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Amazon leadership principles – Learn and be curious.

Welcome back to the fifth in the Amazon Leadership series, where I review each of the Amazon Leadership principles that have been established by the Amazon Leadership team. These principles have propelled Amazon into one of the largest businesses in the world, here I review the fifth Amazon Leadership Principle, Leaders are right – a lot.

If you want to see the full list of Amazon Ledership Principles, please take a look at my first blog on the subject here.

  • Learn and Be Curious
    Leaders are never done learning and always seek to improve themselves. They are curious about new possibilities and act to explore them.

Did you ever meet someone in a senior position who thought they had all the answers? It was their way or the high way and if there were new ideas in the room that might have been better than theirs, they were slammed and removed from the discussion? If you have, you were not witnessing leadership.

Egotistical management, (I am going to call it that because it cannot sit in the same category as leadership) is damaging and the Amazon Leadership Team know it.

Business moves incredibly fast these days, technology trends shift and change in months and what got a leader to where he is will not be what keeps him there. Leaders have to be agile, and adaptable and in order to do that and act that way, they need to be self-aware enough to understand that they are not the finished article and can never reach that status. There is simply too much to learn to be able to become complete.

The leader who continues to invest in the growth of themselves, also recognises that their teams, seniors and peers will most likely have perspectives and information that they don’t have and therefore the contributions of the team to decisions is critical. Moreover, having an open mind to new possibilities that perhaps have not been considered is critical for strong leadership.

This principle goes one step further suggesting that new possibilities, innovation and things we have never considered before are completely possible and should be explored, that the impossible can be made possible and it takes leadership not only to explore this, but to empower your teams to explore this also.

Traditional roles we describe as leaders are not the only ones with good ideas, everyone is a leader at Amazon and everyone should act without boundaries over possibilities or empowerment to act upon them.

This is a strong principle, with it’s foundations, as many of these principles have, in empowerment, innovation and collaboration.

I like to think of this principle as a mindset principle, its about how you think, not about your experience or your expertise, its about your mindset.

This principle is at key to building strong leadership and an inclusive culture, and is an excellent piece of work by Amazon. If you are fascinated like me by Amazon’s rise at pace and want to learn more, there is a great book on the subject here

For the full list of principles, please see my first blog on this subject here  and watch out for the next in the series, coming very soon.

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