This is the first of the more detailed reviews of the Amazon Leadership principles that the Amazon Leadership Team have put in place for their employees on a global basis, these, in my opinion, are a strong set of principles that are well worthy of understanding and considering how you might implement them in your business.

If you would like to see the full list of Amazon Leadership Principles, please refer to the first blog in this series here.

Leaders are owners. That’s such a critical phrase when explaining to a large team of people, such as Amazon employees how you want them to behave. I believe that in order to have them behave this way, they need to actually be owners, i.e. have skin in the game of the companies success. Be shareholders.

Even then, it’s a really difficult thing to do to get employees in large corporates to sacrifice short term results and think long term, and this requires wholesale commitment to this from the top down, and staunch support for this on a daily basis. This will also depend on the overall strategy of the organisation, so this one is not universally true and can vary depending on where an organisation finds itself.

I have to admire this commitment though, as its a strong and strategic commitment from the top.

The element I do think is universal however and a very strong statement for all companies to adopt is the second element of this principle. That all leaders (read all employees) act on behalf of the entire company and beyond the boundaries of their own team.

This drives consistent behaviour that should ensure the removal of those political boundaries we always see in large companies, it also clearly states the removal of one of my pet hates, the statement that “it’s not my job” how many times have I heard this, where people feel its more important to protect their role and workload than it is to drive value into the organisation.

This second part for me is the strongest element of this great Leadership principle from the Amazon Leadership Team. For me this is universal and very worthy of universal adoption. Implementation however and tracking that, are both tough and the most important element.

If you would like to discover more about the amazing rise of Amazon and how they have become a significant force in retail, check out my book recommendation here.

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