change the details of how you're going to reach your overall goal but it's important that you remain determined about the overall vision for your company.

A "culture of metrics"

In a world where workplace culture is becoming crucial for many businesses, Bezos bucks the trend. Instead of employee happiness coming first, data does. He has described his company culture as '"friendly but intense" but "if push came to shove it would be intense".

What does the data say? This is the key influencer behind all the decisions made at Amazon. Whether it's a new website layout or the launch of a new product, if the data doesn't back it up then it will be swiftly changed.

Although you may not be on the same scale as Amazon, focusing on data and allowing it to be the foundation of your decisions will keep your own emotions out of the equation and ensure you're doing what your customers want.

Work to charge less

Most retailers talk about reducing costs so they can charge customers less, but few do it with the same vigor as Amazon. Frugality is one of the online retailer's official values, meaning they reduce internal expenses as much as possible. This has helped them increase their stock price and reduce the costs for consumers.

“There are two kinds of companies: those that try to charge more and those that work to charge less. We will be the second.”

Of course, this only works for Amazon because it is so big, and is able to do things on such a large scale. But you can replicate this in your own business. Decide what is important to your customers and work to achieve that. This may be paying less, getting more for their money, or having a great quality product/service. Whatever it is, build your business model around it.

Insights for Professionals provide free access to the latest thought leadership from global brands. We deliver subscriber value by creating and gathering specialist content for senior professionals. To view more Small Business content, click here.

Insights for Professionals