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Jeff Bezos's Top 10 Leadership Lessons

Forbes magazine recently put together an article detailing Jeff Bezos\’s (Amazon CEO) leadership lessons. Here are the first five. The rest can be found here.
1. “Base your strategy on things that won’t change.”
Selling lipstick, tractor seats, e-book readers and data storage is all part of one big plan with three big constants: offer wider selection, lower prices and fast, reliable delivery.
2.“Obsess over customers.”
Early on Bezos brought an empty chair into meetings so lieutenants would be forced to think about the crucial participant who wasn’t in the room: the customer. Now that ­surrogate’s role is played by specially trained employees, dubbed “Customer Experience Bar Raisers.” When they frown, vice ­presidents tremble.

3. “We are willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time.”

Many of Amazon’s expansions look like money-losing distractions at first. That sometimes sends the company’s stock price skidding and evokes analysts’ scorn. Bezos shrugs. If the new initiatives make strategic sense to him, a five-to-seven-year financial payoff is okay.
4. “There are two kinds of companies: those that try to charge more and those that work to charge less. We will be the second.”
Lots of retailers talk about holding down costs and passing the savings to the consumer. Few do so as intently as Amazon, where “frugality” is one of eight official company values. The ­reward for putting up with cheap office ­furniture: a $90 billion stock market valuation and 35% revenue growth.
5. “Determine what your customers need, and work backwards.”
Specs for Amazon’s big new projects such as its Kindle tablets and e-book readers have been defined by customers’ desires rather than engineers’ tastes. If customers don’t want something it’s gone, even if that means breaking apart a once powerful department.
The rest of Jeff Bezos\’s leadership tips can be found here.

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