The e-commerce pioneer Jeff Bezos was born on January 12, 1964 he attended Princeton University and graduated with two bachelor’s degrees in computer science and electrical engineering. In his early ages Bezos worked as a financial analyst at many firms in wall street and in 1990 he was one of the youngest senior vice presidents at an investment firm. On July 16, 1995 Bezos launched Amazon.com. Bezos’s started out Amazon as an online bookstore and has expanded his e-commerce business to a variety of other markets which include but are not limited to fashion, automobile and computing services. Bezos also founded an aerospace company called Blue Origin and has plans to launch commercial suborbital human spaceflights this year. Bezos has been recognized numerous times for his contributions but one of his very first award was in 1999 when the magazine Time named him Person of the Year.
I admire a lot of things about Bezos but one of the most crucial things that I admire about him is his drive. He started out and was successful at the very beginning itself, but he left his lucrative job at wall street and set out to start something of his own. Bezos seems to understand the market trend very well and has made the right moves every step of the way and I think this is because of the positive attitude he has towards the 72 million customers that he has. I’d like to explain in detail how Bezos fits in the five exemplary practices described in the book by Kouzses & Posner (2012). In an interview with Business week Bezos said “you must innovate. Recession or not, bad times or good, never stop innovating. ‘One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out” (Bezos 2008). This strategy of him modeling the way for his own company has proved very successful not only for him but for the thousands of workers he has hired for Amazon it even impacts the shareholders and the millions of customers. Bezos is very active amongst his employees and can tend to seem as a micromanager at times since he likes to get his hands dirty and work on projects himself (Eisner 2016). Amazon’s original vison still stands true today and it was “Our vision is to use this platform to build Earth’s most customer-centric company, a place where customers can come to find and discover anything and everything they might want to buy online.” (Bezos 1999).
I think this vision is the reason Amazon’s success is soaring high and I say this because it is very rare for a business to put it’s customers first most of the times businesses are trying to make a profit and don’t care much about the customers but Bezos had communicated his vision very clearly not only to the investors and employees of Amazon but even to the customers. Amazon is known for hiring the best people because Bezos believes that enabling others is the only way employees will feel that they are they own boss. This strategy of Bezos I personally think is very true because if you see gaps and holes in a certain sector of your industry you want to make sure that those are filled and at the same time you don’t just want a band aid fix you need to make sure you hire someone who knows exactly what they are doing so that the problem is resolved once and for all. Bezos even though an enabler is also known for not tolerating employees who tend to go off track this is what he expects from his future candidates ‘You can work long, hard or smart, but at Amazon.com you can’t choose two out of three” (Matthews, 2018).
Challenging the process and encouraging the heart go hand in hand for Bezos this is because he doesn’t tend to reward his employees unless they have successfully challenged the process and he tends to push employees to their utmost limit since he wishes for them to go with their gut rather than wait and accumulate all the facts. Bezos is known to compensate his employees with stock options but since the rise of the stock has been going significantly high a cash option is more approachable for the company (Kargar 2004).
A person’s credibility can be broken down to the following aspects: first consistency in their communication and behavior, second honesty and third accountability. We already know Bezos has a clear cut vision for the company and he communicates it very well throughout the company which brings us to honesty I think Bezos is honestly trying to change the world but the question is it just for himself or he is actually trying to look out for everyone I say this because Bezos Is currently the richest man in the world and this basically means he is very powerful as well.
Only time will tell if his honesty will hold up for him and all those who depend on him. Last but not the least accountability it is very important for a leader to be accountable for their actions and Bezos is known for his cut throat management style (Moguls 2013) which in a way creates a hostile environment at work and it seems like he makes sure that tasks given to certain teams are done no matter the lengths he has to go get them accomplished. All in all, it’s very hard to judge Bezos credibility it seems like so far everything he has done makes him a very credible person.
I don’t think Bezos would be good leader anywhere else since he has always been an innovator and he doesn’t seem to stop innovating and when you’re passionate about innovation it’s very hard to fit in any other role since innovators tend to work for themselves and prefer being a boss rather than an employee. They only other job I think that would be suitable for him is to be a scientist since his passion for innovation would still be alive as a scientist. At the same time, it seems like Bezos never cared about the money I think he cares more about his legacy as an innovator than anything else since if he was money hungry he wouldn’t need to expand Amazon to so many different branches he could have instead kept buying out his competition and expanded in other ways.
Bezos is going against the trend and therefore he’s so successful he is very inspirational at the same time but might be lacking some traits in certain areas but then again, he’s only human he once said, ‘every new thing creates two new questions and two new opportunities’ (Jacobovitz 2015). This is very true because this directly refers to change and most of us are afraid of change since we are so used to a routine but if you ever want to get out of the bubble you’re stuck in you must accept change.
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